"You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child
'Solo Dinner Saturday' – this is our introduction to self-medicating with genuinely good food. And by "good," we mean the "clear your calendar and savor every bite" level of delectable. Cooking isn't merely tossing ingredients together; it's a savory journey, a dance of flavors, a meditative choreography. The act of mastering each dish becomes therapeutic, allowing you to disconnect from the world's chaos and truly connect with the ingredients, yourself, and the ambiance of your home. Our solo dinners are crafted as multi-course affairs, not to show off culinary expertise, but to accentuate the essence of time. Each course is a step, a moment of reflection, culminating in a luxurious result stemming from an intentional process.
Dive in, nourish not only your body but also your mind. We call it 'solo' to highlight how these multi-course meals are designed for simplicity and enjoyment in preparation.Whether you're relishing it solo or sharing the experience with someone special, welcome to your transformative weekend ritual.
Appetizer: Cucumber-Avocado Gazpacho
A cool and refreshing blend of cucumber, avocado, and sweet corn, subtly flavored with dill and lemon.Salad: Roast Beef and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Pear
Savory roast beef slices paired with peppery arugula, creamy goat cheese, and sweet pears, drizzled with a balsamic reduction.Main Course: Grilled Mackerel with Lemon-Herb Butter
Fresh mackerel fillets grilled to perfection, accompanied by a rich lemon-herb butter.Cheese Course: Brie & Pear Plating
Creamy Brie cheese served with thinly sliced fresh pears, a combination of creamy and crisp.Dessert: Apple Cinnamon Crisp
Warm and aromatic apple slices topped with a crunchy oat and butter crumble, ideally paired with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Best pairing with:
Bollinger Special Cuvée (Champagne, France):
Profile: Rich and toasty with depth and complexity, this Champagne offers notes of pear, brioche, and fresh walnut. It's widely respected in the Champagne category and offers an experience that's both luxurious and versatile with food.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs (Champagne, France):
Profile: Made entirely from Chardonnay, Ruinart's Blanc de Blancs is delicate with beautiful citrus and white flower notes. Its lightness and minerality make it particularly food-friendly.
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs (California, USA):
- Profile: Representing the New World, this Californian sparkler is crisp with green apple, citrus notes, and a hint of yeasty complexity. It showcases the elegance that Californian sparkling wines can achieve and pairs wonderfully with a range of dishes.
Appetizer: Cucumber-Avocado Gazpacho
• 1/2 cucumber • 1 avocado • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels • Fresh dill • Salt & pepper • 1 tbsp lemon juice
If prefer: pair with water mellon, buttered croutons or some crumbly cheese like feta or parmesan
- Peel and roughly chop the cucumber.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the cucumber, avocado, sweet corn, a pinch of fresh dill, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Blend until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Adjust seasonings if needed and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Salad: Roast Beef and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Pear
• Thin slices of roast beef • Handful of arugula • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese • 1/2 pear • Balsamic reduction • Salt • Pepper
- Lay out the thin slices of roast beef on a plate.
- In a separate bowl, toss the arugula with a little drizzle of the balsamic reduction or dressing, salt, and pepper.
- Place the dressed arugula on top of the beef slices.
- Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the arugula.
- Arrange the pear slices around or on top of the salad.
- Drizzle a bit more balsamic reduction or dressing over the top, if desired.
Main: Grilled Mackerel with Lemon-Herb Butter
(image credit: tesco real food)
• 2 mackerel fillets • Olive oil • Salt & pepper • 50g unsalted butter, softened • Zest of 1 lemon • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped • 1 garlic clove, minced• 1 cup Couscous
- reheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a bowl, combine the softened butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped parsley, chives, and minced garlic. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside.
- Place the mackerel fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.
- Brush the fillets with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Spread a generous dollop of the lemon-herb butter mixture evenly over each mackerel fillet.
- Bake the mackerel fillets in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your fillets, so keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking.
- While the mackerel is baking, you can prepare couscous according to the instructions on its packaging.
- Once the mackerel fillets are done, remove them from the oven.
- Serve the baked mackerel fillets with a dollop of the remaining lemon-herb butter on top and accompany them with the prepared couscous.
Cheese Course: Brie with Pear Slices and a sprinkle of Fresh Herbs
(image credit: two peas and their pod)
• A slice of Brie cheese • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced • Fresh herbs (like chives or parsley), finely chopped
( recommend to pair with thin crackers )
- Lay out slices of Brie cheese on a serving plate.
- Arrange the thinly sliced pear next to the cheese.
- Sprinkle the finely chopped fresh herbs over the cheese and pear.
Dessert: Apple Cinnamon Crisp
(image credit; taste of home)
• 2 medium-sized apples (preferably a mix of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp) • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced
( please pair with whip cream or vanilla ice cream, pleasssse! )
- Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare Apples: Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Toss apple slices with lemon juice, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Transfer the apple mixture into a greased baking dish.
- Make the Topping: In a separate bowl, mix the oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Incorporate the cold diced butter using a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Bake: Spread the crumbly topping evenly over the apple slices in the baking dish. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apple mixture is bubbly.
- Serve: Allow it to cool slightly before serving. For an added touch, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
• 2 mackerel fillets • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese • A slice of Brie cheese • 200g roast beef slices
Veggies & Fruits:
• 1/2 cucumber • 2 avocados • 2 medium-sized apples (Granny Smith & Honeycrisp) • Handful of spinach • 1/2 pear • Fresh dill • Fresh cilantro • Fresh parsley • Fresh chives • Handful of arugula • 3 lemons
Canned & Packaged Goods:
• 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels • couscous
Dairy & Refrigerated:
• 50g unsalted butter (plus extra for other uses) • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
Oils & Vinegars:
• Olive oil • Balsamic reduction (or vinegar)
Baking & Spices:
• Paprika • Onion powder • Garlic powder • Dried thyme • Dried oregano • Cayenne pepper • Black pepper • Salt • 1 garlic clove • 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup brown sugar
• Optional: Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving the Apple Cinnamon Crisp.
Your Dinner Plan
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Once the oven is ready, put in the mackerel for baking.
- (while waiting) Complete prep work for Apple Crisp and set aside.
- Finish all steps except for adding the dressing.
- Remove the mackerel from the oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
- (while waiting) Prepare the Gazpacho.
- Arrange the Brie with Pear Slices.
- Ensure all dishes are ready and plated as desired.
- By now, the oven should be at 350°F. Place the apple crisp in the oven and bake.
- Enjoy the meal as the dessert bakes.