I never understood why more guys don't cook. Food is delicious. You can make it yourself. Why in the world would you not do it? There are legions of easy recipes that make food that is mind-bogglingly badass, cheap and tasty, yet many just won't do it. In my mind, that makes them losers. Here are 14 stupidly easy recipes that anyone can make, all of which every person on the planet should know how to do.
Making a stir-fry is crazy easy, universally flexible, and takes next to no time at all to throw together. You need a pan, and some oil that can take a decent heat — canola’s easy, sesame’s delicious. Get that pan nice and freaking hot with a little oil in it, and chop up some vegetables and some meat into slivers. Put each set of the ingredients into the pan, and stir till cooked. Maybe throw some soy sauce in, that shit’s delicious. Got some black bean or hoison sauce floating around? Gold. That goes in to. Keep going until you’ve run out of vegetables to cook, and you’ve got the meat done to your likeness. Toss those badboys with some rice or noodles. Boom, stir-fry. Quick, easy, delicious. Dig it.
13. Rice and Beans
So, your ass is broke. That’s cool, it happens to us some times. Maybe you’re in finals week, your loans have run dry, and you’re down to $5 for the month. Maybe your car died, and it took all your funds to fix it. Whatever happened, you have almost no money, and you need some freaking food in your belly. That’s where rice and beans come in. They’re the simplest, most delicious, most filling thing in existence. Cook rice. Rinse a can of beans. Combine. Spice that motherfucker with just about anything you can find in your drawers. Hot sauce, cheese, canned tomatoes, cilantro, bell peppers and onion are all great additions, too. It’ll keep you going when you can’t afford anything else.
12. The Hangover Cure
This is one you need to figure out on your own, but you need to have down pat, so that you can make it when you feel like the whole world has shat inside your head. You can’t see straight, everything hurts, and you just want to die? Time to make a hangover cure. It needs to be greasy and delicious. My choice is a bacon, egg, and fried onion sandwich, with hot and brown sauce poured all over that bad boy, with a huge fuckoff glass of OJ. And don’t forget, cook the eggs in the bacon fat, you need it. It won’t get rid of your hangover, but it’ll make you feel a fuckton better, and it sure as hell beats an Egg McMuffin.
11. Fried Pizza
Woah, woah, back the fuck up, a recipe on how to reheat pizza? Everyone knows how to do that, right? Not so fast, you son of a bitch, if you take that cold pizza even near a microwave, I’ll stab you through the heart with a baguette. Grab your frying pan instead, I’m about to blow your fucking mind. The best way to reheat a pizza? Lightly fry that badboy. Seriously, this is so good that once you try it, you’ll be ordering pizza just to do this with it. Get the biggest pan you have in your house, and lightly coat the bottom with oil. Get it going over a medium-high heat until the oil gets all ripply, then flip it down to medium low. Put the pizza in and cover it — if you don’t it won’t work. Give it five minutes, and you have the food of the gods. The bottom gets lightly fried, making it super fucking crispy, and the top is all reheated and melty. Shit. Is. Amazing.
10. Legit Tacos
I’m sorry man, but hard-shell tacos? That’s BS. Why would you eat those things, the only thing they do is cut up your throat. Screw that noise. Go to your local Mexican grocer, you know, the super sketchy one, and pick up some freshly made soft, small, tortillas. Decide what meat you want from them: steak and chorizo are both easy and fucking delicious. If you grab the steak, just cook it medium-rare, then chop it into cubes. For the chorizo, split the casing and throw the meat in a pan, and cook. Chop up some onion and cilantro, and grab a lime and salsa. That’s all you need. Now, heat the tortillas in a hot pan on each side, until they get a bit puffy, and some dark spots. Flip. Grab em out, and throw on the meat, onion, and cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge over them. Add salsa. There, you have some legit tacos, and they are fucking delicious.
A basic pancake recipe is worth memorizing. You know why? It’s easy as hell, and it’ll impress the crap out of anyone you might happen to wake up with. Everybody freaking loves pancakes. Here’s what you need:
2t baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
2T fat (butter, oil, shortening, whatever’s around)
Mix the dry. Mix the wet. Combine gently, little lumps are fine. Cook. Learning how to cook them properly takes practice, but it’s practice that gives you delicious pancakes, so spend a couple of weekends perfecting it. If the mixture’s too wet add more flour. Too dry? Add more liquid. You can sour the milk with a little vinegar or lemon juice to make everything thicker, if you need. Bring your lover pancakes in bed, surefire success, and guaranteed morning nookie.
8. Microwave Chocolate Cake
For chocolate emergencies, nothing beats the emergency chocolate cake. There’s a recipe that most people know that actually kind of sucks, so I’m deferring to the writer of the Super Cool Food Blog, who tweaked the recipe substantially, and made something much more palatable. Just follow the directions (the non-vegan one is better), and in five minutes you’ll have some awesome chocolate cake. Just be careful, it comes out bastard hot, and is easy as anything to overcook. It’s absolutely perfect for when you’re high off your tits, and a chocolate cake sounds amazing.
7. Vegetable Stock
If you buy vegetable stock, you’re doing it wrong. It’s crazy easy to make, and makes your soups taste delicious. Here’s what you do: every time you cook anything with vegetables, keep the scraps you would otherwise throw out. The ends of carrots, the base of celery, the heels of onions. All of it. Keep it in a gallon ziploc bag in the freezer. When it’s full, throw them in a pot, add some whole vegetables, some peppers, some herbs, and gently boil for around an hour. You don’t need to watch it, go play some video games while it goes. Around an hour later, strain out the vegetables. There you go, vege stock. You can cook it down, if you want it more concentrated. Freeze in smaller chunks, and whenever you want an amazing soup, thaw and throw in whatever you want.
6. Grilled Cheese
The only people on the planet who don’t like grilled cheese sandwiches are the lactose intolerant, and that’s only because they’re jealous. A good grilled cheese sandwich will impress the panties (or briefs, if that’s your thing) off just about any potential romantic conquest. Even though it’s super fucking simple, a grilled cheese sandwich (and maybe even soup) is instant access to just about anyone’s pants. The thing is, there is so much variation in the sandwich, you need to figure out what you like, and how to cook it. Are you 50s traditional? White bread, margarine, American cheese? Or are you fancy, with focaccia, a mix of gouda and brie, cooked in olive oil? Whole grain bread and local cheddar? Do you add tomatoes? Sandwich meat? Mustard? Figure out what you like, and what you can grab easily, and master it. My personal trick is to treat it a bit like a steak: sear the outside at a medium high heat, then turn it down to let it melt through.
5. Stuffed Peppers
Another easy recipe bound to impress, especially for vegetarian eaters. For some reason, as soon as you stuff anything, it gets infinitely more awesome. Grab some nice bell-peppers, regardless of color. Slice them in half, length-ways. Clean out the seeds and end. Preheat the oven to 350°. What you need to do now is make a stuffing, and this is incredibly flexible. Cooked rice, tinned tomatoes, some beans, a whole bunch of herbs, some onions. Whatever you have floating around. Cooked ground beef is good too. Anyway, mix all that stuff up with a ton of grated cheese. Fill the peppers up with the stuffing, and then sprinkle more cheese over the top. Cook for around 25 minutes, until warmed through, then throw it under the broil setting to make sure the cheese is melty and delicious. Shit, yeah!
If you use spaghetti sauce from a jar, you are a horrible, horrible person, and should feel bad about yourself. It’s remarkably easy to make a basic Bolognese sauce, even without leaving it to simmer on the stove for eight hours. Brown some garlic and onions. Throw in some diced vegetables like carrot and celery. Add ground meat, and brown that too. Add a can or two of crushed tomatoes, depending on how much you’re making. Cook for a while. That’s just about it. You can use tomato paste as well, red wine, various herbs and spices, or whatever you have around. I’m particularly fond of throwing in a bit of mustard and Worcestershire sauce. It’s stupid easy to make, and isn’t just red HFCS like the stuff in a jar.
3. Scrambled Eggs
Gordon Ramsey is a bit of a cock, there’s no denying it. He’s also a damned good cook. Watch the video, and you’ll see how you should be making the eggs. They’re gloriously fluffy and rich, and amazing to eat. Once you do it this way, you’ll never go back to just chucking them in a hot pan, and shaking them round a bit.
It’s your job as a guy to learn how to cook a steak. I don’t care if you’re vegetarian. I don’t care if you’re vegan. I don’t care if you were raised by cows, and could never touch the flesh of one. You need to know how to cook a steak properly. Let the steak come to room temperature slowly. Pat dry, and season with salt (no pepper, it’ll burn when it hits the stove, pepper afterwards.) Get a cast-iron skillet super fucking hot with some high smoke point oil. Get the oven up to around 350°F. Sear the steak, and get a nice thick crust on either side. You’ll know when you can flip it because it’ll lift easily off the skillet. Try not to touch it until then. We’re looking at 2-3 minutes a side. Yes, it’ll smoke. Open all the windows, unplug the smoke detector. Once it’s nice and crusty, throw it in the over for 4 minutes. Check for doneness. Repeat until desired level is reached. Cover and LET IT SIT! 5-10 minutes. Cracked pepper, then devour.
Yeah, you were surprised? Bacon. It’s enough of a meal to count as a recipe, and if you don’t think so, go make a BLT with it. There are three ways to make bacon, in my mind: microwave, stove, oven. Microwave is for emergencies: when it’s 2AM, you’re drunk off your face, and don’t trust yourself cooking. That’s cool, wrap a couple of pieces in paper towel, and ballpark for around a minute a slice. On a stove, just throw them in a pan over medium-low heat, and cook to desired crispiness. Salvage the rendered fat, and use it in cooking, shit is delicious. For the oven, put the bacon strips on a wire rack over a baking dish, so the fat drains away. Cook at 400°F for 15 minutes, then check on it. Keep checking on it every 2-3 minutes until it’s as crispy as you like, and this is the way to get it the absolutely most crispy it can be. There you go, bacon! Fuck yeah!