You’re a modern guy, and the modern guy leads a busy lifestyle. You work, exercise, maintain an active social life, and are undoubtedly involved in some kind of extracurricular activity. From the moment you wake up until you hit the hay, your day is packed. This can often be an excuse to rely on Seamless or Postmates. But takeout gets old, and it’s not always the healthiest. Considering the time you spend caring for your skin, tailoring your appearance, and maintaining your glorious beard, you should be focused on being the best version of yourself. Thus, a truly modern gent should know his way around the kitchen. You don’t need to become a master chef, but men should cook the basics, like these five dishes. Whether it’s simply to feed yourself or impress your guests, these foods will always do the trick.
- Seared Steak
Modern living likely means you live in a city apartment. A city apartment means you don’t have access to a grill. Don’t worry. You can still make the perfect steak on the stove. When you’re at the supermarket, pick a high-quality cut of meat. New York strip steak works well for pan searing. If you’re unsure of exactly which one to buy or feel your local grocery store has limited options, head to the butcher for an expert opinion.
Be sure to use a heavy frying pan and not a non-stick pan. Your seasonings will often be little more than salt, pepper, and olive oil. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook your steak, depending on the level of doneness you desire. It’s a hearty meal that’s easy to prepare.
You can’t forget about breakfast. Pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast men should cook when they want to impress the morning after. Pancake mix is always easy to navigate, but it’s easy to make your own mix too. You’ll need flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and butter. Slowly combine all the elements together and you’ve got your own pancake mix.
The key, whether you buy or make the mix, is to ensure it isn’t too dry or too runny. More flour or mixture makes it drier. More liquid makes it thicker and moist. Pour the mixture into a non-stick pan to your desired size. Cook on one side until tiny holes show through and then flip. Easy breakfast for one (or more).
- Stir fry
Stir fry is one of those simple recipes that doesn’t require a specific set of ingredients. You can improvise as you see fit, and the outcome will always be delicious. Use an oil that can withstand high heat like sesame oil or canola oil. Chop up an assortment of vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and peas. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or a wok. Then toss in your veggies. For extra flavor, add in some soy sauce. You can also chop up a lean meat like chicken breast and throw it in to add protein. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. Always easy, always tasty.
Skip the Five Guys and make your own burger at home. The key to nailing the best burger is the seasoning. At minimum, season your ground beef completely with salt and pepper. Cook it over high heat. Remember that you shouldn’t flip it more than once. And by all means, never squish it down with your spatula. The juices should stay in the burger patty for richness of flavor.
- Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb is a delicacy. It’s that special occasion dish that you’ve likely only had at restaurants. Cooking lamb isn’t all that difficult. The part you’ll need to master is removing the muscle and fat from the bones. It isn’t terribly difficult, but if you don’t feel confident, you can easily buy a “frenched” rack of lamb from your butcher or even the local grocery store.
Regardless of the meal, the occasion, or your mood, it’s important to master a handful of dishes. The modern gent is a juggler of many arts: conversation, career success, grooming, and now cooking.