Father’s Day

Not sure what kind of gift to get Dad for Father’s Day?  He’s already got enough ties (that he never wears), and we’re past the age where macaroni art is considered cute.  If you ask me, the best gift you can give Dad is a full stomach. Think outside the BBQ and forgo the typical steak and burgers routine.  Get creative and serve up something non-traditional, like meatballs!

Meatballs are a great alternative because the varieties are endless.  You can use any ground meat, like chicken or turkey, but I tend to favour a combination of pork and beef.  Sure, you can whip up a batch of spaghetti and meatballs, but there are so many more flavour combinations to explore.

How about a meatball sub, loaded with a fiery tomato sauce and gooey Tre Stelle® Mozzarella. Serve the sub alongside a cold glass of Dad’s favourite Pale or Amber ale.  If Dad likes spice, try a Red Thai Curry sauce with meatballs and served with rice. Keep with the Thai theme, and serve this dish with a Thai-style Lager.

My favourite way to make meatballs is to stuff them with Tre Stelle® Mini Bocconcini Cheese. Not only do these meatballs go with almost any sauce you choose, but they’re super easy to make, and score you major wow-factor points with Dad.

Really want to knock Dad’s socks off this Father’s Day? Try this Spicy Apple Glaze, made with ginger, garlic, jalapeño and apple jelly. Since this dish is sweet and spicy, a Wheat or Cider beer works best – and make sure the beer is very cold!

Bocconcini Meatballs with a Spicy Apple Glaze

Yields about 20-25 meatballs depending on size

Meatballs

½ lb ground beef

½ lb ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp onion powder

½ cup bread crumbs, such as Panko

1 egg

Tre Stelle® Mini Bocconcini Cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix until well combined. Measure out about 2 tbsp for each meatball. Wrap the meat around the mini bocconcini balls and roll in your hands until the cheese is completely encased.

Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and add some oil so the meatballs don’t stick. Bake for 8-10 minutes, but not so long that the cheese is exploding out the sides.

 

Glaze

½ cup apple jelly

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp cayenne

½ small jalapeno, finely chopped

 

Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Toss cooked meatballs with hot sauce and serve with rice or rice noodles.

Grilling for Dad

Nothing brings family and friends together better than a backyard BBQ! This Father’s Day let Dad show off his culinary skills on the grill with these helpful “Tips and Tricks”.

Father's Day Grilling-3821Let’s celebrate Dad on Father’s Day by setting him up for the most successful BBQ season ever. A few tips and tricks will have Dad serving up some amazing grilled delights, stress free and having fun all summer long.

To start Dad off in becoming King of the Grill he needs the right tools. Men love their tools and can never have too many. There are a ton of BBQ specialty items out there but a few that I consider “must haves”.

Essential Grilling Tools

Meat Thermometer

A good digital meat thermometer ensures no more of those horrific moments where everyone has sat down to eat and Dad brings in the chicken fresh off the BBQ only to see red juices oozing out when it is sliced into. A meat thermometer takes the guessing game out of knowing when things are done and mastering the perfect grilled steak. No more slicing into meat to check and let all those moisture enhancing juices drip to the bottom of the BBQ.

Tongs

Get a few sizes with good grip to suit the various BBQ foods. You don’t want to be poking holes with forks into those juicy meats as they are grilling.

Spatula

A heavy duty, long handled, stainless steel spatula is a must have for turning things like burgers and fish.

Grill Brush

A sturdy grill brush with stainless steel or brass bristles makes easy work of cleaning the grill.

Grill Gloves or Mitts

Protect your hands from a grill’s searing heat with a pair that is heavy duty, heat resistant and fire-retardant. Kitchen mitts will not suffice when dealing with a hot grill.

Basting Brush

A thick silicone basting brush will hold onto sauce better than other brushes. They are also easier to clean making them much more sanitary.

Water Spray Bottle

When cooking you want to avoid flames for they only burn food. Keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to dampen down any fire.

Some additional items that are great to have on hand are bamboo or steel skewers, grill pans or baskets, an apron and cast iron cookware.

Time management is key to stress-free grilling

Time management is key to successful, stress-free grilling and outdoor entertaining. Here is a helpful timetable for summertime grilling:

Day before:

Ensure you have plenty of coals or if using propane, the tank is full. Have you ever started grilling and ran out of propane before the meat is done? Keep a spare tank on hand!

Morning:

Rub or marinate large cuts of meat like brisket and pork shoulders. Also marinate chicken, whole fish, or less than best quality of steak, pork, and lamb.

Prepare side dishes that aren’t time sensitive like baked beans or coleslaw.

Early afternoon:

Skewer kebab ingredients, prep vegetables and side dishes. Prepare salad (have dressing ready, but don’t toss it until right before serving.

Set up bar, prepare drinks like lemonade, ice down beer or soft drinks.

Set up tables, plates, glasses, and cutlery.

Have grilling utensils clean and ready to go.

One Hour before:

If using a charcoal grill, light it 20 to 30 minutes before you plan to start grilling. If using a gas grill, preheat 10 to 15 minutes before grilling.

Just before:

Father's Day BBQ-3877Clean the hot grill grate with a wire brush and oil the grate with oil-soaked paper towel or rag. The grate is the part of the grill that comes in direct contact with the food, so it should be clean.

Be safe make sure your grill is away from the house or other buildings, plants and shrubbery. Grill in an area with good ventilation but is sheltered from the wind.

Father’s Day BBQ/Grilling Gift Ideas:

A collection of sauces, spices, rubs and marinades make a great Father’s Day gift.

Or make something for him like a grilling chart for easy reference for grilling times and temperatures. One side with grilling temperatures, the other grilling guide for the perfect steak.

Some other great gift ideas: make Dad his own personal cookbook of family favourite barbeque and grilling recipes, side dishes, drinks and desserts.

Mention barbecue and you’ve got the family drooling with thoughts of sizzling steaks, hamburgers, and sausages; summer food at its charbroiled best!

Summertime is such a wonderful time of year when family and friends gather to enjoy the great outdoors and sensational BBQ meals. A few tips and tricks will help Dad be everyone’s favourite Master of the Grill!

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