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How To Make 10 Essential Dude Foods

The crazy things you did in college were kind of cute, like when you would eat Easy Mac with a bag of frozen peas…still frozen. But now if a girl comes over (or more likely your parents) and you’re still ‘cooking’ like you’re in a stoned frenzy desperately pulling something together to satisfy the munchies, you will look more than a little amateur. Try putting on your big boy pants and learn to cook these meals below.

For When Friends Are Over

Super Bowl Chili

Try dipping these with Fritos. Everyone loves Fritos.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4.  To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

Baby Back Ribs

Sure, the Costco ones are dependable but you can make these yourself in one hour.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mesquite chips, soaked
  • 1 (2 pound) slab baby back pork ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

Directions

  1. Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat – a pile of charcoal on one side, nothing under the food. Once it is going, throw some soaked mesquite woodchips on it.
  2. Remove the membrane from the ribs if the butcher has not already. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, chile powder and thyme; rub onto the ribs. Cut the slab of ribs in half.
  3. Place the ribs over indirect heat, and close the lid. Cook for 20 minutes, then brush with barbecue sauce. Cover, and continue cooking for an extra 30 minutes.

For Your Girlfriend…(or Whatever She Is)

Cedar Plank Salmon

The cedar plank in this recipe gives the fish a smoky taste. It’s a compromise — something healthy that tastes barbecued.

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 inch) cedar plank
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets, with skin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)

Directions

  1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least 2 hours and up to 12.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Place the salmon on the plank, skin side down. In a small bowl, stir together the sesame oil, brown sugar, dill weed and sesame seeds. Stir in just enough water to make it liquid. Season with pepper and soy sauce if desired. Spoon the mixture over the salmon so it is fully coated.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the fillet can be flaked with a fork.

Pasta

For the days she’s eating carbs, this one involves a can of soup. How hard can it be?

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions

  1. In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, saute chicken in oil over medium heat until browned. Add onion, pepper and garlic; saute until tender. Add peas, broth, cream, Italian seasoning and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and Parmesan cheese; simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with walnuts.

For When No One Is Watching

Thanksgiving Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 Bags Brownberry Sage Dressing Mix
  • 1 Stick Margarine
  • 2 Med. Onions, Chopped fine
  • 4 Stalks Celery, Chopped fine
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 48 oz. Can Chicken Broth
  • 1-10-12 lb. Turkey (reserve turkey juice), Shred turkey
  • 5 to 8 red potatoes

Directions

  1. Over medium heat melt margarine, add celery & onions, cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Add chicken broth & turkey juice followed by stuffing, then mix, then shredded turkey, and then mix well.
  3. Keep warm covered in slow oven or Crock Pot until serving. The mixture should be sticky (add more chicken broth if it becomes dry).
  4. Boil red potatoes until a fork can be easily stuck through. Peel (if you want) the potatoes, mash-up in a large bowl. Add butter and seasoning as desired.
  5. Serve hot on buttered buns. Makes enough for 50-75 sandwiches, depending on bun size. Can be frozen & reheated later. This recipe can and will use up your leftover turkey.

A Messy Omelette

An omelette is another item that you can just toss whatever’s in the fridge in, like peanut butter and bananas.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1 cup KRAFT Mozza-Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • 1 cup salsa, warmed

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 15x10x1-inch pan with parchment paper, with ends extending over shortest sides of pan. Spray with cooking spray. Beat eggs, milk and flour in large bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in next 4 ingredients; pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake 14 to 16 min. or until edges are almost set. Top with cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted.
  4. Roll up omelette immediately, starting at one short end and peeling off paper as omelette is rolled. Place on platter; cut into slices. Serve with salsa.

For Your Parents

Rack of Lamb

Since your parents probably introduced you to the meat anyway.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Move oven rack to the center position.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside.
  3. Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring.
  4. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of done-ness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs.

Filet Mignon

Ingredients

  • 2 (4 ounce) filet mignon steaks
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine

Directions

  1. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over both sides of each steak, and sprinkle with salt to taste.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place steaks in hot pan, and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add balsamic vinegar and red wine. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, basting with sauce when you turn the meat over.
  3. Remove steaks to two warmed plates, spoon one tablespoon of glaze over each, and serve immediately.

For A Healthy Meal

Chicken with Grape Glaze

Ingredients

Glaze:

  • 3 cups seedless red grapes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Chicken:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
  • 6 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

• Cooking spray
• Fresh rosemary leaves (optional)

Directions

  1. To prepare glaze, place grapes in a blender; process until smooth.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cover and cook 10 minutes; add garlic, cover and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in pureed grapes, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and 1 teaspoon rosemary. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Cool slightly.
  5. Place grape mixture in blender; process until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Prepare grill
  7. To prepare chicken, brush 1 tablespoon oil over chicken; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons rosemary, pepper, and salt.
  8. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 25 minutes or until done, turning and basting frequently with grape glaze. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.

Grilled Halibut with Peach and Pepper Salsa

Ingredients

Salsa:

  • 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped peeled yellow peaches (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Habanero pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Fish:

  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. To prepare salsa, combine first 9 ingredients; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  3. To prepare fish, combine 4 teaspoons juice, oil, paprika, and 1 garlic clove in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  4. Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with 3/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with salsa.

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  • Julia-UCLACOED Writer
    I am a free lance writer living in Los Angeles. I cover dating sex, beauty, healthy living and travel for a variety of outlets. I love trying out new and unique food and cocktails, most importantly, with a friend who makes me laugh. I'm the go to for most of my friends when it comes to dating and relationship advice and am not afraid to whip out my notepad at a bar when I find good material.