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A Metrosexual’s Guide to Bachelorhood – Cooking

January 23, 2015

Introduction

I am a complex creature. I can be a real man’s man; I’m into sport, beer, loud music, red meat and have an eye for the ladies. On the other hand, I enjoy fine wine, ballet & opera, interior design and have what some men might describe as an ‘unhealthy’ interest in shoes. A number of people have been surprised to discover I am strictly hetero and metrosexual is a tag I often get labelled with. I have no problem with any of that. I have two daughters and two de facto two stepsons by virtue of the fact that I live with their mother, to whom I am engaged. All of which clearly makes me not a bachelor.

In my experience, due to something called necessity, there are ways and means of being attractive to women that don’t include;

  • Earning grotesque sums of money
  • Having Brad Pitt’s looks
  • Having the six-pack of a health mag model
  • Being as funny as Lee Mack
  • Rohypnol

Over this easy-to-follow course, I will attempt to impart a little of my hard-earned experience. You can thank me later.

Lesson 1 – Cookery

As Uncle Monty from Withnail & I quite rightly points out, “Cooking is one of the natural instincts.” The camp, old bugger also declares that, “I can never touch meat until it’s cooked. As a youth, I used to weep in butcher shops.”

If you are comfortable with the first quote, then this might be the page for you. If, after reading the second, you find yourself nodding furiously and reaching for your silk hanky, then I don’t think there’s much I can do, apart from suggest that you look at what courses your local YMCA has to offer.

Get Fresh

As a singleton, those microwave meals for one are OK, but bear in mind that my other half calls them ‘sad bastard meals for one’. Nuff said. Should you find yourself in a position where you are cooking for a young lady, you have a golden opportunity to impress, so don’t blow it! You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. It’s bollocks! Because, as we all know, anyone who thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is aiming too high. Only by about six inches, granted, but aiming too high nevertheless. Women on the other hand, like to think they’re princesses. IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO DISPEL THIS MYTH – yours is to reinforce it. You and I might quite justifiably argue that Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall et al do nothing but ponce around the kitchen, throwing a few ingredients into a pan then make the end result look pretty. It’s true, that is all they do. But the girls love it. Put it this way my red-blooded friend, would you eat anything of Nigella’s? Of course you would.

Meat

Steak is great. Everyone loves a good piece of meat. (If you are unfortunate enough to have picked up a veggie, my best advice is to get rid. ASAP.) It takes seconds to cook and oozes opulence. It also oozes blood if you don’t let it rest, so take heed. If you must have chips with it, make your own or better still, new potatoes. Add butter, salt and pepper and crush them.

Fish & Shellfish

Fish have bones. No one likes an unwanted bone, so unless you’re an expert with a pair of tweezers, (and I’m guessing that if you’re reading this and taking notes you’re not) steer clear. With shellfish, as with everything else in life, size does matter. Langoustines look like little lobsters and taste great with nothing more than mayo, lemon and bread. You cook them whole and rip their heads and claws off and peel the shells. It’s a primeval thing and it’s sexy. It’s messy and shows that you’re good with your fingers. Buy your prawns raw. You can tell when they’re cooked because they change colour from grey to orangey-pink. Remember to de-vein them first though. On the belly side of the prawn is a dark line that runs the length of its body. Cut it out with a knife. It’s not a vein at all. It’s the animal’s digestive tract; its poo. And if a prawn is able to determine something as ‘waste product’, I sure as eggs is free-range eggs ain’t gonna put it in my mouth.

Veg

Man cannot live on meat and carbs alone. Neither can she. Don’t overcook it – you’re not your grandmother. Even the humble broccoli can be spiced up if parboiled for a couple of minutes then stir fried with lemon juice and chilli flakes. Parsnips are reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Asparagus is too – it looks like it should be – so don’t let it go limp. And remember – always butter your veg.

Salad

Cheat. You’re going to have to bite the bullet here eventually, even if you don’t like salad – and let’s face it, no one actually likes salad. She might claim to, but eating it is only designed to make her feel better about herself. And ultimately the size of her bottom. But salad does have an air of sophistication about it, warranted or not. Pre-packed from the supermarket is OK here, but make sure you have some kind of dressing for it. Balsamic is trendy. That ought to convince her you know what you’re doing. However, beware. Caesar salads are much more expensive to buy as a pack than DIY. Buy the dressing, and iceberg lettuce. Chop the lettuce. Job jobbed. Croutons? OK, make some toast – please tell me you can make toast? Good. Shallow fry cubes of toast. Job jobbed. Fancy showing off? Add cubes of bacon and avocado. Gets the juices flowing doesn’t it?

Signature Dish

Everyone has one thing they do well. Pick something, and practice until it’s edible. Then practice until it looks good. Paella is a good one. Ham, egg and chips isn’t – well it is, but only for advanced metro-gastronauts and we’re not at that stage just yet.

Ultimately she will appreciate the effort, even if you’re never going to win Masterchef. Well, it’s either that or carry on with the sad bastard meals for one.

Next time – Shoes: What constitutes and unhealthy obsession?

@devilsaardvark

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