Good Food Blog
Dishes that remind you of dadPosted at 12:02PM, 15 June 2012 by Natalie Hardwick - Web assistant, bbcgoodfood.com
The role of the father in the kitchen is complex and fundamental. Whether your dad has a signature dish, is a show-off cook or prefers the option of being fed in his armchair, he may well have shaped your attitudes to food. We put a call out to our readers to find out what dishes most remind them of dad- the BBC Good Food team added their input too.
Full English breakfast
Bacon, eggs, sausages, beans… and that's just the foundation. There's no denying that a gut-busting fry-up has dad written all over it. On Facebook, Fiona McGregor says her dad used to rustle up a full English before setting out for a day of beach combing, and on Twitter Aaron Pull recalls his Dad feeding the family fry-ups for a week while mum was away. If you're worried about middle-age spread, try creating a healthy version, or take it beyond midday as a pizza or kebabs.
Steak and kidney pudding
Beef in thick suet pastry is a rib-sticking, manly treat. Combine it with rich kidney and oozing gravy and you have the ideal meal according to our assistant cookery editor Cassie's dad- as long as it's cooked in the "proper", traditional way. If you want to elevate the humble pud into something more stately, use a game meat like venison, or lighten it up- just a touch- by replacing the dense basin shell with a crisp shortcrust pastry pie topping.
We sense a theme here… Facebook fan John Ellis-Mourant says this beef classic was the first dish he helped his dad cook. It's easy to understand why- cooking tender beef fillet coated in paté and wrapped in puff pastry is great show off cooking, plus has a red-blooded hit of meat. It's a perfect weekend treat as it's a little tricky to make- although we have a step-by-step guide for assistance. Make it stretch further by using mince like John Torode, or avoid arguments over the biggest slice by making mini versions.
Any dad who's a fan of the convenience supper will embrace the omelette with open arms. Facebook fan Ailsa Winters says it's the only thing her dad could cook- although it doesn't have to end with cracking some eggs into a bowl and stirring. Get inventive with fillings, such as this Greek salad omelette, or oven bake it to make it rise then serve in wedges as a frittata. Any dads wanting to push boundaries and impress could whip up an omelette soufflé, or perfect the elegant French omelette.
Our food editor Sarah says there's something about her dad's approach to this Italian classic that gives him the edge. "My mum has been keeping us fed with her spag bol for years and years, but on the three occasions my dad has made it to, essentially, the same recipe, we've all had to marvel at the wonder of his creation- and then had to do all the washing up afterwards while he basks in the praise." No two recipes will ever be the same, so we have plenty of versions to avoid controversy.
Another popular dish with the fast-living, convenience dad is the simple pasta bake. Twitter follower Sian Biddlecombe says hers made a cheese tuna pasta bake with crushed up crisps on top almost every Saturday evening. The nutritionally conscientious dad might throw in some brocolli, or maybe some pesto if feeling particularly Mediterranean.
For dads who want to while away a few hours tied to the stove, making jam is a rewarding pastime. It's a great way to use up a glut of newly-picked fruit and preserving works all year round, from summery rhubarb and strawberry, to perennial lemons. Or save it for a rainy day and use up storecupboard dried apricots.
Perhaps not the first food that springs to mind when thinking of dad, but bbcgoodfood.com editor Hannah says the only thing hers could cook was scones- despite being a baker's son. Creating the perfect crusty shell to encase a soft light inside takes practice, but once you've mastered the basics you can experiment with flavours. Add fruit like cherries or apples or make savoury bites with cheese and Marmite or Mediterranean tomatoes and olives.
Facebook fan Janey Green recalls another weekend dad ritual and says hers used to make French toast every weekend. Some people may refer to it as eggy bread, which sounds slightly less fancy, but essentially all you need is some whisked eggs and your choice of bread- hot cross buns or brioche work just as well as sliced white. To garner even more favour with the kids, try adding chocolate and banana for a real sweet fix.
Aptly ending the countdown with another, rather refined, dose of meat, food editor Barney says confit duck reminds him of his dad. "It was through me that he first tried it and he became obsessed with trying to cheat a recipe that didn't involve buying 2 litres of duck fat. All his attempts were good but not as tender as the original recipe so I devised this recipe for him which is about as close as you'll get without the vat of fat required for the true recipe."