Celebrate dad with a grilled meat-and-potatoes dinner fit for a king:
Hearty appetizers: Keep it simple and savoury with Homemade Onion Dip (recipe below) or salsa made with greenhouse tomatoes, onions and jalapeños and served with tortilla chips.
The main event: Fire up the grill for juicy sirloin steak. For outstanding results, prep the meat with a dry rub made with chili powder, garlic salt, cumin and pepper or a marinade of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper before grilling.
Savoury side dishes: Bake sweet potatoes, grill your own potato skins or make a batch of creamy potato salad with chives. Serve sautéed green beans, coleslaw made with Ontario cabbage or a green salad made with Ontario lettuce and grated radishes.
Dessert dad will love: For a crowd-pleasing end to your meal, grill strawberries for warm shortcakes, make Brownie Berry Ice Cream Sandwiches (recipe below) or set up the ingredients for Strawberry S’mores Sundaes (recipe below).
Homemade Onion Dip
This homemade dip is light on salt, but big on flavour and a joy to serve with potato chips, crackers or crudités. Surround dip with carrot or rutabaga sticks, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks and sweet pepper strips.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3 cups (750 mL)
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
- 3 Ontario Onions, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) Ontario Dry White Wine
- 8 oz (250 g) light cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (250 mL) light sour cream
- 1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) celery salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) snipped fresh chives
Preparation Instructions:In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook onions and sprinkle with salt and pepper until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic and shallots; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until very soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft and are starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Increase heat and stir in wine; cook, stirring, until liquid is evaporated.
In bowl, beat cream cheese; beat in sour cream until smooth. Stir in cooked onions, mustard, celery salt and cayenne. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. (The dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.)
Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with chives.
Brownie Berry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Serves: 6 to 9
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chocolate chips (optional)
Filling and Topping:
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) strawberry jam
- 3 to 4 cups (750 mL to 1 L) vanilla or strawberry ice cream, softened
- 3 cups (750 mL) sliced fresh Ontario Strawberries, slightly sweetened with granulated sugar if desired
- Mint sprigs and icing sugar to garnish
In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add oil, eggs, vanilla and 2 tbsp (25 mL) water; mix well. Add chocolate chips if using.
Line 8-inch (20 cm) square baking pan (bottom and 2 opposite sides) with foil. Grease or spray pan and lining. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan.
Loosen edges and using foil, lift brownies to counter. Cut horizontally in half. Slip flexible cutting board between halves to easily remove top. Set foil and bottom half back into the pan. Cut top half into 6 or 9 serving-size pieces. Set aside.
Filling and Topping:
Spread bottom half with strawberry jam. Spoon ice cream over jam, making smooth 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick layer. Arrange top pieces over ice cream; press gently into place. Wrap and freeze until firm or for up to 3 months.
To serve, lift brownies out of pan. Cut into 6 or 9 serving pieces and place on individual dessert plates. Top with strawberries. Garnish with mint sprigs and dusting of icing sugar.
Strawberry S’mores Sundaes
- 12 graham wafers, crumbled (about 1-1/4 cups/300 mL)
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chocolate sauce (approx)
- 2 cups (500 mL) vanilla ice cream
- 2 cups (500 mL) quartered Ontario Strawberries
- 4 whole Ontario Strawberries
- 12 mini marshmallows
In medium bowl, combine graham wafers, marshmallows and 1/4 cup (50 mL) chocolate sauce until fully coated.
Working quickly with sundae bowls, layer 1/4 cup (50 mL) vanilla ice cream, 1/4 cup (50 mL) marshmallow mixture and 1/4 cup (50 mL) quartered Ontario strawberries. Repeat layers once. Top each sundae with a whole strawberry and 3 marshmallows. Drizzle with about 1 tsp (5 mL) more chocolate sauce if desired. Serve immediately.