White Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

Purists call this dish white ragu pappardelle pasta; others call it white bolognese (which makes the purists mad).  The point isn’t the name (it tastes just as good no matter what you call it). And, much as I love tomato sauces, the white sauce is a tasty change from the usual red one.

It starts with onions and carrots, then adds ground beef and sausage, which is simmered gently with porcini mushrooms, white wine, and a touch of cream.  Soooo good.

I first made this right after Pesach, when the urge to eat starch (and lots of it) is strong, so I splurged for fresh pappardelle pasta.  Being on an involuntary low-carb diet is no fun!  Since I was using fresh pasta, it takes less time to cook than the dried version.  If you use dried pasta, allow 10 minutes or so to boil the water and another 8 minutes or so to cook the pasta.  Fresh pasta only needs a couple of minutes. If you can’t get pappardelle, rigatoni will work fine. You want a substantial pasta with bite (angel hair won’t do here).

The original recipe calls for dried porcini mushrooms, which I didn’t have. So, I substituted fresh ones.  If you use the dried version, add the soaking liquid to the sauce instead of the water. The pasta water at the end thickens the sauce (with the starch from the cooked pasta).

I made a few other changes too. As a commenter rightly pointed out, the onions and carrots take different amounts of time to cook, so they shouldn’t be added all at once.  First the onions, then the carrots. Also, I never have beef bouillon cubes (the ingredients make me wince) so I used beef stock instead.




White Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: Italian

one

White Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

White ragu papardelle is a fun and delicious change from the usual red sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 porcini mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 mild Italian sausage (you can use pork sausage or chicken sausage), chopped up (take the casing off)
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 C beef stock
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 1/4 T heavy cream
  • 1/4 pound pappardelle (plus 2 quarts of water to boil the pasta)
  • 2 T freshly ground Parmigiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a wide, deep frying pan (the wider the better, so there’s more surface area to reduce the liquids faster) on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion.  Cook for a minute.  
  2. Then add the carrots, and the mushrooms, and sauté about five minutes or so.  The veggies should be slightly tender, but not soft.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Then add the cut up sausage and the ground beef (break up the beef into small pieces, so there are no clumps of meat; you want it distributed throughout the pan).  Cook that until the meat is all thoroughly browned.
  4. Add the wine and let the liquid cook down until it is nearly dry.  Now add the beef stock and lower the heat from medium-high to medium.  Let it simmer (just bubbling) until the stock has practically evaporated and then add the 3/4 cup of water. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if necessary.  The sauce should be slightly runny, (think stroganoff, but Italian).
  6. Take the pan off the stove, away from the heat, and add the cream (folding it into the sauce).  Cover the pot to keep it warm.
  7. Put two quarts of water in a medium size saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then add the pasta.  Cook 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta, 8-10 for dried. When the pasta is nearly cooked, remove a ladleful of the pasta water and set it aside in a bowl. 
  8. Drain the pasta, and return it to the pot you used to cook it.  Add the ragu sauce and stir it gently. Add the pasta water you set aside in the last step. 
  9. Serve with grated cheese.

Notes

Note: if you use dried mushrooms, soak them in the 3/4 C water and add them (and the water you soaked them in) after you add the stock.

White Ragu Papardelle Pasta Substitutions and Variations

  • Substitute bacon or pancetta for the sausage
  • Swap ground veal and pork for the beef and sausage
  • If you like venison or boar, those would work too
  • Add a few cloves of garlic and top with basil when you serve it
  • Don’t want sausage or beef? Use ground turkey instead (add a bit more fat to the pan)

More Pasta Recipes

Pasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce Recipe

Linguine with Garlic and Olive Oil

Spaghetti with Spinach and Lemon Cream Sauce

Pistachio Pesto Pasta




Egg and Tomato Gratin for One Person

There are three holidays this weekend: two big ones and one silly one. The big ones are Easter and Passover and since each holiday has entirely different traditions and foods, I was initially stumped. What do I post that works for both holidays? Then it hit me! These holidays do have something in common: eggs.  This egg and tomato grain is just the thing.

I adapted this dish from a recipe by Jacques Pépin.  It’s from his Fast Food My Way cookbook. I haven’t changed much, other than the quantities, and using canned tomatoes instead of fresh. The fresh tomatoes aren’t very good this time of year, and besides, I dislike fresh-cooked tomatoes.

The eggs are mixed with tomato and onions, garlic, and thyme. The thyme adds a slightly spicy flavor and pairs beautifully with tomato.  The whole thing is then finished with grated, slightly nutty Swiss cheese.  Delicious!

And it works whether you’re on Team Pesach or Team Easter. Not to mention that whether you observe Easter or Passover, you’re likely to want a light lunch before your big meal(s) or want to take it easy the next day.  This egg dish is relatively light and won’t fill you up too much before or after all that heavy food. I’ve listed it as lunch, but it would also make a good breakfast or light brunch.

The third holiday? That’s April Fool’s.  There’s no specific food for that (except in France maybe when they call it April Fish), but somehow the tomato cheese mixture on top of the eggs looks like bacon if you squint. April Fool’s!




Egg and Tomato Gratin for One

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: lunch

Cuisine: French

Egg and Tomato Gratin for One

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced (about 2/3
  • of a cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (roughly one clove)
  • pinch dried thyme
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/3 C canned peeled tomatoes
  • 2 T plus 2 tsp grated Swiss (or Emmenthaler or whatever mild cheese you like)

Instructions

  1. Heat the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, gently poke the rounded end of the eggs with a pin or a thumbtack.
  2. Once the water is boiling place the eggs on a large slotted spoon and add them carefully to the water, one at a time.
  3. Let the water come back to a boil, and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. When they're done, remove them with the slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water to cool.
  4. Then peel the eggs and cut them into wedges.
  5. Add the egg wedges to a small casserole or baking dish.
  6. Heat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Heat the oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a minute. Then add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Let the mixture come to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Pour the tomato mixture over the eggs in the baking dish. And sprinkle the cheese on top.
  9. Put the baking dish into the toaster oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Egg and Tomato Gratin Substitutions and Variations

  • At the end, turn up the toaster oven to broil and cook for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese
  • Don’t just have a dish that looks like bacon, add some real bacon and crumble it on top
  • Vary the cheeses: try Gruyère or mozzarella or Monterey Jack
  • Sauté some sliced porcini mushrooms with the onion/tomato mixture

Cooking tip: Poking the end of the eggs with a pin reduces the pressure inside, making them less likely to burst in the boiling water.

More Egg Recipes

Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

Cherry Tomato Basil Frittata

Egg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Shakshouka for One




Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

Quick, what’s gooey, melty, cheesy, and great comfort food?  This egg and pasta gratin has crispy eggs, tender noodles, and lots of cheese. It’s almost a cousin to pasta carbonara (but no bacon).  The flavor is simple and delicate and the recipe incorporates two of my favorite “food groups”: pasta and cheese!

It’s adapted from a a new cookbook I just got (because given a bookstore gift card as a gift, I naturally headed straight for the cookbook section!). The cookbook is called Fast Food My Way and it’s chock full of inspiration. As you may have guessed from the title, all the meals are relatively easy and quick. They’re just perfect for those days when you don’t feel like fussing (or simply don’t have the time).  Of course, you can also make this for a leisurely weekend brunch or scale the recipe up and serve it to guests.

The whole thing fits in perfectly with my own philosophy, which is delicious food for one person, made from real ingredients. Because, just because you’re cooking for one rather than two or more doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a home-cooked meal.And, of course, making it yourself is much cheaper than going out, or ordering a meal kit.

As written, the flavor is pure comfort food; not spicy or salty. However, if you want, you can add other flavors (more on that in the substitutions and variations section).




Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

one

Egg and Pasta Gratin with Chives

Crispy eggs, gooey cheese, and tender pasta combine to make this dish great comfort food. Great for a fast meal, or to warm up with on a cold day.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz short pasta (I used cavatelli)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
  • Pinch salt
  • Grinding of black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons butter (preferably unsalted, if you only have salted butter, skip the added salt)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 C grated hard cheese, such as Swiss or Emmenthaler

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add salt. Pour in the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes (or until it is al dente)
  2. Toss the olive oil, chives, salt, and pepper together in a medium to large bowl (it should be big enough to hold the finished dish; I used a large soup bowl).
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, but don’t drain it yet.
  4. Grab a soup ladle and pour a ladleful of the pasta water into the bowl.
  5. Now, drain the pasta, and put it back in the pot. Scoop up a ladleful of the pasta, and add it to the chive/water mixture. Mix it all together thoroughly.
  6. Keep both the remaining pasta in the pot and the pasta in the bowl warm while you make the eggs.
  7. Next, heat the butter in a skillet. Add the eggs and cook on medium-high heat with the pan covered for about 2 minutes. The eggs should be set (the whites will be firm, while the yolk is still soft).
  8. Sprinkle a generous tablespoonful of the cheese on top of the pasta in the bowl. Next, add one of the cooked eggs. Add more cheese, then pasta from the pot, then cheese, and then the second egg, then more pasta in succession.

Egg and Pasta Gratin Substitutions and Variations

  • Add crumbled bacon on top
  • Go for more sweetness and crunch with a sweet bell pepper
  • Try some leeks instead of the chives
  • Dice some sun-dried tomatoes

More Pasta Recipes

Smoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta with Tomato Artichoke Sauce Recipe

Pasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

Pistachio Pesto Pasta




Sephardic Fish in Peppery Tomato Sauce

This easy and delicious fish in peppery tomato sauce is flavored with garlic, coriander, harissa, and piquant capers, bathed in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. It’s another one of those “Jewish” recipes you may not recognize as Jewish. In America we tend to think of “Ashkenazi” food as Jewish, call it a day, and forget about the Sephardim. This is a terrible mistake, since Sephardic food (Spanish, Middle Eastern, Portuguese, and North African) is spicy, flavorful, and has much more variety than its Eastern European cousins.   In fact, one day, I want to skip the Eastern European Passover and have a Sephardic one instead! Goals! 

I’ve adapted this recipe from The Book of Jewish Food , which says that fish is  considered a symbol of abundance, making it a favorite dish for Friday night (Sabbath) meals. Fish was also popular in Morocco and Italy for weddings, as it was thought to symbolize fruitfulness. For Rosh Hashanah, it was served with the head left on, so Jews would be “ ‘ahead with good deeds and serve as a model of goodness. ’ ”  I think this dish certainly fits the bill.

The nice thing is that you don’t have to wait for a holiday or a special occasion to make it. It’s ready in about 25 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.

If you’re not familiar with harissa, it’s a hot chili garlic sauce used for fish, chicken, and lots of other dishes in North Africa. As I am writing this, it occurs to me that it’s a bit like African sriracha sauce.  If you have some, or can get some, use it. If not, a mixture of cayenne and paprika will work just fine.

I also saw another, similar recipe (called chraime) that referred to this as Sephardic “gefilte fish.” Never having been a big fan of gefilte fish, I’ll take this recipe in a New York minute!

The dish will work with any firm fish, such as grouper, red snapper, or cod. I used cod from Trader Joe’s (the frozen fish is inexpensive and good quality). Serve it with rice (as I did), or make it with couscous.




Peppery Fish in Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: North African

one

Peppery Fish in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion (about 1/2 C), chopped
  • 1 T neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp harissa or 1/4 tsp paprika plus a generous pinch of cayenne)
  • 2/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sugar (depending on how sweet the tomatoes are, you may not need this)
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers (drained and patted dry)
  • 1-2 fish steaks (about 1/2 lb. total)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (or a sprig of fresh if you have it)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in the frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and gently cook for a few minutes until they soften and start to turn color (don’t let them burn!). Add the crushed garlic and cook for a minute (until it too starts to change color). Add the harissa (or cayenne/paprika) and stir.
  2. Pour the tomatoes into the pan, then add the salt, sugar, and the drained capers.
  3. Now add the fish steaks and spoon the tomato mixture over them in the pan.
  4. Cover the pan and let it all simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid, and flip the fish over on the other side. Spoon more sauce over it and add the coriander. Put the lid back on the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.

Notes

You’ll want to use a larger skillet so you have enough room to turn the pieces of fish over without breaking them.  

Fish in Peppery Tomato Sauce Substitutions and Variations

  • Try sriracha or chili garlic sauce instead of the harissa paste (with a bit more coriander added this is similar to a Tunisian version of this dish)
  • Use cumin, tomato paste, and both sweet and hot peppers in the sauce
  • Add olive oil, then the fish, then top that with one or two whole garlic cloves, more salt and pepper, and more coriander, and let it cook on a grill for half an hour (if you like fresh cooked tomatoes, put them under and over the fish

Try These Other Fish Recipes

Easy Mediterranean Fish Stew

Greek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Indian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce




Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

I just discovered these recently.  They are often served for Greek Easter (which is in a few weeks). I am not Greek, and I don’t observe Easter, but I am always a fan of potatoes (and starch generally). I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I do have a fat/carb tooth. So, oven roasted Greek potatoes definitely caught my eye!

These are pretty easy to make and don’t require any special ingredients (always a bonus). I used Yukon Gold potatoes (I am a potato fan, but not a russet fan as I find them too floury).  I didn’t bother to peel them either.  Why waste the vitamins in the peel?  And why do extra work if you don’t have to? I am always in favor of shortcuts, particularly if it means less cleanup.

Besides, the skins of Yukon Gold potatoes are thinner than russets, so peeling isn’t necessary.  If you do use russets, you probably ought to peel them, as the peels are tougher and heavier.

The result is slightly crispy outside, and fluffy inside.  These would pair nicely with roast chicken, or roast lamb.  If you make lamb, use the pan drippings instead of the chicken broth.

I made them in the toaster oven because I didn’t want to heat up the whole oven just for potatoes. Plus it was easier to take the tray out to add the lemon juice and the chicken broth, since my oven is squashed in the corner of the kitchen area.




Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: Greek

one serving

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes

A simple, but flavorful side dish that's great with chicken or lamb. The potatoes are slightly crispy outside and fluffy soft inside.

Ingredients

  • 1 potato, preferably Yukon Gold, cut into small cubes, about 1 inch
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • generous pinch dried oregano
  • 2T chicken stock
  • 1 T plus one tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Remove the toaster oven baking tray.
  2. Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Mix the potatoes, garlic, oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and oregano together on the baking tray.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Garnish with fresh oregano if you like.

 

Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes Substitutions and Variations

  • swap the chicken broth for some tomato paste
  • use fresh oregano instead of dried (or add some at the end)
  • add some shallots and mix that with the oil, lemon, oregano to make a vinaigrette
  • top with some feta cheese
  • or try some Parmesan (not terribly traditional, but couldn’t hurt)
  • if you don’t like red pepper flakes, use black pepper instead

More Potato Recipes

Skin On Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Roasted Paprika Potatoes

French Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad

Mixed Greens Egg Potato and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette




Apple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person

When I was little, everyone served ham with pineapple. That’s good, but I think this apple glazed ham steak is better. There’s an enzyme in pineapple that breaks down protein and tends to make it a bit mushy.  Plus you have to get a good pineapple, wonder what to do with the rest of it, or settle for canned.  Apples on the other hand, add a touch of sweetness, plus a hint of tartness. It’s less overpoweringly sweet and it complements the salty ham better.

The other good thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly quick. Sauté the ham steak, set it aside, make the apple topping, and you have dinner in about 15-20 minutes.

Score! There are more quick dinner recipes at the bottom of the post.

If you can, get the ham steak from a butcher.  The pre-packaged kind tends to be bulked up with water and additives.  I’m lucky enough to have a butcher nearby that sells them frozen, so I can buy it and use it when I’m ready.

I made this with brandy, but if you don’t have that, apple cider will work too.  For a more intense apple flavor, try it with apple brandy, such as Calvados, or a hard apple cider.

The Brusssels sprouts, by the way, are tossed with some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted.  My new favorite way to eat them!




Apple Glazed Ham Steak

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: American

one serving

Apple Glazed Ham Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 slice 
ham steak
  • 1 T 
butter
  • 1 small apple, sliced
  • pinch 
nutmeg
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 
cloves
  • 1/4 C brandy (or apple cider or apple brandy or a combination)

Instructions

  1. Put the ham steak in a frying pan large enough to hold it without crowding. Cook the ham until heated through (about five minutes per side). Remove and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sliced apple and sauté them until slightly tender (about 5 minutes). Add nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and brandy (or cider or Calvados) and deglaze the pan (stir the sauce with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits from the ham into the sauce). If this sauce is too thin, add a bit of flour or turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.

Apple Glazed Ham Steak Substitutions and Variations

  • skip the cloves and add a bit of tangy mustard
  • try some cinnamon
  • sauté some sweet onions and include them in the sauce (Vidalia onions would work nicely for this)
  • mix up the apples; I used Gala but Granny Smith would add a bit of extra tartness to the recipe and make a nice complement to the ham
  • if you don’t have brandy, use Calvados, or apple cider

More Quick Dinner Recipes

Quick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

One Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples

 




Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

Ever finish eating something and immediately want to eat it again?  That’s what happened with this roasted butternut squash with brown sugar and vanilla. I finished it, and wanted more! Sadly, it was the last of the squash and the last of the nuts.  However, squash is definitely on my shopping list for my next trip to the supermarket.

What made this recipe so good?  The vanilla and nuts almost made me feel as if I were eating a cookie or some sort of dessert rather than a vegetable.  It was sweet, without being cloying, as there’s very little sugar in it.  Topping it with a mixture of nuts and craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries) added a bit of crunch and a sweet/tart tang.

The original version of this recipe (which I found on the Neilsen-Massey web site), called for vanilla sugar. Since I didn’t have any and had no interest in going out and searching for some in the stores, I simply added a bit of vanilla to some brown sugar instead. As far as I’m concerned it worked perfectly, and I didn’t have to buy an extra ingredient. Win win!

The nuts I used were an unsalted mixture from Trader Joe’s with hazelnuts, cashews and pecans.  Use whatever mix you like, although I think I would skip something with peanuts. The craisins were an unintentional bonus.  I had a few leftover from making the turkey chipotle enchilada recipe from a couple of weeks ago, and had thrown them in the bag of nuts.  I forgot that when I mixed them into the topping, but it turned out to be a good “accident.”

So, while this may look like a vegetable, it’s definitely a dessert in a clever vegetable disguise! In fact, I’m half-tempted to put it in the dessert category instead of as a side dish. Serve it with a simple piece of roast chicken or a pork chop. I baked a chicken thigh with some olive oil, oregano, a bit of garlic, and salt and pepper.




Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla

Ingredients

    Squash
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened slightly
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. brown sugar
  • tiny pinch salt
    Topping
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 C mixed nuts with dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1 tsp butter, softened slightly

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the squash in a medium size bowl. Toss it all together to mix it thoroughly. Pour the squash mixture into a small baking pan.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Once the squash is cooked, take the same bowl you used to mix the squash and add the topping ingredients. Mix that all together.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven, and add the topping mixture.
  6. Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Watch the nuts and make sure they don't burn.

Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Vanilla Substitutions and Variations

  • Don’t have mixed nuts?  Try just plain walnuts or pecans instead
  • Use maple syrup instead of brown sugar
  • Toast the nuts first
  • Buy some puff pastry and spoon the squash into it—voilà butternut squash tart!

More Butternut Squash Recipes

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples

Butternut Squash Cream Sauce Recipe for One Person

Roasted Cinnamon Nutmeg Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Cream Sauce Recipe for One Person




One Loaf Kitchenaid White Bread Recipe That’s Great for Sandwiches

Most bread recipes are for two loaves, which is way too much for one person to eat.  I have another super-easy bread recipe, which is great for dipping in olive oil or eating on the side, but not ideal for a sandwich.  This Kitchenaid white bread recipe makes a single loaf of bread that’s light, soft, and perfect for peanut butter and jelly, tuna salad, or your favorite sandwich fixing.

I got the recipe from the original Kitchenaid cookbook that came with my mixer.  I cut the recipe in half (for one loaf) and I have also added instructions on how to shape the loaf of bread.  Follow these simple tips and you’ll get a perfect loaf of fresh bread that looks like it came from a bakery.

The other key to the success of this Kitchenaid white bread recipe is my loaf pan.  When I made the bread for this post I completely forgot to grease and flour the pan! I figured I would end up with a horrid mass of bread stuck to the pan. Nope! It came out perfect and popped right out of the pan!





One Loaf Kitchenaid Bread Recipe

One Loaf Kitchenaid Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C milk
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar (or 1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 T butter
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp standard active dry yeast)
  • 3/4 C warm water
  • 2 1/2-3 C flour

Instructions

  1. Take a small saucepan and add the first four ingredients (milk, sugar, salt, and butter) to the pan. Heat that on a low flame, just enough to melt the butter. Stir it occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves and is mixed thoroughly.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool off. You want the mixture to be lukewarm (not too hot, or it will kill the yeast).
  3. Add the yeast and warm water to the mixing bowl of your mixer. If you are using active yeast, let it sit for 5 minutes or so. If you are using instant yeast, go on to the next step.
  4. Add the smaller amount of flour to the yeast mixture.
  5. Now attach the dough hook to your mixer. Put the mixer on speed 2. Let that mix for a minute or two. Now check it and see if it has formed a tight ball around the dough hook. If it has, go to the next step. If not, add more flour.
  6. Keep kneading the dough, on the same speed for 2 or 3 minutes more. The dough should be smooth and stretchy. When it's kneaded enough, a small piece will stretch enough, without breaking, so you can nearly see through it.
  7. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and grease that bowl (or a fresh one) with about a capful of neutral oil.
  8. Put the dough back in the bowl and turn it around to grease the entire outside of the ball.
  9. Cover it with a towel, and set it a warmish spot (about 75 degrees) for about an hour. It should now be about twice its original size.
  10. Now punch it down.
  11. Sprinkle some flour on a board or counter and put the ball of dough on top. Flour your rolling pin too. Now roll out the dough into a rough rectangle (about 9 x 14 inches). This helps to smooth it out. Starting from the narrower side, roll the dough up into a cylinder. Pinch the bottom and sides shut to form a seam. Put the dough in a greased/floured loaf pan with the seam side down.
  12. Cover the pan and let the dough rise again for about another hour.
  13. About 45 minutes in to the second rising, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  14. Put the bread in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once it's done, remove the loaf of bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

Tools and Ingredients for This Recipe


Norpro Stainless Steel Bread Pan

I call this my magic bread pan.  It looks as clean and shiny as it did when I bought it. It’s not a standard non-stick pan, but whatever they did to it, the food does not stick. It cleans up from banana bread, apple bread, meatloaf, potato bread—doesn’t seem to matter. Which is great when you don’t have a dishwasher and don’t want to spend all day cleaning pots.

Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch

This is so much better than buying tiny, expensive packets of yeast.  Those packets cost a dollar each and after three loaves it’s all gone.  With this big bag, you can bake dozens of loaves rather than just three, and it’s far more economical. Keep the bag in the freezer so it stays fresh.  Also, since it’s instant yeast you don’t have to wait for it to activate. Just add your ingredients and keep going.

More Kitchenaid White Bread Recipes

Kitchenaid Bread Recipes

Kitchenaid Honey Oat Bread Recipe

Single Loaf Bread Recipe Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

Single Loaf Challah Recipe for Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

 




Single Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe

In keeping with last week’s theme of indulgence, here’s a bit more. Because it’s the holiday season, and why not? This recipe, which I adapted from Tina’s Cookings, was billed as a thick European-style hot chocolate, which is sort of a runny pudding you can drink. That’s not quite what I got.  Instead, I got a single serving double dark chocolate pudding recipe. Even better! I’m not sure if I transposed it incorrectly (her measurements are metric), but I did it twice and got the same result.

In any case, this is rich, decadent, and utterly delicious! And since it’s seriously bitter cold outside, warm pudding (or hot chocolate is perfect).

So why not give yourself a little treat? We’ve all been working hard over the holidays, and we all deserve a reward.

Make sure to use high quality chocolate and cocoa to make this. I used Cadbury Bourneville cocoa and Trader Joe’s Belgian chocolate (which is really Callebaut in a clever disguise). It’s worth it!

If you use the Callebaut callets (essentially chocolate chips), you’ll need about 2 or 3 oz (by weight).  Then you don’t have to break up the chocolate and it will melt faster.




Single Serving Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Category: dessert

Cuisine: American

one serving

Single Serving Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Rich, decadent, and takes only a few minutes to make. There's not much fussing, but you get a super-chocolatey indulgent dessert as a reward.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz whole milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 2-3 squares dark chocolate, broken up
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pour 3 oz of the milk into a small saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil over medium high heat. Keep an eye on it, you don't want the milk to get too hot and overflow the pot.
  2. Pour the remainder of the milk into a small bowl. Mix in the cornstarch and then the cocoa powder.
  3. Whisk it all together thoroughly to make sure there aren't any lumps. You should end up with a sort of chocolate slurry.
  4. Now add in the brown sugar and mix that in too.
  5. Once the milk in the pot has started to bubble and boil, add the cocoa mixture to the pot, scraping it out of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  6. The mixture should thicken quickly. Once it does, take it off the heat and add the chocolate pieces. Fold them into the hot cocoa mixture, stirring, until the chocolate melts.
  7. Add the vanilla and mix it in thoroughly.
  8. Allow to cool or eat it warm right out of the pot. Because it's the holidays.

Single Serving Double Dark Chocolate Pudding Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Add more milk or reduce the cornstarch and get European-style hot chocolate
  • Top with whipped cream or sliced strawberries
  • Top with broken up candy canes
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg or chocolate shavings on top
  • Try a splash of brandy or Kahlua

More Chocolate Dessert Recipes

Greek Yogurt Triple Chocolate Cake This has cocoa, chocolate, and a chocolate ganache icing on top.

Easy Chocolate Mousse One of the very first recipes I learned to make. Only five ingredients, no melting chocolate in a double boiler and no separating eggs either. Easy!

Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder Normal brownie recipes are too much for one person to eat. I’ve scaled this one down so it’s a perfect mini recipe for one.

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream Not entirely chocolate, but a quick and elegant dessert that is easy to prepare.




Pan-Fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce

Sure it’s the holiday season, and there are a lot of parties and fancy meals everywhere.  But sometimes (holiday or no) you just want to treat yourself even without a party.  Cooking for one doesn’t have to mean dull and boring.  Pan-fried steak with mushroom brandy cream sauce is rich, creamy, and just slightly indulgent.  The cream is velvety, and the mushrooms add an earthy flavor, while the scallions and garlic bring just a hint of sweetness to the sauce. A funny thing happens to onions and garlic once you sauté them; they transform from spicy to sweet.

All that and it’s still really easy to prepare. You can have a delicious, festive dinner in about twenty minutes.  A big payoff without a lot of work!

I’ve made the sauce with pan-fried steak, but it works just as well with a pork chop or a piece of chicken.  If you make it with a bone-in chicken thigh, start that about 20 minutes before you begin cooking the sauce, as it takes longer to cook than a steak or a pork chop.

If you’re going with the steak, start that at the same time as the sauce. Then take it off the heat and let it rest while you finish preparing the sauce.

Pan-Fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Category: dinner

Cuisine: French

one serving

Pan-Fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce

A rich, easy and festive dinner with earthy mushrooms, silky smooth cream, and a splash of brandy.

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless steak, about 4-6 oz.
  • 1T butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste (for both steak and sauce)
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 1/4 C heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper and start cooking it in a skillet over high heat. Sear on each side, then turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness and your preferred doneness. If you have grass-fed beef, add some butter or olive oil to the pan, since it's less fatty than standard beef. Remove the steak from the pan to a plate once it's done and let it rest.
  2. Melt the butter in a second skillet on medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Then add the scallions and cook another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the mushrooms and let them sit, undisturbed, in the pan for 2-3 minutes. When they have developed a nice deep brown color, flip them over and cook another minute or two.
  5. Add the brandy and the cream to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for five minutes.
  6. Pour the sauce over the steak.




I made this with brown jasmine rice and some string beans, but it would work well with potatoes too, or even just some crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the sauce.

Pan-fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce Substitutions and Variations

  • Use shallots or chopped onions instead of the scallions (I grabbed scallions because I have a pot of them growing in my windowsill)
  • Exchange the brandy for white wine and toss the same sauce with pasta
  • Add nutmeg and serve it over chicken breasts
  • Make more mushrooms and eat them as a side dish

More Steak and Mushroom Recipes

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup for One

Cold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Chicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe

Stovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce