The Ultimate Father’s Day Menu — Recipes From Some of Fort Worth’s Favorite Chefs and Pitmasters

Treat Dad To Something Truly Special This Year

BY // 05.29.24

Chef dads are a special breed. They work long hours, including late nights, weekends and holidays. But, they still make time to coach their kid’s sports teams, raise money for their local PTA, teaching their work ethic all along the way. So, as Father’s Day approaches (it’s June 16) we asked a few local chefs what dishes and drinks they’d like to be served as they celebrate the day with their children. Here’s your ultimate menu for the special day, where local chefs break down their favorite Father’s Day recipes.

The namesake Fitzgerald cocktail is a perennial favorite we think dad will love.
The namesake Fitzgerald cocktail is a perennial favorite we think Dad will love.

Ben Merritt of Fitzgerald

Chef Merritt serves up coastal cuisine at his Fitzgerald restaurant. For his favorite Father’s Day recipes, he presents two menu staples to kick off the festivities. First is the namesake cocktail for Fitzgerald, since it is his favorite cocktail to drink. Next is his spicy shrimp and crawfish queso.

Fitzgerald Cocktail Ingredients

2 ounces Tanqueray 10

3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 ice block (house stamp optional)

Fitzgerald Cocktail Recipe

Combine the Tanqueray 10, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a shaker.

Add ice and shake well.

Strain into a rocks glass with a large cube.

Top with the two dashes of the bitters.

Shrimp Crawfish Dip at Fitzgerald’s
Shrimp crawfish dip is the best way to kick off Father’s Day.

Spicy Shrimp and Crawfish Queso Ingredients

1 pound 60 to 70-count shrimp

1 pound crawfish tails

4 ounces butter

2 red bell peppers, small diced

1 yellow onion, small diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1.5 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

1.5 pounds softened cream cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

3 cups of freshly shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons Crystal’s hot sauce

Spicy Shrimp and Crawfish Queso Recipe

In a large saucepan, heat to medium heat.

Add the butter.

Once melted, add the red bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Sauté until soft.

Add the shrimp and crawfish with the Cajun seasoning.

Stir and cook for two to three minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients. Stir continuously until the queso is formed. If you prefer thinner queso, add a little milk.

Lanny Lancarte’s soppressata, chorizo and balsamic glazed Fresno pepper pizza.
Lanny Lancarte’s soppressata, chorizo, and balsamic glazed Fresno pepper pizza. (Photo by Jeremy Enlow)

Lanny Lancarte of Righteous Foods

While Chef Lancarte was coaching both of his daughter’s teams to championship games in May, he kindly shared the pizza recipe he’s looking forward to this Father’s Day. It’s a savory pizza topped with soppressata, chorizo, and balsamic glazed Fresno peppers. As with all of Lancarte’s menus, ingredients matter.

Pizza Ingredients

pizza dough

red pizza sauce

mozzarella & provolone cheese blend

Soppressata slices

Spanish chorizo slices

red onion slices

Balsamic glazed Fresno peppers

freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Pizza Recipe

Preheat the pizza oven to 600 degrees or get a pizza stone hot in the oven on its highest setting (you can leave the stone on the top rack and broil for 20 minutes to achieve more heat before dropping the oven’s temp to the highest bake setting).

Slice two Fresno peppers. Heat a pan with one tablespoon of oil and add peppers. After 30 seconds remove from heat (this will cause intense smoke so open a window).

Add two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, stir to incorporate and reserve.

Stretch pizza dough that has gone through proper thawing and proofing, using plenty of flour dusting to avoid sticking.

Spread store-bought pizza sauce evenly on the dough, and spread cheese on your pizza.

Arrange dried meats, onions, and balsamic-glazed Fresno peppers.

Using a flour-dusted pizza peel, place the pizza in the pizza oven (or on a pizza stone).

Rotate often until a golden color is achieved on the crust.

Remove from oven and top with Parmigiano Reggiano. Slice and serve.

Fort Worth Father's Day
Chef Juan Rodriguez’s tablitas short ribs and borracha salsa make a great carne asada meal.

Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s Catering & Events

Chef Rodriguez has been turning up the heat at Magdalena’s while his young family continues to grow. He presents one of his favorite dishes to grill (which is also his father’s favorite cut). Tablitas is also known as chuck short rib, with salsa borracha. It makes the perfect carne asada to share with your dad. And, don’t forget the cerveza.

Beef Tablitas Ingredients

2 pounds beef tablitas, chuck short rib (found at your local Hispanic grocery store)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

6 Key limes, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup oil

1 cup Tecate or Corona beer

kosher salt, evenly sprinkled

Beef Tablitas Recipe

In a mixing bowl big enough to fit the meat, marinate for about one hour with garlic cloves, paprika, cumin, key lime juice, oil, and beer.

After an hour, place the beef on a baking sheet and get ready to grill.

Light up your gas or charcoal grill. Key point: make sure your grill is hot, so you’ll achieve great grill marks.

Give the meat a good sear for flavor and to lock in those juices.

Once you’ve grilled all meat to your desired temperature (three minutes on each side for a medium to medium rare doneness), place it on a platter and let rest for 15 minutes.

Salsa Borracha Ingredients

1/4 cup canola oil

2 tomatillos, halved

2  Roma tomatoes, quartered

1 jalapeño, roughly chopped

1  serrano, chopped

1 yellow onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves

2 Pasilla chile pods

1 cup of Mexican beer, like Tecate, Sol, or Corona

Salsa Borracha Recipe

In a skillet (cast iron or stainless steel) over medium heat, sauté all ingredients, except beer, until tomatoes are charred.

Remove Pasilla pods and set aside. You don’t want to over-roast them, they do get bitter.

Once all ingredients have a good char on them, transfer to a blender. Add pasilla peppers, and blend. Be sure to start the blender on slow if possible, hot liquid in the blender can send liquid flying. Put a towel over the blender before you turn it on.

Once, everything is blended, transfer back to the skillet and turn to medium heat.

Add beer and reduce for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt.

Assemble grilled beef tablitas, and salsa borracha inside tortillas, with some grilled spring onions.

Father’s Day Menu Bacon Brisket Dayne’s Craft Barbecue.
Bacon brisket has long been a staple at Dayne’s Craft Barbecue.

Dayne Weaver of Dayne’s Craft Barbecue

Pitmaster Dayne Weaver opened his first-ever brick-and-mortar this year in Aledo. He shares a staple on his menu (and his favorite Father’s Day recipe) ― his award-winning bacon brisket. It’s a pork belly that is seasoned, smoked, and sliced like a brisket. You’re welcome.

Bacon Brisket Ingredients

1 skinless pork belly

1 cup black pepper (ground to 16 mesh)

1/4 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoon seasoning salt

Bacon Brisket Recipe

Prepare your smoker at a temp of 275 degrees. We use post oak for this recipe but mesquite, hickory, or pecan would be good choices as well. You are looking for a heavy smoke wood on this dish since you are cooking this like a brisket.

Cut the pork belly into four sections. Trim them as evenly as possible removing any ridges that are too tall or too thin. This will allow you to cook the protein evenly.

Season evenly with the salt and pepper brisket rub.

Place the pork belly fat side up in the smoker. Spritz only if the pork belly looks dry. No more than two to three times during the cooking. If we spritz we use cider vinegar diluted with a little water, but water works fine as well.

Smoke the pork belly until it feels tender. This will be achieved at an internal temperature between 200 and 210 degrees when you feel no resistance with your Instant Read Thermometer.

Remove the pork belly from the smoker and allow it to cool significantly. That will help you slice through the delicate fat. Weaver recommends a serrated or very sharp knife.

Weaver likes to enjoy it in a taco, and bacon brisket tacos are available at Dayne’s Craft Barbecue on Saturdays.

We join these Fort Worth chefs in wishing everyone a Happy Father’s Day.

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