From the time I was young I wanted to be a chef. After a quick try at college, I switched paths and dove head first into the full time culinary program at Le Cordon Blue. I graduated in the top of my class at the age of 23, and I spent three years in the restaurant business cooking full time. After my time in the back of the house cooking, I transitioned to the front of the house and went to work as a catering manager for a chic, high-end Dallas hotel. Though I had been a chef for years, it was not until I moved out of the professional kitchen that I started to cook for myself, and I found many of the current cooking shows and magazines tailored to a family lifestyle and dinner for four. As a trained professional, I knew how to tweak and change recipes to fit a dinner for one. But where does that leave someone who doesn’t know the in’s and out’s of cooking? My guess is that the novice in the kitchen finds himself or herself saying, “I don’t know how to cook” and eating out instead of experimenting. It is that mentality I want to change. My goal is to teach people how to cook for themselves in a fun, simple, straight-forward way.
With this goal in mind, I thought about how to make the kitchen accessible to the single diner, and The Single Plate was born. The Single Plate is a simplified guide to the grocery, the kitchen, and everywhere in between. Each week I will post a simple shopping list, recipes that correspond to the shopping list and a spotlight on foodie tidbits for Dallas locals. So let’s start with some general information…
Each grocery list is designed to feed you for a week: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The recipes highlighted are typically ideas for dinners, but you can make them any time you want. The list also includes items for breakfast and lunch and there is a separate idea list of what to do with these ingredients. Keep in mind that leftovers are great a few times a week, they will save you time and money as well.
When I grocery shop there are a few general rules I follow and the weekly grocery list is set up to help you do the same. These general tips make shopping easier, quicker, and cheaper; all good things in my book. First, I shop on the perimeter of the store, where the fresh food is. Second, I substitute. If a recipes calls for apples but pears are on sale, I buy pears. Lastly I go to the store with a plan of what I want to eat for the week. A plan keeps me focused and stops me from spending money on ingredients that may go to waste. I hope these lists help you like they help me!