Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cooking For Blokes

Subtitle: Earn her respect and the key to the bedroom by cooking her a simple meal (with the utmost respect to girls of all ages).
I called to a friend's apartment (they used to be flats when I lived in one) a while ago. He warned me in advance that if I wanted food - the invitation was for casual dining - it was Chicken Korma or nothing, cause that was the jar of sauce he had and he couldn't cook anything else except... one other thing, can't remember what but he didn't have a jar of that anyway.
It got me to thinking about how many blokes go through life handicapped by the inability to cook a decent healthy meal: it is merely a laziness of mind and body. So I thought, stick out some simple recipes that even brain surgeons will be able to cook. It's purely a community service. Why should guys be allowed to stand in front of a cooker and flutter their hands about in front of their faces and claim: "I've no idea how to even boil water." Or some such bo***x (hint - too many letters for botox).
So here goes: Lesson One, Spaghetti Bolognese for morons.
one pound of minced beef (best quality you can afford).
one chopped onion or a pepper (red or green) or both.
one OXO cube - not necessary if you've got good quality meat but nice all the same (in US this might be a problem - it's a sort of stock cube).
a handful of mushrooms
basil leaves - fresh if you have them
salt and pepper to taste
a dollop of Mascarpone cheese or soured cream (optional, takes the edge off the tomato sauce)
one jar of a branded spaghetti sauce like Ragu or Dolmio or Newman's Own - whatever.
You can leave anything out except the minced beef and jar of sauce and you can add anything in the cupboard that you think will enhance the flavour once you've tried the basic recipe and know what flavours you are dealing with. I usually vary the type/brand of sauce every time as this subtly changes the flavour of the dish and prevents your palate from getting bored.
Brown the mince in a heavy saucepan or frying pan. Add the OXO. Season. Add basil. Add onion. Cook until onion begins to soften. Add jar of sauce.
Now, put some pasta on the stove and cook per instuctions on the pack.
Add mushrooms to the meat sauce. When the pasta is ready, serve it all up.
This tastes great the following day. Microwave leftovers with a baked potato (also cooked in the microwave).
The sauce is also great as the base fo a Lasagne.
Cook this for the mot (Dublinese for girlfriend/wife) and amaze her at your culinary skills.
By the way, the cook never washes the dishes. That's a rule.
PS I wrote this from my perspective so I made it a boy/girl thing. But it can just as easily be reversed or changed to boy/boy or girl/girl. Like the recipe, you all can mix and match.


  1. Thanks Bob. I'll never have to get a takeaway again!