It’s a Father’s Day rite of passage: grilling with Dad. To kids whose eyes barely reach above the grill grate, the opportunity to stand so perilously close to the action on their pops’ big day feels giddily “big-boy.” From the kids’ perspectives, dads aren’t just flipping burgers or searing ribs — they are the pied pipers of dancing flames, the tamers of smoky hellfire and the courageous warriors of weekend meals.
And so, for such a day and for such a warrior, a menu of equal valor seems only appropriate.
The following Father’s Day recipes are some of my very favorites. None are too complicated or involved, and best of all, these eats can be easily prepared with the help of a little sidekick — or maybe a few! Check them out (along with my five best grilling tips!) Enjoy!
Grilled Veal Chops with Pesto, Arugula and Grape Tomatoes
4 veal chops, cut 1-inch thick
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbs. snipped fresh sage or thyme
1 tbs. white wine Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
8 large fresh mushrooms
2 tbs. prepared pesto
1 lb. baby arugula
1 cup sliced ½-ripe grape tomatoes
Trim fat from chops. Place chops in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, combine wine, sage, Worcestershire sauce, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Pour over chops; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Drain veal chops, reserving marinade. Sprinkle chops with freshly ground black pepper. For a charcoal grill, grill chops on the rack of an uncovered grill, directly over medium coals, to desired doneness, turning and brushing with marinade halfway through cooking. Allow 12 to 14 minutes for medium-rare (145°F) and 15 to 17 minutes for medium (160°F).
Meanwhile, carefully remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems for another use or discard. Brush mushroom caps with reserved marinade; place mushrooms, stem sides down, on grill rack. Grill for 4 minutes. Turn stem sides up; spoon some pesto into each. Grill about 4 minutes more or until heated through. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place chops, then mushrooms on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Serve mushrooms with veal chops. Makes 4 servings.
Toss baby arugula and grape tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil. Sea salt and pepper; garnish the chop with the fresh arugula salad.
Grilled Prawns (Shrimp) With Coriander & Orange
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1⁄2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbs. ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
3 tbs. orange marmalade
24 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Place oil, lime juice, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, orange marmalade and ground coriander in a food processor and process until achieving a smooth paste consistency. Place prawns in a bowl and coat with 1/3 of the paste. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Thread prawns onto skewers (presoaked if using wooden).
Cook on high heat on a preheated barbecue 2-3 minutes. Drizzle with remaining paste and serve.
Grilled Corn on the Cob With Jalapeño-Lime Butter
2 jalapeño chiles
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. grated lime peel
6 ears fresh corn, unhusked
Prepare barbecue (high heat). Grill chiles until charred on all sides. Cool 5 minutes. Using small paring knife, peel chiles. Scrape out seeds and pale membranes; discard. Coarsely chop chiles; transfer to processor. Add butter, garlic and lime peel; process until smooth. Season jalapeño-lime butter to taste with salt. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Grill corn until husks blackened on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Wearing oven mitts to protect hands, remove husks and silk from corn. Serve immediately with jalapeño-lime butter and salt.
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3 tbs. cornstarch
1 tbs. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Marshmallows, as needed
For the Ganache
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease or butter an 8-in. cake pan. Place parchment paper on the bottom. Spray the pan and the parchment. For individual cheesecakes, use a silicone mold that has 12 cavities and nearly fill each.
Place one 8-oz. package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining packages of cream cheese.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar, then beat in the vanilla, and salt. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter. Slowly mix in the cream and sour cream until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a large, shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour (use no waterbath if making individual cheesecakes and bake roughly 25 minutes or until lightly browned) or until the top is lightly browned and center is set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open.
In small saucepan, heat heavy cream to a simmer (not boil). Remove from heat. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Allow to cool a bit, then top each cheesecake with a spoonful of the ganache. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs atop the ganache or around the plate. Top the cheesecakes with marshmallows and toast with a kitchen torch or quickly under the broiler. Serve and enjoy.
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