Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Day Menu

We're hosting Deonne's family for Father's Day this year. I'm looking forward to it - it's a lot of work with the young family we have - but it helps me feel closer to the family I miss so much. My Dad LOVED to entertain - I remember growing up in Kennewick with my parents as part of a Gourmet Food Club. The Club would rotate on a monthly basis - and each month the host couple would concoct a themed gourmet dinner. I remember Hawaiian night and French night - and I'm sure there were others.

Every holiday was a big bash in my house growing up - I've seen the pictures of my baptism of the buffet table - where my dad insisted on not only a ham, but also a turkey, and tons of platters of food weighing down the table.

I wish he could be here this Father's Day - so in his absence, I'll try to host a family dinner that he would be proud of.

I've put together the menu - and instead of printing recipes that I'll eventually lose or having to hunt them down in cyberspace I thought I'd type them here - so I can easily reference:

Pimento Cheese and Pita Chips (from Di Prato's)

Main Course:
Grilled marinated london broil
Red potato salad
Pasta salad with pesto and peas
Cucumber and dill salad
Corn on the cob
Tossed green salad

Gooey butter cake w/vanilla ice cream
Sugar cookie cut outs

The Recipes:

Grilled London Broil (Southern Living - April '01)
1 1/2 pounds London broil (about 3/4-inch thick)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Greek seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place beef between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Combine garlic and next 3 ingredients in a shallow dish or large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add beef. Cover or seal, and chill 8 hours. Remove beef from marinade, discarding marinade.

Grill beef, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (300° to 350°) 7 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices.

Pasta, Petso, and Peas - (Barefoot Contessa Parties)
3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe below)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree.

Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

New Potato Salad (Barefoot Contessa)


3 pounds small red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk, milk, or white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion


Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten.

(As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing.) Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Gooey Butter Cake (Paula Deen)

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

Prepare Filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

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