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Cookbook Review: One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder

Fast Review: Delicious but fast recipes? Yes. Perfectly portioned for two? Yes. Fewer dishes to clean at the end of the meal? Heck, yes.

One Pan, Two Plates is all about streamlining “from scratch” cooking, with over 70 meals that minimize the damage done to your kitchen while maximizing flavor. Each recipe can be made in less than an hour (often less than thirty minutes) and is perfectly portioned for two (a notoriously difficult number to cook for).  Each meal is complete with side dishes, all prepared in a single pan.

It’s chock full of inspiring recipes that can be made on a busy weeknight, when time is a precious resource and your stomach is growling. The meals are sure to please you and your dining partner, plus you’ll also learn cooking tricks and wine pairing suggestions in the process. Grab a copy to spend more time enjoying your daily meals and less time cleaning up after them.

Whose Kitchen You Would Find It In: Newlywed foodie couples; empty nesters; busy families (the recipes easily double); college grads living on their own for the first time

Nuts and Bolts

The recipes are placed in one of four chapters depending on the main ingredient: “The Carbohydrate Cure”, “Hungry for More” (meat dinners), “Poultry with Soul”, or “Angling for More” (fish dinners). There is also a super helpful “Find It Fast” index with specific suggestions for types of meals ranging from “Meatless Mondays” to cooking on hot summer days when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen.  Along with each recipe, Snyder includes three special sections: “it’s that easy”, “extra hungry?” and “in the glass”. The first includes helpful tips, techniques, and ingredient information.  “Extra hungry?” helps you stretch the meal further if you’re extra hungry or sharing with more than two.  The last section offers a wine pairing suggestion because “a glass of wine makes every meal more civilized.” Cheers to that!

The meals span global cuisines, ranging from Croque Madame to creole jambalaya, ensuring that your palate is never bored.  Mercifully, the ingredients are easy to track down and the dishes use mostly pantry staples. The few ethnic ingredients required can be easily found in the international aisle of the grocery store and are used to pack a punch of flavor.


What to Make

On Hectic Weeknights: Linguine with Chicken, Spinach, and Feta Cheese (p.26); Flank Steak with Chimichurri and Summer Squash Hash (p.97); Flash Roasted Tilapia with New Potatoes, Peas, and Pesto Mayonnaise (p.176)

For Date Night: Beef Stew in High Heels (p.102); Thyme-Rubbed Salmon with Shallots and Caramelized Cauliflower “Risotto” (p.166); Crispy Sage Pork Cutlets with Couscous, Peas, Figs, and Pistachios (p.76)

For Ourselves (with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!): Thai Red Curry Chicken with Bell Peppers and Broccoli (p.150); Three Cheese Mac with Crispy Prosciutto (p.19); Spicy Pork Stir-Fry with Lime, Cashews, and Noodles (p.84)

One Pan, Two Plates is by Carla Snyder, including photography by Jody Horton.
Photo Credit: Alabama Chanin