The best way to dad’s heart is … through his tummy! Whatever he likes to feast on, we’ve got you covered. Think a luxurious steak, hearty paella or tangy pork belly skewers – plus something that will satisfy his sweet tooth. You’re welcome!
Truffle mushroom steak
A steak doesn’t always need an actual sauce. This luxurious combo of truffle oil and pan-fried large brown mushrooms on a perfectly cooked matured steak are the stuff dreams are made of.
You’ll need: 300g aged steak of your choice, boneless; olive oil, for drizzling; salt & pepper; 30g butter; a few large brown mushrooms, sliced; 2 sprigs thyme, woody stalks discarded; a few drops of truffle oil (or truffle flavoured oil)
Drizzle the steak with oil and season with salt & pepper. Braai over hot coals or grill in a piping hot griddle pan, until cooked to your liking (3,5 minutes a side for a 3 cm thick steak, for medium-rare). Remove and leave to rest while you prepare the mushrooms.
Heat the butter over high heat in a pan, then fry the mushrooms with the thyme until golden brown on all sides. Season with salt & pepper. Remove from the heat, then add a few drops of truffle oil and stir to mix.
Top the rested steak with the hot truffle mushrooms and serve at once.
Mushroom and mussel paella
You’ll need: 500g portabellini or button mushrooms, quartered; 1 large onion, very finely chopped; 1 red bell pepper, finely diced; 1-2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced (seeds removed if desired); 4 cloves garlic, finely grated; 1 tsp turmeric; 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika; 1½ cups short-grain rice (such as Bomba or Arborio); 1 cup dry white wine; 6 cups mushroom or vegetable stock; 1kg fresh mussels, cleaned; fresh micro herbs for serving; extra virgin olive oil; salt and pepper, to taste; lemon wedges for serving
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large paella pan, frying pan or wok. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown and their water has evaporated. Add onion and soften for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, chilli, garlic, turmeric and paprika. Cook until fragrant.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent. Add wine and cook until completely evaporated. Add stock- the liquid should just cover the rice. Cook, without stirring, adding more stock if needed to keep the rice moist while cooking, until rice is al dente and all liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. (Shake pan after adding more stock to distribute evenly.)
Just before the rice is fully cooked add the mussels, ensuring that most of them are covered by the rice and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels open. Discard any that do not open.
Taste for seasoning and then scatter with fresh micro herbs. Serve in the pan to keep warm alongside fresh lemon wedges.
Pork belly skewers
You’ll need: 500g pork belly – no bone and rind removed; olive oil; Togarashi spice; salt; pepper
Halve the pork belly pieces, place on a skewer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and togarashi spice. Togarashi has a nice chilli bite so use as much to suit your taste buds.
In a preheated pan, pan-fry the pork on medium heat until golden on both sides. Turn down to low heat and continue cooking until cooked through.
Sticky bitter orange dipping marinade
You’ll need: 125g sugar; 30m red wine vinegar; 500ml chicken stock; 10ml soy sauce; 35 drops Angostura Bitters; 1 orange; 15g corn flour; 20ml water; 30g butter
Place the sugar in a pot on medium heat, allow the sugar to melt and start to caramelise. Once the sugar reaches a light brown colour; deglaze with red wine vinegar and stock.
Bring the sauce to the boil and reduce by half, add the juice of one orange, Angostura Bitters, soy sauce, and butter.
Dissolve the corn flour in the water, thicken the sauce with the corn flour and water solution and season with salt.
Serve the pork skewers warm with the sticky sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping or drizzling liberally over them.
Chocolate mousse and almond tuiles
You’ll need: For the chocolate mousse – 4 egg yolks; 60ml castor sugar; 500ml cream; 225g dark chocolate, finely chopped; 5ml vanilla extract
Almond Tuiles – 1 egg white; 50g icing sugar; 50g butter, melted; 50g almond flour, well sifted; 2ml vanilla extract; 30g Shaved almonds
To finish – 150ml cream; 15ml castor sugar; 2ml vanilla extract; grated chocolate
Place egg yolks, 30ml sugar and 180ml cream in a medium saucepan and mix well.
Over medium heat, cook the egg mixture until it is thick. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the finely chopped chocolate and vanilla extract. Cover with clingfilm over the surface of the custard and allow to cool.
Whip the remaining cream and sugar until soft peaks. Fold a third of the cream into the cooled custard and mix to loosen the custard.
Fold the custard into the remaining cream. Divide mousse between six serving dishes, I used small glasses. Martini glasses also make a dramatic serving dish.
Place in the fridge until serving.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a medium bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add the egg white and almond flour and mix well to a paste. Rest in the fridge until needed.
Drop teaspoon amounts of batter onto a silicone mat or silicone paper and spread into a circular shape, getting the batter as thin as possible.
Sprinkle with shaved almonds. Bake for 4 minutes, until the tuile turns golden brown, you will have to watch them carefully.
Remove from the oven and quickly slide a pallet knife under the tuile and wrap around a wooden spoon or small rolling pin to shape. Rest on a dish towel until firm. Repeat with remaining tuiles. You will have to work quickly.
Repeat with the rest of the batter or until you have enough tuiles to serve.
Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff.
Place cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe a swirl of cream on top of each mousse. Top with grated chocolate. Place a tuile on each dessert just before serving.