Alright dad, it’s time to take off the gloves and put on the mitts because you’re cooking for the family tonight. For many men, the stove is an alien object that belongs in a science fiction movie next to the vacuum cleaner and that weird shaggy broom that people wipe the floors with.
Don’t worry, if you can change the transmission blindfolded while telling your son about the finer points of football, then cooking a family meal shouldn’t be too difficult…right? Never let them see fear in your eyes and follow these steps to a great meal.
Research, Research, Research
It’s your first foray into battle, so don’t try and be fancy. Beef Wellington may look easy on Hell’s Kitchen, but doing it yourself on a whim probably won’t turn out the same. Instead, research quick and easy recipes for main entrees and side dishes. My favorites are pasta and burgers. You don’t need to make your own pasta, so throw a box of pre-made into boiling water and your meal’s half done.
You’ve probably grilled millions of hamburgers through the years, and doing it on the stove is pretty much the same thing without the flavor of charcoal and lighter fluid. For your first time out, simple is better and you can get fancy when there is less of a time crunch.
Cook By the Book
I’m a big fan of experimentation with your food, but when you’re new, it’s best to go by the book. If you’re using a recipe or instructions on a box, then follow them to the letter. Adding more salt or sugar may sound like a good idea at the time, but you don’t know how it will impact the taste and texture. If you want to experiment, then do it on a dessert or when you have the time to mess it up and then do it again.
Remember to Have Fun
When you’re cooking for the first time or trying something new, it’s easy to get worked up and nervous about it. The kids may be pestering you, everything could be going wrong and smoke could be filling the house, but remember that it’s just a meal. If worse comes to worst, you order some pizza and everyone has a good laugh at dad’s cooking folly. If you’re looking for some recipe ideas when you’re cooking for the family, then visit www.dadsthatcook.com/.