For the last few weeks, I have been working on a Father’s Day Menu worthy for all you dads. After all, if I am going to publish menus for special occasions, it only seems fitting that you dads get equal footing as us moms, don’t you agree?
When I started planning this menu, I immediately thought of meat. I haven’t met a man to date who didn’t like animal protein, particularly ribs. After a couple of attempts, I came up with a ribs recipe that I think you men will really like…
…no, LOVE…Coffee Bourbon Ribs with Bourbon Black Pepper Glaze. When I began thinking about a rub & BBQ sauce, I went to Williams-Sonoma, my favorite retail place in the entire world, where I tasted all of the sauces & talked at length with Jason, who runs the store in Greensboro. Jason, you have an impeccable palate, & you have never steered me wrong when I have asked for a “menu consult”. We both agreed that for a variety of different palates, their Bourbon Black Pepper BBQ Sauce would be best. The sauce has a wonderful smoky flavor with hints of coffee to me, & it isn’t terribly sweet. The hint of coffee inspired the dry rub I created for the ribs. Yep, it’s a boring name, but what else can you call Coffee Rub? The rub is composed of instant coffee & unsweetened cocoa, and a variety of other spices, including ginger, black pepper, dry mustard, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika & cinnamon…the rub has a wonderful depth without being terribly spicy, which is great for the kids, as they should be considered when planning a Father’s Day menu. Anything with a lot of heat doesn’t go over particularly well in our home, & I assume it wouldn’t for most of your homes either.
Anyhoo, I prepared the ribs with the dry rub, then refrigerated the ribs overnight. When I began grilling the ribs, I wanted to keep them moist while cooking “low & slow”. It just seemed fitting that a bourbon “spritz” would complete the recipe. The spritz is a mixture of bourbon, agave & balsamic vinegar…if you want to take this recipe to the next level, I recommend buying a bottle of Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar from Midtown Olive Oil. The vinegar rocks & is perfect combined with the agave & bourbon. I “spritzed” the vinegar every 30 minutes or so for 5 hours, then poured the Bourbon Black Pepper BBQ Sauce over the ribs, and cooked them for another hour, so the sauce would reduce to a sticky glaze.
Jason & I decided that both a slaw & a potato salad would be best to serve with the ribs. What man doesn’t love potatoes? I’m not a huge fan of mayonnaise-based salads, particularly in hot weather. I recently sampled the Greens Pesto made by Natalie, the owner of Cornerstone Garlic Farm, & was inspired. Natalie uses Asian collards, which are quite tender & mild in flavor. I added sweet basil, Marcona almonds & garlic scapes, which are more subtle in flavor. Instead of boiling the potatoes, I roasted them with a coating of Midtown’s Eureka Lemon Olive Oil…THE BEST…& tossed the roasted potatoes with fresh tomatoes & a generous dollop of Basil Collard Pesto. All I can say about Potato-Tomato Salad with Basil Collard Pesto is yum.
For a slaw, I combined spiralized multicolored carrots with jicama & mint for a nice crunchy slaw, but I cheated on the dressing. Have you ever tried any of Briannas Dressings? They’re all delish. I’ve always liked the combination of carrots with orange & ginger, so when I saw the bottle of their Saucy Ginger Mandarin Homestyle Dressing, I said to myself, “Bingo”. I confess that I tweaked the dressing by adding fresh orange juice & zest, as well as Dijon mustard, and that gave the Carrot Jicama Slaw the right amount of “tang”, if you will.
We decided that Dad’s favorite craft beer would be perfect served with the meal. I, of course, opted for a Pinot Noir…Meiomi, my fave…which was really good, too. Now, you do know that once you give Dad a beer, he is going to want to take over the grill. That means you’ve been replaced. Rather than argue, just accept it…grilling is a guy’s thing, anyway. But, he is going to be hungry, and that will increase as he continues with beer-drinking. Since it’s Father’s Day, Dad deserves an appetizer. Most guys like dips & chips…with fresh corn available, how about a corn dip? Nah, too boring. Try, instead, serving a combination of avocado, raw corn, light cream cheese & fat-free sour cream…with cilantro and a touch of jalapeño added. All the ingredients are put into a blender or food processor, and, in minutes, Creamy Avocado Corn Dip is ready! Serve the dip with crispy bacon, cucumber slices & blue corn chips, which are all gluten-free, which makes this a keeper all summer long.
For dessert, there is nothing better than pie, especially when berries are in season. Cherry Berry Crostata can be made in minutes as well, thanks to the convenience of unroll pie crusts! Toss about 2 pounds of mixed berries & cherries with a little vanilla & Cointreau…add in some cornstarch…pour into the center of the piecrust…fold up the edges & bake…what dad isn’t going to love this dessert?
Happy Father’s Day & Weekend! Enjoy the Father’s Day Menu! Cheers!