The media makes us believe that our only food option for Father’s Day is to grill, grill, grill! Not necessarily.
The key to a successful Father’s Day meal is to remember that every dad is unique. Decide what he loves most. Maybe Dad has a definite sweet tooth or savory appetite around which to work a menu.
Homemade doesn’t mean complicated. Take the leftover Shabbat brisket and “pull” it for pulled meat sandwiches with a barbecue sauce. Or gather favorite ingredients the night before and on Sunday have a taco bar, baked potato bar or waffle bar. Marinated shish kabobs are easy to prepare one day in advance on a tray, refrigerating until grilling or roasting.
By the way, the winning word on the recent Scripps National Spelling Bee was knaidel. As a scholarly salute — since there may be some grads as well as dads — serve some chicken soup with small knaidels as an appetizer in coffee cups.
My beer dip with pretzels will please all guests as a starter for lunch or dinner, and it’s easy to make in advance. Everyone wants this recipe.
Ask guests to come prepared with a three-minute story/toast (funny or nostalgic) about Dad (or grad). End with a warm fresh fruit cobbler and some of Dad’s favorite ice cream. Or how about a cool key lime pie finale?
Tips & Tricks
> Mix equal parts of ketchup and Italian salad dressing for a great marinade on poultry, meat or veggies — on or off the grill.
> You can create a kosher cheeseburger by using a veggie burger and regular cheese. Some veggie burgers taste just like beef once you layer the lettuce, tomato, onions, sauce, pickles, etc.
> Line taco shells with lettuce before adding the remaining ingredients.
> Place hard avocados in a brown bag with a banana to ripen in only 24 hours.
Easy Beer Dip (Dairy)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened (one regular and one low-fat is OK)
1⁄3 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer
1 1-ounce package dry ranch salad-dressing mix
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, preferably finely grated
1⁄4 cup sour cream and one chopped green onion, optional pretzels of choice to dip
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, beer and dressing mix until smooth. Stir in the grated cheese. Add some sour cream, if desired, and finely chopped green onion. Chill for a few hours or up to a few days in refrigerator. I like to add all the ingredients, except pretzels, in a food processor for a smoother dip. If mixture is too thick, add more beer or sour cream or simply turn the thicker mixture into a cheese ball rolled in crushed pretzels. Yields about 31⁄2 cups.
Easy Breakfast/Brunch Burrito (Dairy)
6 eggs (or equal amount of egg substitute)
1⁄3 cup milk
1⁄4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt to taste
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
4 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed
2⁄3 cup preferably dry (large) curd cottage cheese
ketchup for garnish, if desired
In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and cheese. Season with some salt. Pour into a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until scrambled.
Season the chopped avocados with a little salt. Place the tortillas one at a time in a separate nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until just warm. Spread equal amounts of the avocado mixture on one side of each warmed tortilla. Layer with equal amounts of cottage cheese and scrambled eggs. Roll up into burritos and serve with a ketchup dip. This is a very “forgiving” recipe. You can use regular cottage cheese or crumbled goat’s cheese and another flavor of shredded cheese. Add chopped scallions or other favorites, but let the avocados be the star. 4 servings.
Key Lime and Pretzel Crust Pie (Dairy)
1⁄3 cup butter
3 tablespoons white sugar
11⁄4 cups finely crushed (like bread crumbs) pretzels
1⁄4 cup key lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh lime rind
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
11⁄3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a smaller 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in the sugar. Remove from stove and stir in the crushed pretzels until well mixed. Press into the pie plate. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool before filling. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, grated rind, 1⁄3 cup whipped topping and condensed milk. Mix well and pour into the crust. Chill in refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the remaining whipped topping into a pastry bag and pipe it decoratively around the outer edge of the pie. When using a larger 10-inch pie dish, you may want to double the filling. You can also use a store-bought graham cracker crust, but the salty pretzel crust is unique and tasty with the key lime filling. 8 servings.