cooking for one can be fun...

As much as I love to cook, cooking for one is a really big pain in the ass. There are always leftovers to contend with and sometimes freezing said leftovers isn't a viable option. (I refer you to the infamous freezer incident of 2006.)

My self-restraint at portion control is nonexistant and because I tend to want to use up all my ingredients (i.e. say the WHOLE bulb of fennel instead of HALF the bulb of fennel), I tend to make much, much more than the recipe promises. I have authority issues. Following directions is extremely difficult for me. And I pay for it by having to eat the same thing day after day for about a week. Not an ideal situation in my world.

Last week, I took advantage of having the kitchen to myself (FINALLY!!) and cooked up a storm - mushroom strudel, homemade red wine vinaigrette, bouillabaisse with fresh, crispy (store-bought) baguettes. My friends and I went to town, gorged ourselves silly and in the end, there was still had a ton of leftovers. But the leftovers were so good the next day... and the day after... and the day after that.

bouillabaisse schmassion style


1 small bulb of fennel - diced (reserve fronds)
1 - 1.5 cup chopped onions
couple of cloves minced garlic
1 - 1.5 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 lb or so of small white potatoes - cubed 1"
2 - 3lbs of seafood (cubed salmon, mussels, clams, scallops, etc.)
0.5 cups white wine
stock (chicken or fish or both)
a few good splashes of gin/annisette etc
salt & pepper to taste
2 sprigs of thyme
hot chili pepper (optional)


Heat up some oil in a large pot. Throw in garlic, onions, fennel and cook until soft. Deglaze with the white wine. Add tomatoes, cook some more. Splash in some gin/annisette etc, cook a couple of minutes and throw in potatoes, fennel fronds, stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender. Throw in thyme and the whole chili pepper (optional, for spicier, cut open and throw in deseeded pepper... pepper seeds can be nasty).

Here's where you have options.

If you don't have perpetually late friends (unlike me), gently slide your seafood into the soup. I kid. Just throw it in according to size and required cooking time. Simmer until seafood is done, remove thyme and chili pepper, season and serve.

If you have perpetually late friends, simmer the soup until they get there. Bitch about it when they get there, and maybe drink the rest of the bottle of white wine while you wait. Depending on how late your friends are, you might want to pour in more stock or wine if your soup base has simmered away. Bring to a boil, throw in seafood as above.

Feeds a party of 6 with 4 days of leftovers for 1.

And for dessert on Day 4 of leftovers... swirly choco chip cookies... YUM!

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