Recipe ideas to make dad smile for Father’s Day
My dad grew up during the Depression on the North Shore of Boston. After graduating from Revere High School in 1943, he enlisted in the Navy. Tasty food wasn’t something he took for granted.
In the Pacific, sailors were often served an inexpensive but hearty meal known as Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, which earned it the nickname SOS, an acronym whose full name doesn’t fit a family journal. Because money was tight, our family often ate it for dinner as well.
But when ready-made 1960s took hold, we started enjoying the novelty of frozen TV dinners and Sarah Lee cakes (my favorite), Kraft boxed pizzas and Fluffernutter sandwiches (my dad’s favorite). . For those of you who aren’t from New England, it’s white bread smeared with peanut butter on one side and Marshmallow Fluff on the other. Believe it or not, the Fluff Tights are still made in Lynn, MA.
Every now and then my mother, who hadn’t inherited the cooking gene, would make beef and barley soup that my father claimed was the best thing he had ever eaten. And every time she dressed canned peaches with cottage cheese, he was politely captivated.
In other words, he wasn’t that hard to please.
So this Father’s Day, while you might just be cooking a simple meal for my dear old dad, it’s important to find some of his favorite ingredients and then take a step back and let them shine.
That’s the philosophy of Chef / Owner Dan Lucia of DL Catering in Healdsburg, who has cooked at some of Sonoma County’s best restaurants, from the old Santi Restaurant in Geyserville with chefs Thomas Oden and Franco Dunn to the old Chateau Souverain restaurant with chef Martin Courtman. .
In her kitchen, Lucia gravitates towards Italian and Latin cuisines as they take advantage of fresh produce from the summer garden, such as tomatoes and peppers, beans and cucumbers.
“I have always liked Italian cuisine. The paternal side of the family is Italian, ”he said. “But my kitchen is Sonoma County. I use the French technique and simple ingredients. … Yes, they’re just beans, but why not make them the best ever? “
Lucia, who is the father of 16-year-old Jaiden, enjoys imagining different types of Italian paninis and then making them with her son on the weekends.
“Every Sunday is what my son and I do,” he said. “It’s Panini Sunday. I like to use Acme Slab bread. It is one of the best toasting breads on the market.
For Father’s Day, Lucia shared a recipe for one of her favorite homemade sandwiches, a hot panini of juicy grilled skirt steak nestled between two toasted slices of Acme Green Onion Slab. Oakland Bakery originally developed the dough for its rosemary and olive oil fougasse, so it’s extra moist and delicious.
“I love the skirt steak,” Lucia said. “This is one of the most amazing cuts. You can turn it into a sandwich or serve it with tomato sauce or salsa verde.
Skirt steak is a long, flat cut of beef from the underside of the plate. It is appreciated more for its flavor than for its tenderness. Before it was considered commercially viable, vaqueros in Texas used it to make fajitas.
Marinating the steak before grilling, then slicing it against the grain after it rests, helps maximize its tenderness, Lucia said.
You can dress the panini however you like, but Lucia likes to put together an array of complementary toppings: sweet and caramelized onions; tangy tomatoes; Marinated jalapenos; and a complex cheese like aged white cheddar.
To accompany the panini, Lucia suggested two simple salads that represent the best of California cuisine: a green salad with avocado and radishes and a Fingerling potato salad seasoned with a vinaigrette.
“I love lawyers,” he said. “And I also like fingerling potatoes for a potato salad. I just add kalamata olives, olive oil, vinegar and Dijon.
For dessert, Dad won’t be able to resist Lucia’s famous chocolate chip cookies, which he prefers to bake so that they don’t get too crisp on the outside.
“I’m known for it,” he said. “I like a soft, chewy cookie.”
The pandemic pivot
After the pandemic struck in March 2020, the Healdsburg caterer turned to preparing family meals for two that he creates and packs in his kitchen at the Villa Chanticleer in Healdsburg every week. Meals are delivered on Fridays in the Healdsburg area or can be picked up at The Drink in the Old Roma station on Hudson and Front streets.
Fortunately, between restaurant patrons and fans of his monthly Food and Wine Club (currently on hiatus), Lucia already had a substantial contact list, which he uses to advertise his weekly delivery menu. Multi-course meals draw regulars from as far away as Sevastopol and Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and north.