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Hub or Wife away? Now You Can Saute'!

Alright, the Khantessa will be in Pennylvanny for four nights starting this coming Saturday, and while I'll miss her heartbreakingly, I'm also looking forward to whomping up some vittles that she'll ordinarily never allow in Khasa Khan. So Saturday night it's chicken and dumplings, Sunday night it's BBQ spareribs and tater salad, Monday night it's chicken breasts and mushrooms in a white wine sauce over rice, and Tuesday night it's probably pork chops and rice baked en casserole with Campbell's Cream o' Shroom soup.

So when you're all by your lonesome and have the kitchen entirely to yourself, what do you chef up?

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  1. Oh always salmon patties and or crabcakes, tuna melts. He thinx this is "catfood". Very sad.

    1. egg noodles. with olive oil, black pepper, and shards of parmesan. husband thinks this is too "plain."

      or I eat cereal for dinner because it's "unbalanced", "unhealthy," and "gross"

      1. **Liver** Husb hates the smell of it cooking and wouldn't eat it on a bet, and the kids referred to it as "ewww--that's like eating blood clots!" Sigh.....all the bad press does not deter me, however.....it is my guilty pleasure when I have the house to myself! Our four dogs vote with me on this one ;)

        1. Mrs H used to travel a fair bit on business so I used to cook a wide range of dishes. In more recent times, she's not away as often so now I just cook things she doesnt particularly like to eat - so that''s east asian food and game. Oh, and anything involving tuna and salmon - both of which she despises with a vengeance.

          1. Onions. Anything with onions. Everything with onions.

            Years ago, The Mister came home after a very lengthy business trip and opened the refrigerator, saw an onion on the shelf, picked it up and just threw it into the trash. An automatic reaction.

            I have onions in the house now, but he doesn't know it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cathy

              >I have onions in the house now, but he doesn't know it.

              For some reason, that made me cackle like a crazy woman.

            2. I am terrible, and order in or, if I've gone out for a nice lunch, skip dinner.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MMRuth

                Yep, me too.
                Also, snacking instead of eating an actual meal. He seems to think my handful of cashews at 6pm, triscuits with sliced tomato at 7:30, fudgsicle at 8pm, pickles at 8:45 count as a meal, so I eat like that only when I'm alone.

              2. My wife is out of town, so I made a big pot of spicy chili with chipotle peppers and some semisweet baker's chocolate (to serve over pasta), canned sardine "salad," and lemon bars -- all things I like that she doesn't.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                  Doin' that voodoo that you do so well, eh?

                2. Cook some pasta, shells or macaroni or pennette or radiatore or orecchiette, drain, mix in some gorgonzola with a bunch of pepper, microwave for a minute or so, feel divinely sinful.

                  Salad for breakfast, too. A bitey one with frisee and escarole and romaine and all those good things with a fig or cherry balsamic vinaigrette.

                  1. Mine never goes away, but I'd say I'd probably make fish of some sort, because he's not partial. And I'd order in. And I'd snack - cheese and crackers, braunschweiger on toast, a bowl of buttered popcorn. AND i'd pick up a bacon-wrapped hot dog with carmelized onions, jalapenos and mayonnaise from a street vendor on my walk home from work.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      Psssst...Maria. Pick up that dawg on the way home from work tonight. El Hubbo will never be the wiser. ;)

                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                        Really? you don't think the smell of bacon and onions, and the bits of jalapeno in my hair, will be a tip-off?

                        actually he loves them too, just not as a replacement for dinner.

                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          Jalapeño in your hair? MY, you're an enthusiastic eater! ;-)

                    2. Anchovy pizza.

                      With lots and lots, (and lots) of 'chovies.


                      1 Reply
                      1. Anything with melted cheese: mac 'n cheese, pizza, Tex-Mex, toasted subs, you name it as long as it has lots of gooey cheese on top. My wife won't touch the stuff.

                        1. Well, the boyfriend is going out of town next week for two days, and this time I plan to cook the dish that inspired a comical and quite theatrical face when I reached for the container in the market: chicken livers. You would have thought I'd reached for the monkey heads. "No, seriously?" he said, the whites of his eyes on full display. "SERIOUSLY? No. Uh-uh, no. No." I've never had chicken livers before, and I'm very curious. I just have a feeling that I'll like them.

                          But I usually just put things on crackers when he's gone, or make a small batch of buttered noodles. I love to cook, but it's kind of nice to just eat when I'm hungry, and not have to plan anything. I just wander into the kitchen at odd hours for some sardines (on crackers with mustard, mmm), or some edamame. I love being able to eat dinner at midnight. Sometimes I just have popcorn, and I can then put on all the bay's seasoning, or soy sauce, or parmesan that I want, and can have the whole bag to myself, instead of a half-bag portion that leaves me sighing at the bottom of the bowl when it's gone. If I have anything delivered, it's usually Thai food, which he claims to love but never *wants* to eat.

                          I also sleep in the middle of the bed.

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: onceadaylily

                            Chicken livers are excellent. A quick cream/mustard sauce to go with. On thick toast. Nice crisp salad afterwards, lemony dressing. Perfect dinner for one.

                            1. re: onceadaylily

                              i love that about the thai food! mine is fish - he claims he's ok with it but when we go to a sushi restaurant, he orders the bento box with fried and teriyaked things.
                              so, did he like the chicken livers? or did you put them back on the shelf?

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Whenever we decide to order Thai, he looks at the menu forever, until he finally says, "For these prices, we could get A LOT of Chinese food." I sigh, and agree to Chinese, at which point he says, "Ooh, do you know what would be good? Pizza!"

                                I put them back the livers back (cheap things, about ninety-five cents a container). We had already butted heads over pot roast, horseradish, and parsnips, so I decided I would pick some up next Tuesday. I had planned the flour and fry, eat on bread type dinner, but now Harters is throwing cream gravy into the mix. Forbidden food topped with cream gravy. We have a winner!

                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                  They're so easy to prepare. Just sauté in a good amount of butter (clarified would be ideal, but you can also use a mix of oil and a dab of butter) with shallots and some thyme.

                                  Deglaze with sherry or dry red wine, and eat. Of course, you can also throw the whole thing in a blender, add some cream, et voilá: chicken paté. Yowzah!

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    I was wondering about the pate preparation, because those prices just invite experiment. I better make sure I have enough bread.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      oh man that sounds good.
                                      i made pate once years ago, but i remember there being a copious amount of butter involved, not cream.... a variation?

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        Well, you gotta sauté the livers in butter. But I'm not sure that you need extra butter to make the paté. Not that cream is that much healthier '-)

                                        1. re: linguafood

                                          Yeah, pate usually involves copious amounts of butter - it's what gives it that lovely creamy texture. I've also used onion infused pork fat left over from roasting a pork belly, and bacon drippings, in place of part of the butter.

                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                            OK - full disclosure. I've never actually made paté. Is it *really* necessary to use that much butter for a creamy texture? Wouldn't the livers and the cream etc., nicely blended/pureed be fine without it? I'm not a butter hater at all, but I wonder if sticks of it are crucial...

                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              I think I *will* try it with cream and just a bit of fat (bacon drippings, maybe). Although, if I'm going to use the pate to entice the boyfriend into trying it, a few sticks of butter can't hurt the cause.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                pates are pretty fatty. i remember using a lot of butter. looked up a couple recipes, and they called for either butter (3/4 cups to 1-1/2 sticks!) or duck fat or something. i think pate de campagnes use less or none, but the really smooth spreadable ones....come on - you didn't think that rich fatty yumminess came without a price, did you?

                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                  Ignorance is bliss :-D

                                                  But now I really want to make paté....

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    For a pound of livers, my recipes mostly call for a half-pound of butter. But I've cut it back to a quarter pound (1 stick) without anyone knocking at my door, flashing a badge and announcing they're from the Pate Police. I also saute out trimmings from real country ham and use a little of it for a mysterious note of smokiness. And frankly, I think I could go down from the amount of butter I use now. It DOES affect the texture, but no pain, no gain.

                                                    1. re: lemons

                                                      Well, at least the livers have few calories '-)

                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                    You're right, mc. Smooth ones always need butter or similar. I don't particularyl like chickne liver pate but do make a rough country style pate every so often - invariably this recipe from the doyenne of British home cooking, Delia Smith - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cu...

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      wow, that looks fantastic. i'm scared of a pig's liver, and i don't know why!

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        First, saute some chopped onions in butter until they're golden. Add the livers, a pinch of ground cloves, salt and pepper, and some brandy. Saute until the livers have just lost their pinkness in the middle. Throw in a chunk of cream cheese and let it melt in. Put the whole mess in the food processor, scrape it into a pretty bowl, and chill. . Serve with crackers, bread, whatever. So, so good!

                                    2. re: onceadaylily

                                      I do hate liver, but you totally had me at "monkey heads." lol!!

                                      1. re: occula

                                        Chicken livers are great made just like beef liver - sauteed in the same fat as the onion and bacon that complete the liver trinity. Crusty ouside, a little pink inside is good.

                                    3. In addition to the usual steaks and chops (the wife isn't a big meat eater) I sometimes console myself when she's away with a spicy rendition of pad siew. She likes my pad Thai, but can't abide the chow fun noodles in pad siew.

                                      1. Anything spicy enough to make me sweat! And pasta! Or pasta hot enough to make me sweat...

                                        1. My Wife was away this week, so I made a huge pot of buffalo chicken chili, a big pot of sticky rice which I ate with smoked kielbasa, oh, and I experimented with tofu, which I still hate.

                                          1. I'd make pan-fried calf's liver with caramelized onions and apples over mashed potatoes with a humongous cucumber salad. My man is not fond of liver or goes particularly crazy over cucumber salad.

                                            If I were in Germany, I'd make a meal of smoked herring filets in cream sauce with buttered new potatoes. Man don't like no smoked herring, either. >sigh<

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: linguafood

                                              The herring also tends to revolt people here, but I eat it anyway. Personally I can't really smell it.

                                              But my sense of smell has yet to fail me when there is curry, fermented shrimp paste or the scent of cooking offal or frying fish lingering in the air. With deference to other sensibilities, I decline to make myself these treats until I'm alone and I can stink up the joint with a whole trout in a pot of oil or tripe boiling next to a saute of fermented shrimp and chilies.

                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                I want to cook with you sometime. Or... just come and eat your food! I will hunt you down in the city next time I'm around. Food stalking!!!!

                                                jk '-D (sorta).

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  Bis dann! You had your chance first week of October!

                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                    I'll have to try harder next time. But you might have to help me just a little bit to find you...

                                            2. Curry, because he can't stand it. He doesn't even like to smell it cooking... :(

                                              1. Creamed peas and tuna on toast. Had this growing up during Lent. Good memories and very easy.

                                                1. Although I haven't cohabitated in a little over a year, my food (and clothing) are still colored by her tastes. I mean what kind of girl doesn't like strawberries? or argyle? I frequently find myself looking at some item at my local grocery and saying to my self; 'she would have hated this!' as I deposit the item in my basket, smiling.
                                                  It will be a sad day when cooking a pot of soondubu jjigae (or wearing a tuxedo for no reason other than fun) no longer provokes a feeling of taboo thrill akin to a makeout session out behind the gym when you're supposed to be at tennis practice.

                                                  1. Anything and everything!!

                                                    Yes yes, picky SO. Probably seafood due to allergies, but really anything with onions, garlic, and just good food!

                                                    1. When I was married (ahem,) I'd cook sweet potatoes and greens when he was away. He hated them, and I loved them dearly. I'd eat them at restaurants, too.

                                                      1. Husby is away until mid next week, so I make chicken enchiladas in a green sauce while he's gone, as he despises Mexican food. I also roast several heads of garlic for future use. He claims he can't stand the smell. We live in Gilroy, for heavens sake, the air is scented with garlic all of the time!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: lrostron

                                                          That is too funny! Maybe he is just overloaded with garlic.

                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                            No, he doesn't mind the smell outside, as the processing plant and majority of the growing fields are about 4 miles ago (seems closer depending on how the wind is blowing) but if I roast a couple of heads with olive oil in the oven, he leaves the house. Now mind you, he eats it with no objection ... I guess it's like the old saying, you never want to see how sausage or politics are made...

                                                            1. re: lrostron

                                                              AHH.....Wife gone, time for Tripa alla romana stinks in the beginning; but fragrance of the gods prior to serving,served with a contorni of wild dandelions with an accompiniment of parmigiano reggiano. and some ciabatta ............ This muist be heaven, throw me in a box and bury me!!!!!!

                                                          2. re: lrostron

                                                            Hey....support Gilroy California, the AMERICAN Garlic Capital !!! dont buy Chinese
                                                            garlic Organic or otherwise, COSTCO only has GILROY GARLIC!!!!!!!!Good for COSTCO!!!!!!

                                                            1. re: ospreycove

                                                              Thanks, Gilroy is a great place to live AND I work in the "Salad Bowl of the World" in Salinas. What a combo. I don't need a garden, between work, home, the ethnic market down the street and Costco, I've got it all.

                                                          3. when i'm cooking for one, it almost always includes spinach or arugula, tons of eggs and steak of some sort.

                                                            1. My housemate gets easily annoyed if I cook something overly aromatic or elaborate.. he eats out of boxes and cans so he does not understand it. So when he is out of town I go full tilt, I pickle, make hot sauce, gumbo, you name it. I go big time with the dishes that fill the house with strong aromas. Small price to pay for cheap rent and this great kitchen!

                                                              1. I feel so blessed that I could count on one hand the things my hubby will not eat. One that comes to mind is chicken livers, but I love pate and make it quite often for me with no objections from him. He will eat anything I fix. A blessing indeed, cuz after 45 years, I don't want to have to learn a bunch of new dishes. Which is not to say that I don't try new things, I'm doing it constantly, to keep from being bored cooking. I'm tired of it, but not bored. We went Primal 2 months ago, so some learning curve will ensue. Stomach and brainfog, and sinus problems and almost all aches and pains are Gone. It's gotta be banning the grains for me, never was too big on sugar.

                                                                1. Geeze, I don't know how I missed this one last fall.

                                                                  When Mrs. ABD is away I indulge in chicken gizzards, tossed in masa and pan fried in butter or bacon fat if we have any. Lima beans and/or sautéed greens. Celery with peanut butter. PB on toast. PB straight from the jar. (DW has a peanut allergy) Snack? Sardines on a saltine. The small two-layer kind in oil. Maybe go all out and have a chunk of cheddar on each one, too.

                                                                  Has she left yet?

                                                                  1. Homemade Salisbury steak with onion and mushroom gravy and homemade mac and cheese. I like to dip the mac and cheese in the gravy. Steak fingers and homemade brown gravy with mashed potatoes. Mmmmmmmmmm.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                      I am soooo glad I opened this thread. The husband is headed out of town even as we speak. As soon as he's gone I do believe I'm going to make myself a nice big slab of chicken-fried steak. And grits. He's actually frightened of grits.

                                                                    2. Sauteed chicken livers with onions and schmaltz, topped off with a fried egg.
                                                                      Calves' brains with brown butter, sherry and capers.
                                                                      Anything involving squid ink. All right, the truth is, I only went there once.
                                                                      Tongue. Which is a drag, because I end up with lots of leftovers, and I can only keep it for so long before somebody starts to get weird on why that meat is lasting so long and why there's so much left in the first place. Then the inevitable questions come, and because I cannot tell a lie (or prefer not to, anyway) they figure out what it really is. I tell them and tell them, "just ASSUME it's something you don't care for, if I cooked it specifically because you weren't home to see me do it," but noooooo. Then I get blamed because THEY ate a tongue taco, thinking it was something else.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        most people would love tongue if they didn't know what it is. tongue in madeira sauce was my grandma's traditional xmas dish. it was like the most tender, delicious beef stew ever.

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          I really like tongue, but people always get weirded out when I tell them. I have no idea why, it's delicious.

                                                                          1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                            Tongue has become almost mainstream in most Mexican restaurants, at least in my little area of FL. Even the ones with semi-Americanized menus offer Tacos de Lengua now, which is great because they are very tasty.

                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                          Tongue is great. I;ve never cooked it and you never see it on restaurant menus. But it's a fairly popular sandwich meat here in the UK. Delish with lottsa strong mustard.

                                                                        3. I enjoyed reading this thread. Mr. Sueatmo doesn't travel anymore without me, but he used to. Honestly I can't remember what I made for myself because it has been so long. I think if he was gone for a night or two, I'd probably go eat Thai, because he hates the idea of eating Thai. And I love coconut curry, or any curry really.

                                                                          1. What a delight reading this thread - truly inspiring! Now, all I can think about is pate, and tongue, and trippa alla romana(!), and roasted garlic, and dogs with gorgonzola..
                                                                            My only problem is that while we're both foodies - HE's the cook. If he goes out of town, I'm stuck with my own lame cooking. But I do think pate is on the menu for next time - even I can make that!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: skokieam

                                                                              I make something so simple.....angel hair pasta with olive oil, garlic, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese. I eat it out of a big bowl in front of the television.

                                                                            2. Old thread but my choice is sweet breads. Wifey hates them

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                Tripe is always my go to when I am "home alone"; a real comfort food!!!!!

                                                                              2. I'm by my lonesome in a Dallas extended-stay hotel suite enduring what will rank as my most forgettable M' day weekend ever. I scored nice sweet onions and sweet red peppers and made a double batch of garlicky sofrito this afternoon. Half I used for my gringo chicken mole "sloppy Jose" over rice (2 cartons of leftovers). The remainder is for tomorrow's shrimp stew, with capers and green olives and plum tomatoes. It's an expanded estilo of salsa Veracruzana, gringo style. I finally found some decent gulf shrimp here, so that was the impetus. And I have killer fancy cheeses to comfort me during this throw-away weekend. And this place now smells better.