Makan

Food delights for Father's Day

It's a day to let Dad know how much you appreciate him.

However, if you have left it a bit late or even want just to embellish those stylish socks you bought him, here are a couple of recipes to help this special day go even better.

Or why keep it to this day? These recipes will give you dishes that will impress anyone whatever the day.

But for now lets keep the focus on father. We have a main and dessert courtesy of two renowned TV cooks.

Main course

This Steak and Watercress Bearnaise from BBC show Rachel’s Coastal Cooking is a delicious take on conventional steak. Perfect if Dad is a meat lover.

This recipe serves four

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 x 175g (6oz) sirloin or fillet steaks
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar if you don't have tarragon vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 tsp finely chopped shallot (or red onion)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 115g (4oz) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1–2 tsp dijon mustard

Method

  1. Place the steaks in a dish and rub both sides with the cut clove of garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the cracked black peppercorns.
     
  2. Place a couple of sprigs of rosemary and the garlic under and between the steaks and leave to sit for a bit.
     
  3. Now make the béarnaise sauce. In a saucepan over a medium heat, boil the vinegar, wine, shallot and a pinch of pepper until completely reduced and just 1 tablespoon of liquid is left in the pan, making sure it does not burn. Add 1 tablespoon of water and take the pan off the heat to cool down almost completely.
     
  4. When it has cooled down so that you can just hold your hands around the outside of the pan, place the pan on a low heat and whisk in the egg yolks and then gradually add the butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly, until all the butter has been added.
     
  5. As soon as two or three pieces of butter melt in the sauce, add two or three more pieces, and it will gradually thicken. Do not let the pan become too hot; if it does, the mixture will scramble. To prevent this happening, keep taking the pan off and on the heat. If it does look like it’s getting a bit hot, then quickly add 1 tablespoon of cold water and take it off the heat for a few seconds while continuing to whisk in the butter.
     
  6. When all the butter is in, turn off the heat and add the Dijon mustard. If the sauce looks very thin, it may be that you were too cautious and the heat was too low, so increase the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, it should be almost as thick as mayonnaise.
     
  7. To keep the béarnaise sauce warm, pour it into a heatproof measuring jug. Half-fill a saucepan with hot water from the kettle and place the jug of sauce in the saucepan to keep warm; it will sit quite happily like this for a couple of hours. When the water cools, just put the saucepan on a gentle heat but do not let the water boil too long or the sauce will scramble.
     
  8. When you are ready to eat, place a grill pan or a heavy frying pan on a high heat (or this can be cooked on a barbeque). Allow the pan to get very hot (it may take 10 minutes). Just before the steaks go in the pan, season with sea salt (flakes if you have them). Cook on one side to a good deep golden colour, then turn just the once.
     
  9. When cooked, place the steaks on a warm plate (one smaller plate turned upside down sitting over a larger plate, the right way up) and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Steak and Watercress BernaisePHOTO: BBC

If you like that, you can join professional cook and mother Rachel Allen as she cooks among the people and places of Ireland’s beautiful and dramatic coastline, on Rachel’s Coastal Cooking every Monday, 7pm on BBC Lifestyle (StarHub channel 432).

Dessert

And now for a sweet end to the meal from a cook who could be called 'The Dad's Favourite' — Nigella Lawson.

This Tiramisini from Nigellissima is the perfect bitter-sweet dessert and pick-me-up. Coffee, liqueur and cocoa powder.

This also serves four people.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 100ml/3½fl oz espresso or strong instant coffee
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 4 Savoiardi biscuits (fine sponge ‘ladyfinger’ biscuits)
  • 2 free-range egg whites
  • 250g/9oz mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Marsala
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Make your espresso and pour it into a heatproof jug, adding the coffee liqueur, then leave it to cool.
     
  2. Break each Savoiardi sponge finger into about four and drop the pieces into four small martini glasses (or any wine glass) , then pour the cooled espresso mixture over the biscuits. Press down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.
     
  3. Using an electric hand-held whisk for ease, beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks when the whisk is removed, and set aside for a moment.
     
  4. Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey: I love the way its mellow sweetness marries with the Marsala (though sugar would be fine, too). Beat with the whisk (no need to clean it out first) and, when smooth, slowly beat in the Marsala.
     
  5. Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the soused Savoiardi in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into an elegant peak at the top.
     
  6. Let these stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, then dust with cocoa, pushing it through a fine-mesh strainer, just before serving.

Watch food writer and television personality Nigella Lawson on Nigellissima every Tuesday, 7pm, on BBC Lifestyle (StarHub channel 432 / BBC Player)

Nigella Lawson's TiramisiniPHOTO: BBC

 

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