This year for Father’s Day we wanted to give Papi something he could really enjoy—something that he could use often and be reminded of just how much we love him. We decided to make him a basket of some of his favorite snacks and sauces. His excitement as he came downstairs and sampled each and every item (even a garlicky chimichurri at 8 in the morning) was an indication that this year’s basket surely beat the myriad Guy Harvey shirts of years past.
The basket included:
o Joanna’s trail mix
o Erica’s toffee candied pecans
o Three herb chimichurri (adapted from Bon Appetit)
o Mango chutney (from Alton Brown)
o Pizza oil made with spices Erica brought from a market in France
o Bisquick, which promptly produced breakfast (No matter how many homemade pancakes, biscuits, and scones we try to woo Papi with, to him nothing is better than a stack of syrupy Bisquick pancakes.)
We’re lucky to have both sides of our family here, so we spent the rest of the day visiting our grandfathers and uncles and eating (of course) at every stop. At our Cuban grandparents’ house we feasted on a parilla (array of grilled meats) and braised rabbit, and ended the meal with our family’s favorite Special Chocolate Cake, which I baked for the occasion. At our next gathering we were stuffed, but managed to graze on mango salsa, meatball subs, Erica’s roasted vegetable pasta salad, and my nectarine blueberry crumble. It was a delightful and delectable day.
Joanna’s Trail Mix
Warning: It’s addictive.
3 cups shelled pistachios
2 cups whole smoked almonds
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
Mix together and enjoy.
Erica’s Toffee Candied Pecans
These are especially good in pancakes, in salads, and atop coffee ice cream.
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
Equal dashes cinnamon and cayenne pepper
20 oz. pecan halves
Fleur de sel
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and spices. Bring to a bubble, stirring constantly until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add pecan halves and coat thoroughly with the mixture. Spread coated pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Bake nuts at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.