Cooking Cove: Commandeering the grill for Father’s Day

Cooking Cove: Commandeering the grill for Father’s Day

Grilled Espresso-Marinated Flank Steak METRO photo

By Barbara Beltrami

While the grill and all things barbecued are Dad’s inviolable territory, on Father’s Day it’s necessary to get him to relinquish his squatter’s rights so that we can regale him with something special. I think if we can bribe him with a nice cold beer or maybe a margarita or two, perhaps he can be persuaded to just lounge by the pool or in the back yard, while we (under adult supervision if we are kids) baste and sear our tokens of appreciation for all he is and does, and I don’t mean just on the grill. 

It’s got to be something he doesn’t normally cook himself, something yummily unusual. Some great sides like oven fries, grilled corn on the cob, a nice green salad or garlic bread make easy accompaniments to any of the following recipes and there are also specific suggestions with each recipe.

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

YIELD: Makes 3 servings


1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup dry sherry

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

One 3 1/2 – 4 pound frying chicken, cut into 8 pieces


In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sherry, oil, sugar, garlic and ginger. Place chicken pieces in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag and pour in liquid; seal, then tilt and massage chicken to evenly distribute marinade. Turning bag occasionally, refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 12 hours. 

Prepare grill: Oil rack and start fire. Remove chicken from bag and pat dry with paper towels, but reserve liquid for basting. Arrange chicken on rack skin side down and grill, about 30 minutes. During last 10 minutes or so of cooking, brush the chicken with the reserved marinade (if chicken starts to get too dark, turn it so skin side is up.) Serve hot or at room temperature with rice pilaf.

Sicilian Grilled Swordfish with Tomatoes and Olives

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut 1/2” thick

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt


In a small bowl combine the tomatoes, onion, celery, olives, parsley and pepper. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately in which case let sit at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Prepare grill, oil racks, and set grill to medium high heat. In a small bowl combine  oil, lemon juice and oregano. Brush fish on both sides with mixture, then sprinkle with salt and more pepper. Grill over hottest part of grill, turning once, about 4 to 5 minutes per side (it should flake easily when poked with a fork.) Stir tomato and olive mixture, then spoon it over the fish steaks and serve immediately with couscous.

Grilled Espresso-Marinated Flank Steak

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


1 tablespoon finely ground espresso 

1 tablespoon lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds flank steak, trimmed of excess fat, at room temperature


In a small bowl, combine the espresso, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in the oil. With a spatula or wooden spoon, smear the coffee mixture all over the steak on both sides. Rub grill rack with oil, then preheat to medium-high. Grill steak, turning a couple of times until it is lightly charred and a meat thermometer reads 125 F, about 11 minutes. Remove to cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and let sit about 10 minutes. Slice steak across the grain and serve hot or at room temperature. Serve with a tomato and avocado salad.