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ISO man-pleasing dinner recipes, please!

The new hubby is the cook between us (I'm the baker)... but some days he works long hours and I'd like to whip him up a yummy dinner from time to time... would love any no-fail, man-pleasing meals. He loves garlic, cilantro, tomatoes... not opposed to heat.... likes things fairly healthy (ie: not fried)... anything come to mind?

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  1. how about a ratatouille with some chicken or blackened fish.

    blackened fish done in parchment along with some roasted veggies and sweet potato is a simple hearty healthy fare.

    lean meatloaf with mashed potatoes or cauliflower.

    chili (w/ or w/ meat and/or beans) and some cornbread or crusty sourdough

    soup and sammy - tomato with grilled cheese,

    chicken or beef or veggie fajitas in soft or hard taco shells, topped with salsa, sour cream, avocado and raw and roasted cilantro

    Roasted Garlic chicken with veggies

    Brisket studded with garlic cloves

    i'm sure he'll be glad to have a loving meal prepared whatever it may be!

    1. Steak (pref. ribeye) served with garlic mashed potatoes and some roasted tomatoes drizzled with EVOO and chopped cilantro.

      4 Replies
        1. re: The Oracle

          Grill (outdoors), or pan sear roasting (indoors).

          If indoors, get your cast iron pan smoking hot (as hot as you can get it; you can do this by preheating your oven to 600F or as high as it can go, and sticking your pan in it). Then sear the steak with the cast iron pan on each side for about 1 or so minutes (depending on thickness of steak, normally I have at least a 1.5 inch or more ribeye). Then finish off in a preheated oven at 400F for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Voila, perfect medium rare steak.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            THANK YOU!!!!! That's perfect. Oven only goes up to 500 degrees - never would have thought to heat it up in the oven - how long do you typically keep the pan in that hot oven prior to placing the meat on it?

            (hey, what happened to your happy face?!)

            1. re: The Oracle

              Once the oven is preheated to 500, keep your pan in there for about 5 minutes (depending on thickness of your pan). Careful taking it out.

              Good luck and enjoy.

      1. The turkey meatloaf with sun dried tomato recipe on Epicurious is wonderful, really moist and tasty.

        1. Our DD did a wonderful thing tonight for our dinner. Her dad and I, her 2 brothers and 5 little ones. It was very easy, so nothing I'd think of :(.
          Went to deli and bought 2 lbs sliced beef with 2 pkgs of au ju, gorgeous rolls, delicious plentiful salad with sour cream pesto dressing, steak oven fries. The meat goes into the pan with the au ju and melds into it, sauteed onions/peppers/garlic/mushroom gets placed on top of meat on warmed buns with slices of provolone or Swiss melted....
          Great dinner and easy.... Very satisfying

          1. My husband prefers healthy foods, too, but he also really loves comfort foods. His top favorite, he says, is my bolognese sauce. I basically follow Hazan's recipe: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html... . I double the recipe and sub ground pork for about half of the beef. I also add a tablespoon or so of tomato paste after cooking the meat, i.e., at the end of step #3 in the recipe. Sometimes I'll add a bit of minced garlic, some oregano, or beef base to amp up the flavors. It tastes quite good made with red wine, too.

            Also man-pleasers:

            *chicken shepherd's pie with spinach--http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            *a Hungarian goulash-like stew called "pörkölt"--http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            *homemade tomato soup--http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6884...

            *tacos carnitas (basically: season and sear a pork shoulder roast and slow cook it in mojo criollo marinade with some onions, garlic, and cumin until falling apart. Then slightly crisp up the meat under the broiler and serve with corn tortillas, chopped radish, cilantro, white onion, pickled jalapeno, and tomatillo salsa).

            *sweet potato fries---peel and cut sweet potatoes into batons the size of your ring finger. Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, paprika, and a little bit of cinnamon. Bake at 425F until cooked through and crispy. Serve immediately. Alternately, season with Old Bay.

            *potato (not-too) cream(y) soup-- http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            *chicken and dumplings--make a simple chicken soup and make dumplings according to this recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/o.... Thicken the soup slightly with cornstarch or flour slurry to give it a more stewy consistency. I add fresh herbs (parsley, sage, a little rosemary, celery tops) to the dumplings. Big hit.

            *On the lighter side: Nigella's Vietnamese glass noodle salad (also great subbing chicken breast)--http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ni...

            *roasted pumpkin soup--http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            *grilled bbq chicken, country-style pork ribs, pork chops, etc.---Ina Garten's sauce is good: http://www.food.com/recipe/barefoot-c...

            *basic veggie/tofu Thai curry with coconut milk--get a good prepared paste (e.g., http://www.templeofthai.com/food/curr... ), follow the directions on the back, and it's hard to go wrong.

            *Brazilian fish stew--http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moqu...

            *seared pork tenderloin with tropical salsa--http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

            *"oven-fried" chicken breasts or tenders. marinade in lemon juice for up to 1 hr., then dip in egg wash and dredge in seasoned panko. Bake until crispy and cooked through. Cooking them directly on an oven/roasting rack helps keep the bottoms from getting soggy.

            *fajitas---this recipe looks good (important to caramelize the peppers and onions. Can skip the tequila if needed)---http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/em...

            *chicken-fried steak with cream gravy (serve with rice; I use pre-tenderized "minute steak," when available)---http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fo...

            Good luck! Let us know what is well-received!

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChristinaMason

              Thank you for all the links!!! This gives me a great start! Made a shrimp scampi last night - that was so-so, IMO - the shrimp came out great, but neither of us were crazy about the pasta - (we've been staying away from pasta lately)

              1. re: The Oracle

                Yum! That reminds me of a recipe I got in French cooking class. It's so delicious and can be served on its own or with rice or pasta: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6931...

                Last time I made it, I served it with tagliatelle and infused the sauce with a little bit of saffron. Very tasty.

                You might also enjoy this recipe for mushrooms en papillote: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian...

                I used madiera instead of pernod and added rosemary, parsley, and a bit of garlic (no chervil). So delicious. These are great with roasted potatoes or crusty bread and would work as a vegetarian main. Also note that the directions mistakenly call for double the diameter of parchment paper you need. 16cm is PLENTY.

                1. re: The Oracle

                  You can forgo the pasta and have grilled slices of sourdough or ciabatta that have been brush in EVOO. Then rub garlic on the grilled bread. Great accompaniment to shrimp scampi.