HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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.

              2. I love this recipe for Red Snapper Veracruz style. The two changes I make are to garnish with fresh jalapeno, not pickled, and to use cilantro instead of parsley. Works with all kinds of seafood, including shrimp.


                1 Reply
                1. re: 4Snisl

                  I love this recipe...it also works well with chicken.

                  And another vote for fajitas. I make these all the time. We just had them tonight...everyone was happy as usual (me, husband, 6 year old and 4 year old kids).


                2. Most fellas will be very happy with a good, beefy meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy made from the drippings. And Homer Simpson's not the only one who loves pork chops. Or pork tenderloin marinated and pan-roasted whole or in medallions, with baked sweet potato and applesauce. Or lasagne or mac&cheese, though you say you are avoiding pasta at present.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    I'd love to perfect a good pork tenderloin - the last couple times I attempted any type of pork, I seriously overcooked it. Dry/tough pork is no sexy!

                    1. re: The Oracle

                      I've been buying pork sirloin tip roasts at Costco. At just under two pounds each, they're the perfect size for two people and small enough to cook through without becoming dry. They come in a four pack, with each roast individually sealed which is handy for freezing. The package says to cook at 325 for approximately 1 hour 40 minutes but I found that in my convection toaster oven they're done much more quickly.

                  2. Just about everybody loves a good roast chicken, maybe with green beans and herbed butter, and homemade mashed potatoes (or chipotle mashed sweet potatoes...).

                    Thomas Keller's roast chicken recipe here, very simple and very tasty:

                    As for ribeye tips, I like to broil mine (remember it'll continue to cook for a few minutes after you remove it from the heat) and splash it with Maggi seasoning- the dark liquid, not the soup mixes. Maybe even a little sweet butter if I'm feeling particularly decadent.

                    Sometimes I'll pour an ounce or so of soya sauce over and season it with garlic powder and parsley flakes just before broiling. I think of this as quickie-yaki, though it lacks the slight sweetness of real teriyaki and doesn't tenderize because it isn't a marinade. But a decent piece of steak doesn't really need tenderizing- I sometimes buy chuck eye steak, just as tasty as ribeye, slightly less tender but much less expensive.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: eclecticsynergy

                      He's definitely a roast chicken fan... and would fall over backwards if he came home to a chicken roasting in the oven. Thanks for the links. I've NEVER roasted a chicken before - that will certainly change soon! :) This may sound silly - but do you really need to truss it? Does that help retain moisture?

                        1. re: Jay F

                          was gonna recommend this as well! i cook mine in a very deep, less wide pan. not a traditional roasting pan. i layer the sliced onion, carrots, fennel, and toss with olive oil and thyme in the deep foil roasting pan (i hate pan because it's not long and flat). i clean and salt and pepper bird. stuff his tush with garlic, lemon, thyme, and truss. stick him in the pan, on the bed of veggies, and he's usually 3/4 sticking above rim. brush with melted butter, sprinkle with S & P. then roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs depending upon size of bird. i like to use 5 1/2 lbs. sometimes around 30 min in, i'll add sliced red potato halves and green beans or some other veg to the roasting pan (sprinkled with salt, pepper, and olive oil). use thermometer to test for doneness. perfect one pan meal. with some bread and maybe soup or salad. strawberry shortcake for dessert?

                        2. re: The Oracle

                          Isn't almost everyone a roast chicken fan? Again, with all apologies, I don't get the idea that food preferences have a thing to do with gender. Could you or anyone elaborate on that? In my 63 years, I've never seen it.

                      1. Google Bill Granger's Carmel Chicken (I use b/s chicken thighs), it's a great dish, that's easy to make. I serve it with Ina's Herbed Rice and roasted asparagus.

                        If you can't find the recipe online, I can paraphrase it here for you, if you want.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Chili!! My husband loves my recipe:

                          1 to 1 1/2 lb ground beef
                          (Optional: 1/2 lb bacon, chopped, in addition to the beef)
                          1 small can tomato sauce (large can if you like it more "tomato-y")
                          2 cans Chili Magic (or Bush's chili beans)
                          1 onion, chopped
                          2-3 Tbsp olive oil
                          1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained
                          2 "toes" of a head of garlic, peeled and pressed through garlic press (or chop it, but please use fresh garlic, not the jarred stuff; there is no substitute for fresh garlic)
                          1 oz dark chocolate (I use Ghirardelli 72% cocoa bar; trust me on the chocolate, and don't use more than 1 oz)
                          1-2 Tbsp brown sugar, depending on your taste
                          Chili powder, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to your taste.

                          Sautee garlic and onions in olive oil, until soft. Put all ingredients in a slow cooker (break up the beef), and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add 1/2 cup water if it seems *too* thick, but it probably won't be too thick. Serve with cheddar cheese and Fritos. Super easy. Super good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: starbucksbrew

                            That looks delicious - will definitely try this!

                          2. SO's favorite meal is meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans. If the meatloaf(s) go into a muffin tin it goes much quicker. Beans are usually sauteed w/ garlic. It goes pretty quick.

                            Recipes are in my head but there's a lot on the 'net.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JerryMe

                              Thank you! For some reason, DH isn't a big meatloaf fan. He always looks at me funny if I order it when we go out.... maybe I can convert him to the wonders of a good meatloaf!

                            2. Well, since you're a baker, I'm thinking you can do a double biscuit crust recipe, mix in some herbs and parmigiano, and make a chicken pot pie by poaching chicken breasts and thighs in about a quart of stock with an unpeeled onion, a rough-chopped carrot, a smashed garlic clove and a rough-chopped stalk of celery; when chicken is done strain out vegies and broth and set broth aside; vegies can be discarded. Cool chicken and cut into cubes. Bring broth back to boil and add two med. cubed potatoes, 1 diced onion, 1 heaping cup baby carrots, and a cup of peas (frozen are fine for this.) Cook till veg are tender and re-add chicken. Taste for salt and pepper; poultry seasoning is also good in this. Thicken w/ buerre manie or roux, and add a cup of cream at the end; may need to boil down or thicken. Add juice of one lemon and taste again for salt and acid. Pat 1/2 of crust into a 9 by 13 pan and prick all over. Bake blind at 400 for 6-7 minutes; add filling mixture. Pat rest of crust over pie, prick all over again, turn oven down to 375 and let it go for roughly 25 minutes; check for browning and bubbling. with a big salad of greens, feta, apples, walnuts and green onions w/ vinaigrette, this is Mr.'s alltime favorite - although he likes classic piecrust just as much, but he likes cheddar (sharp white) in that one. I usually bake apples at the same time with whatever syrup and booze I have around, and with a scoop of ice cream, it's a great meal (male OR female!)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mamachef

                                y-u-m!! Thank you for all the details. Is there a bridal-15 (much like the freshman-15 back in college!) haha... I think I'm gaining weight just thinking about all these dishes!

                              2. For me, I'm kinda partial to the sushi and service method that Samantha offered in the movie Sex and the City. But that's just me.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mtomto

                                  LOL - love it :) now, that's certainly man-pleasin' :)

                                2. Testosteronic Male thumps hairy chest and craves Tofu.

                                  No kidding.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: FoodFuser

                                    Real men DO eat quiche. Just ask Bob.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      A fellow who chows down a tofu-egg quiche... that's a downhome androgynous male. And if done in silicon bakeware, it's crustless, which removes that bit of curmudgeonous. And if done in silicon muffin molds, and you ask him to be the one to unfold... gosh he might feel a hint that soft breast-flesh presents... but just tease him, remind him, that it takes but two thumbs and a push for them quiche to unmold.

                                      But if he grunts and thumps chest after quiche he ingests, it's okay to just serve him a steak.

                                      1. re: FoodFuser

                                        Who'd have thought that a tofu,crustless quiche cooked in silicone muffin pans would get me, the Alpha Female, SOOOOOOOOOOO hot???

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I don't know, but I was just grunting and thumping, and I'm a female. ;D

                                          1. re: mamachef


                                            Grin. :)

                                            Meant as one-time event, but I'll do it again. As long as I'm accepted as soft, smooth and crustless.

                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                              I think all this androgynous food is terribly exciting --- and way more fun than gender-based. Yum.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                As the OP - I should have titled the post: Dinner ideas to make my new spouse grunt and thump. Gender be damned!