First came A Man, a Can, a Plan: 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make. T he Sunday Star-Ledger cheered it as a "foolproof, not to mention spill-proof guide to manly success in the kitchen." And the Detroit News exclaimed, "Dude, this cookbook is for you."
Next came A Man, a Can, a Grill: 50 No-Sweat Meals You Can Fire Up Fast. Cookbook author Andrew Schloss, who wrote Cooking with Three Ingredients and Dinner's Ready, called the recipes "easy, flavorful...streamlined and smart. Real food-so good that no one will ever guess your secret is in the can."
Now there's A Man, a Can, a Microwave--and all those "dudes" who helped put the "Grill" book on the New York Times how-to bestseller list will be pleased to know that David Joachim and the editors of Men's Health haven't lost a beat. The 50 guy-friendly, nuke-able meals using packaged ingredients are fun to make and great to eat-and include such tasty dishes as "Italian One-Dish Fish," "Teriyaki Beef with Broccoli," and "Painless Paella." With step-by-step recipes and full-color photos, A Man, a Can, a Microwave, like the previous books in the series, is a perfect gift for anyone learning to cope in the kitchen. Make sure he has a can opener--and a hearty appetite!
Bound in the kind of thick, stain-proof pages usually employed for preschool boardbooks, this cookbook dumbs down basic recipes to inventive new lows. The Mens Health magazine team responsible for the similarly silly A Man, A Can, A Plan again explain how to microwave canned food into something approximating dinner. Rather than saute or simmer, readers are instructed to "dump" and "nuke" ingredients, as in a recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs, which requires a can of crushed pineapples, a can of sloppy joe sauce and a pound of frozen precooked meatballs. Other recipes not for the faint of heart include Slab O Ham with Redeye Gravy (essentially microwaved slices of canned ham in a coffee/pork sauce gravy) and Hot Slam Dunk, a dip that calls for mayonnaise, sour cream, canned artichoke hearts, spinach and a few other ingredients to be microwaved together for several minutes. (The authors award "Extra credit" to those who pour the mixture into a hollowed-out loaf of pumpernickel.) Nevertheless, despite its frightening culinary intentions, theres a nice sense of fun in this cookbook, and a few decent ideas to boot. Why not microwave chocolate syrup, whole milk and vanilla extract together for Liquid Bliss? Its a reliable, no-brainer way to make hot chocolate. And theres nothing nauseating about the canned yam-based Sam-I-Am Casserolebutter and brown sugar mask a variety of sins. While this might make a great (gag?) gift for the newly independent frat guy or confirmed bachelor, its hard to imagine any but the hardiest kitchen-phobes making frequent use of this book, especially when its so easy to just order in.
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David Joachim is the author of the bestselling A Man, a Can, a Grill and A Man, a Can, a Plan. He lives in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.
The Editors of Men's Health publish the world's largest men's magazine.