Father's Day BBQ
Annabel Cohen Food Columnist shares Father's Day recipes for BBQ and grill
Annabel Cohen
Food Columnist

Father’s Day is not just another Hallmark holiday. The most popular theory is that in 1909, a certain Washington state woman wanted to pay tribute to her father, a widower who raised a brood of children on his own. In 1924, after years of “unofficial” celebrations, President Coolidge called for an official date to honor fathers — the third Sunday in June. It wasn’t until 1966 that President Johnson approved this day as a holiday. Incredibly, it wasn’t until 1972 that Congress actually declared Father’s Day a national holiday.

When it comes to pleasing dads’ hunger pangs, a grilled or barbecue dinner wins hands down. What do men like to grill? If you can believe what food experts, steak houses, the press and television tell us, it’s beef. And lots of it.

But most families don’t live by meat alone. Not to worry — I’ve included recipes for some of my favorite salads and sides.

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  •    3 pounds of skirt steak
  •    2 Tbsp. red curry paste
  •    3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  •    3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  •    Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  •    Fresh chopped cilantro, garnish

Grilled Honey-Lime Onions:

  •    2 large onions
  •    ¼ cup honey
  •    3 Tbsp. your favorite barbecue sauce
  •    ¼ cup lime juice
  •    1 tsp. vegetable oil
  •    1 tsp. minced garlic
  •    1 tsp. kosher salt
  •    ¼ tsp. black pepper
  •    Pinch red pepper flakes

Marinate steak: Season the steak with salt and pepper. Prepare rub: Whisk together the rub ingredients and spread mixture all over steak to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or more.

Prepare onions: Peel and slice onions into ¼-inch thick rounds. Set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush onions with honey lime sauce and grill until charred. Separate into rings.

Grill the steak: Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove steak from marinade and grill steak for 10 minutes for medium-rare (140°) or until slightly charred on both sides. Transfer the meat to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Slice very thinly against the grain and arrange on a serving platter. Serve the onions over the steak. Makes 6-8 or more servings.


Mint Chutney:

  •    1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, clean and dry
  •    1 cup chopped scallions
  •    1 medium garlic clove
  •    1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  •    ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  •    2 tsp. sugar
  •    ½ tsp. ground coriander
  •    Water as needed
  •    Salt and pepper to taste


  •    1½ pounds boneless and skinless    salmon fillet
  •    1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, garnish (optional)


  •    1 Tbsp. paprika
  •    1 Tbsp. minced fresh gingerroot
  •    2 tsp. ground cumin
  •    1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
  •    ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  •    1 cup plain yogurt
  •    1 tsp. minced garlic

Make the chutney: Combine mint, scallions and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Add pepper sauce, lime juice, sugar and coriander and process until uniform. With the machine running, add water, 1 Tbsp. at a time until the chutney is smooth and thinned (not liquid, however). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the salmon: Cut the salmon into 1½-inch chunks. Set aside.

Make marinade. Place all paprika, gingerroot, cumin, coriander, and cayenne in in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the spices, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and darkened, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 minute before transferring to a medium bowl. Add the yogurt and garlic to the spices and stir until smooth. Add the salmon chunks to the marinade and turn well to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour or more before grilling.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Thread the salmon on 8 metal or bamboo skewers (be sure to soak bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour before grilling). Grill chicken for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through (do not overcook). Remove from grill and serve hot, warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with sesame seeds if using and with mint chutney on the side. Makes 8 servings.


  •    4 Granny Smith apples
  •    ½ cup fresh lime juice
  •    2 cups shredded carrots
  •    1 cup toasted sweetened coconut
  •    ½ cup thin sliced red onions
  •    1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  •    2 Tbsp. sugar
  •    1-2 Thai chiles or jalapeños, seeded and chopped (optional)
  •    1 tsp. minced garlic
  •    ½ cup dry roasted peanuts or cashews

Toast the coconut in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring all along, until golden (be careful, once the coconut starts to color, it cooks quickly). Cut apples and carrots into thin matchsticks. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Makes 6 servings.


Unlike the tiny Moroccan couscous pasta, Israeli couscous are large spheres that when uncooked, resemble tapioca.

  •    ¼ cup olive oil
  •    1 cup chopped onions
  •    1 tsp. minced garlic
  •    1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, drained)
  •    2 cups (1 pound) Israeli couscous
  •    4 cups chicken or vegetable broth or water
  •    ½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  •    ½ cup golden raisins
  •    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  •    Salt and pepper to taste


  •    Extra-virgin olive oil
  •    1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  •    Fresh lemon juice (about ¼ cup)

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas and saute for 3 minutes more. Add the couscous and broth or water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until couscous is tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, remove from heat and cover the pan for about 5 minutes or until any remaining broth is absorbed. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6-8 servings.

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All recipes ©Annabel Cohen 2018 annabelonthemenu@gmail.com.

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