Solo Saturday Dinner: 3 Easy Entree

Solo Saturday Dinner: 3 Easy Entree

Are you the type that likes watching movies alone?

It's coming soon, the precious Saturday. I remember back in my 20s when my friends and I would spend the entire week discussing what to do and where to go on the weekend. We would go round after round, drinking until 2-3 am, thinking that's what adulthood is all about. Now, at 38, I find myself freaking out about managing a small online brand. All I want is to indulge myself at home alone on the weekend, cook a satisfying dinner, bury myself in the sofa, and completely immerse myself in the world of movies.

I usually try to find recipes that closely replicate the original flavors. It's a way to explore new flavors, dishes, and ingredients. However, this also means some prep work in advance, such as gathering the ingredients. For some niche ingredients, click on the link and order them online. If they are not provided, please leave us a comment, and we will help you figure it out!


Linguini alle Vongole ( Linguini With Clams )

Linguini with clams, or Linguini alle Vongole, is a traditional Italian dish that hails from the coastal regions of Italy. As for which region specifically, I won't make any claims, so I'll leave it at that. This dish embodies simplicity and elegance, allowing the natural flavors of the clams to shine. With a touch of patience, it is easy to prepare and offers a delightful experience as you savor the aroma and cooking process. Because this dish requires a certain amount of patience and understanding of ingredients, it serves as a perfect meal to unwind and decompress. Seafood can be intimidating at times, and this dish is perfect for overcoming that fear.

Gear to look-out for:

Tweezer Tong:

The chef is using tweezer tongs throughout, and I do find them quite handy sometimes, like when stirring and mixing pasta. They are worth having at home.


Beef Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon, a renowned French delicacy deeply rooted in the Burgundy region, is a perfect choice for a satisfying and budget-friendly solo dinner. This dish works its magic by transforming affordable cuts of beef into a hearty stew of tender and delectable bites through the art of slow cooking. The process of chopping and combining fragrant vegetables while preparing this meal offers a delightful cooking experience that aids in decompressing from the stresses of the week. What makes it even better is that Boeuf Bourguignon is a recipe with readily available ingredients and a straightforward preparation. With its blend of classic appeal, cost-effectiveness, and enjoyable cooking process, Boeuf Bourguignon has become my go-to meal for both solitary moments and social gatherings.

Ideally, the wine used for this dish should be a red Burgundy made from Pinot Noir grapes. However, if you don't have access to that type of wine, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will do just fine. These wines are robust with depth and work well with the complex flavors of fatty meat and vegetables.

Gears to look-out for:

cooking twine: make sure is un-dyed and it's 100% cotton.



Butter Chicken

About some of the ingredients:

Store bought rotisserie chicken:

One thing Chef Ranveer mentions is using leftover chicken, such as tandoori chicken, in Butter Chicken. To recreate this, you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken with your preferred flavor. Simply shred the chicken and add it to the sauce for a delicious twist on the classic recipe.

Rice: As for rice, if you don't usually cook rice at home, you can order plain rice from a local restaurant. Ideally, an Indian restaurant would be the first choice, but Chinese cuisine can be a good alternative.

Naan: As an add-on or the main side dish, naan is definitely a go-to for Indian cuisine. Again, try to get some from an Indian restaurant or grocery store first. If not available, Trader Joe's can be a convenient option
Indian spice packs: For Indian spice packs, if you are only trying this dish out and it's likely to be a one-off thing, I recommend getting a variety pack to start with for some motivation. Going around town to gather spices can be the most fun thing to do.
Kewra water: I'm not saying that you need this. In fact, I have no clue what this item is. It's something I may or may not eventually own. It's just an extra item that's very much up to you.

Gears to look-out for:

Hand Blender: for last minute, puree function in blend will work. But if you like to cook, or wanting to start, this little gear is definitely worth investing into.

Wood chips for smoker: again...something extra. But if you like smoky flavor, chef Ranveer is demoing a very easy way to play with smoke.


Enjoy your weekend!

Solo dinners hold a special place in my heart as they offer a unique and fulfilling experience. Unlike work, where results may be uncertain and rewards are often delayed, preparing a made-from-scratch meal brings instant gratification. It reignites the student within me, as I embark on a continuous journey of tweaking, learning, and refining throughout the cooking process. Cooking solo provides the freedom to please no one but myself, allowing creativity to flourish and new flavors to be explored. It's a joyful act of self-discovery in the kitchen. If any of these recipes resonate with you, I would love to hear how they turn out!
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