This week, we're posting his replies. Here's today's question:
I know that the folks at Cook's Illustrated emphasize how important it is to follow the letter of the recipe, but I often needing to cook only for myself or for two and I don't want to make a dish that serves 6 or 8 people. What's the best way to cut the portion size of a Cook's Illustrated recipe?
Christopher Kimball's answer is after the jump ...
Good question -- we have had a lot of interest in "cooking for two." I have two answers. Many dishes such as soups or stews freeze well so I
would make the full recipe and then store the rest in the freezer.
If you want to cut a recipe, most soups and stews are easily cut down proportionally (with the exception of the oil required at the outset to saute meat or aromatics -- you will only need a little more).
Forget about baking -- just make the whole recipe since just about everything can go wrong.
Individual steaks, chops, or chicken part recipes can also be cut down easily. Finally, if you do a bit of planning, you can use leftovers later that week in other recipes. Our Make-Ahead cookbook addressed many of these issues.
- Christopher Kimball