Cooking, Blokes & ArtichokesA Modern Man's Kitchen Handbook

The debut cookbook from critically acclaimed chef Brendan Collins with 100 recipes to impress your mates

Are you looking for tasty, no bullshit food? You’ve come to the right place. Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes is for every bloke searching for inspiration and a solid guide to good cooking. Brendan’s 100 straightforward recipes can help any modern man broaden his kitchen skills―from making proper vinaigrette to the foolproof technique for braising meat. Brendan covers everything, from super simple side dishes, such as Roasted Winter Vegetables and Burrata Salad, to game day nibbles such as Spiced Lamb Shanks, Homemade Pita Breads, and Spiced Yogurt Dip, and ending with desserts; the book wouldn’t be complete without his famous Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Sometimes it’s about a quick meal thrown together on the fly―mushrooms on toast, or a lamb burger charred up nicely on the grill―but when you have some time to tinker, Brendan will show you how to roast a pig’s head to glistening, golden perfection, cure your own duck prosciutto, and put up jars of silky, savory caramelized onion compote for a crazy flavor boost. Over time, you’ll grow into a solid, intuitive cook―just wait and see. So go ahead; roll up your sleeves and get cooking.





Brendan Collins is executive chef of Birch, Larry’s, and The Corner Door in Los Angeles. He has appeared on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” and MTV’s “House of Food,” as well as The Esquire Channel’s “Knife Fight.”

Drawing on his training in butchery and belief in using the whole animal, Collins is dedicated to using only the best ingredients and cooking food that he likes to eat. He worked at several prominent restaurants in London, including those of Marco Pierre White, before moving to L.A. He combines impeccable French technique, seasonal California ingredients, and his inimitable “British lad” attitude to his cuisine.





Chinese five-spice powder is one of my all-time favourite seasonings, and I encourage you to get very friendly with it. It takes its name not from the number of ingredients, but the way this single spice mix hits on all five principal tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami). The flavour is warm and sweet, and I find that it acts like a bridge between salt and the heat of chillis, giving these ribs a really round, warm deliciousness. It’s a wonderful, versatile seasoning to add to pork, beef, or duck. Chinese five-spice powder also lends meat a handsome reddish tone—like that nice red bark that you get when you put meat in a smoker—which is a big improvement over the unappetizing gray tinge that ribs can take on when they’re cooked in the oven.


2 racks St. Louis–style pork ribs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Chinese five−spice powder

1 cup Palm Sugar Caramel

1. Preheat the oven to 225°F.

2. Season your ribs on both sides very simply with salt and pepper and dust with the Chinese five-spice powder.

3. Place the ribs meat-side down in a pair of aluminum or glass baking dishes. Cover the dishes with tinfoil and roast the meat for 4 hours.

4. Drain off the drippings. Flip the ribs over using two spatulas (and an extra pair of hands, if you have them) so the meat side is now up. Be gentle, as they may be so tender they start falling apart. Paint a layer of palm sugar caramel on the ribs and return them to the oven uncovered for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Serve straight out of the oven.



2 cups palm sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 cups thinly sliced shallots (from

4 to 6 large shallots)

1 dried hot red chilli, such as chilli de árbol

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Asian fish sauce

1. In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine the palm sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals that have stuck to the side of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer undisturbed until it begins to reach a medium amber colour, about 20 minutes (watch the pot carefully, because caramel can go from pale to burned in a matter of seconds).

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the shallots, chilli, star anise, cinnamon, and black pepper. Carefully whisk in the fish sauce and another 1/4 cup water—the caramel will seize up and spit. Return the pan to medium heat and stir it until the caramel is smooth and dissolved. Pour it into a heatproof bowl and let it cool completely. Remove the chilli, star anise, and cinnamon stick and use while warm.kf


Who doesn’t love a deviled egg? These one-bite beauties are the perfect companions to a cold beer—better than your mum’s, although don’t tell her I said so. Bet you can’t eat just six!

A word about the eggs: don’t be a cheapskate. Buy the free-range organic eggs. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you’ll be rewarded by the better-tasting yolks of chickens who aren’t being tortured.


12 large organic eggs

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Drizzle of Sriracha sauce, plus more to taste

Drizzle of Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

8 slices crisp bacon, broken into 3 even pieces each

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or green scallion tops


1.Place the eggs in a large pot and cover them by an inch with warm water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and boil the eggs for 8 minutes—best to set a timer so that you don’t end up with overcooked, powdery egg yolks. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to chill down.

2. Peel the eggs, gently cut them in half from top to bottom, and remove the yolks to the bowl of a food processor. Add the mayo, curry paste, lime juice and zest, Sriracha, Tabasco, fish sauce, and mustard and blend until smooth, about 1 minute (this can also be done by hand, but the yolks won’t be as creamy).

3. Taste the yolk mixture and add salt if needed. If it’s not devilish enough for you, add some more Sriracha.

4. Scoop the yolk mixture into a piping bag and squeeze it into the cavity of each egg white. Pro tip: if you don’t have a piping bag, you can cut the corner off a zip-top bag, seal the yolk mixture inside, and squeeze it out that way.

5. Poke a piece of bacon into each egg half and sprinkle with the chives or scallion tops. Pop open a beer and eat.kf


In my first couple of years out of culinary school, I worked as a commis at Café Royal on Piccadilly Circus, just as a Dunkin’ Donuts was going in a few doors down. I had never had a doughnut before— they are very much an American import—but I quickly learned that doughnuts are something of a perfect food when you are young, broke, and working weird hours. I liked them so much that I set to work designing a version that would fit into a restaurant context. This recipe was on the menu at Waterloo & City for most of the time that restaurant was in business due to its tremendous appeal with our diners. It is seriously decadent. Brioche is buttery and rich to begin with, before you go dunking it in hot oil and finishing it with a buttery bourbon glaze.

MAKES 12 TO 18

2⁄3 cup cold whole milk

2 tablespoons dry active yeast

31/2 cups all−purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 large cold eggs

5 large cold egg yolks

11/4 cups (21/2 sticks) cold butter, cubed

1. Place half of the milk in a small bowl and warm it in the microwave until lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and leave it for 3 to 4 minutes to dissolve.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, and salt well. Slowly add the eggs and yolks, then scrape the bowl down. Add the remaining (cold) milk and mix well. Add the yeast mixture.

3. With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly add the butter a few cubes at a time, allowing it to become mostly incorporated before adding more.

4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spray it with cooking spray.

Transfer the dough to the prepared tray, cover it with clingfilm, and let it rest in the fridge overnight.

5. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds 1 to 11/2 inches in diameter. Let the doughnuts sit in a warm room until doubled in size, 8 to 10 minutes.

6. If you’ve got an electric fryer by chance, use it, because they’re way safer; if not, take a heavy pot like a Dutch oven and fill it two thirds full with cooking oil. Position a thermometer in the oil and heat it nice and slow over medium heat until the temperature reads 350°F. Working a few at a time (don’t crowd the pot, gents), fry the doughnuts until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined baking tray. Toss each doughnut in bourbon glaze while still warm, or serve the glaze on the side. Eat immediately.



1 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 vanilla bean

11/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced

1 tablespoon bourbon

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the brown sugar, vanilla bean, and corn syrup and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.

2. Once the brown sugar is fully melted, reduce the mixture to a simmer and add the condensed milk, butter, and bourbon. Continue to simmer, stirring,until all the butter is incorporated and the glaze is smooth.


Taken from Cooking, Blokes + Artichokes by Brendan Collins. Photography by Jean Cazals.

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