Father’s Day, the celebration of a supreme male influence whether by birthright, adoption, remarriage, mentoring; or some other loving relationship in which a male figure is looked upon as a father. It does NOT have to be by blood alone; sometimes the bond of, what some call “water” can be stronger than blood. Nowadays the term “baby daddy” has various connotations; a man who proudly helps create a child he cherishes and cares for; or a man who is simply a sperm donor having no concern over the child or even the woman who carried the baby. I, however, still say that “anyone can be a father, it takes a special man to step up and be a daddy”. Personally, I never knew my father; he went off to marry another woman, create three children with her, and never have any interaction with me. Father’s Day, father/daughter dances, a powerful male influence and protector were for other little girls. I don’t feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for him; the loss of me and the wonderful woman I have become.
A little history on Father’s Day; it was not an official holiday in the United States until 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed it a holiday by law. From 1908 until 1972, many attempts were made, but “Tricky Dicky” is the one who made it stick. However, in Middle Ages, primarily Catholic, Europe, it was celebrated each year on March 19th (St. Joseph’s Day). St. Joseph was viewed as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") or "the putative father of Jesus". Nowadays, over 40 countries worldwide celebrate a Father’s Day, but its date could well be anytime from January through December.
Luckily, to justify the recipes I’ll be giving you; Greece just happens to celebrate on the same day as the United States does. So, in honor of Zeus, and all the dads out there; let’s get them to the Greek!
Greek Inspired London Broil
1 tsp crushed dried basil, divided in half
1 tsp crushed dried oregano, divided in half
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 lb. London broil, trimmed of fat
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 large shallot, diced
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a small bowl, whisk together half each of basil and oregano; the garlic, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Before placing the meat inside a resealable plastic bag, lightly score both sides with a sharp knife diagonally against the grain. This will allow the marinade to seep more easily into the meat, and can be used as a guide for slicing later on. Pour the marinade over the meat, massage it onto the meat, seal the bag and refrigerate for two hours; after one hour, turn bag over.
Also after one hour, prepare the "salsa" by lightly combining the tomatoes, shallot, olives and remaining half teaspoon of the basil and oregano; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Add the feta cheese to the mixture just before serving with the meat and potatoes.
The London Broil can be made three ways: under the broiler, in a roasting pan, or on the grill; the temperature should be 350F to 400F for the pan or grill methods; the broiler should be on high. While the broiler and grill will take 7 to 10 minutes on each side; the roasting pan will require 15 to 20 minutes per side. I chose the roasting pan method, and set my oven temperature at 375F, since the potatoes would be roasting along with the meat.
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil, spray the rack with nonstick spray and insert into the pan. Take the meat out of the bag (discard the bag and excess marinade), place on the rack and place the pan on the center rack inside the oven. After 20 minutes, turn the roast over; after 15 minutes the meat will be rare, 20 minutes for medium-rare. Remove to a cutting board and let it rest for 5-7 minutes to allow its juices to settle within itself before slicing; slice against the grain and thinly. Serve with the Greek "salsa".
Makes 8 servings; or 6 generous servings.
Lemon-Parsley Potatoes with Parmesan Crust
3 lbs. russet potatoes
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Peel the potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks and soak in cold water for 15 minutes; this will help remove excess starch and allow the potatoes to better absorb the cooking liquid.
Preheat oven to 375F; brush the inside of a 2 quart baking dish with one tablespoon of melted butter. Drain the potatoes and place inside the baking dish. In a small bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the Parmesan cheese. Pour over the potatoes, making sure to work the liquid between all the chunks. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil; mix the potatoes around and spread the Parmesan cheese evenly over them. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes; until the potatoes are fork tender. Allow the potatoes to rest inside the baking dish for 10 minutes to let them absorb any remaining liquid.
Makes 6 servings.
There you have it, my Greek Inspired London Broil and Lemon-Parsley Potatoes with a Parmesan Cheese Crust. Believe me, leftovers will be slim to none. Enjoy, Happy Father’s Day to you and yours, and Happy Father’s Day to Bishop Richard Watkins of Blanding who adopted my husband, Roy, and me as his own children. Love you dad!