From delectable dauphinoise potatoes to simply a warm bowl of soup, here are 10 dishes that all men should be able to cook, courtesy of chef Valentine Warner. Fish pie
Sitting comfortably at #1 in the list of best comfort foods, fish pie is rich, soft, and velvety. Put the uncooked haddock into the sauce and gently stir turn over to give the white sauce its juiciness after 10 minutes. Depending on your taste, you could go for either Atlantic prawns or Salmon. In addition to dill and capers, boiled eggs are also a welcome choice. For mashed potato, it should be soft, but not too much, unless you like a pomme purée.
Alternatively, you could go for toasted oats, a crust of ground crumbed bread, lemon zest and a little hard cheese, all buttered up to achieve a plump top. Sprinkle some salt and lemon zest to add flavor, but be sure to avoid putting in too much cheddar on the potato. Be sure not to overcook it, and take out the dish once bubbles start to appear.
Warning: don’t do this while intoxicated, and wearing an apron that says “Hunk of Meat” doesn’t help either. Wood is the ideal fuel for your backyard grill, and some might even dare say that “wood smoke” is a great ingredient. Using a gas grill might result into turning your backyard into one big, messed-up barbeque. Shake off all that old dirt and stick in a juicy lamb shoulder.
An essential breakfast dish for all. A well-made omelet is already a feat by itself, especially when the eggs are beaten together and the fried egg is folded neatly, then served on a dish with some quality salad and a glass of the finest wine you can afford. Beat the eggs together, then add some salt and a little cream for texture, then saute in butter. Remember, a brown omelet is [mostly] a bad omelet, and a gooey center is a must. You can also put in other tasty bits like cheese, bacon, ham, crab, mushrooms, and so much more.
Stew, Chilli Or Curry
If you have a lot of visitors over, then this kind of hot pot dish should do the trick. Try not to give your stew/chilli/curry a lot of punches or weaponize it, as it can really turn off your guests. Your stew should have a slick texture, and meats like ox cheek and lamb neck are ideal. However, overcooking them can stray the dish from the desired dry taste. Also, it’s much better to prepare the dish the day before and store it in the fridge overnight.
For curry – curry leaves, fennel leaves, fresh ginger and cardamom can add spice to standard curry powder. Also sprinkle with some vinegar. For stew – the sauce should be hearty and flavorful, whether it’s cooked thick or brothy. If you plan to add flour, try using the gluten-free variety if you’re intolerant. Flour it and seal the meat. As with curry, a bit of vinegar will also do the trick.
For chilli – pan-fry garlic and onion with chopped coriander stalks, bay leaves, oregano, whole peppercorns, and a little cumin. For flavor, chilli, use chipotle and then add cocoa powder for thickening the sauce. If you plan to add beans, be sure not drain the juices from the can first. Fry the meat then add tomato to expand the taste. This sauce is best served with tortilla chips, raw red onions and chopped tomatoes dressed in salt, rème fraiche, lime juice and grated Wensleydale.
While this is usually a civilized dish, it should appeal to a wide variety of people, including men. For dauphinoise, large waxy potato varieties are highly preferred. Make sure the potato is cooked, even if it goes a little over the top, and then add as much cream and butter as you can. Use black pepper, nutmeg and salt for seasoning and season well. Wrap around with foil then cook, but only if it’s nearly well-done at the top.
Mix lemon zest with herbes de Provence then scatter the mixture over the lamb chops.Stand the chops on their backs to give the fat a crispy flavor, then sizzle each side to perfection. If there’s no sizzle right away, turn up the heat of the pan a little more. Keep cooking the chops until right before the dauphinoise pops out. Put the chops on hold while you cook frozen peas. Drain the peas, put some butter on them, then stir a bit of chopped gem lettuce into the mix. Season with some red wine vinegar and salt afterward.
French Vinaigrette Salad
Whipping together the right amounts of mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt and olive oil to make this dish while holding a good conversation can really make you look like a winner. Plus, if you want a healthier twist, you can substitute sugar for honey. For the needed sourness, vinegar (preferably white, red, or sherry), verjus or lemon juice will do. For the oils, hazelnut oil can be a good alternative to olive oil, and the oil of your choice must be mixed last. Garlic is optional, provided it is hard and hasn’t sprouted yet.
You can jazz up you simple lettuce with chives snipped in half, pickled parsley, dill, tarragon and even lovage. Beef tomatoes drenched in French dressing are also great additions, as well as mixing in thin slices of raw onion.
If you’re going to cook scrambled eggs the right way, make sure to use only butter, and then finish it with a hint of cream. Milk is a big no-no, unless you want your eggs to feel rubbery. Use a spoon to break the eggs, but do not beat it, and then simply stir them continuously over a low heat.
If scrambled eggs don’t do the job for you, then a complete, cooked breakfast will. The first thing to do is grill some tomatoes. Next, cook the sausages, and then drain the water from the mushrooms and then the eggs also by cooking them. For the eggs, baste fry them in oil to avoid making them glassy and wobbly. If you really want to wow the mouths of others, finish the set with a nice, juicy sirloin steak.
Cheese on Toast
While this dish is usually presented as simply cold stiff cheese on damp cardboard, the best way of preparing takes a lot more effort than that. Mayonnaise, preferably the Hellmann’s variety, can take this bland treat to the next level. Mix in a big lump of the mayo with grated cheddar cheese, along with some Dijon mustard and drench the mixture a bit with Worcestershire sauce. The Dijon can preserve the softness and creaminess of the cheese, even when it gets cold. Before you can spread this mix, toast the bread first. If you want to spice it up a notch, you can add in some anchovies to the grill. Lastly, cheese on toast is best served alongside some tea, whether it’s hot or iced.
The number one thing to prepare when you would rather stay home than go grocery shopping like the rest. Women really love a man who can whip up a warm and scrumptious bowl of soup with ingredients right from the store cupboard.