Cooking Like a Man: Panfried Steak

A few months ago I was contacted by the Marketing & Social Media Coordinator from Quirk Books, and he offered to send me a copy of a new cookbook, “Recipes Every Man Should Know” to review. Seeing as I am not, as you may know by now, a man, I decided that perhaps the best way to get the most out of this particular book would be to ask Ryan to cook from it and give me his manly opinion. So not only did I get a new cookbook to add to my collection, I also managed to get out of cooking dinner one night. Pretty sweet deal, in my opinion. And, friends, I am offering you a similarly sweet deal. The kind people at Quirk Books have offered to provide a copy of this little black recipe book for hungry guys to one of you as well! Now, I can’t promise you a handsome man will cook your dinner if you win the book, but I do think it’s worth trying to tempt the man in your life to make you a manly meal :) Be sure to get the details on how to enter for your chance to win at the bottom of this post, but first let me turn my blog over to my esteemed better half. (Another perk of this deal – a guest post by Ryan!)

Every now and again I get an email or phone call from Liz that says something like, “Can you cook tonight?” Now, I’m a good guy and understand that she can be very busy. Sometimes, taking the responsibility for dinner is the best help I can give.

However, my reply usually goes something like this: “Sure. Want me to order pizza?” You see I’m lazy and frankly, not very comfortable in the kitchen. If Liz wants me to be in charge of dinner it means take-out, tacos, or take-out tacos. I do not have an extensive culinary repertoire.

Enter “Recipes Every Man Should Know” by Susan Russo and Brett Cohen, the little black book of man meals. REMSK posits that a man who cooks and who cooks well will be more attractive to women and receive free beer from his friends. I saw nothing distasteful in that theory, so I decided to try cooking something out of the book.

Choosing what to cook wasn’t difficult. This is a cookbook for guys, after all, so it was simply a matter of locating the recipe with the highest degree of manliness. Which recipe ranked as the greatest man meal? I flipped to the section called “Meat and Potato Dinners” (which, curiously, includes pasta recipes) and found the page with the steak.

I opted to pan fry the steak because it was a little chilly and snowy outside and I didn’t want to mess with the grill. Plus, I love to listen as two large pieces of meat sizzle and pop in a frying pan. Sounds like deliciousness. I also chose to make a dry rub using the recipe in the book rather than seasoning with just salt and pepper.

Once Liz and I were satisfied with the doneness of our steaks we were thrilled with the flavor. The dry rub was delicious and the steaks were tender and juicy. Were it not for Liz’s tremendous skill at cooking steaks, it would have been the greatest steak I’ve ever eaten. Plus, I got to say, “I made that.” I’m a guy. I like to make things.

Panfried Steak
adapted from “Recipes Every Man Should Know,” p. 55

2 marbled steaks, 1- 1 1/2 inches thick, New York strip, round, sirloin, or tenderloin preferred
2 tablespoons dry rub, recipe below
canola oil
1 tablespoon butter

Allow meat to come to room temperature. Season all over with dry rub. In a very hot, heavy-bottomed skillet or cast-iron skillet, panfry steak in a little canola oil 3 to 4 minutes. Flip steak, add butter, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until desired doneness. Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Dry Rub
taken from “Recipes Every Man Should Know,” p. 61

4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well.

A couple of notes from the process of cooking:
• Unless you are catering for 40 or 50 people, you may want to cut back on the recipe for the dry rub. I took everything down from tablespoons to teaspoons, covered two large steaks, and still had some left over.
• I have yet to master the finger test for doneness which is referenced in the recipe. They felt like medium well to my hand, but they were a lot closer to medium rare. Use a thermometer; a reference chart is provided on p. 56.
• The recipe directions were simple but effective, at least for this recipe. I could see the small size of the book getting in the way of more complicated recipes, however. Further experimentation is required.

Tell me about your favorite “man meal.” This can be from either perspective – a meal you think men should know how to make or one you think would most impress a man!

For additional entries, you may complete each of the following, then come back and leave another comment for each one you’ve completed. Each comment is one entry, and you can have a maximum of four entries total.
1) Follow me on twitter @notsoskinnyliz, or if you already follow me, tweet about this giveaway.
2) Like TNSSK on facebook, or if you are already a fan, recommend the page to your friends.
3) Post a link on your blog alerting your readers to this giveaway.

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. I will randomly select one winner using and announce the winner on Thursday, March 3, 2011. Good luck!


February 23, 2011. recipes.


  1. Danica replied:

    Yeah!!! I want to win this book just because I LOVE the name and it got you to “cook like a man”!!! :D

    My favorite “Man’s Meal” is definitely grilled tri tip or anything with lots of BBQ sauce for that matter with cheesy bacon mashed potatoes, baked beans, corn on the cobb and I could probably list a million other things that would make me gain weight just listening them :D

  2. Danica replied:


  3. Chaya replied:

    If I think of my husband’s favorite man meal, it is a simple hamburger with a baked potato. How easy can you get?

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