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Ree Drummond's Hearty Father's Day Fare

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Dads work hard to keep us healthy and happy – so when Father’s Day comes around, we owe them a little something extra. That’s the thinking behind Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s menu, which features an appetizer, entrées, a side and dessert that will fill his belly – and warm his heart.

Drummond, who runs a popular blog about her life in the country and the hearty fare she serves her family, picked five recipes that her husband, Ladd, particularly likes. Since the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, read on to find inspiration from these delicious dishes.

Toasted Ravioli

Makes 24 ravioli
• 4 cups vegetable or canola oil
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 6 eggs
• ½ cup half-and-half
• 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
• 12 frozen beef ravioli
• 12 frozen cheese ravioli
• ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
• 2 cups jarred marinara sauce, heated

1. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Bring the temperature to 400 degrees. (The temperature will lower once the frozen raviolis are dropped in.)
2. Place the all-purpose flour in a dish, then whisk together the egg and half-and-half in a separate dish. Pour the breadcrumbs into a separate dish.
3. Grab the ravioli (they should be frozen solid), and one at a time, drop them into the egg mixture. Quickly dredge them in the flour, then dunk them once again in the egg mixture, then coat them in the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a plate, repeating until they’re all coated.
4. Three or four at a time, drop the breaded ravioli into the oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and the filling is hot. Remove, and drain them on a paper towel.
5. Transfer the ravioli to a serving platter with the marinara sauce and sprinkle on the Parmesan and the parsley. Dig in immediately!

Next: Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana

Serves 4
• 4 whole (up to 6) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded flat
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• salt and pepper, to taste
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 Tbsp. butter
• 1 whole medium onion, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• ¾ cups wine (white or red is fine)
• 3 cans (14.5 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
• 2 Tbsp. sugar
• ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 1 pound thin linguine

1. Mix flour, salt and pepper together on a large plate. Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
2. At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.
3. Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
4. Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
5. Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
6. Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.

Next: Sunday Night Stew

Sunday Night Stew

Servings vary
• 3 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. butter
• 2 lbs. beef stew meat (chuck roast cut into chunks)
• salt and pepper
• 1 whole medium onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 oz. (weight) tomato paste
• 4 cups low sodium beef stock or broth (more if needed for thinning)
• several dashes Worcestershire
• ½ tsp. sugar
• 4 whole carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 whole turnips, peeled and diced
• 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Mashed Potatoes
• 5 lbs. russet potatoes (peeled)
• 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
• 1 stick butter, softened
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 1 tsp. seasoned salt
• salt and pepper, to taste

1. Salt and pepper stew meat. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add butter, and as soon as it melts, brown half the stew meat until the outside gets nice and brown, about 2 minutes. (Turn it as it browns.) Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate. Add the rest of the meat to the pot and brown it, too. Remove it to the same plate. Set the meat aside.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring it to coat it in all the brown bits in the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomato paste to the pot. Stir it into the onions and garlic and let it cook for 2 more minutes.
3. Pour in the beef stock, stirring constantly. Add the Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Add the beef back to the pot, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 1½ to 2 hours.
4. After 1½ to 2 hours, add the diced turnips and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine, put the lid back on the pot, and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be very thick, but if it seems overly so, splash in some beef broth until it thins it up enough. Feel free to add beef broth as needed!
5. When the carrots and turnips are tender, stir in minced parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve piping hot in a bowl with mashed potatoes, letting the juice run all over everything. Sprinkle with extra minced parsley at the end.

Mashed Potatoes
1. Cut the potatoes into quarters and cover with water in a large pot. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the same pot. With the heat on low, mash the potatoes for 2 to 3 minutes to release as much steam as possible.
2. Turn off heat, then add cream cheese, butter, cream, seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Serve potatoes immediately or spread them into a buttered baking dish to be reheated later. To reheat, put them in a 375 degree F oven, covered in foil, until hot.

Next: Onion Strings

Onion Strings

Servings vary
• 1 whole large onion
• 2 cups buttermilk
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 (scant) Tbsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. (to ½ tsp.) cayenne pepper
• 1 quart (to 2 quarts) canola oil
• black pepper to taste

1. Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk and soak for at least an hour.
2. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil to 375 degrees F.
3. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess and plunge into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown. Repeat until onions are gone.
(4. Eat before your family sees them. Repeat with another onion, because they’ll be really mad they didn’t get any.)

Next: Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Serves 8-12
• 1 whole unbaked pie crust
• 1 cup white sugar
• 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• 1 cup corn syrup
• ¾ tsp. vanilla
• ½ cup melted butter (salted)
• 3 whole eggs, beaten
• 1 (heaping) cup chopped pecans

1. Place pie crust in a pie pan and crimp the edges. Next, mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla together in a bowl.
2. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly, gently with foil. Bake pie at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
Note: Pie should not be overly jiggly when you remove it from the oven. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until set.
3. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

All recipes Courtesy Ree Drummond