This month, we’re celebrating all the special dads, dad figures, and dad mentors out there with a collection of delicious recipes for Father’s Day. We’ve jazzed up the BBQ with some gutsy flavours coupled with options to satisfy the vegetarian and vegan in the crowd. Plus, we’ve provided a few hints for pairing the best-flavoured suds with your meal.
Every dish in our Dad’s Day menu is perfect for serving either outdoors or in, depending on the weather. Make it extra special by gifting your “dad” with a new apron and some BBQ tools. Then be sure to line up family members as sous chefs and give your dad the attention and help he deserves.
Whether they’re flipping burgers or tempeh patties, grilling up planked fish, or assembling a massive salad—a little help on the sidelines will score high on the gratitude scale. For extra points, roll up your sleeves and offer to do all the cleanup.
Typical of Vietnamese fare, bánh mi is a familiar Saigon submarine-type sandwich often sold by street vendors. It’s a soft bun loaded with pickled veggies and shaved cucumber piled high onto grilled meat. We jazzed up our version with spicy kimchi and plenty of fresh crisp cucumber to balance it out.
Cedar-plank grilling is an exceptional way to cook fish without fear of overcooking. Hints of wood smoke penetrate the flesh to add depth while retaining moisture. Cod is commonly available already smoked in many stores, but it can often taste oversalted and dry. Our version suggests using fresh cod from Iceland; grilling on soaked cedar provides smoky overtones while keeping it moist and tasty. Delicious with a new-potato salad and grilled veggies.
Coffee-flavoured BBQ sauce? Why not? It’s a strikingly flavourful combo—sweet, tangy, bold, and rich. It can be used not only on pork but on a variety of other meats. We marinated tenderloin in it and doubled up on the smoky flavour by grilling it on a cedar plank. Serve with a side order of grilled broccolini for extra yum.
Ice cream cakes and/or cookies are everyone’s favourite. And here’s a great option for a delicious “Dad’s” cookie cake that’s gluten free! A simple-to-make cookie cake that’s made even easier when the dough is tossed together in a food processor. End a delicious Dad’s Day meal with this deliciously cool and creamy sweet dessert.
These days beer comes in a dizzying selection of flavours, in an equally diverse array of cans and bottles that bear labels with amazingly creative artwork. From large producers to microbreweries, there’s a flavoured beer to appeal to almost anyone.
For our recipes, we’ve provided our best recommendations based on the recipes, although there’s never just one truly perfect match. Here’s a layperson’s guide to flavours in a widely diverse selection. Let your own beer bias prevail!
IPA stands for India pale ale and is understood to be one of the first brews of the “craft” beer movement. There are many flavours in the IPA grouping, ranging from citrus high notes to hoppy and bitter overtones. Given the immense variety, a flight of IPAs covering a citrus note, hoppy tone, and herbal flavour would be the best way to cover all ranges of taste buds.
Lager is mild and easy to quaff for the beginner in the crowd. It’s a great bevvy for any grilled or chilled recipe. A honey-flavoured lager is an especially easy sipper. Pilsners fall into this grouping.
Pale ale, not to be confused with India pale ale, is blonde in colour and has light alcohol content with a hit of malt.
Stout is a dark and heavier brew stemming from unfermented sugars. Typically sweet overtones, roasted, and somewhat creamy on the tongue. Some brews come with hints of espresso and dark chocolate.
Porter is much like stout but with a greater suggestion of chocolate overtones.
Belgian beers cover the gamut from light to dark and hoppy to citrusy with an enhanced alcohol content.
Wheat beer, like the grain, is light in colour and in alcohol content—perfect for a summer day.
Sour beer is, as it’s called, “sour” as well as tart—perfect for someone with super discerning taste buds.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.