Jet Fuel for the Revolution
Soundtrack: Uh! All Night by KISS
You may be young enough to keep it up for Miss November…however, you gotta keep that brain active while you do it. She’s seen it all and a woman that fine is gonna require some tricks. You are going to need coffee, stud, and lots of it.
We are guessing you have a machine that involves a filter paper, a glass carafe, and button pushing. No. Step away, Mister Coffee. We’re gonna teach you how to make DECENT coffee, something that will impress the ladies, not that swill you’ve been throwing down your gullet at work.
First, you’re going to need to buy some gear. Yes, really. The “gear” is known as a French press, or a Press Pot. We call it a French Press because we know that despite their reputation as cheese-eating surrender monkeys, the French also know how to impress the ladies, with or without food, and well, they eat cheese. Fine cheese. REALLY fine cheese.
The other gear you’re gonna need is a coffee grinder. Before you get all creative and try to grind your coffee using a V8 powered driver drill or cement mixer, we are looking for a particular KIND of coffee grinder, specifically a Burr Grinder. Do NOT buy a blade grinder, grunt. They chop the coffee and make a mess of it. They are inconsistent crap. The French Press and Burr Grinder should set you back less than $50. As with all gear, you can spend a LOT more than that, if you want to. Knock yourself out, moneybags, but a suave man knows where to spend and where to save (socks for instance).
Go out and purchase some good coffee. No, not that crap-in-a-can. Buy the coffee by the bean, whole. Pre-ground coffee is like opening her double-E bra to find tissue paper filler. It’s just not right.
Coffee from Central and South America tend to be mild, which they refer to as “Light Bodied.” Think Natalie Portman. African and Middle Eastern beans are medium-bodied and medium acidity. Think Halle Berry. Beans from Indonesia and the Islands like Hawaii are heavy-bodied with low acidity, and are earthy, like Christina Hendricks.
Coffee bean selection is, of course, way more complicated than that, but this is a start. Buy your beans and pour them in the burr grinder, set it to coarse grind, and grind away. You will need two tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of water. More coffee if you’re a man’s man. Place the ground coffee into the bottom of the French press.
Your coffee is only as good as the water you put in it. If your tap water tastes like a pissed-in public swimming pool, you're going to want to get filtered water, or something that only has deer piss in it, like mountain spring water. Heat the water by whatever means you have. An electric pot is great, over a stove is fine too.
Pour a little bit of your good, hot water into the French Press with the ground coffee. Pour it slowly, so as to saturate the coffee evenly, and then wait. You should see the coffee expand and foam up. This is actually air releasing from the coffee. A coffee fart. When the coffee grounds have finished expanding, pour in the rest of the water.
Set a timer to four minutes. After one minute, stir the water and coffee grounds in the French press with a spoon and let it settle again. Just before four minutes, place the lid onto the French press, making sure to line up the drain in the cap with the pour spout, with the press retracted all the way up. At four minutes, push the press down. SLOWLY, minute-man. Take 30 seconds to push it all the way in. Slowly. Think of it as a virgin. The press should gently push the coffee grounds to the bottom.
When the coffee grounds are pressed, pour the coffee immediately into cups. If you have any coffee leftover in the French press, do NOT leave it there. It will get nasty, fast. If you have selected a coffee that is bitter, or it tastes too bitter to you anyway, add a pinch of salt to it. No, really. Salt makes things taste good, right? It may help. Try it. Just a pinch. Non-flavored gourmet salt or Kosher salt, if you’ve got it.
If you want to try some other coffee machines, the Chemex, Melitta, Café Solo, and vacuum pots all make a good cuppa Joe. If you really want the best, Comrade, espresso is for you, and you can even use a stovetop espresso maker to do it on the cheap. We’ll have a latte, thanks. Shaken, not stirred.
Go find Miss November and give her some of that brew, maybe with a bite of chocolate. Those supermodel-types usually don’t eat much, but then, hey, they have other redeeming qualities.
 Remember: two tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of water.
 *GEEK ALERT* Actually, carbon dioxide.
Soundtrack: The Lemon Song by Led Zeppelin
One 750-ml bottle of Vodka or Everclear
2½ cups sugar
3½ cups water
Italians make some pretty good stuff. This includes, but is not limited to: fast cars, Italian women (fast optional), pasta, sausages, and of course, booze. Limoncello is amongst their finest, right after the women.
This is going to require either a microplane, or a cheese grater on the fine side. You can also use a vegetable peeler or paring knife, but it will be a real nuisance/ headache/time consumer. Take a lemon and zest the skin of the entire lemon into a bowl. The trick is to get all the good yellow part of the skin peels, and none of the bitter white “pith” beneath the lemon skin. If you get very much white pith into the bowl, trim it off the skin, and trash it. Pith on it. Zest all 12 lemons, and set the zest aside.
Get a glass 1 gallon container, preferably with a lid. Put the zest/peels into the container and pour the bottle of hootch (vodka) over it. Cover with the lid or plastic wrap, and let the liquid mixture steep for four days on the kitchen counter.
On day four, put the water and sugar into a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool down, and then pour the sugar mixture (which bartenders call “simple syrup”) in with the vodka and lemon zest mixture. Cover and let the mixture set for one more day. Bust out either a big bottle, or a lot of small bottles, and pour the limoncello into the bottles through a strainer to catch the lemon peels as the liquid goes through. If you do not have a strainer, use a CLEAN cheesecloth draped over the bottle, but pour VERY slowly, or you’ll spray sticky liquid all over your kitchen. Probably not the first time you did that, but that was hopefully not in the kitchen...
Once you have successfully transferred the limoncello to bottles, seal them up and refrigerate. It should keep for a month.
Fire up the Godfather, serve her a meal of pasta with one of our fine sauces, and pour her the limoncello in a shot glass after the meal. This stuff is potent. Hopefully so are you.
Variations: use oranges, limes, grapefruit, or a mixture of the above for more hootch-y fun.
 Zest = finely grate using the tool you have. No not that tool, the microplane or grater.
 If it was, well done. Now disinfect that kitchen. With soap.
Soundtrack: Always on my Mind by the Pet Shop Boys
4 Chicken breasts Olive oil
Garlic cloves ½ cup apricot or white wine
24 dried apricots 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup soy sauce ½ cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons honey
Optional – ½ cup apricot nectar
Optional - ½ teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (add in for extra heat) or a pinch of Cayenne.
Go get yourself a date.
In case we didn’t mention it, we do like breasts. This is pretty much universal, but is also true with regards to chicken. Set up your gal-pal in the next room with a romance novel and get your cook on. What, you don’t have a romance novel? Riiiiight. Okaaaay.
Read the instructions for handling raw chicken safely on page 10. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of your chef’s knife (carefully, keep the sharp edge down! Do NOT cut yourself, lest your date associates your ability to wield a knife with your ability to wield something else), peel off the dry skin, and slice the cloves. Four garlic cloves or so should be sufficient.
Wash the breasts in the sink. The chicken breasts. Don’t get distracted on us now. If there is skin, remove it with a short, sharp paring knife or filet knife. Cut the breasts into strips, removing any excess fat as you go. In a large frying pan, add olive oil and place in the chicken. Using medium heat, cook the breasts until the strips are no longer pink, but still moist and soft, turning occasionally to ensure both sides are cooked. Remember, control your fire, we know there’s a girl in the other room, but now’s not the time to get all excited and lose your cool. Add oil occasionally, if necessary, to ensure things stay moist in the pan. Add drinks occasionally to ensure things stay moist in the other room. Remove the chicken from the pan and place it onto a temporary plate.
You are going to make your apricot teriyaki in the same frying pan, so don't clean that pan! Add the garlic to the pan, with a little oil, and sauté the garlic for a few minutes, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn. Pour in the soy sauce, wine, optional apricot nectar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, bay leaf, apricots, and honey. If you are using lite soy sauce (!) add 50% more soy sauce. Stir and scrape the chicken bits off the side of the pan into the liquids. Keep stirring occasionally while cooking. You want to cook and reduce the liquids until they turn into a thick sauce, called a glaze. Reduce the heat once you have your glaze, since you don’t want to burn it. Remove the bay leaf, and add the cooked chicken back into the glaze. Stir the chicken around for a couple of minutes until well coated with the apricot teriyaki glaze/sauce and then plate it.
This dish has always been popular with the ladies. We like to eat it over rice with a side of broccoli. Serve it up with a nice glass of wine, and wit. If you haven’t got the latter, well, give her more wine.
Soundtrack: It’s Not Easy Being Green by Kermit the Frog
The chopping in this recipe is quite a bit of work, but what man doesn’t enjoy playing with knives? The great soup makes it worth the work. If you have a vegan or vegetarian lass, this should at least get you to second base. Probably farther than that, assuming you’ve been paying attention to what we say here.
You’re gonna need an hour or two to do this, so throw “The Notebook,” “You’ve Got Mail,” or another happy chick flick into the player while you cook. Remember to occasionally bring her a glass of wine for lubrication, and a blanket to wrap up in. Set the stage for the bliss to come…
2 large bunches Swiss chard (or spinach)
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches kale (green leaves only)
9 cups water
3 cups cilantro, loosely packed
3 large potatoes
4 onions, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Juice of one lemon juice, more to taste
Dash cayenne pepper
Optional: Heavy cream, Feta cheese, wine
Wash the greens thoroughly, then cut the chard and kale off their stems, and slice or tear the leaves into 2” chunks. Combine the chard, kale, and cilantro in a soup pot with the water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Peel the potatoes, or just scrub them well, cut them into big pieces, and add to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce
the heat, and let the whole mess simmer for about half an hour. Don’t forget to keep your date properly wined while she’s been waiting.
Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the chopped onions and a sprinkle of salt and cook them over low heat until they are golden (caramelized) and soft. This will take up to 45 minutes; don't hurry, you only need to give them a stir once in a while, and it's the slow cooking that develops the sweetness. If you are really bored, go play with your date, just don’t get too involved (if you know what we mean) and burn the onions. If you like, you can deglaze the pan at the end with a generous splash of Marsala wine or sherry. Increase the heat to medium, and add the Marsala booze. Return it to the stove and cook the onions, stirring for 1 minute. Add the onions to the soup. Give your date some leftover Marsala you set aside.
Put another splash of oil in the skillet and cook the garlic over low heat, stirring continuously to keep the garlic from burning, until it sizzles and smells great. It will probably take 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic to the soup pot and simmer everything for a few minutes more. Give more wine to your date.
At this point there won't be much liquid in the soup, so add enough water - up to an additional 3 cups - to make the soup…a soup. Puree the using a hand blender. You can also use a regular blender, if that is what you have, doing a little bit at a time, as much as your blender will handle. Start the blender slowly and then speed it up, lid tightly on, or you will have hot burning liquid shoot out the top. Wine, date, repeat.
Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer and taste. Add salt as needed, grind in a little black pepper; add the cayenne and the lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Now you're on your own; correct the seasoning by adding a little salt, broth, or lemon to taste, and then serve these big steaming bowls of green soup piping hot. By now she may not be able to taste it for the wine…
We like to garnish this soup with feta cheese. Croutons are always good as well, especially if they're home made from rye or pumpernickel bread. Garlic croutons are da bombe, as the kids say. And of course, there's always sour cream, but because we like the low-fat quality of the soup, we use a spoonful of yogurt instead.
Now take those bowls out to your lady friend and pop a tasty crouton into her mouth as you do. We recommend rounding out the meal with a fresh loaf of crusty bakery bread. Use real butter slathered all over the top of it. Tear it with your hands to serve. Butter slathered fingers are a good beginning…
 Like most things, homemade is better, of course
 If you pay close attention, you can do this in much shorter time over higher heat, but keep it stirring. Don’t burn!
 A fancy word for using a liquid to remove and dissolve the tasty brown caramelized bits of food from a pan to make a pan sauce.
While you are out gathering spices, you really must get some; not that, we mean hot peppers. As Real Men™ we know you’ll be shopping from the bottom of the Scoville Unit table below. Wilbur Scoville came up with a scientific test to measure hotness by diluting pepper extract with sugar syrup until a panel of five people couldn’t taste the pepper. The more sugar syrup needed, the hotter the pepper. 15 million is “pure” heat. Pepper spray is an average 4.5 million Scoville Units. Pepper heat, while important, can actually make food unpleasant to eat, so if you want to impress her, you may want to focus more on the flavor of the pepper and less on competing with your buddy’s ability to drink shots of “Scorched Ass Hot Sauce.” If you use anything hotter than a Scotch Bonnet, you deserve to be shot for excessive dick waving. Flavor is found towards the top of the chart. We roll with Thai peppers, but then we are trained professionals. You should stick to Bells. Remember it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.
 Measuring hotness in women, requires eyes and a review of the Periodic Table of Hotness.
Soundtrack: Candy Man by Christina Aguilera
Bacon is all the rage right now. Bacon Vodka. Bacon Chocolate Bars. Yeah, we get it; bacon is like the gods’ way of showing us they love men. That, and redheads that match on both ends.
So how does one improve upon the best food on earth? This is why you are hanging with us. Add hot pepper. Yeah.
Bacon, thick or thin cut
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Get a clean plastic bag, and pour in a little brown sugar in the bottom. Drop the bacon into the plastic bag with the brown sugar. Close the bag, and shake until the pig is thoroughly coated in brown sugar. Open bag, repeat with more pork.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to allow for grease drainage. Crinkle the aluminum foil as you lay it in the baking sheet so that there are hills and valleys to lay the bacon on. The idea is to have the bacon sit upon the ridges, and fat and oil to drain into the valleys. The other way is to get a grill/rack to put on top of the aluminum foil. You want to make sure that the air circulates around the bacon and that the fat drains off. Lay out the bacon on the aluminum foil, making sure not to overlap bacon pieces.
Bust out the chili pepper flakes. If you’re a girlie-man, you can skip this step. If you like to eat spicy food until you can’t sit down the next day, you’re one of us. Sprinkle some pepper flakes onto the top of the bacon strips. Use your sphincter judgment as to how much is too hot for you. If some pepper flakes miss the bacon strips and fall into the tray, no big deal.
Bake until the bacon is crispy. Remove the tray from the oven, and using tongs (Caution: VERY hot), place the bacon strips onto paper towels to cool and harden before serving.
Break the dried pieces, when cool, into 1-inch squares, or break them into much smaller pieces of bacon candy to use as a garnish (add-on) to salads, especially spinach salad. It also makes a kick-ass ice cream topping.
Now for the real fun. Melt some good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate in a pot, and when melted, stir in the candied bacon pieces that you have not already eaten. Spoon the chocolate porcine mixture out into little blobs onto some wax paper. Allow to cool. Now you have little bits of heaven, hell, and bacon.