5 Cooking Basics Every Bro Should Know

#1. Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with salmon (Serves 2-3 guys)

Yum. It sells itself. Of course, it doesn't protect itself, so keep it away from your roommate Ryan and his fat fingers. Also, add a toasted bagel to make it portable. It's so versatile. And just like every food, it's great with bacon. You DO know how to cook bacon, right? If not, this is the wrong article for you. You should be on the page for “5 Cooking Basics Every Child Should Know.”

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Protein: About 50 total grams


6 eggs

1/4 cup half-and-half

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon butter

2 ounces chopped smoked salmon

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Pros Say (I Say):

Whisk the eggs. Then, into a medium bowl (or really any bowl), pass the eggs through a fine mesh strainer (Eh, not really necessary if you whisk them well). Add the half-and-half and whisk until smooth. Add the pepper and whisk until well combined. Heat a nonstick skillet on low heat and melt the butter. Pour the eggs into the skillet. Using a heat resistant rubber spatula (otherwise known as any modern day rubber spatula), stir the egg mixture over low heat to create soft, creamy curds (Ha, curds). Continue to cook until soft and creamy, and then sprinkle in the salmon. Cook to light and fluffy. Serve, garnished with chives.

#2. Appetizer: Spinach and artichoke dip (Serves 2-3 people)

Face it, appetizers are necessary. At dinner with friends. At the Super Bowl party. (Especially) at your friend’s vegetarian potluck, unless you want to starve. Could you make/buy salsa or guacamole? I guess. Would you impress everyone with homemade spinach and artichoke dip? Most definitely.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

Protein: About 6 total grams


1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach

11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts

6 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Pros Say (I Say):

Boil spinach and artichokes (remember to chop them first) in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid (or throw it at Ryan). Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot (it’s so frickin’ simple, you can even make a second batch if Ryan steals the first one).

#3. Dinner, Main Item: Orange-Balsamic Glazed Chicken (Serves 4 average-sized stomachs)


Look at you. You fancy. That’s what everyone will think, but you’ll know the truth: your near-blind grandpa could make this. All you really need is one solid meal under your belt to impress the girlfriend or parents, or to avoid starvation while you binge-watch Breaking Bad. And this is part one. Stay with me.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Protein: 25 grams per 4 oz.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts or any combination of light and dark meat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (if you want)

2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped

1/3 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chicken stock

2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped

4 cups baby arugula

Pros Say (I Say):

In a large pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high to high heat.

Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. When the oil is hot and ripples (whatever that means – pretty much when it’s clearly hot), add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, then turn and sprinkle with rosemary. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade, vinegar and stock and pour over the chicken. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and becomes a thin glaze. Add the scallions during the last minute of cooking time (or right after, it really doesn’t matter). Arrange on a serving platter and serve topped with arugula greens (since only real people have serving platters, just keep it on the pan and serve from that).

#4. Dinner, Side Item 1: Baked Sweet Potato Fries (Serves 3 to 5 people, or 2 hungry dudes)

Yeah, these are bomb. If you can get over the fact that they’re (shudder) trendy, they make for a delicious-and-somewhat-nutritious side.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Protein: About 12 total grams


Olive Oil, for tossing

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips, using a crinkle cut knife (this is absurdly and needlessly precise, and you don’t need a damn crinkle cut knife, whatever that is. Regular knives are just fine)

1 tablespoon House Seasoning (recipe follows)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Pros Say (I Say):

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a sheet tray with parchment (or aluminum foil – what the hell is parchment, and who owns it). In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat (that’s so vague – just put some in). Sprinkle with House Seasoning and paprika. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd (they have feelings too). Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

#5. Dinner, Side Item 2: Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli (Serves 6 people)

Scientists agree: it’s healthy, hearty, and scrumtrulescent.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Protein: About 18 grams


4 to 5 pounds broccoli

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)

Pros Say (I Say):

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks (eff that, give the stalks to Ryan). Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer (no crowding, people). Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil.

Serve hot. And serve with pride.