I don’t really understand people who say they don’t like eating alone or cooking for one: that there’s not much point making the effort just for you. I couldn’t disagree more. While I enjoy cooking for other people I also take a different pleasure from planning and cooking a meal when I’m going to be home alone. What’s not to like about making exactly what you fancy without considering other people’s food sensibilities? You can throw caution (and convention) to the wind, make something new without worrying too much if it works or use up leftovers creatively. Cooking for just you is the time to eat the combinations you like (pasta with avocado anyone?) but at which others have expressed consternation.
One evening last week was one such solo-dining occasion but I was feeling uninspired. After a long day in the office, interspersed with getting rain-soaked every time I went outside, I was wondering morosely around the supermarket trying to think of something to have with chicken thighs I’d cooked the previous day. I gave up after fifteen minutes with only an avocado (I eat them a lot), sour cream and a vague idea involving cold chicken, potatoes and a bit of spice. Which is pretty much what I ended up with: sliced chicken thighs & avocado, tossed with jalapenos, grated Grana Padano cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper, alongside some new potatoes pan fried with garlic, chilli and paprika. Oh and some sour cream on the side.
It turned out to be one of those meals where the result is better than your expectations. And yet another occasion when a good meal has perked me up after a stressful day.