FATHER'S Day has rolled around again, and if you're hosting a dinner to honour that special guy here are a few ideas to make it a feast befitting the occasion.
Hopefully the weather will be conducive to tending the barbecue - get Dad an apron, a pair of tongs and a frosty brew and he'll likely be in his element!
These Maui ribs will be familiar to anyone who visited Azeka's market in Kihei, Maui before it closed a few years ago. The secret to making the meat succulent and tender is the marinating time - 24 hours is the bare minimum and the optimum is three days (yes, three days). If you can't find Maui-style thin cut short ribs in your store (Osaka Supermarket at Park Royal has them), ask the butcher to cut some for you.
They should be long slices approximately three-eighths of an inch thick; look for ones with even marbling.
Some creamy cole slaw and corn on the cob would be nice additions to this meal.
GRILLED POTATO SKINS
Here's a pub-style appetizer that's great with an ice-cold beer.
3 large baking potatoes 3 Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
3 green onions, finely chopped
Cut each potato lengthwise into four wedges. Cut away most of the flesh, leaving about ¼ of an inch on the skins. Place skins on a microwave-safe plate and microwave, uncovered, on high for eight-10 minutes or until tender.
Combine the melted butter, salt and pepper; brush liberally over both sides of the skins. Place skins on barbecue grill, skin side up, over medium heat for two to three minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the skins over and position them on the grill over indirect heat; top with cheese, then close barbecue cover and grill two to three minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Remove from grill to serving plate and sprinkle with bacon and green onions. Serve a dish of sour cream alongside to dollop on if desired. Makes six servings.
Maui-style Short Ribs
3½ - 4 lbs Maui-style thin cut short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup water
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp Asian sesame oil (this is an absolutely essential ingredient - you can find it in the Oriental food section of any supermarket. It is the dark sesame flavouring oil you want, not sesame cooking oil)
2 cups brown sugar
Mix all the marinade ingredients together well, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place the marinade and ribs in a large zip-lock freezer bag; close bag, turn and invert a few times to coat ribs with marinade, and then let sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours or up to three days (recommended), turning the bag every eight hours or so. I suggest placing the bag inside a baking dish in case it springs a leak - the marinade would make one heck of a sticky mess in your fridge.
When ready to cook the ribs, remove them from the marinade and gently pat them dry. Discard the marinade - no basting is necessary.
Grill over low heat until the marinade turns slightly crusty on the outside of the ribs; watch them very carefully because the high sugar content of the marinade means they can burn easily. They only need to cook about four to five minutes per side. Makes four to six servings.
CREAMY LEMON PIE
This is really easy and utterly delicious - better make two, everyone will want seconds! You can substitute limes for the lemons.
Crust: 1 1 ?3 graham wafer crumbs cups
2 Tbsp sugar
1 ?3 cup butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp sugar
Dash of vanilla
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a nine-inch pie plate. Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl with a whisk; gradually whisk in the condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour filling into crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centre is set. Cool on wire rack for one hour, then refrigerate pie for at least three hours before serving. Just before serving, whip together cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon onto pie and swirl with the back of a spoon. Makes six to eight servings.