Men Who Cook (cont.)

Even if your guy cook isn't a novice, these tips are useful. Frankly, we all need to hear this again and again:

  • Before starting to cook and after handling raw meat or fish, wash hands and lower arms thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Really clean under your nails and around your fingertips. It might be best to remove rings and watches before washing. Wash your hands again after touching your face or hair, garbage, raw meats, or your pet.
  • If you have a cut on your hands, it's best to wear rubber gloves, even if you have a bandage over the cut.
  • When you use a utensil to stir or flip raw or partially cooked meats (or other perishable foods), use another, clean utensil once the food is cooked.
  • Keep raw meats away from your fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Keep your raw meat package in a plastic bag from the store. Make sure meat juices can't drip on other foods in your shopping cart, in your bag of groceries, or in your refrigerator.
  • Do not leave raw or cooked perishable foods out at room temperature for more than one hour. This includes foods left marinating at room temperature.
  • It's safest to cool deep pots of food, like stew or chili, as fast as possible by setting the container in an ice-water bath. The level of ice water on the outside of the pot should match up with the food on the inside of the pot. You can also cool the mixture faster by pouring it into two or three shallow dishes.
  • Recipes for Men Who Cook

    Here are a couple of simple, man-friendly recipes to help get your guy cooking.

    Lean, Mean Bronco Burger

    4 tablespoons canned chopped Ortega peppers
    1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin (usually around 6% to 10% fat)
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons barbecue sauce (your choice of brand)
    2 tablespoons minced onion
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    4 whole wheat or whole grain hamburger buns
    4 slices pepper Jack cheese (any cheese can be substituted)

    • Preheat grill (indoor or outdoor) for high heat. Add Ortega peppers, ground sirloin, black pepper, barbecue sauce, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder to a large bowl. Use your hands or a dinner fork to mix it all together well.
    • Divide beef mixture into four balls, then flatten into patties (about 3/4-inch thick).
    • Grill or pan-fry burgers for about 4-5 minutes per side or until done to your liking. If pan-frying, use a nonstick frying pan or skillet and coat both sides of the burger lightly with canola cooking spray.
    • Remove burgers from the grill or frying pan to serving plate and top immediately with desired cheese. Place buns on grill or in toaster oven to toast, if desired.
    • Assemble burger by adding the cheese topped burgers to the toasted buns.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Per serving: (using reduced-fat cheese and without adding salt): 440 calories, 40 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 19 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 67 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 637 mg sodium. Calories from fat, 39%.

    Soy Sweet Pork Chops

    4 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons bottled hoisin sauce
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    2 tablespoons honey
    4 one-inch thick, center-cut pork chops, trimmed of visible fat

    • Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, and honey to a small mixing bowl and whisk to blend well. Pour into a resealable, gallon-size bag and add the pork chops.
    • Set bag in large bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to one day.
    • Preheat broiler or grill. Remove pork chops from marinade and set onto the grill plate, or, if broiling, set chops in a 9x9-inch foil-lined baking dish. Broil or grill about 4 minutes, then turn chops over and continue cooking until pork is just cooked throughout (about 5 minutes more.)

    Yield: 4 servings

    Per serving: 300 calories, 43 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 116 mg cholesterol, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 373 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

    Published June 8, 2007.


    SOURCE: Lesley Stiles, chef and community relations director, Contra Costa Certified Farmer's Markets, Northern California.

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