Meals for the Bachelor: 5 Simple, One Skillet Recipes

by A Manly Guest Contributor on August 17, 2010 · 41 comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Matt Moore.

Last week, I casually mentioned to a friend that I had gone to see a movie by myself. Personally I’ve never thought it strange to catch an afternoon matinee without accompaniment. Besides, watching a movie is a great exercise in time out of mind: I firmly believe it’s an activity that does not require assistance from others.

Apparently, her sentiment was not the same. I was, as she put it, “one of those sad people.” Her mental picture of my experience must have been much different than my reality: legs propped, casually dressed, and enjoying Sour Patch Kids until my tongue resembled sand paper.

The fact of the matter is that it’s okay to do certain things on your own. Though society and our friends may tell us differently, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a movie, taking a walk, or eating a meal alone. As much as I’d like to say otherwise, writing a book on entertaining and dining with others (Have Her Over for Dinner: A Gentleman’s Guide to Classic, Simple Meals) does not mean my kitchen is a revolving nightly scene of endless girls and extravagant meals. I still eat alone. I’ll even go a step further by admitting that I sometimes prefer to enjoy a meal without distractions.

At the risk of sounding cynical, let me make clear that great food shared in the company of others is one of life’s true pleasures. Reality, however dictates that sometimes we may not always be able to ‘line up’ a dining partner. Between work, travel, family, and personal schedules we are bound to sometimes eat alone. Getting back to the movies, don’t let Lloyd Christmas’ quote, “Man, you are one pathetic loser” to Harry Dunn in Dumb and Dumber take root in your mind. Instead, use this opportunity as a chance to unwind and relax from a busy day.

For many of you, the idea of cooking for yourself doesn’t really sound like a time to unwind and relax. I get it. With all of the restaurants and take-out options at your fingertips, it’s easier to let someone else do the work. However, you should take note that these establishments typically do not have your best interests at heart. The truth is it’s easy to make food taste good. Mom’s trick of adding cream, butter, and cheese always made us eat our vegetables. It’s likely that your favorite restaurant meals are laden with extra fat and calories.

I prefer to take a realistic and health conscious approach to dining alone. Realizing that simplicity is a must, I’ve outlined 5 meals that can all be prepared relatively quickly using only one skillet. My goal is to provide you with straightforward, healthy meals that can be made without much hassle or clean up.

Turn on some tunes, crack open a cold beer or pour a glass of wine, and get to work.

After all, we are not sad people. We are realistic.

Tools of the Trade

In order to maximize flavor and results, I suggest you invest in my favorite piece of cookware: the cast iron skillet. Cast iron has been used in kitchens for centuries. It cooks items evenly, retains heat, and it is believed to keep you healthy by supplying a steady dose of iron to your diet. Above all, it’s fairly inexpensive and lasts a lifetime when cared for properly.

The following recipes will involve using the skillet on both the stovetop and in the oven. Using the skillet on the stovetop over high heat is perfect for pan searing ingredients to create great textures. For thicker cuts of meat or for dishes that require more cooking time, the skillet can be placed directly into a heated oven. Always use an oven mitt to prevent burns when removing pans from the oven or stovetop.

Nowadays, most skillets come pre-seasoned from the manufacturer. It’s important to never put your cast iron cookware in the dishwasher. Instead, rinse the skillet with warm water, using soap only if necessary. Between uses, coat the pan with a bit of oil to prevent rust from forming.

Seasoning cast iron cookware is fairly simple. Make sure your skillet is completely clean and dry. Coat the entire skillet in a thin layer of vegetable shortening and place the cookware, upside down, into an oven heated to 350 – 400 degrees F for one hour. Turn off the oven and allow the cookware to cool. After a few hours, carefully remove the cookware from the oven and store for later use.

Lodge Cast Iron out of South Pittsburgh, Tennessee makes great cast iron cookware in all shapes and sizes. For high-end, including professional cookware, check out Le Creuset.

5 Simple, One Skillet Meals

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Roasted Tomatoes and White Beans – this rustic, Italian inspired dish evokes all of the flavors of comfort food without the guilt. Utilizing a bone-in chicken breast adds flavor and keeps the chicken moist. We create a nice crispy skin on the outside of the chicken by pan searing the breast, skin side down, on the stovetop. After that, the flavors meld together while finishing off and roasting in the oven. This dish pairs well with a crisp Pilsner (Beer) or dry Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc (Wine).

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 8 oz Bone-in Chicken Breast, skin on
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Italian Herb Seasoning Blend
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
4 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Cup Canned Great Northern/Navy/White Beans, drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On the stove top, preheat skillet over medium high heat; add oil and heat until oil shimmers in the pan and just begins to smoke. Add chicken breast, skin side down, and sear (do not touch) for 3 minutes. Flip chicken breast, and add cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves to pan. Season the entire dish lightly with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and Italian herb seasoning. Add the skillet to the oven and roast, 18 – 22 minutes, internal temperature should be 160 degrees F. With 5 minutes remaining, add beans to skillet with the tomatoes, stir and add back into the oven to heat through. Remove skillet from oven and plate, discarding garlic cloves. Serve.

Skirt Steak Stir-Fry with Vegetables and Brown Rice – though I always strive to use fresh ingredients, sometimes my schedule demands otherwise. In these instances, I like to rely on a few modern conveniences. Quite honestly, frozen vegetables and fruits are picked and frozen at their peak of freshness, retaining their natural vitamins and ensuring outstanding flavor. Ready rice is a life saver in a pinch, especially for preparing brown rice as the conventional method typically takes 35 – 40 minutes. Brown rice is nuttier in flavor, and it has a lower glycemic index (better carbohydrates) and contains more fiber than processed white rice. One word of caution: avoid using vegetables or rice that come pre-seasoned, as the sodium content is typically well beyond your suggested daily value. By combining technology with practicality, you will have this meal out in no time. Pair with a dry Pilsner/Lager (Beer) or Pinot Noir (Wine).

2 Tablespoons Sesame or Canola Oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 Cups Frozen Stir Fry Vegetable Blend
1 6 – 8 oz Skirt or Flank Steak, cut into ¼ inch thick strips, across the grain
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Teaspoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce, divided
½ Package Uncle Beans Ready Rice™, Whole Grain Brown
Scallions, sliced

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat on the stove top; add oil and heat until oil shimmers in the pan and just begins to smoke. Carefully add garlic and frozen vegetables (avoid adding vegetables with any ice crystals) and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes until just tender and cooked through. Next, add strips of steak, lightly season ingredients with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes for medium rare/medium. Remove items to a serving plate and add the rice into the skillet. Season the rice with remaining tablespoon of soy sauce and cook, stirring often, until warmed through; about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove rice from skillet and plate alongside stir fry vegetables and steak. Garnish with sliced scallions and serve with soy sauce on the side. Serve.

Roasted Salmon with Sliced Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus – when preparing entire meals in one skillet, it’s important to utilize different techniques and divide ingredients amongst the surface. In this recipe, we will begin by utilizing the entire surface of the skillet to cook the potatoes. As we add more ingredients, we divide each area of the pan until we finally have 3 distinct cooking areas for each ingredient. This entire dish is cooked in the oven, adding our ingredients at different intervals to ensure each item is cooked appropriately. Pair with Pale Ale (Beer) or Zinfandel (Wine).

1 Sweet Potato, diced into ½ inch cubes
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 8 oz Salmon Filet
1 Handful Fresh Asparagus, stem removed, sliced in half
½ Lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay out diced potatoes into single layer in the cast iron skillet. Drizzle with oil and season potatoes with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper; toss to coat evenly. Add skillet to oven and roast potatoes 20 – 25 minutes. Meanwhile, coat the salmon filet and asparagus in a thin layer of remaining olive oil and season lightly with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Remove skillet from oven, push potatoes to one side and add salmon filet, flesh side down to the surface of the skillet. Return skillet to oven and roast 3 – 4 minutes. Remove skillet from oven, flip salmon filet, and place to the side to create room for asparagus. Add asparagus to the skillet and drizzle the juice of ½ lemon over the asparagus and salmon filet. Return to oven and roast for another 5 – 7 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and salmon is cooked through. Remove entire skillet from oven and plate. Serve.

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Roasted Mixed Vegetables – one of my favorite parts of cooking everything together in one skillet is the blending of flavors from different ingredients. In this instance, the savory flavor of the pork chop and its juices add a nice essence to the roasted vegetables. This is a delicious, low carbohydrate meal that pops with incredible color and flavor. Similar to the last recipe, we sear the pork chop on the stove top to lock in all the juices. After that, we simply finish by roasting the chop with the vegetables in the oven. Pair with Brown Ale (Beer) or Merlot/Syrah Blends (Wine).

½ Yellow Squash, sliced into ½ inch slices
½ Zucchini, sliced into ½ inch slices
1 Red Pepper, sliced into ½ inch slices
¼ Red Onion, sliced into ½ inch slices
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 Large 8 – 10 oz Bone-in Pork Chop

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine the first 6 ingredients into a mixing bowl, season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, and toss to ensure an even coat; set aside. On the stove top, preheat skillet over medium high heat; add another 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until oil shimmers in the pan and just begins to smoke. Add pork chop and sear (do not touch) for 2 minutes. Flip chop, and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Add vegetables around the pork chop and add the skillet into the oven; roast for 15 – 20 minutes, or until chop is firm to the touch and vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown. Remove skillet from the oven and plate. Serve.

Shrimp and Chorizo Paella – though this traditional meal is typically used to entertain large groups of people, it’s an incredibly comforting and satisfying dish to end a busy day. By utilizing some store bought ingredients and simplifying the process, you can enjoy this meal on your own, including enough leftovers for lunch later in the week. Pairs well with Amber Ales (Beer) or Rioja/Malbec (Wine)

½ lb Spanish Chorizo Sausage, sliced into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Medium Yellow Onion, finely diced
1 5 oz Package Mahatma™ Saffron Yellow Rice
1 Cup Canned Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Stock
½ lb Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
1 Cup Frozen Green Peas, thawed

On the stove top, heat skillet over medium high heat; add chorizo and brown for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove chorizo and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess grease and cool. Add oil and onions to the skillet and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until onions become translucent and tender. Next, add entire contents of the rice package to the skillet, and stir well to coat the grains in oil. Next, add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. When mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes. With 10 minutes remaining on the rice, fold in the chorizo, shrimp, and peas (allowing the ingredients to ‘steam’ in the rice). Continue to cook until the rice is al dente and the shrimp are bright pink and firm. Remove from heat and plate. Serve.


Matt Moore is the author of the cookbook Have Her Over for Dinner: A Gentleman’s Guide to Simple, Classic Meals. You can check out more of Matt’s great recipes over on his blog of the same name.

Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Roasted Tomatoes and White Beans – this rustic, Italian inspired dish evokes all of the flavors of comfort food without the guilt. Utilizing a bone-in chicken breast adds flavor and keeps the chicken moist. We create a nice crispy skin on the outside of the chicken by pan searing the breast, skin side down, on the stovetop. After that, the flavors meld together while finishing off and roasting in the oven. This dish pairs well with a crisp Pilsner (Beer) or dry Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc (Wine).

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 8 oz Bone-in Chicken Breast, skin on
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Italian Herb Seasoning Blend
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
4 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Cup Canned Great Northern/Navy/White Beans, drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On the stove top, preheat skillet over medium high heat; add oil and heat until oil shimmers in the pan and just begins to smoke. Add chicken breast, skin side down, and sear (do not touch) for 3 minutes. Flip chicken breast, and add cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves to pan. Season the entire dish lightly with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, and Italian herb seasoning. Add the skillet to the oven and roast, 18 – 22 minutes, internal temperature should be 160 degrees F. With 5 minutes remaining, add beans to skillet with the tomatoes, stir and add back into the oven to heat through. Remove skillet from oven and plate, discarding garlic cloves. Serve.

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ForsakenPoptart August 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Personally, my favorite piece of cookware is my Wok- cost me about $20, and I cook in it at least 3 times a week- one wok meals are even easier!

2 scott August 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm

What! No hamburger helper? Seriously though, 2 points – first, true dat on the cast iron.
Second, These meals are 1 off. Doubling them gets either another meal or tomorrow’s lunch. I like to make big salads like tabouli and eat on it for a few days. In the winter, the crock pot is an easy way to eat for a meal or a week. I also make a blender full of real fruit smoothies, portion them out and freeze them for breakfast or a light meal.

3 Eric August 17, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Sorry mate I love the recipes but I must object to your care of cast iron. You should never use soap on cast iron unless you are planning on fully stripping the seasoning off and essentially rinsing it for an eternity to ensure that all the soap is out of the iron. If you do the soap will be trapped in the cast iron until the next time it is heated (when you cook) and it will leach into your food. Then the soap will cause an unpleasant disruption to your digestive system. To clean your cast iron you should use hot water and a soft bristled brush that won’t remove the seasoning. Stick with a natural fiber or use the one Lodge makes. If something is seriously stuck or burnt on then soak it overnight. Secondly don’t use olive oil to season your cast iron. The smoke point is too low. Instead use soy bean oil or safflower oil whose smoke points are much higher. The exception being heavily refined extra light olive oil. For really good care instructions check out the International Dutch Oven Society. They are the authority on all things cast iron.

A tip for seasoning your cast iron is to place aluminum foil underneath the dish to catch the drippings and keep them from coming in contact with the heating element and causing a small fire.

4 Rick August 17, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Eric is right about the cleaning of the skillet. Use a brush and dont use soap. The seasoning on a slillet is similar to some outdoor grills. Never use olive oil. Another advantage about owning a skillet is that bad boy will practicaly last for ever.

5 John R August 18, 2010 at 12:09 am

I greatly enjoy doing things on my own every now and then! Grocery shopping, eating, walking around or just general errands. I’m working on my PhD in mathematics, so it’s good to give my brain a rest every now and then. Unfortunately, I don’t eat meat, so none of these meals really work for me. I suppose I could do the stir fry sans-steak.

6 Joe August 18, 2010 at 12:18 am

There are two major problems with this article.
1. Don’t use olive oil to season an iron skillet. It has a low smoke point, and even a chance to go rancid (unlikely). Use shortening instead. It works better to season. Use olive oil for the actual cooking.

2. If your skillet is newly seasoned, don’t cook acidic foods like tomatoes, peppers, etc. for 6 months. Use the skillet at least once a week with fatty foods (ground beef) or oil to further season the pan. Using it for cornbread or popcorn is great for seasoning.

Head over to Black Iron Dude’s blog for more help.

Easy cornbread.
Buy 1 or 2 of those old school looking corn bread mixes in the little box.
Mix according to directions.
Put a few tablespoons of shortening in the skillet.
Heat the skillet to searing hot, 450-500.
Once hot, adjust the heat to cornbread mix’s instructions.
Take the skillet out of the oven & pour in the mixture. BE CAREFUL.
It will almost deep fry the outside of the batter.
Finish baking.

The cornbread will fall out of the pan. DO NOT WASH the skillet. Just wipe the remaining hot oil all over the skillet, inside, outside, and handle. Store pan in the drawer under the stove. Use this for any size or shape piece of iron cookware.

7 Kage3000 August 18, 2010 at 2:21 am

Can I get 5 more please? Awesome.

8 ThomsonsPier August 18, 2010 at 5:32 am

Some nice recipes here, and easy to extend for leftovers or company (yes, that does rather defeat the object of the article, I suppose) by using a bigger pan. I live with my other (significant) and do most of the cooking, but one or the other of us invariably has something to do early in the evening and needs to eat before going out, so this kind of cookery is very handy.

I’m also a great fan of doing things alone, though the chance doesn’t often present itself. I have never understood why people insist that going to the cinema alone is odd, given that the nature of the place is to ignore everyone else in favour of a flashing screen for two hours. Alone is the best way, in my opinion. And no-one steals your popcorn.

9 Allium August 18, 2010 at 5:59 am

I found out when I was just on my own I couldnt afford to take a girl out often. BUT I could cook her dinner. That impressed her. Now that I am older I realize that the days of mom teaching the daughter cooking is gone. Many can’t cook. I could also have a couple drinks since I wasnt driving, so she would too. And finally – there was no worries about how I could talk her up to my place after a date as she was already there.

10 Eccentrica August 18, 2010 at 8:04 am

Let’s not forget soup chicken!
Brown chicken in a skillet, cover with 1 can of cream of celery or mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can water, add Mrs. Dash and simmer until done. Use the soup as gravy for baked potatoes, or zap some steam-in-the-bag veggies. Good stuff!

11 IAN August 18, 2010 at 8:22 am

Best breakfast ever.

Put a can of stewed or chopped tomatoes plus any other vegetables you find in the fridge. Heat them up.

Crack a few eggs on top and let them cook (don’t stir). Finish them off under the broiler.

Spoon them out onto a toasted baguette.

12 Brent August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

Nice recipes and a few I use almost exactly the same way. I’m old school so my cast iron cookware is seasoned with pork fat, generally bacon grease. I simply wipe my skillets but if something sticks I just use hot water and a brush to remove it. If that won’t take it off you have just burnt the seasoning and need to reseason the piece. As someone who has lived for years away from home, I find it’s refreshing sometimes to experiment with things I wouldn’t normally do when with my wife. Cooking, cooking here, we’re talking cooking. I have invented recipes(to me, maybe someone else would say they have done it like this many times)that I brought home to my wife. I can get fairly creative with spices and herbs and they are sometimes a success and sometimes something you remember to not repeat. I got accustomed to eating alone at a very young age from being a truck driver. I began driving a truck when I got my license at 14 so eating alone is something I learned to do. I had never eaten alone and would go a day or two sometimes without eating. That probably wasn’t good for me on a regular basis but the occasional fast is something I wish I could do more in my old age. When driving long hours and not having to use a log book I was accustomed to staying awake for a couple days at a time. Amazing what youth can do for you. Not eating keeps you alert and driving a big rig that translates into staying alive. I have found myself getting into a rut in my old age when living by myself and wanting to turn people down who offered me a meal since I rarely got a meal to compare with my cooking. I didn’t often turn down a meal since I didn’t want to seem unsociable but with people who would invite me often and I felt they did so out of pity or something similar I would beg off saying I had already eaten and often it was the truth. Being of the old school I had commonly eaten by 6 pm if I hadn’t worked late. Living alone led me to working long hours since I had rather be doing something constructive than sitting in front of a tv or reading a book, something I often did with the tv on. Living alone is a great time to catch up with friends on the net too. Just remember when you’re the only one you have to please, trying new recipes is a great way to pass time and keep your creative juices flowing.

13 lady brett August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

excellent meals, sir. i subsisted on good one-pot meals for years, and they are still among my favorites (after all, you only have one pan to clean!).

one note on cast-iron pans, other than that they are swell: as some folks have mentioned, you really don’t want to use soap on cast iron, but i’ve found that’s a really hard rule for folks to follow. after all, we’re not all brilliant chefs all the time, and sometimes you really stick something on there – but use salt, not soap, to scrub it out. it works wonders. it scrubs much better than anything but steel wool, but is less harsh, and doesn’t cut all the grease (seasoning!) out of your pan like soap.

14 alex August 18, 2010 at 11:16 am

When I cook for myself I usually cook for 4. Tonight’s meal, tomorrow’s lunch and then I freeze the other half, pre-portioned, of course. I never get sick of the meals and they last longer when frozen.

15 Tyrone August 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

Good looking recipes, and I heartily approve of your recommendation that a cast iron skillet is one of the first kitchen tools a man should invest in.

16 Patrick August 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

I have been a Renaissance reenactor for almost 10 years now, and my friend who plays the cook and also participates in old west faires as the cook also told me to never use soap. Intead you can soak in hot water then scrub with coarse salt. The salt will season the pan and does a great job of scubbing the pan. I don’t know about the oil but we’ve never had any problems with scrubbing with coarse salt and the food is always great! Also, a Dutch oven is equally indespensable as a skillet.

17 Darrell August 18, 2010 at 11:58 am

Excellent article, and great comments to follow!

18 James Strock August 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Terrific post! Will put these ideas to use for sure. Have been using cast-iron skillets this year and loving the results.

19 Brucifer August 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

The very nice recipes aside, (more please) kindly let me push home the point about cooking for oneself. Do avoid the “bachelor” mode and just cooking exclusively the ‘food-as-fuel’ thing when you are by yourself. Take time to treat yourself like you would a lady friend coming over for dinner. I mean really chaps, women are always giving themselves “because I’m worth it” treats, so why not you? Get out the good dishes, the *real* cloth napkins and a nice bottle of wine … for yourself at least once in awhile. Try a new recipe or two. Pulling out all the stops for yourself is good practice for having HER over, anyway. And what better way to entice HER to come over than talking about all these great recipes you’ve been doing for yourself

As an aside, …… I’m in my kitchen, right? Cooking-away for the awaiting young lovely sipping wine on my living room couch. I call out from the kitchen, “What did you say your job at the (downtown ritzy hotel) was?” Her: “Oh, I forgot to tell you, they are going to promoted me to Executive Chef next week.” Me: *TILT* Nonetheless, she *loved* the food and even asked me for the recipe!

(And roger that, Allium. I date women half my age and the lovely Chef notwithstanding, nary a darned one of them can cook worth a hoot. Nor, even keep themselves a neat living quarters. Every day, I thank my mother, who taught me how to cook, do laundry, clean, etc.)

No matter if dining alone or seeing a movie alone, etc. don’t fall into the trap of thinking yourself or letting others tag you as a looser. This goes with previous articles and posts about not letting women dictate our lives to us. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy things by yourself. Enjoy the freedom to be a MAN in your own skin.

20 Jackaroo August 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

This article is right on the money

21 Phoenix-Rooster August 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Peanut oil works for me whenever I have to season a new skillet/Dutch, or re-season an old one…and after each time I use it (washing w/o soap of course). Peanut has a very high flash point (compared to olive) AND doesn’t transfer any residual taste into whatever recipe I am making (cornbread, jambalaya, meatballs, etc.). And, crockpots are great to use ALL YEAR LONG, not just winter.

22 Jason August 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Please post more articles like this for us bachelors who would like a decent meal alone every once in a while!

23 Dajolt August 19, 2010 at 3:07 am

Great article. I do quite a lot of *alone* cooking and prefer it to restaurant food.
For those bacholors interested in Pizza, I can really recommend this page: . I describes one man’s
quest to find to make the perfect pizza on his own.

It got me started on doing my own pizza and now I can do a great pizza in the time it takes a pizza delivery service to bring me a cold one…

24 Steven August 19, 2010 at 3:11 am

You do realize that there are plenty of those who embody manliness who also embody a vegetarian lifestyle…

25 davidt August 19, 2010 at 3:14 am

The standard, manly, cheap, delicious one pan meal throughout the ages.

Fry up bacon, nice and crispy. Put the bacon to the side on some paper toweling. Put sliced onions in the hot bacon grease, sliced potatoes on the onions, a few pats of butter on the potatoes, and the crumbled crispy bacon on top. Fry covered, not too hot. Do not mix until the potatoes are about half done, so the onions get a chance to become nice and caramelized. When the potatoes are done add a generous amount of cheese(I like extra sharp cheddar). As soon as the cheese is melted down into the potatoes put the works in a bowl. Fry some eggs and put them on top, and poke through the yokes so they run down into the cheesy, bacony, fried potatoes and onions. Toast on the side. Serve with hot black coffee.

Most cholesterol groups are properly represented.

26 CoffeeZombie August 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

As a married man, I absolutely *love* our cast iron skillet! It’s so easy to clean, so easy to use, and the weight gives it the feeling of being substantial. I can think of no manlier cooking implement, save a coal grill. As a side note, I like how every time you cook on it, you contribute to the seasoning, so every meal you cook on it benfits from every meal you’ve cooked on it in the past.

Though, I’m going to have to agree with some of the disagreements about cast iron care. NEVER, EVER, EVER use soap. Personally, when I’m done cooking for the day, I clean my skillet after use with warm water and a sponge, dry it off, and simply coat it with a thin layer of oil (I also add another thin layer before cooking on it, just to be sure).

Also, I use peanut oil on my skillet. As others have pointed out, peanut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, plus it doesn’t impart its own flavor to the food.

One final tip with cooking on iron: it gets very hot. That’s great for most things, but if you’re going to fry up bacon, then cook hash browns, and finally fry a few eggs for breakfast, let the skillet cool for a bit before throwing the eggs down. Otherwise, you’ll end up with eggs that are undercooked on the top (if you’re doing sunny-side up), and burnt on the bottom.

27 Victor August 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm

This is great. Good article.
But I must put in my 2 cents about the cast iron and oil choices.
I am a proffessional chef and I’ve studied a lot about nutrition and learnt many techniques. If you use Olive oil to season your pan, you are wasting olive oil. It has a low burning point and will not do you any good. Also unless you are cooking at low temp, its also a waste to use olive oil to sear anything. You want Olive oil? Finish your food with it. I.e sear and cook your chicken in grapeseed oil (my favorite), peanut oil or Canola. Then once its cooked drizzle some nice olive oil on it.

To season a pan, you can use a wide array of oils or fats. If your pan is sticking. Turn your pan to high heat. Pour in some oil, take a kitchen towel and quickly rub the oil into the hot skillet. Buff it in there like your shinning your shoes. Then take salt and pour in into the pan, then buff it in just like the oil. The salt removes impurities and kills any bacteria. Wipe out the salt. When soting always buff in a final layer of oil to leave a layer of oil. Just the amount your rag leaves on the pan. If your pan is well seasoned then you may only need to do this once. If its a little under maintained then repeat 2-3 times.

This is a very classic technique, Hope this helps.

28 Bill August 19, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I’m dating a girl that is a vegetarian and so it was necessary for me to find some veggie recipes for her. I called a chef friend of mine and asked for something simple I could do on the grill that she would like and would not be ‘side dishes’. Here is what I did.

Portabelo mushrooms ‘stuffed’ with two kinds of cheese:
Get the large mushrooms which are available at any grocery store. Break off the stem and rinse thoroughly. Coat both sides with good olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt.

Place the mushroom bottom side down and cook about 5-7 minutes. Turn over and put some feta cheese in the resulting bowl. Feta comes as simply natural feta or with other flavors mixed in as well, so you can experiment. Then put cheddar cheese over the top. Cook another 5-7 minutes. The cheddar will melt down and hold it all together.

I don’t like mushrooms, but she thought it was great. I have never seen her eat so much before. This is also great because a lot of vegetarians feels left out at BBQ’s since most of what is cooked on the grill is meat. They don’t get to stand around and see their food being prepared as well. Just be considerate and keep the meat from touching the veggies. They wont appreciate the hamburger juice on their nice stuffed mushrooms.

29 Mark A August 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Excellent article, really appreciate the advocacy of cast iron cookware. One small complaint (a pet peeve really): searing meat does not “seal in the juices,” that is just a popular myth. Searing the meat makes it tasty, finishing in the oven allows the meat to be cooked through without burning. If you only cook something as small as a chop or a chicken breast in the oven, it will be just as juicy as if you seared it, but will not be nearly as tasty.

30 PeterPansDad August 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

We season ours with bacon grease. Olive oil makes the skillet feel sticky.

Wash it? Scrape it with the spatula, use a steel sponge for what you miss, rinse and wipe dry with a paper towel. Warm it on the stove again, cover evenly with a thin layer of grease and you’re done. Store it in the oven.

31 Justin August 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

some of those recipes look rather good but I do have to say butter would be a better base for me to work off of. The only technical note that I would want to add is that many people often throw their trust skillet right onto high heat right away, which isnt the best thing to do for it. Better to slowly heat up the pan before bringing it to your desired temperature. Repeated high temperature shocks will over time cause the pan to warp, which while its not the end of the world, if you have put the investment into a good skillet you might as well follow a simple step to keep it in prime condition for years to come.

Remember a well seasoned skilled is the original non stick pan : )

32 John August 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Nice recipes, and I always enjoy reading how to properly care for cast iron, as it can be tricky if you follow the wrong advice. ^_^ So I am glad for those comments.

I want to throw a hat in for rice makers. They are awesome, making soups, breads, cooking veggies, meat, and so forth. Rice, white or brown, is always great. Throw rice in, frozen corn and peas, maybe some carrots, some pepper, salt, and whatever else you want.. maybe some ginger. Hmmm. Rice makers = King of one pot meals.

33 Justin August 25, 2010 at 10:04 pm

A cast iron casserole dish is another essential man cooking utensil. A simple beef stew with garlic and herb dumplings can be made with no oil at all and leaves lots of leftovers that can be frozen or taken for lunches.

34 Jesse September 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Great post! I just plugged it on my blog. Being of the “female persuasion”, I usually discuss more feminine topics, however I adore this website! It is my go-to place for finding information on how to do something that has left me and my husband stumped!

Now that I’ve gushed, I’ll retreat again so that I don’t interrupt the club ;)

35 Aaron September 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

I’d love to see someone put together an “Art Of Manliness Cookbook”

36 Shefali October 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

These are great! As a woman, I love these recipes, though the portions are too large for me – however, with an accompanying salad they would be great for two. Thank you!

37 Andressa January 7, 2013 at 2:47 am

We make similiar ones each year, but on a sellamr scale; for Hanukkah, instead of those little wax candles that come in a box, we have 9 tiny cups for the menorah. Those, some olive oil, and some floating wicks are all we need for a couple of hours of burning. I never thought about cooking oil acting as a fuel before we switched to those; I’ve thought about making other lamps with olive oil, but never get around to it. We do have a hurricane lamp sitting unused that might work….

38 Jay April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Great article! This actually makes me want to try and cook. Would it be possible to substitue the zucchini and squash with another vegetable for the pork chop dish?

39 James June 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Great article! I’ve decided to try making each of these… So I just made the Shrimp and Chorizo Paella and followed your directions to a T, but mine ended up looking and feeling a lot more “goopy” and brown than the fresh photo. Any way to avoid this? I used some weird sloppy Mexican chorizo in a tube and VIGO seasoned saffron yellow rice… were those where I went wrong?

40 Austin August 24, 2013 at 9:13 am

Great “man recipes” here. I must disagree with your “seasoning” of the cast iron with one trip in the oven. You can’t cheat it like that, it takes time and a lot of cooking to do it properly.

41 Bucolic Buffalo October 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

I like the recipes you suggest. Does anyone know of a substitute for soy sauce? I heard soy products contain xenoestrogen which mimics estrogen in the male body. Major uncool.

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