Coast Cooking

Father’s Day is Sunday. Make something special for Dad on his big day

Pimento and cheese makes the best topping for a cheese burger.
Pimento and cheese makes the best topping for a cheese burger. Special to the Sun Herald

Father’s Day is Sunday, so it’s not too late to start making plans to honor dear ol’ Dad.

This year, instead of taking Dad to a restaurant or buying him a tie, why not cook him something special in the kitchen?

You could even get the kids involved so they can learn something about the kitchen, as well. (Make sure kids don’t get involved in a task requiring a sharp knife, or a pot full of something hot. No burns, no cuts, please, it would be sure to ruin the day.)

Here are a few recipes a group of cooks with varying skills can accomplish with little effort, and I’m sure Dad will love it and the kitchen bonding experience can be almost as fun as the bonding at the table.

Use the best-quality ingredients you can afford for these recipes, and if you make the fried bologna sandwich, consider using mortadella sausage, from which American bologna is derived.

Pimento and Cheese Burger

Dad’s going to love this juicy, cheesy burger!

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

Dales Steak Seasoning

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup cream cheese

1/3 cup pimentos

Optional best quality mayonnaise

Combine the pork and beef, add 1/4 cup of Dales and plenty of black pepper. Now mix well and form into patties. Combine the next four ingredients to make the pimento and cheese. Grill the burger on a hardwood or hardwood charcoal fire, just before the burgers are done, top with a dollop of P&C and close the grill to melt the topping. Serve on a hamburger bun or you favorite artisanal bread.

Spaghetti and ragù alla Bolognese

At a cooking class at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs last year, Kristian Wade, the executive chef at the Beau Rivage, taught me the trick of finishing the pasta in the sauce. It produces amazing results.

1 pound imported spaghetti, fettuccini or linguini

1 pound coarsely ground beef or cubed beef stew style

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

¼ cup grated carrot

4-6 cloves diced garlic

1 can whole tomatoes (not drained)

1 cup dry red wine

Freshly ground black pepper, course sea salt, dried oregano

Cook the pasta according to package direction, but remove from the boiling water 2-3 minutes before done. Sauté the beef in a little oil until just done, remove and set aside. Add the onions, peppers and carrots to the same pan, add more oil if necessary, season aggressively, and sauté for 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the meat and simmer over low-heat 1 hour. Just before serving, add the pasta to the sauce and finish cooking 2-3 minutes more. Serve with crusty French bread.

Fried bologna sandwich

Don’t laugh at this old-school sandwich idea. It is delicious and easy to make and everyone will love it.

1 thick cut slice of bologna (mortadella) per sandwich

2-3 slices of bacon per sandwich

Lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise

2 slices white bread per sandwich

Fry the bacon until crispy, wipe the pan out to remove excess oil, then fry the bologna until well-browned. Toast the bread, if you like, build sandwich by adding the bologna, bacon, tomato and lettuce. Make sure to add mayonnaise to both slices of bread. Serve with Cool-Aid of your choice.