5@5 - Richard Martin
April 22nd, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Just because you're a dude doesn't mean your culinary ventures have to be modeled after Epic Meal Time. Sometimes, a man just wants to make a really, really good omelet - without it being bacon-wrapped or deep-fried.

For such times comes chef Marcus Samuelsson's FoodRepublic.com, a food and lifestyle website specifically geared toward food-obsessed men, and its editorial director Richard Martin.

Five Kitchen Tricks Every Man Should Know: Richard Martin

1. Chop an onion (without shedding a tear)
"Whether you're chopping something for a meal that you're making or just helping out your wife/girlfriend/partner by offering to play sous chef, knowing how to dice, mince and - if you want to get fancy - julienne, are essential skills -  especially if you're gonna tackle the onion.

The onion is one of the toughest things to master, but it's actually pretty easy. If you've got basic knife skills, just cut off the top part opposite the root, then slice or dice as much as you can in an orderly fashion before going back at it when the pieces are on your cutting board.

Then keep dicing as much as the recipe calls for: dice is least chopped, fine dice slightly more,and minced is basically tiny little pieces.

As for how to do this without being reduced to a blubbering mess, you can:  (A) chop the onion under cold running water; (B) try putting the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes before chopping; or (C) try keeping cold water in your mouth while you're cutting."

2. Flip an omelet
"One of the best ways to a girl's heart is through a delicious breakfast. And while scrambled eggs are good and all, a tasty cheese omelet with tomatoes or veggies will really impress.

It's not exactly easy, but it's totally doable. Just heat up a small or medium nonstick pan (or a regular pan, but you want it to be really hot), drop in a chunk of butter, and pour in a couple of slightly whisked eggs so that they cover a thin layer across the bottom of the pan.

Once they've set just a bit and there's still some runny bits across the top, use a spatula and tilt the pan from side to side so that you have one solid mass of egg in the pan.

Then, either use the spatula to gently flip it, or if you're feeling brave, toss the pan skyward and flip it in the air. Quickly add the toppings, fold the omelet in half and serve with toast."

3. Make a damn good burger
"This is actually harder than you think. You can't buy pre-made patties. They're just bad. So what you have to do is get a good lean ground beef mix, about 80 percent lean (you do want a bit of fat). Then you can get a bit creative, mixing all sorts of things into the ground beef, from simple things like salt and pepper to fancier things like a steak sauce or onion mix.

Food Republic's basic burger recipe calls for the addition of egg, Worcestershire sauce and breadcrumbs - and it makes a simple yet delicious burger that has a bit of a meatball flavoring to it. Top it with bleu cheese or some sharp cheddar, and you will win friends and influence people."

4. Quickly assemble a good mix on iTunes
"Nothing sets the mood in the kitchen better than the right music. Whether you're cooking, playing sous chef or just observing - actually, especially if you're just observing; try to make yourself useful! — it's essential to have the appropriate music playing while you or your partner/date is cooking.

The genius mode in iTunes and Pandora have made this a simple enough task, and they provide a decent shortcut, but if you're a real man, you should know if the mood calls for jazz, Jay-Z or jams. Make the mix yourself while waiting for the water to boil or the spaghetti to cook or whatever. Music not only sets the mood, it can make the food taste better."

5. Whip up a quick three-course meal
"Here's the scenario. Your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend has been texting all afternoon, complaining about work, their boss, their life. What do you do?

Do you: (A) tell them to "man up"; (B) console them with empty words like 'sorry to hear that'; or (C) hurry to the market, beat them home and put together a fantastic little quick and easy three-course meal?

If you said (C), you're right, and here's what you do: Get a head of green or red leaf lettuce; an onion; a box of linguine; a decent jar or container of store-made tomato sauce, or just some tomatoes and garlic; a loaf of Italian bread or baguette; a container of ice cream or sorbet; and a candle.

By now, you should know how to quickly turn this into a simple meal of a salad, pasta and dessert that will quickly restore your mate's faith in life. What happens next is up to you, but if you've gotten this far, I trust you'll know what to do after dessert is over (if you don't skip that last course entirely)."

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Qcdude3

    I truly enjoyed many of the comments. The article is total BS. I'm 70 an old guy and I taught myself to cook . As some have already posted, The Joy Of Cooking and Better Homes and Gardens are the bibles. of the kitchen. I think most have missed the fundamental point, at least in my case. I'm a really persnickety eater. I cook to please myself. If others enjoy the foods I cook fine but first it has to meet my own standards. If I'm going to have to jog for 2 hours to work off a small plate of French Fries they won't be previously frozen or from McDonalds. And as Dan said I can change diapers too.

    April 28, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  2. Dan

    Very sad article. I've been married for 8 years and have always been the better cook. Real men know their way around the kitchen, they can also change dirty diapers, just hopefully not at the same time :-0

    April 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  3. bearcat13

    Nominate this post as the worst 'cooking' tips ever...CNN, where do I apply for this idiot's job?

    April 27, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  4. Waconia Guy

    "The onion is one of the toughest things to master, but it's actually pretty easy." What does that even mean?

    You may have fooled your fourth-grade English teacher in to believing you had a writer's talent, but the rest of us can tell a poser when we see one.

    I'm not sure who should be more insulted by this article – women who are supposed to be impressed by a man flipping an omelet (which by the way is not done by 'tossing the pan skyward') or chopping onions under water (try putting bread in your mouth, it works better), or men whose culinary skills are assumed to be lower than the easy-bake-oven level...

    April 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  5. peabody3000

    this article is just plain sad. every single word of it..

    April 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  6. james jones

    Every male should know how to cook, period. It's a basic life skill, like bathing. If you cannot cook, you're crippled. Besides as I told my older son, "Learn how to cook, so you can lure attractive women to your apartment". Best way to stay in shape and maintain ideal body weight is to completely control what you put in your body. Besides it's a heck of alot cheaper than eating out. I only eat out to learn how to cook new things.

    April 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  7. Jen

    The freezer trick for onions really does work. I'm very allergic to whatever the chemical that makes you tear, and I haven't had an allergic reaction yet when I cut onions that way. And an added bonus, you don't look like a total idiot trying many of the other methods like cutting onions with a slice of bread in your mouth, etc.

    April 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  8. Criticalmass

    I mean, this is an article? What is the point of this? Someone got paid to write this? Really? Completely pointless....

    April 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  9. iHateSexistDickBags

    What an awful thing to read. What a sexist and disgusting article. Just imagine the outrage if a similar article was written about women. We need to stop these people who promote the lie that men are brain dead animals.

    April 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. Rick

    I wear swimming goggles when chopping onions, works every time.

    As for burgers the technique is simple, the meat MUST be defrosted, the burger must 80% lean and hand formed into a thick patty. It should be seared to seal in the flavor and do not push down on the patty otherwise all the juices will just spill out and be lost. I like mine well done so I cook them a bit longer. There is no substitute for a real homemade burger.

    April 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Mohamed

    Sheesh...american women are so pathetic that they think it is a great skill to slice an onion or flip an omelet? Most guys in my country can cook a whole meal which involves pretty complicated stuff and the women even more.

    April 27, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Jerv

      Sheesh...generalize much?

      April 27, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  12. Perry

    This article is sexist. Women should be in the kitchen makin me sammitches.

    April 27, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Jerv

      LOL! I'm surprised you didn't get skewered for your comment.

      April 27, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  13. Kuddln

    OMG, Richard Martin is displaying his techniques in cooking skills and to say the least, chopping up onions with the roots downward?! OMG.... I'm just having to rush for my defiberlator and hope that it has enough juice to "revive" me. Where does this Richard Martin reside, India or Pakistan ? LOL

    April 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  14. Linton Dawson

    Only in the USA can an idiot like this make a living off of being.....an idiot!

    April 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  15. Johnny

    onions add flavor but they also give you the farts.

    April 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Renait

    If you really want to impress the girl, CLEAN THE BATHROOM!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Kuddln

      Amen to you Dude ! Clean up your piss-drippins

      April 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  17. conradshull

    I like Pandora (anti-iTunes – too effete), but when iTunes or Pandora make the top five elements of "how to cook", you know it's not going anywhere. Better advice: 1. learn to cook. 2. enjoy it.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Kuddln

      I'm just wondering if the poor lady being fed is up to having dessert afterwards. It is known for women to "upchuck" everything they have eaten when the hot-sweaty-events start to commence.... let alone the penetration levels...

      April 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  18. Jerv

    Good gawd almighty. You people are too incredibly harsh. Forget the onion in water thing, his burger suggestions are spot on. Add onion, steak sauce, I personally don't go with egg, bleu cheese in the middle and served with sharp cheddar and mayo is the bomb!

    April 25, 2011 at 8:04 am |
    • Kuddln

      LOL... you say put some "bleu cheese" in the middle? How would you do that? with your middle finger ? LMAO

      April 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  19. Airwulf

    His heart is in the right place but the head....another story. The article is obviously for the guy who wears a plaid shirt with a bowtie and corduroy trousers.

    April 25, 2011 at 6:42 am |
  20. CP

    Wow, what a complete disaster of an article. I am 26, a woman, and a darn good cook as described by friends and family. I can make anything from scrambled eggs to beef bourguignon (even tried making sushi once, nigiri is hard!). I've also met plenty of men who are wonderful cooks, and they would stare at this article as their brain cells cried for mercy. iTunes? Slicing onions under running water? Eww.

    A point on jarred sauce, though – if you really are in a rush and can't make your own from scratch, get a good quality jar of sauce and gussy it up with some herbs and spices. A pinch of minced garlic, oregano, and basil goes a LONG way to making a better sauce.

    April 25, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  21. TRaveled taster

    To Chop an onion without tears chop near an open flame like the gas stove.
    Best way to flip an omelette is to slide it out of the skillet onto a plate or eden the lid of the pan, invert the skillet over the plate and then flip the whole thing. You dont risk tearing the omelette like with a spatula.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  22. Knuckle Dragger

    Me eat it all raw and hear tunes on vinyl with Close-N-Play.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  23. WhyNotComment

    I've never understood the big deal over chopping an onion and tearing up because of it. Like many others I love to cook and I'd like to think pretty good. I use onions often and tearing up has only happened to me on several occasions, usually if I used several onions or a particularly strong one. Yes, it happens but what's the big deal? This is a cooking "issue" that seems greatly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Frankly, I think the lingering smell of an onion on your fingers is more of a "bother." And steel doesn't seem to do the trick to remove it any faster – it just soap, water and time!

    April 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  24. leatherface

    mr. martin,
    shame on you sir. nowhere in the "burger section" did you inform the reader about first chasing the meat around with a huge chainsaw and terrifing it at every chance. also lacking was the step of:" cut face off of meat (while it is still alive, if possible) and make a death mask from it. poor reporting on your (yes, I used it correctly Grammer Nazis) part friend.

    P.S. the "onion" section was a load of crap. "chop under a running facuet. jesus man, that's DANGEROUS!

    April 24, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  25. You Want Fries With That Burger

    After cutting onion under cold running water................
    Count fingers.
    You should have ten.

    P.S. – Using a microwave is NOT cooking.
    Thank You.

    April 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  26. Jon in AZ

    To be fair.....yes, the article is a total waste. Everyone knows the easiest way to flip an omelet is in zero gravity.....anyhoo, give him SOME credit: You know how hard it is for form even ONE cohesive thought when you're head is firmly planted right next to your colon (if you gotta think about it, you'll get there....)?

    April 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  27. Rose

    The next 5 tips should be "Five ways to clean up the kitchen after cooking!"

    April 24, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  28. Chalie

    Which decade is this guy living. I already new all of that and much more. All of us 30 and 40 something men whose mothers had careers outside the home developed culinary skills our grandfathers couldn't dream of.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  29. choclab00002

    What an insulting article for men. As another commenter said, "real men can cook". And by cook I don't mean grill!

    This is probably an old wive's tale, but I find burning a candle very close to where you are chopping onions helps to reduce the tearing up effect.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  30. Mike in Nj

    This guy is is terrible. Do nothing on this list, and you're better off.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  31. Jan

    So many wasted words about cutting ONIONS????? Sheeeesh.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  32. Bill McGrath

    A couple of observations: people who enjoy cooking generally do it well; those who don't don't. Gender is not a determining factor. Mr. Martin does not know much about cooking. Too many posters on this blog are rude and ignorant.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  33. bob searcy

    to make an omelet ' stronger ' and more managable , you should 'wound ' it a few times with the spatula while its SLOW cooking. these wounds recook to form strong lines in the egg. the joy of cooking cookbook is very nice but one glaring contradiction comes to mind. they tell you to follow recipes to the letter , then every recipe in the book sez season to taste, or substitute ingredients at will. ya cant have it both ways rombauers..my fav is whole wheat breadsticks loaded with sausage and cheese. he he

    April 24, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  34. Bay Love

    Believe it or not tear off a piece of regular bread and hang it out of your mouth while cutting onions and your eyes will not tear; the bread absorbs the fumes. It really works. Old School Trick told to me by my Dad's family.

    April 24, 2011 at 8:18 am |
  35. Kevin

    Go to In and Out and ask for grilled
    onions with your
    and fresh fries
    along with a shake,
    then play
    ruby tuesday by the stones.

    April 24, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  36. Cate

    I was told once that "old" onions were more gassy than fresh ones. I chop onions next to the sink with the cold water running. I rinse the juice off my hands periodically. I don't know if the cold water works or if I just chop faster to get the water turned off! Either way, I hardly ever get the full impact of a potent onion and I use them almost every day.

    April 24, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  37. HAHAFunnyGuy

    Somebody with CNN please read these posts. This guy is a hack and needs to be fired. At least revoke his man card.

    April 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  38. Putt Putt

    I cry looking through a glass onion.

    April 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • FelishaFetish

      Nice Beatles reference-

      April 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  39. frank

    I like to show my date that I've "got it goin' on" by breading my veal cutlets under a running faucet while getting my groove on to a funky fresh Fergie jam from iTunes....

    April 23, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  40. john

    This guy has no clue. Ditto his editor who allowed this meaningless crap to be published.

    An average country ten year old could write a better article.

    April 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  41. Bb

    Tell the b!tch to get into the kitchen and chop the onion, while you stay in your LZ boy and have another beer, that's how real men dice an onion...

    April 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  42. frank

    This article is flabbergasting in its total lack of value.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  43. Jurnee

    Funny thing is...when I saw the article's title I thought...I better read this because as a woman who gets stressed out trying to cook and so has never...repeat has never.... turned the oven on in her kitchen, maybe I will learn some easy cooking tips. I appreciate any man who can cook and would never think to complain about any effort, no matter whether from a jar or not...and no I can't change my tire (and don't want to learn how; that's what a AAA membership is for) and I'm not exactly sure what I'll do about my leaky kitchen faucet (hire someone for sure) I'm just an inept human being. But I am easy to talk to, have a ready smile, and love my job. If I don't figure it out before I kick the bucket then I hope that in my next life...I'll be a good cook and be able to change a tire and have a great time in the hay with the guy of my dreams...heck...I'll be perfect ;)

    April 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
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