Father's Day is over but keep the good food coming

A couple of good snacks to share with your dad.

I love being a dad. I have three grown sons. Each was born roughly five years apart, and as might be expected, they are very different from one another. Two live in the Sacramento area, and my youngest son lives in Houston. For all of their differences, they do share a number of things in common. Each is intelligent, caring, artistic, athletic and musical. They all love guitars. I, at least, know where they got that last trait. My two oldest sons are fathers, too.

Tony, my oldest, has a daughter and two sons. My middle son, Jason, has two daughters and a son. My youngest son, Vincent, is still in the planning stages but loves being an uncle. If you sense that I am a proud father, you would be right.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. Father’s Day isn’t celebrated the same way we celebrate Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is one of the two busiest days in the floral and restaurant industries. Father’s Day, not so much. That’s because on Father’s Day, we think of being at home and if not at home at least somewhere outside. We think of grilling and ice cold adult beverages. We think of food. We think of thick steaks, juicy hamburgers, brisket, ribs, hot dogs and brats and chicken. We think of all things smoky and spicy.

Here’s a bit of trivia to impress your friends: Father’s Day almost never came to be. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation that the third Sunday in June should be a day to honor all fathers. But it wasn’t until Richard Nixon signed the law in 1972 that Father’s Day was made official.

I wouldn’t dream of writing a column focused on this special day that deals with grilling techniques. Grilling is the domain of virtually every father, and I’ve never met one who didn’t possess a level of skill that exceeded all expectations.

I do, however, want to share a couple of ideas of dishes dads would enjoy even though the official day to recognize our fathers has passed.

For something quick and spicy to snack on, how about some buffalo roasted shrimp.

It’s a take on traditional buffalo wings that can be made as sweet or spicy as you like. Simply coat peeled and deveined shrimp in a honey-cayenne mixture. Roast for a few minutes and serve with veggies and dip.

While the oven is still hot, you may want to make some sausage and cheese balls. No matter how many you make of these, it won’t be enough. These are so easy to prepare that they shouldn’t taste this good. They only need a few ingredients, like your favorite sharp cheddar cheese, a great bulk breakfast sausage, an onion and a few spices. Only about 10 minutes of prep and 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, and you have a great snack.

Everything’s better with bacon, right? For a really good side dish for your grilled meats, try making a tomato stuffed with grilled corn, bacon and cheese. With just a little preparation and assembly, this is a dish that I bet you will be serving all through the summer. All recipes are included in this column.

Here’s hoping you had the chance to be with your father or your children this Father’s Day. I hope you enjoyed great food, great company and made fond memories.

As I write this, I remember my father. My father was intelligent, caring, artistic, athletic and musical. He loved guitars. Who would have thought?

Dennis Patillo is a committed foodie and chef. He has spent a lifetime studying foods from around the world as well as regional cuisines. His passion is introducing people to ingredients and techniques that can be used in their home kitchen. He and his wife, Louise, own The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar.

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