Not to perpetuate a stereotype or anything, but most men I know don’t cook. In fact, I was surprised to learn my friend Dan had a garlic press, much less even knew what a garlic press was. This got me wondering if the stereotype that men can’t cook is true. Although I rarely saw my dad cook when I was growing up, he did make a mean Belgian waffle and great sunny-side-up eggs. An ex-boyfriend knew how to make his own hummus, although his diet consisted mainly of beer and delivery pizza. When I asked one of my male co-workers if he knew how to cook, he said, “I know how to cook. I just don’t.”An epiphany! It’s not that guys CAN’T cook, it’s just that they DON’T cook, for whatever reason. I think the main reason is that it takes too long. Most of the men I know, if they don’t have someone cooking for them, will eat mainly fast food, frozen dinners, Ramen or sandwiches. A college friend’s idea of dinner was canned spaghettiOs on a slice of white bread. A guy once asked me, “Why would you want to spend more time making something than actually eating it?” So goes the male brain, I guess.But grilling is a totally different story. Men like to think they are kings of the coal, masters of their propane. Which fits in with my theory, since grilling is one of the quickest ways to cook something (besides nuking it), and grilling is often associated with a typical male food: MEAT. When I lived with my parents, if my dad was on his own for dinner, he would slap a T-bone on the grill. Even in the winter. He’d wash the whole thing down with a big glass of milk, and his dinner was complete.From burgers to fish to vegetables, almost anything can be grilled. And women can grill, too, if they can wrestle the spatula away from a guy. Anyone can grill – it’s as easy as lighting a gas or charcoal grill (be careful not to get too close to the grill when lighting; you may lose an eyebrow). Grilling is great for singles because you can make single portions (i.e. one fish fillet) and it’s fast, for people on the run.I have to say, guys might have it right. Grilling is the way to go.Grilled shrimp kebobs 1 pound jumbo shrimp 13 cup medium-dry white wine 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon soy sauce 12 teaspoon prepared horseradish 13 teaspoon garlic powder cherry tomatoes 1 onion, cut into bite sized wedges 1 small zucchini, cut into coins mushrooms Bell peppers, cut into bite-sized wedges Peel and de-vein shrimp. Combine wine, lemon juice, soy sauce, horseradish, and garlic powder. Pour over shrimp, cover and marinate in refrigerator for several hours. On each of four long skewers thread three shrimp, alternating them with cherry tomatoes, onion wedges, mushrooms, zucchini and bell peppers. Grill over medium to hot coals for 2-3 minutes on each side, just until shrimp is cooked through.Makes 4 servings.- Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods.Barbecued ribs 6 pounds pork ribs 1 tablespoon barbecue meat seasoning 1 (16-ounce) bottle barbecue sauceIf using charcoal, pile the charcoal in a pyramid. Ignite the charcoal with lighter fluid. Once the top portion of the charcoal has turned white, spread the charcoal out evenly using a fireproof tool such as a metal rake or shovel. Spread the coals over half of the bottom of the grill, leaving the other half empty. (If using a gas grill, only ignite one side of the burners.) Evenly spread the meat seasoning over both sides of the ribs. Let stand in the refrigerator unless using right away. Place the ribs over the area where there is no charcoal or the side of the grill that is not hot. Cover and turn every 20 minutes for approximately 1 to 112 hours. For the last 10 minutes of cooking, baste ribs with the barbecue sauce and cover again. Turn the ribs over and baste again. Do this every 2 minutes. While on grill, cut the ribs up individually and baste one last time.- Brooks BarbecueLemon-ginger grilled chicken (pictured above)4 tablespoons lemon zest23 cup lemon juice4 teaspoons ginger, peeled and minced4 teaspoons light brown sugar, firmly packed1 tablespoon peanut oil1 tablespoon salt, or to taste4 Szechwan chili peppers, dried, seeds removed3 pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinlessCombine the lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, brown sugar, oil, salt and chilies in a Ziplock plastic bag. Add the chicken, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag; turn to coat the chicken. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 15 minutes.Lightly coat the chicken and grill with oil. Preheat the grill. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Makes 8 servings.- The Associated PressGrilled hamburgers 20-24 ounces ground chuck Salt and pepper to taste 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce Few drops hot pepper sauce, optional Ice shavings (for rare burgers) 4 hamburger buns Ketchup, optional 8 thin slices of Vidalia, Spanish or red onion, optional 8 thin slices tomato, optional 12 slices kosher dill pickle, optional Preheat grill. Mix meat with salt and pepper, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce, if used. Shape mixture into 4 patties no more than 1-inch thick. For extra-rare burgers, make an opening on the edge of the burger and stuff a few ice shavings inside. Grill burgers 6 inches away from heat 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until patties reach degree of desired doneness. Grill bread 30 seconds or so, to warm it, then spread ketchup on buns’ flat side. Place burgers on top. Cover if desired, with onion, tomato, pickles. Top with rounded bun half. Makes 4 servings- The Stamford Advocate
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