While some guys experience culinary nirvana scarfing down a heap of guacamole and pile of corn chips washed down with a can of fizzy fluid welded to their palm, others first inquire about food's provenance, and choose judiciously from both the sea (sustainable, wild caught, omega-3 rich fish), and the land (grass fed, organic, GMO-free). Whatever dad's druthers, degree of social consciousness and culinary habits here is a round up of delights to keep him happy and satiated for Father's Day.
Caffeine Fiend: For the man who needs a java jolt to kick-start his day, start with a high-octane espresso, foamy cappuccino or iced coffee. Add mocha French toast, nutty pancakes with coffee whipped cream or a dark roast hazelnut quick bread to hit the spot for a Dad's Day breakfast or brunch. For savory bites use your bean by concocting a coffee and black peppercorn dry rub (recipe provided) to dial up strip steak, grilled fish and chicken, a wet marinade for lamb and pork roasts, or a coffee vinaigrette as an all-purpose dipping sauce or salad dressing. And end the day with a buzz from a classic tiramisu.
A Salty Dog: Have plenty of spicy and savory snacks on hand throughout the day from pita, root and kettle cooked chips to a variety of nuts, pretzels and colorful crudités for the palate that craves salt. Serve with assorted dips, such as roasted red pepper hummus, black bean and toasted corn salsa, avocado with grilled shrimp and poblano chiles, or curried Greek yoghurt.
A Grill Seeker: Attention barbecuephiles! Start Father's Day festivities with a grilled breakfast feast of smoky poached eggs, heirloom sausages, wild caught salmon fillets and mesquite-flavored waffles. For the cooking surface use an aromatic hardwood plank to infuse an outdoorsy essence to all animal and vegetable offerings. Mild alder and cedar woods pair well with delicate fish, seafood and vegan fare, maple, apple and pecan planks complement more robust-flavored pork and fowls, while mighty oak and hickory woods are a good match for beef and gamey meats.
Vegetarian Vince: For those dads who don't do meat, pick a peck of pickled peppers, along with sauerkraut, kimchi, salads and slaws to accompany an assortment of mock meats and cheeses. Tofu or bean curd has a neutral flavor profile, adaptable to an array of sweet and savory dishes, including egg scrambles, frittatas, stir-fries, soups, curries, or as a pan-fried patty, burger-style. Tempeh made from fermented soybeans is a densely-packed firm wedge. This zesty meat substitute lends well to kebobs, and dials up Cobb, Caesar and chopped salads.
Or for a non-soy option try seitan, it's reminiscent of lunch meat. This hearty gluten protein is popularly used to assemble deli-like sandwiches particularly a Reuben, while vegan bacon called "facon," coconut jerky and Tofurkey are other knockoff meat alternatives. Spreadable veggie pates that resemble chopped liver and foie gras, such as eggplant caviar, Mediterranean olive tapenade, "meaty" nuts blended with tahini, cannellini beans with Meyer lemon juice and virgin olive oil, or a marinated mushroom paste are scrumptious slathered on a variety of crackers or breads.
Paleo Papa: Those embracing the cave-dweller diet — sheavy on meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, hold the grains and dairy, would appreciate protein burgers of all manners. Juicy patties of beef, lamb, chicken, wild boar or other exotic game topped with grilled onions, wrapped in crispy lettuce leaves will please the most refined Paleo palate.
A Dairy Dad: For cheese heads, assemble a platter of assorted soft and aged ones, from cow, goat and sheep milk, paired with slices of seasonal melons, figs, apricots and piles of almonds, cashews and other nut favorites. Or whip up southwest quesadillas, personal pizzas, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, a bubbly lasagna or baked ziti to warm the cockles of this guy's heart.
•••• Recipe: Smokin' Coffee Dry Rub
Ingredients: 1/3 cup finely ground coffee; 2 tablespoons sea salt; 2 tablespoons each of brown and white sugar; 2 tablespoons cumin; 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper; 2 tablespoons smoked paprika; 1 tablespoon ginger powder; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley; 1 tablespoon garlic powder; cayenne pepper to taste.
Method: Combine ingredients in an airtight jar and store up to 4 months. Generously season meat, fish or fowl with rub mixture and wrap in cheesecloth. Refrigerate for several hours before grilling. Cook's tip: Use 2 tablespoons of dry rub per pound of meat.