Father's Day Feast
Most who know me are aware of how I can whip up a yummy baked good at any time but did you also know that cooking is also a passion of mine?
My husband always says, “Honey, you are an awesome baker, but I think you are an even better cook.” Wow, what a compliment, especially since it was not always like that. When we got married almost 16 years ago, I barely knew how to make anything from scratch! My idea of cooking was to dump a bag into a skillet and give it a stir. My passion for cooking developed over time as my quest to learn and my connection to using real ingredients and flavors evolved, just as it did with baking skills.
Each year for Father’s day hubs loves to see what I come up with. Instead of just creating a special meal, I usually do an entire a DAY of good food I know he will love! He is my biggest supporter and the best dad to our circus that we could as for. He works hard each day for our family and so on Father’s Day we always want to spoil him with good food, a relaxing day and let him know just how much he means to us. There will be homemade cards, lots of “Daddy I love you” from the circus, and i’ve got a delicious spread planned from start to finish.
Do you want a delicious day of food too but don’t know what to make? Let me help you out and share with you what I am making and who knows maybe you will make it too.
In our house no father’s day is complete without a homemade breakfast or well, we will call it “brunch” since we all know hubs will be sleeping in that day. I don’t know about you but my hubs will be begging for bacon when he wakes up! We will start our day with an easy BUT delicious Cheese and veggie fritatta, maple sriracha glazed bacon (ill share with you how easy this is to make) and classic crispy home fries cooked in olive oil, chopped garlic and shallots. I will serve a mid afternoon cheese board with a classic cheddar, smoked gouda and creamy goat cheese with a bubbly blood orange margaritta for happy hour. Then for dinner, we will eat a slow oven braised pulled pork topped with homemade coleslaw and a delicious cheddar jalapeno cornbread cake!! Im not sure what ill make for dessert yet, but im certain it will contain peanut butter - hubs favorite!!
Let me share with you how I do this meal easily and how you can too to have your house smelling AMAZING all day with minimal fuss. Hubs AND Sweet Life of a Baker will be happy without being in the kitchen all day (even though its my favorite room in the house)
The best part of all of these recipes? They all have simple and wholesome ingredients that are found in most home kitchens but do not be confused, these recipes are loaded with flavor. Think you cant cook or bake? Well, guess what? You will do BOTH with this spread of food. So, lets get cooking!
From my kitchen to yours,
Thick cut bacon
1 T. sriracha
2 T. maple syrup or brown sugar
3) Home fries: Yukon golden potatoes, 1 shallot, 2 T. olive oil, 1 clove chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Start off by preparing an easy oven fritatta. Most fritatta recipes are similar and easy to prepare but simply change to suit the flavors of veggies and cheeses we each like. In our house we often will have an onion, pepper, cheddar cheese and tomato fritatta. Never made one before? Thats ok, check out this easy tomato, scallion and cheddar fritatta by Martha Stewart I love making oven fritattas because they can bake at the same time and temperature as the oven baked bacon you are about to make! Making for a smooth and easy breakfast prep.
For the bacon - Preheat oven to 400. Line a sided Baking Sheet with tinfoil. Mix sriracha and maple syrup together in a bowl. Place bacon in a single layer and brush sriracha mixture lightly on top with a basting brush. Pop it into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip, baste with mixture again and continue baking until done - an additional 10-15 more minutes. I like my bacon almost burnt and crispy but cook to your liking. Remove pan carefully from the oven (Be careful though, there will be grease ) and using tongs place bacon on a plate to cool.
SWEET LIFE OF A BAKER TIP: tin foil makes for an easier clean up after breakfast is done. make sure you let the pan cool before cleaning up - grease burns are NOT FUN! Once cool, simply throw out tinfoil and give the pan a good wash.
While breakfast is cooking and your house is beginning to smell AMAZING let’s get dinner going since the kitchen is already dirty and we have a half hour till breakfast is served.
3-4 pound pork roast
Favorite Seasoning Blend
2-3 T. olive oil or veg oil
2 c. orange Juice, apple juice or BEER! - The choice is yours!
2 c. Chicken Stock.
Favorite BBQ sauce
1 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 t. dijon mustard
1-2 tsp. granulated sugar - to taste
2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 t. Kosher salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1/2 large head cabbage, thinly sliced
2-3 large carrots, grated
CHEDDAR JALAPENO CORN BREAD
1 1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 t. baking powder
1.5 tsp salt
2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup corn kernels - fresh or frozen (if using canned - drain first)
1 1/4 whole milk + 1 T white vinegar ( to make homemade buttermilk)
1/2 cup unsalted butter - melted
1/3 cup honey
4 T Sugar
2 large eggs
Rub your favorite seasoning blend on your pork and set aside.
TIP: This step can be done the night before and your pork roast left covered in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 300. Heat dutch oven on medium high heat on the stove top with the oil and sear each side of the pork briefly. Turning to brown each side. Be careful, you dont want the pork to burn. Place fat side UP once all sides are seared
SWEET LIFE OF A BAKER TIP: Placing the fat side up on meet in the oven allows for the juices of the fat to drip DOWN into the meat and pan. This tip is useful for all meats being braised or roasted.
Add juice and stock directly to the dutch oven and place the cover on top. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and place your roast into the oven. Wow, that was easy! Now, clean up the kitchen and move on to your day! Slow cook your pork with the lid on for about 3-4 hours.
Once the pork easily pulls apart with a fork you are getting there. If the fork does not easily slide into the pork and easily shredded place back in the oven uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. But, wait Andrea, you have not added your bbq sauce yet? You dont cook it IN the bbq sauce? Yes, you are correct. I find that slow cooking in bbq sauce burns the sauce and gives the pork a different flavor, a flavor i’m not too fond of. So, I add mine at the end. Plus, it allows you to add more or less sauce depending on your taste. Now that we have that cleared out of the way, remove your pork from the oven and allow to slightly cool. Remove the pork from the liquid and place on a cutting board. Using two forks shred the pork, place in bowl and THEN add your favorite bbq sauce. Set aside and keep warm til serving.
TO MAKE THE COLESLAW: Combiner all the coleslaw ingredients in a large mixing bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge. In my view, there is not a jar of slaw mix in the world that compares to a homemade coleslaw. You will be so happy you made this coleslaw from scratch. Sure, its EASIER to dump a jar into shredded cabbage but this will taste SO much better.
Next, we make the the cornbread! Turn oven to 400 degrees.
SWEET LIFE OF A BAKER TIP: If you have leftover bacon from the morning simply chop it up and add to your cornbread mixture before baking - your family will thank you!
Coat a 9 x 11 baking dish with butter. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Spoon your mixture into your baking sheet spreading out to a thin layer and place in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown on top.
Your house is probably smelling pretty amazing right now!! And by this time dad is probably drooling knowing dinner is almost served and feeling special knowing all the love you poured into making it.
At dinner time you can serve your pulled pork as a sandwich on roll or directly on top of a big piece of cornbread! Topped with the slaw of course!! Want to make your roll a fresh baked one? Here is my recipe for a delicious dinner roll.
SWEET LIFE OF A BAKER TIP: Have leftover pulled pork and cornbread? Portion out in freezer bags and SAVE for easy future meals! Its the meal that keeps giving!
Dinner is SERVED! ENJOY!
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