Not every man can cook well. Not every man has a desire to cook well, and not every man has to. But what every man does need to realize is that cooking for a woman from time to time is a guaranteed way to impress her. This is why it is important that every man be able to competently cook a few simple meals.
The following recipes involve minimal ingredients and very few, uncomplicated steps to follow, but the rewards they bring are priceless. Pay specific attention to the suggestions for presentation. Women love a plate of food that looks as good as it tastes.
The recipe for each entry is followed by a suggestion for a reasonably priced bottle of wine and easily prepared side dishes. Instructions on how to make these side dishes are provided at the end of this article.
Easy main courses
1- Soy glazed salmon
2 salmon filets
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Put all the ingredients minus the fish in a frying pan on low heat.
2. Stir it until the sugar dissolves and it looks like a sauce.
3. Put the salmon and the sauce in a sealable plastic bag.
4. Place the bag in the fridge and let it marinate for 2 hours.
5. Take the fish and sauce out of the bag and wrap it in tin foil.
6. Pre-heat the oven to broil. Put the salmon in the oven to broil for about 8 minutes or until the fish no longer looks raw in the middle and flakes easily. Check the color by using a fork to separate the flakes.
Side dish: Seasoned steamed broccoli and Uncle Ben’s Garden Vegetable Whole Grain Brown Rice.
Wine: Chalk Hill Chardonnay.
Presentation: Lean the salmon on a serving spoon sized pile of rice. Place the broccoli in a half circle around the rice.
2 – Pan seared filet mignon
2 8-10 oz. Beef filets
1. Heat a small pan on high with 2 tbsps of oil.
2. Sear the filets for 30 seconds on each side.
3. Wrap the filets in tin foil and place them in the oven.
4. Broil in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Feel free to cut into the middle of the filet to check its color. You want the meat to be a medium to dark shade of pink. Brown means it’s over-cooked, and red means it’s under-cooked.
Side dish: Roasted red potatoes and steamed asparagus.
Wine: Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon.
Presentation: Slice the filet in thin slices halfway through and spread it like a fan over the red potatoes with the asparagus leaning on the other side of the potatoes.
Is she a vegetarian? No problem. Just follow these easy steps…
3 – Chipotle shrimp kabobs
1 pound of large, uncooked shrimp — peeled
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 red onion, cut into large pieces
1 green pepper, cut into large pieces
1 red pepper, cut into large pieces
3/4 cup Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade with Lime Juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1. Combine the Lawry’s marinade, sour cream and mayonnaise and put it in a sealable baggie.
2. Put the shrimp in the sealable bag and marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Soak the wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes.
4. Pierce and thread the shrimp, sliced peppers, onions and pineapple onto skewer.
5. Place them in tin foil and into the oven.
6. Put the oven on grill or broil until shrimp turns pink — about 8 minutes.
Side dish: Can be served on the skewers with rice or with tortillas.
Wine: Groth Chardonnay or Drylands Sauvignon Blanc.
Presentation: Serve on top of rice or alongside tortillas.
4 – Sautéed lemon garlic chicken
2 chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsps olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsps lemon juice
1. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and heat.
2. Add garlic and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute.
3. Add chicken and brown for 4 minutes per side.
4. Pour in broth and cover.
5. Put the oven on low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken, add lemon juice to the broth and cook until the juice boils down by a third.
7. Return the chicken back to the pan to heat in the sauce.
Side dish: White rice and broccoli.
Wine: Cuvaison Pinot Noir or Kendall Jackson Chardonnay.
Presentation: Place chicken breast on top of a neat pile of rice, and place the broccoli in a half circle around the rice.
5 – Vegetarian asian stir fry
I red pepper, cut into pieces
1 yellow pepper, cut into pieces
2 cups broccoli, chopped into chunks
2 cups snow peas
1/2 cup stir fry sauce of your choice
1. Heat 3 tbsps of olive oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
2. Add the vegetables and cook until tender — about 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Add the stir-fry sauce and cook for 1 additional minute.
Side dish: Uncle Ben’s instant white rice.
Wine: Charles Krug Merlot.
Presentation: Form a ball of white rice in the center of the plate and place the stir fry in a circle around it.
easy side dishes
Seasoned, steamed broccoli
1. Cut the broccoli into chunks.
2. Place it in a deep bowel and shake it in 1 tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tps garlic salt.
3. Put it in a pan containing an inch of water and cover it.
4. Let it steam like that for 6 to 8 minutes over high heat.
Roasted red potatoes
1. Cut the peppers into 1/4 inch strips.
2. Season like you would a salad with olive oil, pepper and garlic salt.
3. Place them in tin foil and bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.
1. Cut about an inch off the bottom parts of the asparagus — you want them to be green, so if the bottom halves are brown, cut them off.
2. Season them with salt and pepper.
3. Place them in a pan filled with an inch of water and cover them.
4. Steam them until they turn bright green or get tender — about 5 minutes.
5. Top them with butter.
Uncle Ben’s Ready rice
1. Look for Uncle Ben’s Microwaveable rice that comes in plastic sachets and follow the directions on the box.
3. If you don’t have a microwave, buy Uncle Ben’s Instant rice in sachets and follow the directions on the box.
Adding these five easy recipes to your cooking repertoire will undoubtedly impress your girlfriend, or any guest you end up cooking for. Each recipe incorporates minimal preparation and short cooking times, allowing you to avoid spending long hours toiling over the stove. Bon Appétit.
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