Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The perfect Father's Day Menu . . .



Today is Father's Day.  I am the oldest of three children and have always been very close to my father.  After all, I had three whole years of him to myself before anyone else came along!  My father is still going strong at 80 1/2 years old.  I am ever mindful of the fact that he won't be with us forever.  I cherish every moment I get to spend with him, which unfortunately is not near enough since I moved over here to the UK.

I thought it would be fun to show you what I would make for him today, if I had him around to spoil a little bit, so here goes!  I'm trying to keep it a bit healthy because well . . .  he's 80, and I want to have him with us for a lot longer!



Delicious Sticky Lemon Chicken.   This is a very simple recipe, using only a few ingredients . . . but it has BIG flavour . . . and juiciness.  Don't let the simplicity of it fool you!  



*Sticky Lemon Chicken*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe 

A very simple recipe which produces moist delicious chicken with a slight stickiness.  Serve with some rice and a vegetable for a simple supper.

4 part boned chicken breasts, with the skin on
the finely grated zest and juice of one lemon (un-waxed)
1 TBS clear runny honey
1 TBS olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp oregano

Preheat th e oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Put the chicken breasts into a baking tin, skin side up.  Put the lemon juice and zest, honey, olive oil and garlic into a small bown and warm through in the microwave.   Stir well to mix everything together.  Pour this mixture over top of the chicken.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, taking it out to baste every ten minutes or so.  The juices should gradually thicken and create a delicious sticky glaze, and the chicken juices should run clear.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.  


Along with that I would probably serve some kind of potato.   I think a nice potato salad would go very well with this chicken and I have the perfect recipe to serve with it.  



A delicious Warm Potato Salad with a Caper, Spring Onion and Mint Vinaigrette!  I love vinaigrette potato salads.   They are filled with lovely flavours and not a speck of mayo in sight!  Especially this one, with it's herby mint, tender spring onions and tart capers.  It would go excellent with that chicken!



*Warm Potato Salad with a Caper, Spring Onion and Mint Vinaigrette*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A simple salad with simple ingredients.  Simple, yes but not boring in the least.  This has the wow factor!!

1 pound of small new waxy salad type of potatoes, washed and unpeeled
2 fluid ounces of extra virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 TBS good quality Dijon Mustard
6 small spring onions, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced (the white parts only)
1 heaped dessert spoon of capers
fine seasalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a small handful of fresh mint leaves, cut into a chiffonade (about 1/4 cup)

Place the potatoes into the rack of a steamer over simmering water.  Cover and steam for 20 to 25 minutes, until fork tender.  While the potatoes are steaming, make the dressing.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and mustard.  Stir in the capers and spring onions.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Remove the cooked potatoes from the steamer.  Carefully cut into thick slices crosswise and gently toss in the dressing while they are still warm, so that they can absorb the dressing.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  

To cut the  mint into a chiffonade, roll the leaves tightly into a roll and slice across the roll into thin slices, flutter apart with your finger tips and scatter over the salad.  Gently toss together again.  Serve immediately.  


Along with that we want something light and yet tasty.  Something which will go very well with the other two dishes.  How about . . . 



A delicious salad of asparagus, beans,  and snow peas!  We have to get some veg into dad some way and this is the perfect way to do it!  With it's beautiful lemon and mint vinaigrette it is perfectly poised to go along with the other dishes on the menu!  You can prep all of the vegetables ahead of time, keeping them chilled, and dress it just prior to serving it.  You can't go wrong!



*Summer Salad of Peas, Beans and Asparagus
with a Lemon & Mint Vinaigrette*

Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is such a pretty green colour and the dressing is fabulous. This is something I threw together with what I had to hand and it's become a true favourite. The flavours are delightfully fresh and moreish.

For the dressing:
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 TBS chopped fresh mint
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:
1 small packet of snow peas, washed and strings removed
(about 3/4 cup)
1 small packet of haricot verts, washed and trimmed
(about 1 1/2 cups)
1 bunch of thin asparagus, trimmed and washed
a handful of fresh or frozen peas (thawed)

Whisk together the salad dressing ingredients. Set aside. (You can also shake them together in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.)

Have a steamer basket ready over fast simmering water. (You will need a lid)

Slice the snow peas on the diagonal into two or three pieces, depending on the size. Slice the haricot vert diagonally into several pieces as well. Slice the asparagus and trim off the pointy bits on the stem.

Drop the haricot verts into the steamer basket. Cover and steam for about 2 minutes. Drop in the asparagus. Cover and steam for a further minute. Drop in the snow peas and fresh peas. Cover and steam for 1 to 2 minutes longer. You want vegetables that are bright green and crispy tender. Drop all into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, and then drain well. Hold until you are ready to serve the salad.

When ready to eat, toss the crispy tender vegetables in the dressing and serve immediately.

Note: do not let the vegetables linger too long in the dressing as the colour will be compromised. They will still taste wonderful, but not be as pretty.


What a pretty plateful this will make.  All you need on the side is some crusty bread, butter and something nice and cold to drink. Nom! Nom!


I have the perfect Dessert for afters.   You are going to love this.  



It's an Eton Mess Cake!  It has all of the qualities of that popular British Dessert . . .  fresh  strawberries, cream, meringues . . . except it's a cake!  A beautiful buttery delicious cake.  Serve with some cream for the ultimate Father's Day dessert!  Now we're talking!



*Eton Mess Cake*
Makes one 8 by 12 inch cake
(15 servings)
Printable Recipe

ohhhh . . . Nom Nom! Just perfect for June!

175g of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (3/4 cup)
5 TBS double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour (2 1/4 cup)
100g of ground almonds (1 cup plus 3 TBS)
1 tsp baking powder
200g of golden caster sugar (1 cup)
5 large free range eggs
400g of fresh strawberries, half roughly chopped
and half sliced (about 1 pound)
4 meringue nests, roughly broken up
icing sugar to dust  




Preheat the oven to 160*C/ 325*F/ gas mark 3. Butter a deep 8 by 12 inch baking tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.

Whisk together the flour, almonds and baking powder. Set aside.

Melt the butter. Whisk in the double cream and vanilla. Set aside.  




Place the sugar and eggs into a large bowl. Beat together with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes, until very thick and foamy. Pour in the butter mixture. Mix lightly. Add the flour mixture and whisk briefly until even. Stir in the chopped strawberries. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Level off the top. Scatter the sliced berries over top along with the meringue pieces.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until risen and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Note: This cake is best eaten on the day. Sooooo NOT a problem! Left overnight, the meringues will soften, which still tastes quite good, but the crunch is not there.  


And there you have it my ideal Father's Day Menu!  I hope you have seen something here today that you will want to use to tickle the Dad in your life's fancy!  And to all you Dads out there . . .  



I love you daddy!

6 comments:

  1. Lovely menu choices for a special guy. I'm also the first born and have a sweet recollection of my dad when his days on earth were coming to the end. When I was leaving him at the hospital, he signaled me to come close and he whispered, "Don't tell the others, I've loved you the longest."

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  2. Your face is still the same..that little smile you had lost and came back is spot on..
    Handsome dad..too!
    Wonderful menu.

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  3. OH thanks MOnique. I always thought my dad was handsome. Doesn't every little girl think that? xxoo

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  4. Colleen, what a lovely memory of your dad! How very special! I love it! xxoo

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  5. Wow! What a wonderful menu you posted. I would love all of that so much! The picture of you and your siblings is so adorable. What good looking kids and Dad too!

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  6. Awww . . . thanks Valerie! You're so kind! xx

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