If you know me at all, you know that being a chef is the great joy of my life. But, truth be told, it’s actually the third great joy. The two things that makes life worth living, for me, are being a husband, and being a father.
Cooking and writing are a close third, and fourth.
I’ve opted out of restaurant work because it’s hard to be the kind of family man I want to be, working that lifestyle. It can be done, and there are a LOT of great chefs out there who are amazing dads, I just didn’t want to risk not being one of them.
Father’s day is a big deal for me.
After we struggled with infertility for more than a decade, the first father’s day I celebrated with my baby girl was one of the best days of my life, and I continue to look forward to the homemade cards, and favorite breakfast (which is whatever “The Pickle” chooses to cook for me), and adding a ball-cap to my “Best Dad” collection. I look forward to it all year long!
Father’s Day, a customary day for the celebration of fatherhood in Catholic Europe, is known to date back to at least the Middle Ages, and it is observed on March 19th, as the feast day of Saint Joseph. The celebration was brought to the Americans by the Spanish and Portuguese, and in Latin America, Father’s Day is still celebrated on March 19th.
Father’s Day was not celebrated in the US, outside Catholic traditions, until the 20th century. As a civic celebration in the US, it was inaugurated in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day by celebrating fathers and male parenting.
The Founding Father (and daughter) of Father’s Day
On June 19, 1910, a Father’s Day celebration was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the civil war veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak at a Father’s Day celebration.
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Here’s my favorite “dad dinner” to put me in a food coma in front of the TV…
- Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
- Perfect Pan Seared Steaks
- Baked Chili Sweet Potatoes
- Sauteed Fresh Spinach with Lemon & Garlic
A rib steak is a beef steak sliced from the rib primal of a beef animal, with rib bone attached. In the United States, the term rib-eye steak is used for a rib steak with the bone removed; however in some areas, and outside the U.S., the terms are often used interchangeably.
The term “cowboy ribeye” or “cowboy cut” is often used in American restaurants for a bone-in rib eye. The rib eye or “ribeye” was originally, as the name implies, the center best portion of the rib steak, without the bone. In Australia, “ribeye” is used when this cut is served with the bone in. With the bone removed, it is called “Scotch fillet”.
It is both flavorful and tender, coming from the lightly worked upper rib cage area. Its marbling of fat makes it very good for fast and hot cooking.
First and of foremost importance to searing the perfect skillet steak is the skillet.
You need a large, well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (12-16 inch, a similar sized dutch oven will work in a pinch). If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, go buy one. If you’re not willing to buy one, stop reading now, you can’t make this recipe.
Perfect Skillet-Seared Rib Steak Dinner
2 bone-in rib steaks, at least 1 1/2-inches thick, about 1 pound each
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
1/2 cup butter
8-10 cloves of whole peeled garlic
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry Sherry
Pre-heat oven to 300F.
Pat steaks dry with paper towels. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 40 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat until heavily smoking. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper, add steaks, onions, and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, flipping just once.
Remove steaks to a pre-warmed baking dish and place in preheated oven. Leave onions and garlic in the skillet, add parsley.
If dad is more a a “filet” kinda guy, blow his mind with this Filet Mignon with Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce!
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium, and let cool slightly (add a little more oil if necessary).
Add sherry and butter and saute, stirring and scarping up any browned bits left from the meat, simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Replace steaks to the skillet and flip to coat evenly.
Move steaks and sauce to a warm baking dish and place in the oven to finish (do NOT wipe the skillet clean!)
Cook to an internal temp of 130F. Remove steaks from oven and spoon with pan sauce. Tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, cook spinach in skillet (see below.)
Baked Chili Sweet Potatoes
(Cook before the steaks, finish right before serving)
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tsp. Mexican chili powder
- 4 Tbs. butter
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
With a sharp knife, slash sweet potato skin 4-5 times.
Place in pre-heated oven and bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Slice each potato open, lengthwise, and squeeze gently from the ends to create a pocket.
Using a fork, fluff and mix up the internal part of the potatoes with salt & pepper.
Place 1 Tbs. butter into each pocket, and sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Set aside and allow butter to melt before serving.
Sauteed Fresh Spinach
- 2 Tb. butter
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
- 2lbs fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1 fresh lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
THIS is the reason (and the only reason) we didn’t finish our steaks in the skillet.
Over medium heat, add butter and garlic, cooking briefly, then add all spinach to the skillet and toss frequently until starting to reduce.
Sprinkle all with fresh lemon juice, toss again, sprinkle with almonds and serve.
Plate all, spoon additional pan sauce over the steaks, and serve.
Want to add a CRAZY good appetizer that Dad won’t soon forget?
Whip up a batch of my bacon-stuffed mushrooms, from the upcoming Home Chef Guidebook, “Bacon!”
Check back tomorrow for the step-by-step recipe!
Better than any tie…ever.
Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.
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