If you’re anything like me, then cooking for someone is definitely an act of giving. And now that we’ve officially reached “the season for giving,” I can think of nothing better to give someone special than some home-cooked food. This is a rich topic, and one that never fails to fascinate me. So I’m curious, what foods do you like to cook for someone else… and specifically, for those of the male species?
That is the focus of one of my favorite food idols, Lucinda Scala Quinn‘s latest book, Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys. And I’m giving away ten copies of this hot-off-the-shelf hardcover to the first bloggers who post a recipe in honor of its theme. That’s right — just write a blog post with a recipe that you think is dude-worthy and explain why, and post it by December 15, 2009. Be sure to write to me as soon as you do (cathy[at]noteatingoutinny.com), and the first ten of you will receive a copy just in time for holiday-giving. Also, please mention in your post, somewhere, that you’re doing this for the Mad Hungry book giveaway on Not Eating Out in New York. (We like to spread the word around.) I can’t wait to see what you make, and I’m sure Lucinda will love to see the recipes, too. Can you be a guy, and still enter this contest by blogging? Absolutely! Make something that you think your gender would like the most — hey, you should know the best.
As the only XX chromosome among an immediate family of three sons and a husband, Lucinda has cooked for men and boys, a lot. That guys eat differently than chicks is not something to send chills down us liberated womens’ spines, in her opinion — it’s a fact of life. They’re mad hungry. Lucinda also knows that food isn’t meant to be simply stuffed down the throat, either; it should nourish, entertain and enrich a person’s day and overall experience. But when someone is running out the door and needs to be stuffed, and quickly, she has a lifetime of experience’s worth of tips on how to do that efficiently, while making a meal still memorable. We’ve all heard the old adage, “the secret ingredient is love,” but if you’re in need of some ideas for actual, tangible dishes to fold your love into, then there are some really good ones in this book.
Incidentally, today I got to sit down with two guys and chat about what they would cook for chicks if they had to create the perfect “date meal.” This is a favorite question of mine for all guests on Cheap Date, my Heritage Radio Network podcast show. It was put to two members of the folksy, bluesy Brooklyn band, The Dirty Urchins. Bennet (upright bass, backup vocals) freestyled an incredible-sounding five-course menu starting with a cheese plate, a lentil salad, seared fish, and some sort of quinoa side tossed in there, followed by a chocolately dessert. (WOW!) David (guitar, tenor sax, vocals) suggested something really messy, like ribs which you have to “get all in there with your hands.” (HOT.) Amazingly, these guys both said that they would prefer to cook the date meal themselves rather than take their ladies to a restaurant. (You see, Brooklyn is really becoming my kind of town.)
So now that I’m tickled by these culinary suggestions pleasing to the female species, let’s take a look at some ideas for the guys! Remember to email me when you blog your Mad Hungry giveaway entry, and the deadline to post is December 15th. Come on, make your men proud (or just stuffed). And just for fun, here’s one recipe from my archives that I think might be a good fit for feeding men and boys, especially at this time of the year. It’s a recipe for the French country casserole, cassoulet, which I made with beans, ham hocks and apples to add a little sweetness to all that salt. I actually made a similar cassoulet recently for a room full of guys (and one girl), and it was heartily received. Now blog away!