Get the idea: Relaxed dinners for Dad
For most of us, every special occasion has an association with food. Food is the social cement that sticks us together. The shared table brings us together. Every celebration deserves a good meal, Father’s Day included — it’s time to reward and acknowledge good dads. I doubt food is gender-specific, apart from the fact that body size generally determines appetite. So you don’t need to get hung up about anything that could be labelled “men’s food”. Everyone just likes good food.
Whip some butter until pale and creamy and add the same amount of crumbled blue cheese, a big pinch of chilli flakes and some chopped chives. Mix well and reserve at room temperature. Rub your favourite steak with a little crushed garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper and pan fry or barbecue until cooked the way you like it. Serve the hot steak with a dollop of the blue cheese butter and agria potatoes which have been scrubbed, cut into chunks, tossed in extra virgin olive oil and roasted on a baking paper-lined oven tray at 200C for about 1 hour until browned and crisp.
Make plenty of well-seasoned vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and add plenty of finely diced preserved lemon peel, lots of halved cherry tomatoes, capers, plenty of chopped mint and coriander leaves and a thinly sliced red chilli. Place an organic chicken in a large saucepan, add a chopped carrot, celery stick, onion and large sprig of parsley. Bring to the boil and simmer 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a small knife. Remove from the saucepan, (strain the liquid/stock and freeze for further use) carve and place on a warm serving platter. Spoon the tomato mixture over the top and serve warm with rice and a green vegetable.
Slice carrots, peeled pumpkin and kumara 1 cm thick, cut cauliflower and broccoli into florets, place in a large bowl and add cumin and fennel seeds, chopped garlic, a sprinkle of ground turmeric, plenty of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread out on a large baking paper-lined oven tray. Place in a 200C oven and roast 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned. Serve on boiled French lentils that have been drained and tossed with extra virgin olive oil, with plain unsweetened yoghurt and harissa on the side.
Make a marinade of Japanese soy sauce with slightly more than the same amount of mirin. Place boned salmon fillet, flesh side down, in the mix in a shallow ovenproof dish and marinate 1 hour. Turn over and place in a 200C oven for 15-20 minutes or until well-browned and just cooked through. Serve with a little of the cooking liquid on steamed rice and steamed sweet stem broccoli and bok choy. Sweet chilli sauce on the side.
Put a mix of half pork mince and half beef mince in a bowl. Add plenty of finely chopped garlic, some dried oregano, salt, pepper and a beaten egg. Make the mixture into small, tablespoon-sized meatballs and fry until browned and cooked in extra virgin olive oil. Serve tossed through hot, al dente short pasta with pitted Kalamata olives, halved cherry tomatoes, blanched green beans or asparagus, chopped parsley and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Serve with plenty of freshly grated parmesan.
Gently fry finely chopped onions, garlic and thinly sliced chorizo for 15 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add a can of chopped tomatoes in juice, bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes. Don’t add salt but do add plenty of live well-scrubbed mussels. Cover, bring to the boil and steam the mussels open. Serve tossed through hot al dente spaghetti. Cheese is unnecessary.
Soak some fresh breadcrumbs in a little white wine and mix with minced pork, chopped garlic and parsley. Form into burger patties and pan-fry or barbecue until done. Serve between halved toasted sourdough baps with sauerkraut, baby cos lettuce, thinly sliced red onion and bought mayo mixed with Dijon mustard. On the side, serve with the same roasted agrias as in the steak idea, above.
Fry well-seasoned skinned and boned fish fillets which have been lightly sprinkled with ground cumin in a little vegetable oil until just cooked and browned. Stuff these into crisp taco shells with sliced iceberg lettuce, sliced pickled jalapenos and a simple guacamole made with a small chopped red onion, a sliced green chilli, a handful of coriander and a chopped ripe tomato all pounded together and a couple of crushed avocados stirred in and seasoned with lime juice and salt.
Place plenty of pork spare ribs in a large bowl and add a big splash of naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce, a little vegetable oil, a sprinkle of Chinese five spice powder, chopped garlic and ginger, a chopped peeled cored apple, a little brown sugar and a cup of water. Mix well then spread the ribs out, put everything else evenly over the top and place in a 180C oven for 1-1 ½ hours or until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is very tender on the bones. Remove from the oven and serve with steamed rice, thinly sliced cucumber, red capsicum and carrot, coriander sprigs and sliced red chilli.
Fry an extravagant amount of thinly sliced red onions with a big sprig of rosemary, chopped garlic and yellow mustard seeds in extra virgin olive oil for 20 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add beef stock to cover, bring to the boil and thicken lightly with a thin slurry of cornflour mixed with cold water. Season well with balsamic vinegar, a little brown sugar, pepper and salt. Serve this red onion gravy over your favourite pan-fried or barbecued sausages with a plainly cooked green vegetable on the side.
See our breakfast for Dad and Edible gifts for Dad recipe collections.