Growing up, many summer Sunday nights were spent in the car traveling from Long Island back to Manhattan. There was always one June weekend when we left unusually early in the day to beat post-barbecue Father's Day traffic. I learned two things, 1. Avoiding traffic is a game of strategy and 2. Barbecues are a popular Father's Day minhag (custom/tradition). As you can guess my family didn't celebrate with a barbecue, because we were busy avoiding traffic, but you can't help but love some of the classic foods served at summer barbecues. That being said, many of those foods are served all year long and could use some revamping to help make the day special, below are 5 comfort foods perfect for a Father's Day barbecue or just a quiet day with Dad.
Take your classic burger and turn up the volume. Try a different meat such as lamb, veal or bison (or no meat: Black Bean Burgers with Avocado-Lime Mayonnaise) and even change up the presentation by serving them as sliders as in our Bison Sliders. Or stick with ground beef and play around with toppings like Corn and Avocado Relish, Spicy Fried Onions and Special Sauce.
What's a burger without fries? When it comes to french fries everyone is a judge, whether they prefer them cut thick or thin, and like them crispy or a bit soft. Shake things up and enjoy indulging in a few extra of these healthy(ier) vegetable fries. First up, there's the Vegetable Fries which can be made with any root vegetable you have on hand. Then there are the Eggplant French Fries which would be great served with hummus, roasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of zaa'tar. Finally, these may not be as crispy as your usual fries, but theSweet Chili and Garlic Sweet Potatoes will not disappoint.
Buffalo wings will always have my loyalty, but when it comes to barbecue I like to change up the sauce so that it is more sweet and savory and less four-alarm spicy. For example, good luck choosing between two finger-licking good preparations as in the Honey BBQ Sesame Wings or Sticky Ginger Wings. If you're not a fan, or just don't want to watch your guests and children running around with barbecue-stained fingers, try the equally delicious Falafel-Crusted Chicken with Tahini Sauce.
If you're a taco person, there are plenty of ways of change up this classic food. Having lived in a small beach town on Long Island for a number of years, I'm partial to a good fish taco. Take it to the next level by preparing your fish ceviche-style in the Ceviche Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa. Go vegan, or finally enjoy cheese on a taco, with the Vegan Portobello Tacos. No matter what you choose to serve, enjoy spending the day celebrating those you love.