Father’s Day is a great time to show your dad how much you appreciate him, and a good way to do that is to cook him a meal he loves. We’ve all heard the old expression “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Cooking delectable dishes isn’t as hard as you think and will make a big impression on your dad’s stomach.
Steak is a great choice for a Father’s Day meal. Select your favorite cut, and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper. Place a dry cast-iron pan on high heat. When the pan is hot, drizzle a little olive oil or canola oil in the bottom, and add the steak. Cook for two minutes on each side to sear the meat and give a nice, almost-crispy texture to the outside. Immediately remove the pan from heat, cover with foil and place in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Cook to desired meat temperature, without turning. Medium-rare generally takes five to 10 minutes. Serve with a baked potato or sweet potato.
Burgers are a basic meal that can be created many different ways. Start with the Basic Burger recipe, and add a variety of ingredients to change the flavor. Try adding ¼ cup barbecue sauce or swapping the salt and garlic powder for taco seasoning. Add pickled jalapenos and pepper jack or cheddar cheese when serving. Oatmeal provides moisture for the burgers but can be substituted with minced onions, mushrooms or even salsa. Just be sure to use no more than ½ cup per pound of ground beef.
Sweet Thai chili sauce is another flavorful mix-in for burgers. Top the burger with thinly sliced cucumbers, pickled ginger and/or lettuce. Barbecue sauce also is a great topping. Choose your favorite flavor, then serve with your favorite barbecue accompaniment. Like seafood? Substitute cooked, finely chopped shrimp for the ground beef, and instead of using oatmeal, coat each shrimp burger in breadcrumbs and cook in a frying pan. A healthy dash of seafood seasoning and some lemon juice add great flavor. To serve, top with cocktail or tartar sauce. Greek yogurt combined with seafood seasoning also makes a tasty sauce.
Once you plan your main dish, it’s time to consider your sides. A good slaw can be made easily enough. Start with a bag of slaw mix. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ⅓ cup canola oil and ¼ cup sugar. Adjust amounts to your preference, then toss in slaw. Sprinkle with salt or celery salt and 2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Finely chopped apples or mandarin orange slices also can be added.
Another tasty side is pasta salad, which can be made a variety of ways and can be either creamy or oil-based. A quick version can be thrown together with cooked pasta, a bag of frozen veggies that have been cooked and ranch or Italian dressing.
No Father’s Day meal is complete without a dessert. Most men appreciate a layer cake made with boxed cake mix and a can of frosting, but you can get a little more creative. For instance, make a white sheet cake in a 9-by-13-inch pan, and poke holes in it with a wooden spoon as soon as it comes out of the oven. Pour a mixture of 1 cup hot water, 1 cup cold water and two boxes of raspberry or strawberry gelatin across the top. Add a layer of sliced strawberries (if using fresh berries, sprinkle slices with granulated sugar and let sit in a bowl for 30 minutes, then add berries and juice to the cake). Top with a combination of 8 ounces of whipped topping and ½ box of cheesecake or white chocolate pudding. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. If you’d prefer to make something besides cake, cut a roll of cookie dough into 12 slices, and press each slice into a muffin tin coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees, then remove from the oven to cool. Fill the cookie “cups” with your favorite ice cream, pudding or frosting.
Spending a little time in the kitchen will go a long way in showing your dad how much he’s appreciated. Happy cooking!
– Tiffany Hughes is an Acworth resident and works for the Booth Western Art Museum. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
1 cup dry oatmeal (NOT instant)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
Place beef in a large bowl, then add the next four ingredients and mix with hands. Once everything is combined, add the egg. Divide mixture into fourths, and form into patties. Place on a tray lined with wax paper, and refrigerate at least 15 minutes to give the flavors time to meld. Cook burgers via your favorite cooking method, making sure to turn only once.
Steak and Baked Potato Pizza
1 prepared pizza crust
1 large cooked steak, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 cups cooked mashed potatoes
1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, pepper jack or cheddar cheese
½ stick butter, cut into pieces
Spread mashed potatoes on pizza crust. Season if desired. Add chopped steak, then sprinkle with parsley and dry seasonings. Place butter pieces among steak pieces. Sprinkle cheese on top, then bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted.
NOTE: If using canned pizza crust, pre-bake it, then wrap foil around the edges to prevent burning when baking the pizza.
Veggie Pasta Salad
16 ounces bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon
8 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
2 cups various vegetables (shredded carrots, diced bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
2 fresh lemons
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
4 ounces crumbled feta or shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, but add chicken bouillon to the water when it begins to heat. If using carrots or peppers, add them to the pasta. When pasta is fork-tender, immediately drain and transfer to a large bowl, then add the spinach and other remaining veggies. Mix well to give spinach time to wilt. Stir in the cheese. Zest both lemons into the pasta, then juice both and add. Drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Chocolate Marshmallow Pie
1 graham cracker crust
7-ounce jar Marshmallow Fluff
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces whipped topping
Chocolate sundae syrup
Optional: chopped candied walnuts
In a medium bowl, whip together the Marshmallow Fluff and cream cheese with a hand mixer. Once combined, fold in whipped topping. Spread into the graham cracker crust. Drizzle concentric circles of chocolate syrup across the top, then take a toothpick and drag outwards from the center to create a spider web effect. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
NOTE: This is good with 10 crushed chocolate sandwich cookies added to the mixture.