The Modern Man Knows How to Cook
Well, he at least has a couple dishes up his sleeve
Culinary competence is a key part of the Modern Man’s arsenal. The need to have one or two signature dishes is key to survival in the modern world. We aren’t talking microwaveable, frozen dinners here people. I mean lean mean cooking cuisine.
I first got into cooking while in college. I was always a bit of a health and fitness nut, so I wanted to take the time and effort to make healthy, homemade food during my college days. Thus, a culinary novice was born! I would often do oatmeal with berries, walnuts, flaxseed, and honey for breakfast, swapped out with eggs and veggies every other day. Dinner would often be some kind of chicken or fish dish with some grains and veggies. That was a simple, relatively quick and easy way to eat healthy.
Fast forward to today, and I still eat similar foods, but I like to think my dishes are slightly more sophisticated than before. Below I will share with you the golden ticket, your guide to 3 simple, delicious, gourmet meals that are sure to impress whomever you may be cooking for. Without further ado, let’s dive into culinary school 101.
Coconut Chicken Curry for Newbies
This recipe is courtesy of Tim Ferriss, from his book, The 4-Hour Chef. BTW, that book is awesome and a must read for every Millennial Man. Let me break it down for you:
One can coconut milk
Curry spices (either powder form, canned form or mix and match your own)
One whole cauliflower
Take off all the leaves from the cauliflower and separate into small pieces
Bonus tip: smash the cauliflower against your cutting board with the edible part on top. This will separate the plant just the way you want.
Throw the cauliflower pieces, cashews, and coconut milk into your dutch oven and turn to high.
Once steaming vigorously, turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for about 20 minutes
Cut up your chicken thighs into manageable pieces and brown in a saute pan.
After browning, add your curry to the chicken.
If using powdered spices only, be sure to add some coconut milk as well.
Let the chicken and curry simmer for about 20 minutes, or until fully cooked.
Once the cauliflower is fully steamed (easy to poke through with a fork) pour your whole cauliflower mixture into your blender and puree until the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Plop your cauliflower puree into a bowl, top with your chicken curry and viola! Serve, enjoy, and hopefully receive praise.
This dish is relatively simple and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes from start to finish!
Pho for Beginners
This is one that is more involved, takes some serious time, and is totally worth every second.
Also, the pronunciation of the word pho is (fuh) as in if you say, I am the Pho King, you are going to get some funny looks.
Beef sirloin steak
Star anise pods
Preheat your oven to about 425 degrees F.
Place beef bones into oven and roast until browned (about 45 minutes to 1 hour)
Put browned bones, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and fish sauce into a crockpot with water. Allow to simmer overnight (at least 10 hours)
Strain the broth and set aside.
Put rice noodles in a bowl of water and let them soak for about 1 hour.
After soaking noodles, place them in boiling water for just 1 minute.
Bring broth to a simmer.
In serving bowls, place noodles, cilantro, green onion, and raw, thinly sliced beef sirloin steak.
The key to slicing the sirloin super thin is to put it in the freezer for 45 minutes prior to serving. This way it is easier to cut super thin.
Pour hot broth over the top, allowing it to cook your raw sirloin. This should take about 2 minutes to cook.
Serve with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lime wedges, and add sriracha as needed.
Did you make it this far?! This dish is really hard to get right, and really great when you do! If you are only cooking for one or two, you will have leftovers for days!
Saumon aux asperges
That is just fancy French for salmon and asparagus. I love salmon and try to eat it about once a week. Go with the healthier, organic, etc. as often as possible.
Norwegian salmon (Atlantic will do)
Spice rub (Northwest Salmon with Chipotle from Whole Foods)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Rinse off salmon and asparagus
3. Cut asparagus to desired length
4. Place some olive oil in your two baking dishes
5. Place salmon in one dish, top with olive oil and spice rub
6. Place asparagus in other baking dish, top with olive oil, salt, and pepper
7. Place in preheated oven and bake until desired finished
8. I like my salmon slightly under cooked, so 12-15 minutes is usually more than enough time.Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is great because it is easy, quick, and healthy! Add some rice or quinoa if you aren’t too concerned about the old waist line.
None of this would be possible without my chef's knife, the Shun Edo Japanese Blade.
This knife can cut through anything, especially your culinary ego!
Well folks, that’s it! Some easy, and one difficult recipe to use if you are entertaining or just want to up your game. Let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they turn out!
The MM Family