Saturday, 31 May 2014

Lentil roast

This one is for those of you that want to get on, or are already on, a vegetarian. Hopefully she's not one of those - hairy armpits, no washing, walks everywhere barefoot vegetarians. But hey, whatever floats your boat, dude - I'm not here to judge. Just to help you get laid through food. 

I actually can't take credit for this one as it's my Dad's recipe. The first time I was told I was having this for dinner I quickly reached into my pocket to check if I had enough change to buy a Big Mac meal afterwards. Surprisingly it actually turned out to be awesome and is now one of the highlights of visits up to Scotland to see him. 

I'm not going to lie to you dude, this one takes some time but if your girl is a veggie then you will very quickly be made to realise that all of the hard work was worth it when she's scrabbling at your clothes trying to get her hands on your [insert vegetable = penis metaphor here].

How it's done

As I said, there is a bit of work and a few ingredients involved in this one but it is worth it believe me; even for you all-out carnivores out there. 
  • 250g red lentils (dry)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • A few bay leaves
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tablespoons dried whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 90g fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 250g grated mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 leek
  • 125g mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
First thing to do is get the oven on 190C. Next, get the lentils, stock and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring this to the boil, cover it and simmer for around 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are soft. While that's working away, get 4 ramekins (ask the Mrs) and grease with the butter before sprinkling with the dried, not fresh, breadcrumbs. 

Next, chop up the leek, mushrooms and parsley and stick in a bowl with the grated cheese and fresh breadcrumbs. When the lentils are cooked, pour them into the bowl along with the lemon juice and the eggs. Season the whole thing really well with salt and pepper before transferring the whole mixture into the ramekins. When you fill each ramekin, drop it onto your work surface to get the air out (not from too high though you bell-end). Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over, and stick them into the oven on a baking tray for an hour.

That's pretty much it. When they come out of the oven, slide a knife down the sides of the ramekin to loosen each portion before sticking onto a plate with whatever you are pairing this with - in this case its my Dad's awesome roast potatoes. Most 'chefs' would scoff at this but honestly, get some ketchup involved and you are onto a winner!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Chicken and spinach pasta with toasted pine nuts

Firstly let me apologise for the short break away but what can I say, I've been enjoying the fruits of my labour... I don't just say this stuff for fun guys, this shit works! I've still been cooking, but just haven't been able to take shots and get things written - I promise to be better if you'll stick with me!

This one is something I put together a few years ago and still gets a great reaction when I pull it out of the bag. It's perfect (if you ignore the bacon lardons that I snuck into this version) for when the Mrs is on a diet and you need protein for your gym regime. With the pine nuts and spinach, I've also thrown in a few superfoods as well. Aren't you lucky?!

There's a lot of ingredients going on here but they all combine to make something awesome - mark my words. 

How it's done

If she (and/or you) are on a health kick then it might be best to leave the lardons out but, since I'm not and think they add a nice amount of flavour, I didn't.
  • Pine nuts
  • Chicken fillets
  • Bacon lardons (your call)
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry or plum tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Spinach
  • Whole wheat spaghetti
This is all pretty straightforward. The first thing you have to do is toast the pine nuts in a DRY pan. Dry means dry guys, no oil or anything required. Literally get a frying pan on a medium heat and throw them in. Keep giving them a toss and after a couple of minutes they will start to brown. Once they go, the go quickly so keep an eye on them. Once they have some colour, get them out of the pan and into a bowl for later. At this point stick the spaghetti into some boiling water with a bit of olive oil to keep it separated. Leave that going whilst you do the rest.

Next, dice up the onion and mushrooms and lob them into a large frying pan (or wok) with the garlic, which should be crushed or finely chopped, and some olive oil. Fry for a few minutes or until the onions get soft and then throw in the diced chicken breast.

Keep this awesome little mixture cooking until the chicken is cooked through. At this point add the tomatoes which you will have halved. They will start to soften and break up to create a little bit of a sauce. Next add in a shit load of spinach. It will fill the pan and you will freak out, but it will wilt into next to nothing very quickly. 

When the spinach has wilted, add a large lug of balsamic vinegar and a dash of nutmeg. Cannot believe I just used the word dash. Moving on quickly... Leave everything in the pan to cook down and reduce for a few minutes.

Drain and plate the spaghetti before adding the chicken and spinach mixture on top. Throw on the toasted pine nuts and you are golden. If you happen to be fancy like me and have some balsamic glaze then great but it's not a necessity. Enjoy...


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Chocolate and walnut brownies

OK you've waited long enough, this is it - the lady killer. Nobody can resist these brownies - I've even had people who are allergic to chocolate risk anaphylactic shock to eat one of them. If you're looking to seal any sort of deal with the Mrs - a night out with the boys, some Xbox playing time or being able to do that thing that you always want to do in the bedroom but that she never lets you do - this is the way to do it.

Super easy to make, these brownies are the perfect mix of slightly crunchy top and moist, gooey centre. And, just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you discover a chocolate chunk or a bit of walnut just to make it the whole experience even more satisfying.

How it's done

This is another one of those recipes that comes out looking and tasting like it requires some level of skill but is, in fact, ridiculously easy. You will need to get your hands on a rectangular or square baking tin. If you can't find one, and can't be arsed to wash up, you can buy the foil disposable roasting trays from the supermarket and just bin it when you're done.

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 300g light muscovado sugar
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 150g milk or white chocolate (either the bags of chips or bars cut into chunks)
  • A handful of walnuts
Turn on the oven to 190C. Get the butter cut up into chunks and put in a large pan over a low heat. When it has all melted, throw in the sugar and mix well. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and salt into the pan and stir thoroughly, taking it off the heat. This will be a pretty dry mixture but don't stress about it!

In another bowl whisk the eggs and vanilla extract, and then add to the pan. Mix it all up into an awesome, chocolatey mess. Lob in the chocolate chunks and walnuts and stir quickly before sticking into the middle of the oven for 22-26 minutes. It should come out with a hard looking top but with a slight wobble underneath. If you stick a knife in and it comes out with a bit of the mixture on it then you're golden.

I have a feeling I'm going to be owed a lot of beer tokens when you guys see the results this will get you with the ladies. Maybe I should set up a PO box or something?

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Sticky honey and soy pork

Sweet and sticky are the two words that best describe this dish, one that was borne out of not having a lot of ingredients available to me one day. I've never been a fan of pork, unless it's in bacon or ham form, and my heart fell when the housemate brought some home one evening expecting me to do something amazing with it. I came up with this and, suffice to say, it was awesome. 

Trust me when I say that the woman in your life, or the one you want in your life, will not be able to resist you once you've put this in front of her. It's the sort of meal that leaves her eyes rolling in pleasure and emitting sounds that will have the neighbours wondering what the hell you're doing to her.

How it's done

I like to serve this with a sweet potato mash so if you want to do that then the first thing you've got to do is get them peeled and cut into small cubes. Get them in a pan with some salt and boil for around 15 minutes or until mashable. 

You can use whatever sort of pork you like (just adjust the cooking time to suit) but for this I like to use a nice slab of boneless loin. A medium thickness pork loin will take about 10 minutes to do so make sure you get your timings right. I also added some broccoli here but enough of the hand holding, make your own fucking decision about what you have with it. For two people you need:
  • 2 boneless loins
  • Some olive oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Chilli powder 
  • A clove of garlic
Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper and then add to a frying pan that is already hot and contains lug of olive oil. Depending on the thickness of your loin (that was a difficult phrase to type) you'd want to cook this for about 4-5 minutes on the first side. Crush in the garlic clove when the first side of pork has about a minute left and then turn the loins over. 

At this point throw in equal measures of the honey and soy (probably around 3 tablespoons of each depending on how much sauce you want - believe me it's so good that you'll want a decent amount). Sprinkle over a pinch of chilli powder and move the loins around in the pan to combine the sauce ingredients, then leave it bubbling away for 5-6 minutes. 

The sauce will start to bubble up and the smell will be immense. As it starts to caramelise, just turn the loins over so each side is nicely coated. At this point you can leave the pork for a minute to make your mash. I love to finely chop up some fresh rosemary and add it to the sweet potato before mashing, along with a knob of butter. Perfect. 

Get the loins out of the pan and onto the plate before drizzling over the remaining sauce and there you have it, a dish that will have her begging for more both in the kitchen and upstairs. Unless you live in a bungalow which, if you do, you need more help than my recipes can give my friend...

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Apple and walnut cake

Yes dudes, we're back to baking again - but this one is a real doozy of a cake. Perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon when you're stuck in the house - whoever you're baking for is sure to go crazy for this cake and you'll be using up brownie points you accrue for days. It's up to you how you want to cash them in - just don't waste them!

The house smells incredible as this baby is cooking, and the apple and cinnamon combo with the crunch of the walnuts is amazing. It's so good that I almost used the word 'divine' there but found the last remaining smidge of my masculinity and turned it around. That was a close call. Just hold on a sec whilst I head outside and wrestle a bear...

How it's done

Another nice and easy cake, this is really just a 'chuck in, stir and stick in the oven' kind of a deal. I've used a loaf tin but you can make this in whatever shaped cake tin you can lay your hands on.

  • 2 small apples, cored
  • Large handful of walnuts, chopped
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Get the oven on to 180C. Take the apples, slice them up nice and thinly into small pieces and put them to one side. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl before breaking in the eggs and adding the apples and walnuts. Mix into a chunky mixture. 

Add in the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and mix. Tip the mixture into your loaf or cake tin and stick into the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes. To check if the cake is done, put a sharp knife in through the middle and if it comes out clean then you're good to go. 

Serve a slice of this to the Mrs with a cup of tea and sit back with a nice, smug look on your face as you await your reward. 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Ebi Raisukaree (or prawn, coconut, lime and coriander curry)

Time to spice things up a little bit - definitely in the kitchen, and hopefully in the bedroom afterwards. This was a recipe passed on from a friend as it was his favourite meal at Wagamama, that I've amended to my taste. I genuinely cannot tell you how freaking good it is, you'll just have to make it to understand. It has everything - big juicy king prawns, a hint of heat from the curry paste and chilli which is then soothed by the freshness of the lime and coriander. 

This is another super easy dish that looks and tastes like it requires a lot more effort than it actually does. Perfect for a romantic night in, or for when you have someone round for the first time hoping to set the mood for some action later on. 

How it's done

Get your hands on all of the lovely fresh ingredients listed below and get cracking. This one is all about doing things in the right order and is extremely straightforward. 
  • Uncooked king prawns (about 400g) 
  • 2 teaspoons of red Thai curry paste
  • A jar of coconut milk
  • Half an onion
  • Clove of garlic
  • A red chilli
  • A lime
  • Half a chicken stock cube
  • A tablespoon of fish sauce
  • Bunch of fresh coriander
  • White rice
Let's get all of the prep out of the way. The first thing you need to do is dice up the onion, the chilli (without the seeds) and the garlic. The next part is relatively fiddly and can have you ending up with sliced up fingers if you're not careful. You need to butterfly the prawns which means making an incision down the length of the back of it, about halfway deep. It's a little bit time consuming but it means that the prawns will fan out when cooked and look the absolute mutt's nuts. Now you're all set to get cooking.

Get the rice on now. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and give it a stir to get the water moving. Keep stirring as you throw in the rice and then don't touch it again until it is cooked - normally about 15-18 minutes. Next, get a wok set up on a medium heat and throw in the curry paste. Stir it until you can really smell it cooking, but not burning, and then add in the prawns, onion, chilli and garlic and stir fry until the prawns have turned pink and opened up. Now pour in the coconut milk and turn the heat down.

Crumble up half of the the chicken stock cube and throw it in along with the fish sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Next chop up a nice big load of the coriander and throw that in. At the same time squeeze half of the lime into the wok and stir. Leave this all cooking for another 5 minutes and then serve on top of your beautiful, fluffy rice with a lime wedge and a sprinkling of chopped coriander. Beautiful.

If she's not impressed by this then kick her out on her arse and just leave the front door open for five minutes. Once the smell of this dish gets out onto the street you'll have them queueing up outside your door.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Parmesan and parsley crusted salmon

This is the recipe to make you look like a legend. It looks the nuts, tastes amazing and is so easy to make you won't believe it. When I talk about dishes requiring minimum effort but getting maximum reward, this is the epitome of that. She will be begging you for more - in both the kitchen and the bedroom. What exactly are you waiting for?

Whether you've invited her over for the first time or are looking to impress someone you already live with, there is no chance they won't go weak at the knees at this. That's a Food For Fellas guarantee. Unless you either a) fuck it up (that's on you) or b) serve it to someone who hates salmon... Watch her eyes light up as you serve this up, safe in the knowledge that it was an absolute piece of piss. The crispy topping looks incredible sitting on top of a beautiful cream cheese with hints of garlic and lemon combining brilliantly above a perfectly cooked piece of salmon. Even I'm getting turned on just writing about it. 

How it's done

Easily - in a word. It seems like a lot of prep but it really isn't. When making this version for the blog, I paired it with some beautifully roasted new potatoes and green beans. If you want to do exactly what you see here then get some new potatoes and slice them in half. Lob them into a roasting dish with a good lug of olive oil, lots of salt and some fresh rosemary sprigs. Mix it all up with your hands so every potato is covered in oil and stick in the oven on 200C for 50 minutes. 
  • Two pieces of salmon fillet (skinned and boned - the wider, flatter fillets are best)
  • A tub of cream cheese
  • Garlic
  • A lemon
  • Fresh breadcrumbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • A bunch of fresh parsley
  • Smoked paprika
First things first. Lightly grease a baking tray or roasting dish (or stick down some greaseproof paper - your call). Season the salmon lightly on both sides and stick the fillets onto the tray. Tip about half of the tub of cream cheese into a bowl and crush one garlic clove into it before finely grating in half of the lemon rind and mixing. Spread this awesome mixture on top of the salmon.

Next, in another bowl, throw in some breadcrumbs and the grated parmesan and mix. Then chop up some parsley and throw that in as well. Take a good long sniff of the bowl. Smell that? That's success my friend, right there. Liberally top both pieces of salmon with the breadcrumb mixture along with a dusting of the smoked paprika and put them in the oven when the potatoes have around 25 minutes of cook time remaining. When you open the oven to put the salmon in, get the potatoes out and give them a shake or move them around with a spatula to get an even cook. You now got 25 minutes to get ready for the night of your life.

Don't be a dick and ruin all of your hard work by making the whole thing look crap on the plate! Be very careful when you get the salmon out because it will break up very easily and look shit. Pair this with a delicious, fruity white wine and you are on to a winner. Food For Fellas - the gift that keeps on giving. Please share this post and if you end up making it, let us know how you get on. 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Marble cake

Now I know I said in a previous post that I don't really work to strict measurements but today I have a lady-slayer of a cake for you that does require the remembering of one magic number - 225. Got it? Then let's begin.

Marble cake is a classic, retro cake that always impresses because it looks like its really hard to make when it is, in fact, a piece of piss. It's a basic cake batter recipe, split in two and mixed all fancy like. As I've said previously, don't feel like you're losing your masculinity each time you even think about baking a cake - women love them and you are becoming more potent just by reading this blog post. Can you feel it?

My test case in this instance is my flatmate, a single white female of a similar age to me. All I had to do was merely show her the uncooked batter in the cake tin and she was running to her room to pick out a clean pair of underwear. Whilst the cake was in the oven, every time she caught a whiff of that half-cooked cake smell she'd emit a groan that is usually reserved for the bedroom. Women LOVE cake. 

How it's done

So, back to the magic number. 225 is the number of grams you need of each of the core cake batter ingredients - flour, butter and sugar. The rest of the ingredients are nice and easy to get hold and in fact, you probably already have most of them lying around.

  • 225g of butter (this should be left out at room temperature for a while to soften)
  • 225g caster sugar (if you don't have any caster, just use granulated)
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Tablespoon of vanilla extract or flavouring
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk

This really is dead simple. Firstly, get the oven on to 180C or 160C if it's fan-forced. Grease a cake tin using a folded up piece of kitchen paper and some of the softened butter. Cream together the butter and sugar. If you can lay your hands on the Mrs' mixer or hand blender this will be a hell of a lot easier, but if you'd rather be all tough then by all means mix by hand with a wooden spoon. Crack in the eggs one at a time and mix well after each one. Finally, throw in the flour, vanilla extract and milk and mix all together until smooth.

Here's where the magic happens. Move half of the mixture into a separate bowl and add the cocoa powder. Mix that in until you have the same consistency as the other batter and now it's time to bring out the artist in you. Use two spoons to dollop in one batter after another into the cake pan. Once all the mixture is in and you can't see the bottom of the tin, grab a knife and swirl the mixture around to make a pretty pattern - how butch do you feel right now?

Stick the cake in the middle of the oven for 50-55 minutes. The way to check if a cake is fully cooked is to take a skewer or a knife and put it in the centre all the way to the bottom, if it comes out clean then you're good to go. Leave the cake in the pan until cooled (don't be impatient!) before taking it out and serving it to the Mrs with a cup of tea. Honestly you will be in the good books for days with this one and all for 15 minutes worth of baking. Good times...

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Strawberry and banana smoothie

So anyone who's anyone knows that smoothies are the shit at the moment. Women on a health craze love them, meatheads in the gym love them - everyone loves them. Naturally, being the sheep that I am, I had to get involved and was straight down the shops to spend twenty quid on one of these fancy smoothie-to-go machines knowing full well it would just be a fad. How wrong I was.

Smoothies are awesome. They take seconds to make, taste delicious and people are always impressed when you make them one; hence their inclusion here. Perfect for replacing lost energy after a hectic night in the bedroom, or building stamina ready for the next session - smoothies are magical.

This is the start of a series of smoothie posts to help you whip up a delicious and (usually) healthy drink for the lady's breakfast to go, mid-morning snack or just a random 'here you go love' effort for those extra brownie points (again, the brownie recipe is coming, hold your horses!).

We're starting off with your basic, classic strawberry and banana smoothie. Dirt cheap but delicious. 

How it's done

Most most fruit-based smoothies will have two key ingredients - a banana and some form of fruit juice. You can mix and match to your heart's content but I've gone with Pink Lady apple juice (because I'm a posh twat) for this one. Literally all you do is take what's shown in the photo and lob it in the juicer - easy as. Slice up the banana, same with the strawberries (don't leave the green tops on though you bell-end), throw in some low or no fat Greek yoghurt and the juice of your choosing before blitzing the shit out of it.

In case you're wondering what the weird powder stuff is - that is your magic weapon. Superfood powder. Available online or in most health food shops; she will be impressed that you've gone to the effort to find her something so good for her body and you will see the benefits in the gym. Boom!

Check back soon for more smoothie variations and feel free to share your own. P.S. check out the wolf dog in the photos - every man should have one of these. Try walking down the street with her and not get stopped by every woman asking for a stroke...

If you're interested, the machine I use is the Morphy Richards Easy Blend. It's only small so fits perfectly in the kitchen cupboard full of crap in between that popcorn machine and the bread maker. It comes with two beakers with screw on lids - perfect for sticking in the gym bag or in the Mrs' lunch bag with a beautifully written note about how this smoothie shows how much you love her which, if she is able to read between the lines, actually means you're expecting some loving when she gets home for being so thoughtful. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Pumpkin and cottage cheese muffins

So apparently real men don't bake. Well let me tell you, those that want to get noshed off on a regular basis should. Girls go weak at the knees for a dude that knows his way around a whisk and some self raising flour. If you don't have anyone at home to impress with baked goods then be sure to make it for the folk in the office. Sarah from Accounts won't be able to resist you once she's put that moist, rich brownie in her mouth. That's not a euphemism, I actually do have an awesome brownie recipe coming up but slow down cowboy, you aren't quite ready for that yet.

What you are ready for is these awesome, fluffy and easy as shit to make pumpkin and cottage cheese muffins. What's great about these is, if you get the right ingredients (i.e. the low fat cottage cheese) they are healthy so not only have you cured her snack desire, but you are supporting her current healthy eating phase - which is basically an ongoing cycle of saying they're going to eat healthy, eating rabbit food for a week and then giving up.

These are another minimal effort recipe that will get the results you want in no time. Fifteen minutes worth of preparation time will result in hours of fun in the sack for sure.

How it's done

Grab yourself the following ingredients, this should be enough for 12 muffins. You do need to dig out the muffin tray though - every house has one but you might need to get your head right into the back of that never opened cupboard to find it. 

  • Olive oil
  • An onion
  • Some fresh rosemary
  • 300g self raising flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250g cottage cheese (low fat if you're out to impress)
  • Around 250g grated pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 250ml milk
  • A couple of eggs that you've beaten
  • Some pumpkin seeds for decoration (come on, you've already started baking, there's no going back now...)

This is all very simple, get the oven on at 180C before dicing up the onion and frying in the olive oil for around five minutes. Chop up the rosemary and throw that in for the final 30 seconds. Are you getting that awesome smell? That's it my friend, you're cooking!

Put the onion and rosemary into a large bowl and then chuck the flour, salt and grated pumpkin in and mix. In a different bowl mix the eggs, cottage cheese and milk and then add to the pumpkin mixture. The trick with this recipe is not to mix things too well - you want a lumpy mixture so only stir this all up until it is just combined. 

Grease the muffin tin (just get some oil on a folded up bit of kitchen roll and rub each muffin hole so they are nice and lubed) and split out the mixture evenly between the 12. Throw a few pumpkin seeds on top of each and get them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once you pull them out just leave them in the tray to cool and once they have, just give them a little twist and they should pull right out, ready to be put on a tray and into the willing mouth of your beloved. 

You are welcome my friend.