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Help me teach DH to cook

(19 Posts)
Plateofcrumbs Fri 28-Mar-14 08:30:07

Division of labour in our house includes me doing 99% of the cooking (DH more than pulls his weight elsewhere!). However with DC1 on the way I think we need to plan for DH to be more confident in the kitchen.

I need some suggestions for a good basic set of meals he can get confident with - ideally fast, foolproof and easy to adapt.

For example I've been teaching him this cashew & prawn rice recipe: it's only 5-10 mins to prep and you can use same technique with any combination of veg/meat etc.

Any ideas for what else he can learn?

Mrsbaconandbeans Fri 28-Mar-14 08:33:13

How about something like spaghetti bolognese? Or chilli con carne?

ReluctantCamper Fri 28-Mar-14 08:34:44

pasta carbonara, the only thing my husband can cook!

PigletJohn Fri 28-Mar-14 08:38:28

What can he already cook?

Scrambled eggs? Mashed potato? Sausages? Beans on toast?

HazleNutt Fri 28-Mar-14 08:38:38

Jamie's Ministry of Food book is excellent to start with, DH could just about boil an egg before, but does most of the cooking now.

MaryWestmacott Fri 28-Mar-14 08:38:41

What about a roast? That's actually just peeling and chopping veg then putting the oven at set time intervals, that's the sort of basic meal that tastes great. If you can at the end talk him through making gravy from scratch, that's a useful skill to have.

Then what about making a cheese sauce? You can do that with pasta and broccoli.

There's a thread running in chat about easy dinners started by someone with a baby looking for minimum input meals (even if it's stuff that has to be left for a long time to cook, most of them only need a few steps of actual prep and work), I'm on my phone to hard to link, but worth searching for- will bump it for you.

MaryWestmacott Fri 28-Mar-14 08:41:41

Sorry, is in aibu, have bumped for you!

Also worth asking what his favourite meal to eat is and then teaching him that.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 28-Mar-14 09:02:47

He actually makes a mean spag bol - that's his 'signature dish' - but he can't just knock it up, he has to plan it out meticulously. He's perfectly capable of cooking given the time and a recipe to follow, but what he's not so good at is being able to walk in from work and just rustle something up.

I'm hoping for a few easy things he can have up his sleeve for evening meals when I'm likely to be welded to a breastfeeding infant.

He's learnt foil baked salmon and veg - loosely wrap salmon fillet and random veg in foil, whatever seasoning is available (lemon, some herbs), whack in oven.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 28-Mar-14 09:30:27

MaryW that thread is great - I'm going to scour it for a few ideas!

I'm basically after a few ideas that DH can get confident enough with that he can adapt them.

So far we've got the stuff + rice steamed in pan thing. The stuff + veg cooked in foil thing.

Martorana Fri 28-Mar-14 09:34:00

Don't teach him. Give him a good cook book (I wouldn't go Jamie- I think you have to be able to cook already to get good results- following the recipes religiously doesn't always work). How about Delia's complete cookery course? Old fashioned but brilliant. And then just let him get on with it. Cooking isn't that hard!

And whatever you do, don't do the washing up. It's all part of they job!

MaryWestmacott Fri 28-Mar-14 10:04:26

Ok op, so he can cook, he just can't do quick cooking using what's in the fridge, he has to have a plan to follow. So work with that, meal plan for quick and easy to make dinners (that thread I bumped is full of them!), write it out and stick on your fridge door each week, do the plan as you do your online food order for the week, when he comes in from work, point him in the direction of the meal plan list.

MaryWestmacott Fri 28-Mar-14 10:07:29

Oh and get him involved, if you do the food order on line, do it sat with him and ask "anything you fancy for dinner one night this week?" Show him easy recipes and "I was thinking of this for Tuesday night, what do you think?" Different people cook in different ways, I know several people who can't do "imaginative cooking from whatever's in the fridge", for them, meal planning is the only way to avoid shopping daily for the ingredients listed in the recipe the will be following to the letter that evening.

LtEveDallas Fri 28-Mar-14 10:28:10

You know what, those 'meals in a bag' have been a godsend in our house for days when have worked late or am busy running around with DD.

Colemans "Season and Shake" actually got DH to show more interest in having (and cooking) a decent meal. At first he followed what it said on the packet to the letter, but now he experiments and we end up with a huge dish of nicely cooked meat and veg that has only taken about 15 mins to prepare and an hour in the oven.

He's even made up his own spice mixes now, so we don't have to use the packets (although I still love the Sausage and Herb casserole one). TBH I think he needed some confidence and a big dollop of 'getthefuckoffyourarseanddosomething'

So much better than the "Brown mince, open jar, stir, serve" that he thought was cooking.

WilsonFrickett Fri 28-Mar-14 12:13:15

If he does do a mean spag bol, brilliant. Get him to make double or triple the quantity and freeze it. Then you've spag bol, or a chilli (add chilli to taste and some tinned kidney beans and serve with rice), or a cottage pie (defrost, top with mashed potato) or a baked potato topping.

My DH gets quite excited about things like that, rather than just cooking the tea iyswim, because he then can see a big return for his 'labour'.

motherinferior Fri 28-Mar-14 12:15:13

Agree with Martorana. Send him a link to one of Nigel Slater's earlier books like Real Fast Food, tell him to click on it, and leave him to it.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 28-Mar-14 12:25:49

I think it's a good idea to get him involved in the planning - maybe I could make 1 meal a week his choice and he can be responsible for getting the ingredients. Otherwise I think I can be a bit control-freaky about it if I've planned a meal I don't want DH ruining it

He's really not a natural at 'winging it' in the kitchen but I think experience really helps - and to be honest I think this is the bit that would be really helpful. I expect I'll probably always be the main cook in the house (wouldn't want it any other way!) so as much as anything else it's just about having more flexibility for him to step in when I'm having a bad day with the baby.

There's really no problem with him not doing 'enough' (I'm sure in any analysis I come off worse, he is brill at washing/ironing etc!) it's just flexibility.

Martorana Fri 28-Mar-14 12:29:03

"and get him involved, if you do the food order on line, do it sat with him and ask "anything you fancy for dinner one night this week?"

Just checking- this is an adult human being, who can presumably hold down a job, drive a car and understand the offside rule(or equivalent) we're talking about, not an 8 year old? Because it's certainly not clear.

Plateofcrumbs Fri 28-Mar-14 14:54:49

martorana - that was actually a good tip because by default I will just take total control of meal planning and shopping, so I do need to hand over to him a bit and give him the opportunity.

MaryWestmacott Fri 28-Mar-14 17:12:08

Martorana -my suggestion came from basically the OP being the one who 'does' the food in their house, her DH can cook, but doesn't cook like her, it's probably easiest to ask him what he'd like, not just inform him and pick recipes he's not got any interest in or any idea about how to make. If he has 2-3 dishes he can make, asking what he fancies doing, making the whole job of "providing a cooked meal for the family nightly" being something that he's involved in (by actually asking his opinion, not just informing him what he's having), makes it more likely he'll start taking contro. in the food prep, rather than just viewing food as something that is entirely the OP's 'job'.

There are whole areas of our domestic chores that are my DH's 'job' and I know nothing about them, but more importantly, just don't think about them, they just happen. I'm sure if for some reason he wasn't able to do them anymore I'd be perfectly able, but I might need a bit of encouragement to start taking on his stuff now, and to even think about it.

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