I love cooking for my fiancé and me, but most of the time, cooking for two proves to be difficult. If I don't make a plan, I end up running around in circles at the grocery store and wasting half the ingredient's I've bought (and I hate wasting food). Enter What's Cooking This Week: my weekly meal plan and grocery guide. This way, I can make the most of my ingredients and my leftovers.
Last week, eggplant was baked into a Gratin and used again for Eggplant & Mozzarella Subs. This week, we're celebrating Hanukkah. Roasted chicken will be served with Sweet Potato Latkes and used again in Matzo Ball Soup.
Here's the rest of the plan:
Grocery List based on servings for 2 w/ leftovers
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Day 1: Roasted Chicken & Latkes with Apple Sauce & Sour Cream
*Makes leftover Roast Chicken for Chicken Salad and Matzo Ball Soup and leftover Latkes for Sweet Potato Pancakes & Eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove chicken giblets, rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper.
Stuff the chicken cavity with a halved onion and halved head of garlic.
Mix together butter, dried thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the chicken with the butter mixture, being sure to also get under the skin of the breasts. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wing tips under the body.
Place chicken in roasting pan, breast side up, and cook until juices run clear or when an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees, about 1½ to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make potato latkes using a mix of russet and sweet potatoes (divide recipe by 3).
*Reserve half the latkes for use in day 3.
Remove chicken from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
Skim excess fat from pan and place over medium heat. Add a splash of lemon juice and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Mix in a bit of flour to form a paste. Gradually add in chicken broth to make a gravy. Season with salt and pepper.
*Reserve 1 tbsp excess fat for matzo balls.
Slice chicken and serve alongside latkes, sour cream and apple sauce. Sprinkle potatoes with chopped scallions.
*Reserve 1 chicken breast and any other leftover chicken for use in days 2 and 4. If desired, freeze or use leftover bones and meat to make stock.
Day 2: Cranberry & Walnut Chicken Salad Sandwiches
*Uses leftover Roast Chicken
Remove skin from leftover chicken breast and chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss with mayonnaise, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, chopped cranberries, chopped scallions, walnuts, salt and pepper.
Pile onto 2 slices of challah and top with 2 more slices to make a sandwiches. Butter both sides of the bread and set on a preheated grill pan. Cook, turning once, until golden-browned and crisp on both sides.
Serve with small handfuls of baby spinach leaves tossed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
*Reserve rest of spinach for use in day 3.
Day 3: Sweet Potato Pancakes with Spinach & Poached Eggs
*Uses leftover Latkes
Poach 4 eggs and reheat leftover latkes in the oven to crisp.
Meanwhile, saute baby spinach leaves in extra virgin olive oil with a little bit of minced garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.
Pile sauteed spinach on top of latkes and top with poached eggs. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce.
Day 4: Matzoh Ball Soup
*Uses leftover Roast Chicken
Make the matzoh balls ahead of time by whisking 2 eggs and ½ to 1 tbsp chicken fat in a bowl. Stir in ½ tsp lemon zest, ½ cup matzo meal, 2 tbsp water or broth and 1 tsp salt. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
Boil a pot of salted water and reduce heat to a simmer before gently dropping in heaping teaspoons full of dough rolled into balls. Cook until balls are tender, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat and coat lightly with olive oil.
Chop carrots, celery, and 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion. Add to pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes before adding 2 cups of good chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer, adding leftover shredded chicken to warm through when ready to serve.
Serve soup hot with crushed black pepper.
Day 5: Challah French Toast
In a shallow bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, ½ cup milk or cream, and ¼ tsp vanilla extract.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and melt 1 tbsp butter.
Thickly slice challah bread and dip into egg mixture, turning to coat and letting the slices soak for 3 to 5 minutes.
Shake off excess egg and then add to pan to grill. Cook until golden browned and crisp on both sides.
Serve with warmed maple syrup, chopped walnuts and fresh berries.