Reverse Sear Bottom Round Roast Beef

This reverse sear bottom round roast beef is not your usual cooking method for roast beef. It’s also not the standard cut.  Bottom round is usually relegated to pot roast. Meh. I’ve never been a fan of pot roast. Or brisket either.

But, if you cook that bottom round properly, you end up with a tender, flavorful roast (and for far less than you’d spend on a rib roast). There are two parts to a reverse sear bottom round roast beef. First, you cook the meat slowly on a low temperature. My mom accidentally “invented” this part long ago. She left a roast in the oven on low to defrost, and then ended up leaving it for hours. However, the reverse sear method has an additional, easy step.

With reverse sear, if you haven’t heard of it, instead of searing the meat in a pan on high first, and then turning down the temperature to cook it through, you reverse the process. First, a low temperature slow roast in the oven, and then sear in a pan. It turns out beautifully rare, all the way through.

And, since this is  “single serving chef” the portion of meat is small. Which means that even though we’re cooking at a low temperature, it doesn’t require a lot of time. So roast beef dinner in about an hour!

If you like, you can also make a quick horseradish sauce to go with it. I’ve included the recipe for that, but if you prefer, you can just buy it in the store.

If there are any leftovers, it makes great sandwiches the next day. Just pile slices onto some crusty bread and slather it with the horseradish sauce.


More Beef Recipes

Pan-Fried Steak with Mushroom Brandy Cream Saucepan-fried steak with mushroom brandy cream sauce

Great for a festive holiday meal or special occasion. Rich, creamy, indulgent, and utterly delicious. And a lot less work than you might expect.


cold leftover steak saladCold Leftover Steak Salad with Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

A “summer” dish that’s hearty enough for cool weather. Use steak, or leftover sliced roast beef.

Chicken and Broccoli in White Wine Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a French chef’s cookbook, but it isn’t French. It’s sort of Italian. He called it scarpariello, but it’s unlike any other dish of that name I’ve seen, as it has no peppers and no sausage. And that includes one elsewhere on this very blog. But, since it’s not really authentically Italian, we can do with it what we like. And call it what we like. Whatever it’s called, and wherever it came from, chicken and broccoli in white wine sauce is a great weeknight meal. It’s all in one pot, for one thing. And it takes well under an hour to cook.

In the original dish, the chicken is browned, and then perked up with white wine, lemon, and garlic. He used fresh broccoli as a side dish.  I used frozen broccoli to cut down the cooking time even more, and tossed it in with the chicken. One less pan to clean!


More Chicken Recipes

Peruvian roast chicken with green saucePeruvian Roast Chicken in Green Sauce Recipe

I just love, love, love this. The green sauce is a bit spicy, rich, and utterly delicious. Great on chicken, or on boiled potatoes, or even as a veggie dip.


roast chicken with plumsRoast Chicken with Plums

Simple, sweet, tangy, and easy to make. But, it packs a lot of flavor.


stovetop coq au vinStovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

A casual, weeknight-friendly version of a French classic. No need to fuss to get a delicious meal. And, it is fancy enough for company.


chicken mushroom skillet recipeChicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe

Another one pot meal with chicken, mushrooms, and onions. Just the thing when you don’t feel like fussing (or cleaning) too much.


Skillet Lemon Spinach Chicken

Bright, colorful, and oh so easy. Skillet lemon spinach chicken is bursting with flavor from lemon, tomatoes, fresh spinach, and a touch of white wine.  And, it all comes together in a single pot, ready in about 35 minutes.  Make yourself some rice and you’re ready to eat.

It’s perfect for weeknights when you’re hungry and haven’t got a lot of time to cook. And since it doesn’t cook for very long, it won’t heat up your kitchen too much. Great for summer, especially when tomatoes are in season.

This recipe was inspired by an online friend. He posted a photo and listed the main ingredients. It looked so good I decided to try it myself, and added my own spin with some oregano, a bit of chicken broth, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to brighten the flavor.

I used sauvignon blanc for the white wine (since that is what I had handy). A pinot gris would work too. You want something citrusy and aromatic, but not too sweet.

I had a package of mixed grape tomatoes (yellow, orange, red, and dark red), so I just popped in a few of those. But regular grape or cherry tomatoes are fine.

Skillet Lemon Spinach Chicken Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the tomatoes for some red bell pepper (about 1/4 cup)
  • Add a sliced crimini mushroom or two
  • Don’t want wine? Add more chicken broth, or substitute some cream

More Chicken Recipes

shoemakers chickenShoemaker’s Chicken for One

A one pot “Italian” classic, spruced up with a tangy sweet-sour sauce.


honey sticky garlic chickenHoney Sticky Garlic Chicken

Craving Chinese food? Make this classic dish right in your home, without the wait.


roast chicken with plumsRoast Chicken with Plums

Sweet, tangy, with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.


chicken with basil, peaches, and gingerChicken with Peaches and Ginger

Fresh, sweet peaches, plus savory ginger, and summery basil. One bowl, one pan, and you have dinner.



Pork with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce

Pork and apples are a common combination, right? But a bit tired. Why not jazz up your dinner and make pork with blueberry balsamic sauce instead? The sweetness of the blueberries and the tangy vinegar are a fantastic complement to the rich, meaty pork.

The result: absolutely divine! I really wanted to eat it again! Heck, I want to eat it now (as I type this early in the morning).

It all sounds planned from that description, but it really wasn’t. I bought some pork chops intending to make a stir fry. But that’s not what I ended up making. It suddenly occurred to me that I had some fresh blueberries (they were on sale) and that blueberries and pork would work nicely together. A quick search and I found a number of recipes combining blueberries, pork, and balsamic vinegar. Seemed like a great combination! Some recipes were more involved then others. But it was a weeknight. I didn’t feel like fussing too much. So, naturally, I chose a simple one! Less mess and fewer ingredients. It’s largely this recipe, but I swapped the sugar with honey (so I could use less and it would dissolve into the sauce faster). And so pork with blueberry balsamic sauce was born!

I reduced both the quantity of everything and the cooking time for the sauce (since there’s a lot less of it – make sure to keep the flame super-low).

I’ve made this with a pork chop, but a tenderloin, or even chunks of pork would work just as well.


More Pork Recipes

pork chile verdePork Chili Verde for One

Made with ground pork, cooked in a salsa verde of jalapeños, garlic, onion, and cumin.

Unlike most chili recipes, this one cooks fairly quickly (especially if you’ve got cooked or canned beans).

apple glazed ham steakApple Glazed Ham Steak Recipe for One Person

Back to basics here (pork and apples), but with a twist. Because ham is usually paired with pineapple. And, since the ham is essentially pre-cooked, it’s ready in just a few minutes.


honey mustard glazed ribsHoney Mustard Glazed Spareribs

Tender, not too sweet, with just a bit of a mustard kick.  And they cook in about an hour.


pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour creamPork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Rich, flavorful, and fast.  The sauce is rich, indulgent, and delicious, with sour cream, mustard, and  sweet/sour capers.




Dijonnaise Salmon Cakes

I spotted this recipe for salmon cakes with dijon mayonnaise sauce on Bon Appetit and thought it sounded delicious. But way too complicated. With too many steps and pots to clean.  It involved baking fresh salmon in the oven, and then whipping up your own mayonnaise. While homemade mayonnaise is wonderful, it’s also extra effort, and doesn’t keep in the fridge as well as the store-bought version. So I came up with an easier version that requires far less time and energy.  And fewer pots to clean. Still tastes great though.

I’ve used canned salmon (so you don’t have to cook it separately) and store bought mayonnaise, gussied up to taste brighter and fresher. And, of course, made the entire recipe smaller, so it makes four cakes instead of 12.

I also swapped the scallions for onions (because that’s what I had), and dried dill instead of fresh (didn’t want to buy a whole bunch for one recipe).  And, then used lemon juice instead of zest (zest would be fine too).

Another note, since this is bound together with potatoes instead of bread crumbs, it’s gluten-free (and would also be OK for Passover).

It’s an easy way to dress up pantry/standard fridge ingredients into something special.

Incidentally, if you want to use fresh salmon, brush it with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes, until it is opaque.


More Salmon Recipes

sugar crusted salmon filletSugar Crusted Salmon Fillet

Slightly sweet, kicked up with cumin, mustard and paprika.  This salmon recipe is easy, bright, and full of flavor.


pan fried salmon with nectarine salsaPan Fried Salmon with Nectarine Salsa

A fresh twist on the usual salsa, this one has juicy, sweet nectarines, tangy lime, and slightly spicy jalapeño. Perfect for a warm spring or summer day.


smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A silky, smooth sauce with just a touch of cream. This feels (and tastes) far more indulgent than it actually is. Works with either smoked salmon or leftover cooked salmon.


salmon in foil packet with potatoesSalmon in Foil Packet with Potatoes

An easy no-pot meal. Just wrap it in foil, and then toss the dirty wrap away. Slice the potatoes, wrap it all up, and bake.


Arroz Con Pollo for One

In case you’re wondering, arroz con pollo just means chicken with rice. It’s a favorite Latin American dish, roughly similar to paella (but with a lot fewer steps and ingredients). I’ve adapted this from a Jacques Pépin recipe. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t he French? He is. But his wife is Puerto Rican and she taught him a thing or too.

Besides reducing the quantities, I’ve changed this recipe a bit. He used chickpeas  and bacon ((I never have chickpeas, so I went with beans instead and I usually get chorizo, more versatile).  He also put in cilantro stems. I like the dried version (coriander), but not fresh. And I’d never use it all anyway. So dried it is.

It’s all ready in about an hour. And, it only uses a single pot. Less cleanup is always a bonus as far as I’m concerned!

More Recipes with Beans

tuna cannellini bean saladTuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Want a quick meal? Just open a few cans and you’ve got an easy lunch. No actual cooking needed.


pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli (Bean) Soup

An Italian classic that’s filling and easy too. It’s flavored with pancetta and rosemary, for a meal that’s both both aromatic and delicious.


Brazilian chicken paprika stewBrazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

This is chicken paprikash that went south and stayed.  The cream is gone, replaced with sausage, lime, and beans. It’s rich and satisfying, and all in one pot!


black beans and rice recipe one personBlack Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

Two meals in one! This can be an entree or a soup. It’s also pantry friendly. Just cook the beans slowly with garlic, onions, and two surprise ingredients. Cook it longer for a side dish/entree, or a bit less for soup.


Small Batch Savory Mushroom Onion Pie

In America, we mostly tend to think of pie as something sweet, filled with fruit, and eaten for dessert. That’s certainly good (I wouldn’t turn down a good pie), but it’s not the entire story.  Pies can do more than that. However,  for reasons unknown, with the exception of chicken or turkey pot pie, we tend to mostly ignore the whole world of meat, vegetable, and other flavorful, no-fruit pies that make wonderful entrees.  Take this savory mushroom onion pie, for instance.  It’s got a crust like a fruit pie, but instead of blueberries or apples, it’s packed with mushrooms, cheese, and onions.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s an entire meal all by itself.  Think a less-eggy quiche.

I’ve adapted the filling recipe from here and the crust from here.

Now, you can use store-bought pie dough, store-bought pizza dough (yes, really, I saw Jacques Pepin do it once—if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me), or make your own. It’s not hard. I’ve included directions for both. If you’ve got a pre-made crust, skip the instructions for that and go straight to the filling. If not, make the crust, and then start the filling while the crust chills.

Small Batch Savory Mushroom Onion Pie Substitutions and Variations

  • Use leek instead of onions
  • If you don’t have heavy cream, use half and half, or even milk
  • Add some broccoli with the cheese and onion mixture

More Mushroom Recipes

chicken with mushrooms and tarragonChicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Fine French food, without a big restaurant bill.  Flavored with tarragon and mushrooms, in a creamy sauce. Tastes indulgent, but it isn’t.


Chicken Mushroom Skillet Recipe chicken mushroom skillet recipe

Pan fry the chicken, cut the mushrooms and veggies, and simmer. It makes its own sauce right in the pan.


pork tenderloin with mushrooms and sour cream

Pork Tenderloin with Mushrooms and Sour Cream

Rich creamy and indulgent, with a bit of bite from mustard and capers.  Perfect with the pork.  And hardly any chopping.


shoemaker's chicken for oneShoemaker’s Chicken for One

This Italian favorite isn’t really Italian at all. That doesn’t keep it from being delicious. And it’s easy, with very little cleanup after (always a win-win).


Shoemaker’s Chicken for One

Shoemaker’s Chicken (or Chicken Scarpariello) is a classic Italian dish that isn’t really Italian at all. The true story goes something like this: Italians come to America and start adapting and creating new recipes, they become popular, a new tradition is born.

“Authentic” or not, it’s still delicious, flavored with a sweet/sour pan sauce that cooks right with the chicken.  One pan, minimal cleanup. Always a good thing.

There, are (naturally) plenty of variations on this dish, from just simply cooking it with olive oil, wine, and lemon to adding sausage and peppadew peppers.  Well, I didn’t have any sausage. I also didn’t have the right peppers, and since a) I didn’t want to get some for one meal or b) burden you with getting a whole jar of something for one meal, I used ordinary bell peppers instead. Then I added a bit of vinegar and a pinch of sugar to approximate the peppadew flavor.

Also, I used two different recipes as a starting point. The first one, from Bon Appetit,  called for browning the chicken in a skillet and then transferring to the oven to finish, The second one, from Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet cookbook, cooked it all entirely in the skillet. My skillets are old, and I’m not entirely sure how oven-safe they are.  So, all-on-the stove top it was!

I did, however, make the potatoes suggested in Bon Appetit’s recipe.  That was just simply heating the oven to 450, then cutting a large Yukon potato into chunks, tossing it with 1 T of olive oil, salt and pepper and baking for about 20-25 minutes.

Order of operations: If you’re making the potatoes, preheat the oven first, then start the chicken, cut up the potatoes, put them in to cook, and finish the chicken.


More Chicken Recipes

stovetop coq au vinStovetop Coq au Vin Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

A streamlined version of a French classic (with an “easy” button).  Ready in under an hour, with only one pan to clean.


chicken mushroom skillet recipeChicken and Mushroom Skillet Recipe

The perfect solution when you want food fast.  It makes its own sauce, right in the pan.


roast chicken with plumsRoast Chicken with Plums

Perfect for summer, bathed in a sweet, tangy sauce with just a hint of savory warm spiciness. And super simple to make.


chicken with mushrooms and tarragonChicken with Tarragon and Mushrooms

Fancy French food (without going out, or paying a big bill). Increase the recipe, make it for company, and they’ll think you’re a food genius.  Or, keep it all to yourself.


Swedish Meatball Loaf Recipe for One

I adore meatballs, especially Swedish meatballs, but  I find lately I’m having less and less patience with anything that has to be individually prepared, filled, or stuffed! However, I came up with a solution! Skip the dividing and the rolling, and just make a Swedish meatball loaf instead.

This recipe is adapted slightly from one in my 60-Minute Gourmet cookbook.  I cut it in half (because an entire meatloaf was more than I wanted all at once).  And, I fiddled with the ingredients a bit.  It called for allspice (I have none) and aquavit (ditto – and not buying an entire bottle of something for one recipe).

Make the mixture, heat, and eat. No fussing. No bother. And no need to roll endless mini-meatballs either.

This works beautifully with just some rice (white or brown). Top both with the sauce.

The recipe is enough for one generous serving or two smaller ones.  If you have extra, eat it cold for lunch (or as a sandwich) the next day.  My mom would eat it for breakfast (her favorite), but you can do lunch if you want to be more conventional.


More Meatball and Ground Meat Recipes

easy Italian meatballs for oneEasy Italian Meatball Recipe for One

Italian meatballs, but just enough for one person.  Great for the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Or, use them in soup (see below).


easy Italian wedding soupEasy Italian Wedding Soup

Once you’ve got those meatballs, you can make soup in mere minutes.  Just a few basic ingredients, dump, heat, and eat.


white ragu papardelle

White Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

Yes, it’s ragu, but not the usual red sauce.  Instead, it’s made with white wine, sausage, and ground beef. No tomatoes anywhere. Even better with fresh pasta.


sloppy joes one person recipeSloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

This is not your mom’s sloppy joe. It’s got a kick! The secret is sriracha.  More flavor, more modern, and even more delicious.


Garlic Bruschetta Pizza

After all the baking and partying (such as it was) of the new year, time for something a bit different. My fellow foodies theme this month is “Veganuary,” meaning vegetarian dishes with no eggs or dairy products.  I’ve been wanting to make this garlic bruschetta pizza for a while anyway, and it happens to fit the theme too.

It’s downsized for one person, so there’s either enough for one large pizza or two medium ones (one dinner or two lunches, depending on how hungry you are).

All you need are a few simple ingredients that come together for a pretty impressive result. I’ve included the recipe for the dough, but if you don’t want to make the dough yourself (I find the kneading therapeutic right now), you can always just buy it ready-made in your supermarket or even ask at a local pizza place.

And, if you don’t want to be vegan, it’s just fine to add some shredded mozzarella or parmesan on top.

garlic bruschetta pizza cut up

Garlic Bruschetta Pizza Substitutions and Variations

  • add some fresh chopped tomatoes
  • ditch the “vegan” and try it with grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella
  • use fresh basil (add it right at the end of the cooking period)
  • top with sautéed onions and/or mushrooms

More Pizza Recipes

goat cheese caramelized onion pizzaGoat Cheese Onion Pizza

Mellowed sweet onions, slow-cooked onions, earthy goat cheese, leafy spinach, and crispy bell pepper are a fresh change from the usual cheese and tomato.


white pizza without ricottaWhite Pizza Recipe Without Ricotta

If you like white pizza, but would rather skip the ricotta (I’m not a big fan either), try this recipe instead. No ricotta in sight.


rosemary potato roasted garlic pizzaRosemary Potato Roasted Garlic Pizza

Think of this as potato chip pizza.  I, personally, am always in favor of extra starch.  You get hot pizza, a light dusting of melty cheese, and a crispy crunch.