A Day for Dads

Categories:Recipes, Seasonal

by Becky Loomis

I like to set the mood for my Father's Day menu planning by putting on my favorite country playlist called “Men Who Sound Like They Can Fix Things”. After that I cut up some early summer fruit from the farmstand and soak it with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. It's a combination that helps me think happy, uncomplicated thoughts. This year as I was settling into my routine it occurred to me -- I don’t know if Blake Shelton is a father, but he has made it okay for tall, handsome truck-driving men to sip sangria, so this year instead of drinking it purely for inspiration, I could pair it with something meaty and make it an official part of the Father’s Day meal.

I have been buying a lot of blueberries lately because they are a superfood my children will eat. I feel even more smug about it now that they're in season, so I’ll add a few to the Father's Day sangria, and then I'll make Vivian Howard’s blueberry salsa, because if any one person is going to go to the trouble of grilling, the least everyone else can do is scoop their own hors d’oeuvres out of the bowl on a corn chip.

Father’s Day is one of the more legitimate secular holidays, so I'm going to dig the rack of ribs out of my freezer that keeps getting in the way whenever I am trying to access frozen wheatgrass shots for my power smoothies* and grill it up with a Vivian Howard Blueberry Barbecue Sauce I've been wanting to try since I watched her bottling it on her PBS show. After that I will probably grill a few shrimp because dads like surf and turf**. They do not like vegetables*** which will save a lot of chopping.

*ice cream
**a generalization
***no one likes vegetables

Not Too Sweet White Sangria:
Sangria shouldn’t taste like Bojangles’ sweet tea. Fruit and spirits have plenty of sugar, y’all.
Cut up some peaches, plums, and strawberries, and top with berries, or -- I hope this is obvious, mix and match your summer fruits -- in the bottom of an heirloom pitcher. Pour a bottle of light-bodied white wine over it. Add ⅓ cup of peach brandy, and a can of seltzer if you like bubbles. Chill, serve over ice or frozen berries.

Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce:
4 racks baby back ribs (serves 8)
Sea salt and Pepper
Vivian Howard’s Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pat ribs dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Wrap each rib individually in foil and cook for about 2 ½ hours. They should be fully cooked and nearly falling off the bone when you take them out. Tent with foil while you prepare a medium-high grill.
Charcoal and gas both work fine. When the grill is hot, brush both sides of each rib with plenty of sauce and grill until you have a nice crust, flipping once. Leave the grill on for your shrimp.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp:
2 lbs. shell-on large shrimp
Juice of one lemon
Olive oil
Vivian Howard's Rub It In Fins & Shells Rub

Dry shrimp by patting them thoroughly with paper towels, or if time permits, by air drying in a single layer in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Once they are quite dry, place shrimp in a bowl and add lemon juice a two tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with Fins & Shells Rub to taste. 2T per pound of shrimp will produce flavorful results. Add a little more for a kick.

Either on skewers or in a grill basket, grill the shrimp for a minute or two on each side, until just opaque.

Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard (Contains recipe for corn and blueberry salsa)
Vivian Howard’s Rub It In Fins & Shells Rub
Vivian Howard’s Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Try These TASTE Favorites:
TASTE Extra Virgin Olive Oil, available online and at TASTE
Lolea No2 Clarea White, available online and at TASTE
Outer Banks Sea Salt, available at TASTE
Ponga Sauvignon Blanc, available at TASTE