Honey, I Messed Up the Kitchen!

HEY, MR. FOOD EDITOR | New York Times
By SAM SIFTON  APRIL 3, 2015

So here is a new feature for this new Men’s Style section: an ask-the-food-editor column that will allow you to pose questions about cooking, recipes and food.

My husband uses every tool, pot and pan in the kitchen when he cooks. We usually do the “you cook, I clean” thing, so it drives me nuts. Advice for him?

Tell him you’re moving to a new methodology: You cook, you clean. Do that a few times and the matter should solve itself, at least for you. Don’t be a dope about it, though. Lead by example. My mantra’s the same as the one the pro chefs stand by always: Keep your station clean.

Should I grill a steak or pan-sear and then finish it in the oven? Depends on the weather. Grilling a big rib-eye over roaring coals is one of life’s great pleasures. But it’s not for every day. Pan-searing is, and you don’t need to finish the meat in the oven. Just salt a really hot cast-iron pan, get the steak in there, cook it for a while, then flip it. And flip it, and flip it again, every 30 seconds until it’s around 122 degrees in the center for medium-rare.

Can you recommend a dish that is “haute” without being pretentious, and relatively worry-free for both cook and diner so that their anxiety can be better used for — or diffused by — that hopeful first kiss?

Date-night cooking’s a drag. You don’t want anything too messy or too hand-held, nothing too complicated, nothing too simple, nothing too grand, nothing lame. The great Jonathan Reynolds gave us a recipe for Chicken La Tulipe about 15 years ago that answers always: The bird roasted in the oven, then napped with a creamy Cognac sauce studded with morels. It’s an easy, stylish win for newish cooks interested in making an impression on a sweetheart or someone who might become one.

Chicken La Tulipe is a good date-night choice: fancy looking but free of any major prep headaches. Cleaning up the mess? Do it together. Credit Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Chicken La Tulipe is a good date-night choice: fancy looking but free of any major prep headaches. Cleaning up the mess? Do it together.
Credit Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

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