Cardinal Rules to Making Your Purim Seuda a Man-Food Haven
Ladies, before you click away to a page that offers you salad options and diet tips, let’s be real. What is guy food really? Is it not just the food that the girls wish they could eat on a daily basis without gaining all the weight? I’ll tell you: it is. And considering that Purim is basically the Jewish version of backwards day, logic dictates that weight gain from typically boy-friendly food will not occur. (See also for reference: you can’t gain weight on Shabbos).
The basic tenets of manfood are as follows: meat, greens, carbs and sauces. Also, don’t get insulted when they ask you to pass the ketchup.
Firstly; meat. This is the most important category of your man-meal. Simply, no matter how old they are, the men at your table are still growing boys. You want to vary the types of protein in a way that is both familiar and new, like adding a spicy kick to your schnitzel breading or braising your brisket in beer. Avoid hiding or disguising healthier proteins at your seuda; we’re going for popularity here, not heart-health.
You’ll get extra points for any one of the following options: pulled meat , Meat in a taco , meat in individual portions, meat with spicy sauce, meat on or near something fried, and lastly, anything pastrami-fied.
Next, are greens. I warn you ahead of time; this is a trick category. You may be thinking about the ratios of protein and starch to vegetables at this time. While that’s generally a commendable course of thought, trust me, for this meal, it’s misplaced. Save your peppery baby arugula and your vibrant mesclun mix for people who will appreciate it (this especially applies to any salad with fruit in it). There are a select number of vegetables that should be at your man-purim table, and green ones just don’t make the cut. You may include battered and fried vegetables without worrying. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep your leftover situation to a manageable level.
There are some very specific exceptions to the green rule, generally garnishes or herbs. Scallions are the primary crosser of the man/vegetable divide, and they may be sprinkled pretty much everywhere with no negative effects.
On to carbs. Carbohydrates are an important counterbalance to the protein at your meal, and this especially applies if any of the men at your meal will have been drinking, as men sometimes do on Purim. You’re going to want at least one kugel or other potato based dish (acceptable applications include roasted, fried, mashed). Rice, orzo, vermicelli, or any other pasta based dish is also acceptable. Other carbohydrate suggestions include: crusts, doughs, puff pastries and crisps. If any of those words are used to describe a dish at your table, you pretty much have a guaranteed hit on your hands.
Next is sauce, and I’ll keep it simple. No matter how avant-garde the crowd, at least one sauce with a ketchup and brown sugar base is required. You can get fancy with the reductions and the marinades, if you choose, but never, ever forget the ketchup-brown sugar sauce.
Lastly, we have dessert, which doesn't really qualify as guy food at all, but is no less important. The best kinds of dessert are extra drippy, melty and chocolatey, and between the two of us, they don’t need to be fancy. Store bought cookie dough baked over a bar of chocolate does the job in a pinch. For extra bonus points, drizzle some chocolate over the whole darn thing, sprinkle a pinch of flaky salt and call it fancy!
If you’ve applied my basic principles, your guests will be sticking around. You should also consider that they might need a nap after the man meal of the century. Clear the couch!
Here are a couple of my favorite kosher.com recipes that I’ll be serving at my next man-seuda!
- Terra-Stick Cutlet Skewers
- Crunchy Chicken Fingers with Sweet 'N' Spicy Dipping Sauce
- Honey-Hot Drumettes
- Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
- Slow-Cooked Ribs
- Twice Potatoes with Crispy Pastrami Topping