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    Entries in cooking (23)


    Green Soup from the Man Meets Stove cookbook.

    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                          

    Olive oil                                                                  

    Freshly ground black pepper

    6 cups vegetable or chicken broth[1]                         

    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;[2] 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[3] 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…

    [1] Like most things, homemade is better, of course

    [2] If you pay close attention, you can do this in much shorter time over higher heat, but keep it stirring.  Don’t burn!

    [3] 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.




    Spicy Bacon Candy from the Man Meets Stove cookbook!

    Spicy Bacon Candy

    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

    Brown sugar

    Chili Flakes

    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.



    Goodness Gravy - New How-to Video


    Hollandaise Sauce - Video and Recipe!!!

    Heart Attack Hollandaise

    Soundtrack: Heartbeat of Rock ‘n roll by Huey Lewis and the News

    3 Eggs
    1 1/2 Tablespoons Water
    One stick butter
    3 to 4 Tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar
    Salt and Pepper

    Start by filling a sink (or a pot larger than the one you will be cooking in) partially with cool water.  You’ll use this water to rapidly cool the bottom of the pot later.

    Melt butter in a pot over medium heat (or nuke it to melted).  Completely melt the butter, but not so it’s burning hot. Crack open the eggs and place them into a bowl.  Add water to the bowl and whisk the eggs and water together very well until they are one color throughout.

    Now comes the hard part.  Turn the heat down on the butter pot.  If you look at the flame, you want it to be a 2 on a 5 scale, the 5 being full flame, 1 being almost no flame.  Low heat, but not too low.  If not sure, go lower, not hotter, until you get the hang of it, lower heat will simply take a little longer and your whisk arm may fall off.  If you go too hot, the eggs will become little bits in a butter mix, not a sauce.  You can recover this by blending the hell out of it.

    Pour the egg mixture into the melted butter and start whisking the pot gently, or faster if you see visible egg bits starting to float around in the pot.  Do not stop whisking.  The goal is to keep the eggs from forming a thin omelet on the bottom of the pot.  You want to keep stirring until the eggs "go off" and thicken the mixture from a liquid to a gravy-like sauce.  When you see it turning into the desired thickness of a sauce, immediately pull the pot off the fire and put the pot bottom into the cold water in the sink so the bottom of the pot is immediately cooled off and stops cooking the sauce.  You may want to keep whisking a little bit while it cools.

    Now here's the thing - we are told that people use lemon for Hollandaise Sauce.  Why?  We have no idea.  It tastes a bit like dessert that way.  We like tarragon vinegar and like it much.  Once you cool the pot a little, take it out, add two tablespoons of vinegar and taste the sauce.  If it is strong enough for you, excellent.  We usually add at least two more tablespoons of tarragon vinegar, or more, to taste.  Sometimes we make it light for guests and "Rip your face off strong" for ourselves in a separate small pitcher.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Sometimes people use just the egg yokes in the sauce.  The sauce will be really thick and tasty if you do it that way[1].

    Now all of this involved process, we are told, can be avoided by the use of a double boiler to even the heat out and cook the sauce slowly, but that is cheating and we will not give you your Girl Scout chef merit badge if you do it.  Actually, we have never had a double boiler when we needed it, and see them as somewhat of a unitasker (bad) unless one makes candy a lot, so we do it our way.

    You can also do much the same thing in a blender or a microwave.  How embarrassing.  Don’t talk to us.

    We generally make 2 to 3 times this recipe and eat it on broccoli cooked al dente.  Please do NOT overcook the broccoli, American style.  Limp broccoli is a vile abomination unto the gods. 

    [1] Screw your cholesterol.  This is cooking.


    Man Meets Stove Cookbook Introduction

    We will be posting our cookbook in it's entirety, periodically, one section at a time. Enjoy! Check back in for additional sections and please tell your friends!



    Do you like to eat?

    No, do you REALLY like to eat?

    Do you like to get lucky?

    Because, my man, it is this last question that should inspire you to read on.  Babes like men who cook.  That’s right, it gives them shudders to have you cook them a great meal.  Ecstatic shudders in places you want.  If you like to eat, all the more reason to read on, because frankly, you can cook stuff that tastes way better than that worthless drive-through burger you’re sticking down your blow hole. 

    Are we being too harsh?  Deal with it, Opie.  You think bad-ass chefs like Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Anthony Bordain got there by holding hands and singing Kumbayah?  Hell no.  We can tell you how to make a girl gasp with ecstasy with nothing more than a spoon.  With or without food on it.  So, listen up, and let’s get started…

    First, you’re going to need to start off with something simple.  If you’re reading this, you probably have been mostly fed by your momma, girlfriends, or wife your entire life.  Maybe they could cook like Julia Child (may she rest in peace); if so, lucky you.  On the other hand, perhaps the women in your life can’t tell a hand mixer from a vibrator.  The days of “Home Economics” and “Miss Priss Cooking for Ladies” classes are long gone.  Your female sidekick may also cook mostly with a can opener.  This is unacceptable.  Let’s show the world how real men do it. 

    Tip: Read all recipes through BEFORE you start. Seriously. 



    Man Meets Stove Cookbook Forward Section

    We will be posting our cookbook in it's entirety, periodically, one section at a time. Enjoy!  Check back in for additional sections and please tell your friends!




    Listen up, soldier.  What good are you to you or anyone else if you can't decently feed yourself?  Or even indecently? You need to learn three F words: Fire. Food. Fun. Two of them are even four-letters.  The “Fun” is, of course, women; but the Food and Fire have to come first. First the food, because frankly we are just not sure you are manned up enough for the rest yet.


    One Tuesday night back when we were both in college we were talking about women (what else?) and it came up that both of us had used our cooking skills to impress our women.  We used cooking to move above the pack...cut the other studs out of the running. Alpha males with tongs.  No, not tongues - although we are good with those too - tongs.


    We are firm believers that every person should be able to fix a flat tire, build a fire, program a computer, construct a shed, find one of those square states out in the middle, cook a steak, fish, find everything/naughty/interesting on the internet, and learn crap you didn't already know from a book.  So, we pooled our brains and money and bought the Joy of Sex.  Oh wait, that’s another story.  We bought the Joy of Cooking.  Eleven hundred and thirty- two pages of foodie delight, orgasms for the tongue, and all-around-amazing information for the kitchen.  Yeah, we got a tongue theme already going on here.  Think of this as “your training has already begun…”


    We settled in with the bible of cooking and learned how to burn things, to create Level-7 disasters with a microwave, and to scare mortal humans out of the house.  We learned to cook, to taste, to smell, to enjoy the bits and pieces of food for what they are, and how the pieces combine for a gastrointestinal orgy of delight.  Our food blossomed, our sex lives improved, and people started saying silly things like “Wow, you two should open a restaurant,” and “Wow, that is delicious. You two should write a book.”


    Years later and several million calories gone to the gut, Jim got a wild hair up his chimney and wrote down his sure-fire Hollandaise Sauce; Thomas laughed and laughed and then said, “We should write a cookbook.”   Realizing that we were surrounded by sad creatures with no food skills and lacking second dates, we realized that we had to step up and share our hard-won wisdom.


    This book is that Wisdom


    Man Broccoli


    How to Crack an Egg


    Thomas Kellers Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey Breast....

    We know its not Thanksgiving any more, but Jim craves turkey year round and has dreams of smoked turkey floating around his head, all year long.  Yeah, it's weird, but then he's accepted that about himself.

    He found this article in Esquire and had to repost it, as it doesn't involve a whole bird (difficult) and involves mayo (yummy) and turkey (awesome):

    Thomas Keller's Mayonnaise-Roasted Turkey Breast

    Use half turkey breasts, as the mayonnaise will not adhere properly to a full breast. The turkey is done when the meat thermometer registers 160 to 165 degrees.

    • One 2-½- to 3-pound turkey breast
    • 2 cups homemade or good-quality commercial mayonnaise
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • Liberal amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a cooling rack. Rinse the breast and pat dry with paper towels. Trim away excess skin and fat.

    Mix the mayonnaise with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the underside of the breast with salt and pepper and completely cover the skin side with the mayonnaise-nutmeg-clove-and-paprika mixture. Spread as evenly as possible. The coating should be about ½-inch thick. Place the breast, mayonnaise side up, on the rack and roast for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees. The coating will have turned black. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before carving.

    Jim just left the building.  Muttered something about "Pillaging the grocery store for turkey breasts" as he ran out.


    An Ode to the Spoon

    This article in Bon Appetite on chefs and their spoons immediately captivated us.  "There's a connection between chefs and their spoons that most people who don't work in kitchens don't realize.  Chef's use spoons for practically every job, including basting, plating, saucing, tasting, flipping and turning meat, or simply stirring a pot".  Cory Lee of Benu in San Fransisco.

    Indeed. Jim found a particular spoon and loved it so much that he went back to Sur La Table and bought every one they still had.  Yes, it's not a glorious custom-made silver spoon with a certain bowl size, it's a lowly wooden spoon/spatula.  But it's his, and he LOVES it.  Jim says, "I use it for everything, just like it says in the article.  I have three of those spoons and when they die, I'm going to go on a hunt for more, and possibly have to have more made, if I can't find some like it.  I'm obssessed, I constantly reach for them in the kitchen".

    "We use different styles and shapes of spoons depending on the task we are trying to acheive," says Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in London, "For shaping quenelles, we look for spoons with a deep and tapered head.  For saucing, we will use spoons that have a square or straight edge for maximum control."

    So the next time your in the kitchen, consider the lowly spoon.  Do you have one you gravitate to?  Consider, and keep an eye on it, because someone may be hunting for YOUR special spoon.