Hanger Steak with Charmoula Pesto for Father's Day

How come on Father’s Day so many men cook but on Mother’s Day so many people eat out, usually for brunch? I don’t get it. If men like to cook why don’t they cook for Mother’s Day too?

Is it because Mother’s Day is before the “official” outdoor grill season (which many food writers say starts Memorial Day weekend)?

I don’t think so. Lots of people use their grills all year, or at least when the warmish weather begins and that’s usually before the end of May.

Anyway, Father’s Day seems to be a grill day. In our family it used to be a tribal event at my uncle’s house and included the entire crew of aunts, uncles and cousins. I love my family but always hated this event because my uncle used to grill hot dogs and for so many people that the franks were never crispy on the outside and they were barely cooked. It just became an excuse for me to eat bagsful of potato chips. Even the desserts were remarkably bad — the kind of wobbly cakey-pies that when you see them at a bakery you wonder who would buy them.

When I got married I had an excuse not to go to the family cookout. We got into the habit of visiting my Dad for brunch, then to my in-laws for dinner. My Dad, who was a world-class father, but not a world class cook, would usually make waffles. My mother-in-law made her world class rib roast for dinner. She would never have let my father-in-law near the stove, or even the kitchen for that matter.

So, any dads who are reading this, you should know your children are storing the event in their memory bank. If you’re grilling make it memorable. Here’s a recipe for Grilled Hanger Steak made with a Charmoula Pesto — its a spicy, Moroccan-style sauce that I like on beef, but it’s also good for chicken or lamb. You can also mix some Charmoula with mayonnaise to use as a sandwich spread 1/2 cup may to about 2 teaspoons Charmoula).

Hanger Steak with Charmoula Pesto

3 large cloves garlic, mashed

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

salt to taste

hanger steak, about 2 pounds

Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Mix the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, parsley and cilantro in a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the olive oil gradually, beating the mixture constantly. Taste and add salt if needed. Brush the mixture over the meat. Let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes. Grill the steak 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking. Makes 4 servings

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