Cookbooks with men in mind

June 16, 1999|By Kathleen Purvis | Kathleen Purvis,Knight Ridder/Tribune

When it comes to Father's Day presents, it's pretty much a tie. Which means you either get him another tie -- does anybody really do that anymore? -- or you get him something he can really use. Like a cookbook, of course. There are plenty of cookbooks written by men, but we're also seeing more cookbooks written for men. And we can only say: Write on.

"A Man and His Pan" by John Boswell (Andrews Mcmeel, $16.95). Boswell's focus is the nonstick skillet -- specifically, a 12-inch saute pan. And he gets a lot of mileage out of it. Chapters cover the range (sorry) from eggs to steaks and chops (they get their own chapter -- we're talking guy food here), chicken, seafood, one-pan meals and stuff to make for kids.

The one-pan idea means most of the recipes are simple, and they're as fat-filled as possible. There are also several flambes, for cooks who like showmanship. Boswell's writing style isn't silly or condescending, which is a relief. And because of the one-pan technique, directions are mostly clear and straightforward.

"A Guy's Guide to Great Eating: Big-Flavored, Fat-Reduced Recipes for Men Who Love to Eat" By Don Mauer (Houghton Mifflin, $17). If you really love a guy, you'll help him eat better. Don Mauer is a big guy, but he lost more than 100 pounds and has kept it off for 10 years.

This book features hearty food, particularly in the serving sizes. Mauer cuts fat and calories with the liberal use of nonfat and reduced-fat products. He's big on personality, which makes his recipes fun to read, and he believes in "real" food, which makes them fun to eat as well.

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