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What to make for a simple, midwestern guy?

I'm a bi-coastal girl with exotic tastes and a preference for ethnic and very healthy cuisine. Any suggestions for what to make for a self-proclaimed "simple, Midwestern guy"? He likes burgers and eats a lot (too much) fast food ... what can I make that will show him that home cooking can be delicious? I'd like to avoid frying since I don't have a deep fryer. I'm leaning toward traditional "comfort" food ... though I'm not entirely sure what that means ... since my comfort food is sushi!!!

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

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  1. How about really great steak au poivre with a red wine reduction? Sort of fancied up steak and potatoes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: porceluna

      I think this is a great idea. Push the envelope just a bit. Baked potato with "the works", steakhouse style. Maybe some glazed baby carrots or little onions if he hates greens, but I'll bet he wouldn't object to a simple green salad, with ranch dressing of course. The only thing you will have gussied up in the steak, and he probably will love that.

    2. meat loaf and garlic mashed potatoes? would be comforting to me just about now!
      braised short ribs with pappardelle.

      1. A really great pork roast with veggies - then as leftovers, carnitas tacos!

          1. Oh dear, good luck with that. I think maybe a steak, or roast chicken and baked potato or mac and cheese. Avoid green garnishes. A homemade dessert. He probably won't eat any vegetables. Avoid seasonings of any type other than salt and pepper.
            I'd probably stick with beer for the beverage. They tend not to drink red wine, or any wine for that matter.

            Definitely no salads or broccoli.

            The only exception to the above is if he's from Chicago. Then you might be able to get slightly more exotic.

            Now lest you all think I am making this up, I dated a guy from Cleveland who always insisted "nothing green on the plate".

            2 Replies
            1. re: mlgb

              who doesn't like a good roast chicken, with the crrrriiisssssppppy skin!!! yay!

              1. re: mlgb

                Begging your pardon, Miss, but this here smalltown Midwestern downstate Illinois kid grew up eating lots and lots of great salads and fresh green vegetables, as did most of the folks I knew. I imagine city kids were different - pity, that - but we and most of our neighbors had a backyard garden every year, and actually planted something besides tomatoes. My mom's German-style wilted lettuce was deliriously good, and since it required leaf lettuce, which Kroger seldom carried, we always grew at least one row of that...and summer sandwiches and potato salads always came with a leaf or two.

                If he's not a fresh-greens kind of guy, of course, you could always feed him some slow-cooked green beans with bacon and onion, simmered until almost too tender. That'll melt most Midwesterners I know...and they go with everything from pork chops to roast chicken to fish.