What to make for Father's Day!

Our dads are important to us, whether they help teach us how to tie our shoes or cheer for us at our little league games. Nothing beats that pat on the shoulder or big bear hug they provide when they are proud of us for reaching another milestone in life. These are just a few simple reasons why we celebrate Fathers Day. It is time to pull out all the stops and do something extra special for dear old dad.

Many dads have a love of the grill so making an extra special dinner is a great way to show dad that he is number one in your books.
I think of all the great dads I know, my dad, my father in law, my husband, friends husbands, grandfathers, uncles and cousins. They each are unique and have a wonderful story and family that shares in their love. Sometimes we may find it hard to think of that special something for our dads and rely on old gift favourites like ties and tools, but this year I’d like you to try something perhaps a bit different for your family and take an adventure in food!

Head out to The Aberfoyle market on Saturday to start your adventure with dad (open from 8 am to 1pm). In this open air market you will find bread, cheese, meats, vegetables and fruits and perhaps even some other local dads! Grab breakfast and enjoy some fresh local eggs and then stock up for your dinner that you will be making for dad.

I picked up some favourite ingredients for dads last weekend like Black Walnut Lane’s ribeye steaks, perfect for the barbecue and had a chat with Adele Service who owns the Millgrove farm with her husband Ron and can fill you in on just how tasty and wonderful their products are. Just down from her table was one of my favourite cheese shops, Chartelli’s who had an array of their fine cheeses that dad would enjoy on their own or perhaps with a Late Bottled Vintage Port. The addition of port in the recipe I made for Father’s day adds a touch of sweetness and depth that can not only be used to make a decadent sauce but will also taste delicious as an after dinner drink. Now while some dad’s may prefer to have a cigar with port, I think dads I know would certainly enjoy some fresh local strawberries that are drizzled with some dark chocolate and topped with whipped cream to end their special days meal. So be sure to pick up some Ontario strawberries this weekend because they are truly sweet and juicy!
What makes this steak sing with a burst of flavour is the addition of blue cheese crumbled on top. Not to worry if dad isn’t a fan you can leave it off, but you could also just give it a little sprinkle to try something new and keep the adventure alive. A favourite Canadian blue cheese is Bleu Benedictine which also adds creaminess to the dish.

So instead of making Father’s day a one day event start a bit earlier and enjoy his company and hang out with him. For the older kids reconnect with your dad and catch up on old stories. For the young kids, this is a new learning experience with dads I love watching as they ask their dads “what does this taste like daddy? Can I try it?” Explore and be creative and adventurous because dads are worth it and what dad couldn’t use a little adventure now and again! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, eat well and be happy!

Grilled Steaks with Grape Tomato Port Sauce

This steak recipe is an adaptation of my dear friend Teresa Makeriwicz, Professional Home Economist extraordinaire! Her husband Juris is a dad of 3 and big food lover. So she knows that one of his favourites is steak and she’ll be serving this steak up for him this weekend! Serve this steak with a side of spinach salad or your dad’s favourite greens to balance out the plate.

4 Ontario beef rib eye or tenderloin grilling steaks, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Port Sauce:
2 tbsp (30mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) Late Bottled Vintage Port
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled Bleu Benedictine cheese

Season steak with salt and pepper. Place on greased preheated grill over medium high heat and grill for about 4 minutes per side for medium rare or until meat thermometer registers 145 F (63 C). Tent with foil and let stand for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic, stirring for about 3 minutes or until tender. Slowly add port and bring to boil. Stir in tomatoes, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each of the salt and pepper; reduce to medium and simmer about 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to split and sauce has reduced slightly.

Place steaks on serving plates. With slotted spoon, divide tomatoes among steaks. Scatter cheese over top and spoon remaining sauce over steaks.

Makes 4 servings.


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