Let the Men Folk Cook!

Today’s National Day comes with its own set of rules. The first Thursday in November is National Men Make Dinner Day. And the first rule of the day is that National Men Make Dinner Day is always celebrated on the first Thursday in November.

This day was designed not for men who already know how to cook or those who help out in the meal preparation on a regular bases. It was created for men who are uncomfortable or lost in a kitchen setting, so the backyard grill does not count as “cooking”. This day is assuming that it is the man in the house who does not do the cooking. In my house, that’s the case most of the time. However; I have a very dear friend who is lost in the kitchen and her husband does the cooking.

For the record, Hubby is a great pair on hands during the holidays or when we are hosting a big family affair. While he still needs some supervision, those hands are very much welcomed. It’s not so much he’s lost in the kitchen as it is I am a crazed perfectionist.  It’s my kitchen and I am an overbearing chef insisting things be done my way. For everyday suppers, the kitchen is all mine and my guys stay clear. That’s the key to a harmonious household.

When I first learned of today’s theme, I thought I’d pick a nice chicken recipe to share that someone uncomfortable in the kitchen could make with great success. But then I got to thinking – it’s not a one-dish contribution day. It’s an entire meal from beginning to end. So I needed an entire menu.

I really think this menu is fun, easy to execute and down right delicious. I started with the Rosemary Lemon Chicken and went from there. In keeping with the rules, the main dish has at least 4 ingredients and requires cooking utensils other than a long barbecue fork.

Here are a few helpful tips before we get started:

  • The salad and dressing can be made earlier in the day and chilled until ready to serve. Put the final touches just before placing the salad on the table.
  • The Bread can be prepared earlier, left on the counter wrapped in foil until ready to warm.
  • The potatoes are slow-cooked, so that should get started early in the day.
  • Dessert comes from your favorite bakery, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
  • Start preparing the chicken 40 minutes before dinner. Chicken should be in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Start the asparagus cooking 10 to 15 minutes after the chicken.
  • Once the chicken is done, leave the oven hot and warm the bread while everything else is plated for the table.

National Men Cook Dinner Menu
Buttery Garlic Bread
Green Leaf Salad with Creamy Dressing

Rosemary Lemon Chicken
Pan-Seared Asparagus Tips
Slow Cooker Italian Herb Potatoes

Favorite Dessert from Bakery

Bakery Dessert

Buttery Garlic Bread
1 Loaf French Bread from Bakery
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 tablespoons Butter, soft
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Parsley Flakes

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay the bread on a piece of foil large enough to completely wrap the bread. Cut the bread almost all the way through into 1-inch slices, leaving the bottom attached.

Note: The bread will be “broken” at the table.

Place soft butter in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Finely mince garlic, add to the butter. Season with salt, sprinkle with parsley flakes. With a fork, mash everything together to create a garlic-butter paste.

Pull the bread apart and smear butter between the sliced using a butter knife.

Smear remaining butter on the top and sides of the bread.

Wrap the bread tightly in foil. Place directly on the middle rack of the heated oven. Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is crispy.

Unwrap and serve straight from the foil.

Green Leaf Salad with Creamy Dressing
Green Salad
1 head Romaine Lettuce
1 cup small Tomatoes, halved
Black Olives, whole as desired
1/2 small Red Onion
6 whole Pepperoncini Peppers from a jar
Handful Italian Croutons
Handful Shaved Parmesan cheese

Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Slice tomatoes in half, scatter over the lettuce. Add whole black olives as desired.

Peel and thinly slice onion into rings. Break apart the rings, scatter over the salad. Toss in the Pepperoncini Peppers. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Just before serving, add croutons, drizzle with salad dressing; toss to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese and additional dressing on the side.

Creamy Dressing
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
2 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Romano Cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

Mix all ingredients in a blender until well mixed. Transfer to small serving pitcher or jar with lid. Chill until ready to use.

Rosemary Lemon Chicken
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 cup Chicken Stock
4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
4 boneless Chicken Breasts
4 Rosemary Sprigs for garnish
1 Lemon, sliced for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, chicken stock, lemon juice, honey, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

Pour sauce over chicken. Bake for about 25 minutes or until juices run clear and breasts are cooked through. To make sure your chicken is cooked though, use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature in the thickest part of the breast. It should be between 160 to 170 degrees.

Every 8 minutes remove the baking sheet from the oven, close the door to retain heat, then spoon the sauce from the pan over the chicken.

During the last 5 minutes of baking time, place Rosemary sprigs and sliced lemons around the pan. Let roast with chicken until fragrant.

Pan-Seared Asparagus Tips
1 lb Green Asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon Basil Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends, leaving spears about 8 inches long.

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter to sizzling. Turn down the heat to medium and add the asparagus.

Using a broad spatula, turn the spears over from time to time until they are browned more or less evenly, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

The spears will remain mainly green, with patches of crispy brown. Check for doneness by tasting a spear. It should be tender but slightly al dente.

Sprinkle the asparagus with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately or keep warm.

Slow Cooker Italian Herb Potatoes
Italian Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme

In a bowl, combine all herbs and seasonings. Mix until well-blended. Place seasoning blend into an airtight container or spice jar. Can be used immediately or stored for later.

Italian Potatoes
6 medium Red potatoes
1⁄4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (Above)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons butter

Wash and pat dry potatoes. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then into chunks about a quarter of an inch thick or so. Place cut potatoes into crock pot.

Add water and sprinkle the Italian Seasoning and parsley over potatoes. Stir to distribute seasoning into potatoes.

Cut butter into pieces. Scatter cut butter over top of potatoes.

Cover and cook on LOW for at least 5 hours or until tender.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

7 thoughts on “Let the Men Folk Cook!”

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