By Marialisa Calta
Newspaper Enterprise Association
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the traditional Mother’s Day meal is breakfast in bed, while the traditional food for Father’s Day is grilled meat? On the downside, Dad doesn’t get to loll around and get waited on, but, on the upside, he gets to fire up the ol’ Weber and cook something substantial, charred and tasty. He gets to drink beer with it. Well, “It is what it is,” as current parlance goes. It’s almost Father’s Day: Buy meat.
Fortunately, there’s a raft of brand-new cookbooks out there to help you cook it. “Morton’s Steak Bible” by Klaus Fritsch (Clarkson Potter, 2006) gives recipes and tips from the legendary steakhouse chain, while the “Johnsonville Big Taste of Sausage Cookbook” by Shelly Stayer and Shannon Kring Biro (Broadway Books, 2006) brings you food from deep within the heart of sausage country (Wisconsin). The retro-looking “Cookout USA” by Georgia Orcutt and John Margolies (Chronicle Books, 2006) gives us, as its subtitle announces, “Grilling Favorites from Coast to Coast,” and the guy on the cover looks like the quintessential Father’s Day dad, wearing his striped apron and chef’s hat and standing at the grill. “The Meat Club Cookbook, For Gals Who Love Their Meat” by Vanessa Dina, Kristina Fuller and Gemma DePalma (Chronicle Books, 2006) puts women squarely back into the meat-eating (and cooking) equation and should be the go-to cookbook for any mom looking to surprise the father of her children with a great meaty meal. (She may want to dog-ear a few recipes for next Mother’s Day.)
Women have always figured prominently in the celebration of Father’s Day, which was created by a woman — Sonora Smart Dodd — in 1909 as a way of honoring her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his six children after the death of his wife. Sonora’s father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Wash., on June 19, 1910.
In 1926, a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City, but it wasn’t until 30 years later that Father’s Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress. And it took 16 years more, until 1972, for it to become an official day of observation, set on the third Sunday in June.
New York Strip Steak
3 (20-ounce) aged New York strip steaks (also known as New York sirloin), each about 2 inches thick
vegetable oil or cooking spray
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
Note: To oil a grill rack that has been heated without burning yourself, simply grasp a lightly oiled (not dripping), crumpled paper towel with tongs and use the tongs to lightly rub the oiled paper on the grill.
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them rest at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a charcoal or gas grill, or preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the heating element. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil or cooking spray (see note). The coals should be medium-hot for the charcoal grill. The burners should be on high for the gas grill.
Season the steaks lightly on both sides with the seasoned salt. If using a charcoal grill, grill for 10 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and grill the other side for 9 to 11 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. If using a gas grill, grill for 10 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and grill the other side for 9 to 10 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. If using a broiler, broil 4 inches from the heat source for 10 minutes. Turn, using tongs, and broil the other side for 10 to 11 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.
Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from “Morton’s Steak Bible” by Klaus Fritsch, with Mary Goodbody (Clarkson Potter, 2006)
Lemon Pepper Bison (Buffalo) Steaks
4 (6-ounce) buffalo-steak medallions, each about 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
Build a low fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to 325 F.
Place the steaks on a platter. Brush the tops with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with half of the garlic salt and lemon pepper. Turn and repeat on the other side. Lightly oil the grill rack (see note, above), add the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side, turning with tongs, to medium-rare. (Overcooking buffalo meat makes it tough.) Serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe from “Cookout USA” by Georgia Orcutt and John Margolies (Chronicle Books, 2006)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tequila
8 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (1-1/2 pounds) beef-loin tri-tip roasts (also called a “triangle roast”)
Whisk the lime juice, cilantro, oil, soy sauce, tequila, garlic, lime zest, cumin, oregano and pepper in a medium bowl. Using a small, sharp knife, pierce the meat all over. Place the meat in a large, self-sealing plastic bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag, and turn it gently to coat the meat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Preheat a grill to high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill to desired doneness, 10 to 15 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Cut diagonally across the grain and serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from “The Meat Club Cookbook, For Gals Who Love Their Meat” by Vanessa Dina, Kristina Fuller and Gemma DePalma (Chronicle Books, 2006)
5 bratwurst links (about 20 ounces)
5 dark-rye hoagie rolls, hinge sliced (cut almost through, but not entirely)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup bottled Thousand Island dressing
1/3 cup coarse-grained mustard
1 (14-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
Preheat the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Grill the bratwurst according to package directions, turning them to cook on all sides.
Place the rolls on the grill, cut side down, to toast for about 1 minute.
Melt the butter in a 9-by-11-inch aluminum-foil baking pan placed directly on the grill. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Blend the salad dressing with the mustard.
To assemble: Spread the sauce over each open-faced roll. Add the onion and one bratwurst per roll. Top with the sauerkraut and serve immediately.
Yield: 5 servings
Recipe from “Johnsonville Big Taste of Sausage Cookbook” by Shelly Stayer and Shannon Kring Biro (Broadway Books, 2006)
By Marialisa Calta