The Perfect Steak:
A timeless symbol of manhood, cooking the perfect steak is a dream of many a man. Get this one right and you will immediately receive instant street cred, respect and undying love from steak connoisseurs everywhere.
Above anything else, buy the best grade of meat you can afford (thankfully I work for a meat distributor so this comes easily for me), look for a steak with a fine texture that is firm to the touch with a light cherry color (not deep red), and with a thickness of about 1- 1 1/2 inches.
Make sure to keep your meat at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking (a cold steak will contract when it hits the heat and toughen the meat).
i personally prefer to season with salt after the steak has finished cooking as salt removes moisture from the meat.
- Steak of choice (I prefer the classic boneless New York Strips or Ribeye)
- salt to season
- olive oil
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat
- Sear the steaks, moving with tongs a little so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan, approximately 5-6 minutes each side
- cook the steak to your desired doneness (use a meat thermometer or the hand method)
- when the steaks are crusty charred and done to your liking, remove, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving (this lets the meat redistribute the juices while continuing the cooking process)
- season with salt and enjoy!
Whether they are poached, fried, scrambled, sunny side-up, or in omelette form, all men should know how to make eggs. But you can’t really go wrong with scrambled.
- 3 eggs
- butter, margarine, or cooking spray (enough to coat pan)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- crack desired number of eggs into a bowl (3 is a good number for a hearty hungry man)
- add milk and beat eggs with a whisk/ fork for 15-20 seconds (enough to incorporate everything together)
- Heat pan to medium heat and add butter/margarine/cooking spray (enough to coat the bottom)
- add mixture to the heated and greased pan
- with a spatula or spoon, continuously gently scrape the cooking egg from the pan (depending on how you like your eggs, this process can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes)
- remove from pan and place on plate and season with salt and pepper
A Roast Chicken:
Who doesn’t love a good roast chicken? One of the first things you learn in culinary school is how to cook chicken properly. With this recipe you are destined to succeed in even the most basic culinary classic. You can tweak this recipe by adding any flavoring agent you desire (ie rubs, marinades, etc). I like to add partially steamed vegetables halfway through the cooking process and create a whole roasted meal.
- 1 3 lb chicken (with giblets removed)
- 1 lemon (halved)
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
- rub salt in the cavity of the chicken and insert the two lemon halves and thyme sprigs inside
- rub the chicken skin with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper
- place in a lightly oiled roasting tin
- cook chicken for 60 minutes (20 minutes per lb) ****the chicken will be cooked when the juices run clear after it is removed from the oven. To check- insert a knife tip through the thickest part of the thigh, push against the flesh, and look at the juices running out of the thigh
- remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving
Macaroni and Cheese:
Oh Cheese, you are so delicious! For those who have been dealt the unfortunate “lactose-intolerant” card, I sincerely apologize. But, macaroni and cheese is one of the easiest comfort foods to make and one of the most delicious. All you do is boil water, melt cheese, and stick into an oven. Once you make my recipe, I guarantee you will have this in your weekly meal rotation.
- 1 cup macaroni
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook macaroni according to the package directions and drain
- In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat, stir in enough flour to make a roux (thickening agent that beefs up the sauce) and slowly add milk while stirring constantly
- Stir in cheeses and cook over a low heat until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick
- Place macaroni in a large glass bottomed casserole dish and pour the sauce over the macaroni (stir well)
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs over macaroni mixture (enough to cover) and place in the oven for 30 minutes
*Yields 4 servings
****Don’t be afraid to jazz this dish up by incorporating artisanal cheeses or adding bacon, the possibilities are endless!
A Simple Dessert:
This is a no-brainer… you cook a nice meal for that special woman in your life and top off the occasion with a delicious dessert, enough said. You don’t need to make a chocolate souffle, or even homemade ice cream (even though its super easy) to put the finishing touches onto a great home cooked meal. You just need something that will titilate the senses and leave her stunned.
A few months ago I concocted an easy chocolate mousse and have since received great feedback on my friends attempts at replicating it success! You can’t really screw this up guys. All you need is nutella, creme fraiche, whipped cream and your fruit of choice (I use strawberries). It is that easy!
- A jar of nutella
- 1 small tub of creme fraiche
- 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
- strawberries (or any fruit) for garnish
- Make whipped cream by beating (with a mixer) 1 pint of whipped cream to the soft peak stage (the cream stays on the mixing attachments but slowly slides off) and set aside
- With nutella at room temperature, place in a mixing bowl and gently fold in the creme fraiche (slowly mix it in)
- Fold whipped cream into nutella/creme fraiche mixture until it is fully incorporated
- Spoon into desired bowl/vessel and garnish with sliced strawberries/blueberries/raspberries/whichever your prefer