OMAHA, Neb. — Dads traditionally know their way around the grill. But this Father’s Day, why not expand that knowledge?

Bookseller Andrea Gunther shares five books covering everything from picking the right cut of meat to preparing it — and even pairing it with the perfect side and beer.

1. “Franklin Steak” by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay. This isn’t a cookbook, but the authors tell you everything you’d ever want to know about cooking an amazing steak. Find information about buying the best piece of beef and then seasoning it to perfection. “Franklin is very well known in BBQ circles. He knows what he’s doing,” Gunther says.

2. “Southern Living, The Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking” by Christopher Prieto. A great barbecue book because it breaks down the pieces of meat and the best ways to cook them. It helps you identify what to look for in the store and also includes pictures of how to prepare each cut. Here's his recipe for beef short ribs.

3. “Beer Pairing: The essential guide from the pairing pros” by Julia Herz and Gwen Conley. Beer has been a source of comfort and amusement through the ages. Craft beers took it to another level in the U.S. Now, this book challenges home chefs to try something new with that bottle of beer. Who knew that mint chocolate chip ice cream goes great with an American Imperial Stout?

4. “Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: The game-changing guide that teaches you how to cook meat and poultry with 425 bulletproof recipes” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. Cooking the best meat begins at the grocery store. So that’s where this starts with a 27-page master class in meat cookery, from reading the label at the store to seasoning. Then the authors break down how to sauté, pan sear, pan roast, roast, grill, barbecue and more.

Pan-Seared Veal Chops


  • 4 8 to 12 ounce bone-in veal rib chops, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges


Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Lay chops in pan and cook without moving until well browned, four to five minutes. Using tongs, flip chops. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until chops register 130 degrees Fahrenheit, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer chops to large plate, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for five minutes. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Oven-roasted Chicken Thighs


  • 8 6- to 8-ounce bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil spray


Adjust oven racks to middle and lowest positions, place rimmed baking sheet on lower rack and heat oven to 450 degrees Fahreinheit. Using a metal skewer, poke skin side of chicken thighs 10 to 12 times. Season both sides of thighs with salt and pepper. Coat skin lightly with vegetable oil spray. Place thighs skin-side-down on preheated sheet. Return sheet to lower rack.

Roast chicken until skin side begins to brown and meat registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit — 20 to 25 minutes — rotating sheet halfway through cooking. Remove chicken from oven, and heat broiler.

While broiler heats, flip chicken skin-side-up. Broil chicken on upper rack until skin is crisp and well browned and meat registers 175 degrees Fahrenheit, about five minutes, rotating sheet as needed for even browning. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest for five minutes. Serve with Roasted Garlic Salsa Verde (recipe follows).

Roasted Garlic Salsa Verde

  • 1 garlic head, cloves separated and unpeeled
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


While oven preheats, toss garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon oil in bowl. Cover bowl and microwave until garlic is softened, two to five minutes, stirring once halfway through microwaving. Place garlic in center of 12-inch square of aluminum foil. Cover with second 12-inch square of foil, fold edges together to create packet about 7 inches square. Place packet on upper rack and roast for 10 minutes.

Squeeze garlic cloves out of skins. While chicken is resting, process garlic, lemon juice, parsley, anchovies, capers and salt in food processor until coarsely chopped, about five seconds. Add remaining ¼ cup oil and pepper flakes, pulse until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Serve.

5. “The Beer and Food Companion” by Stephen Beaumont. Read about the history of beer and its pairing with food. Delicious recipes allow you to cook, pair and appreciate ale at a whole new level. This book also includes profiles of key chefs, restaurateurs and beer experts.

Hop Hot Smoked Salmon with Beer Hollandaise


For the salmon:

  • 1 ounce whole leaf hops
  • 3 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 2 6-ounce salmon fillets

For the hollandaise:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons white white vinegar
  • 7 ounces clarified butter
  • 3 tablespoons golden pale ale or a lightly hopped IPA


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove loose tea from the tea bags and drop leaves into the bottom of a stove-top smoker or a heavy-based pot you can cover with a steamer and lid. Let it smolder on medium-high heat until it’s smoking well. Add the hops. then work quickly to introduce the salmon into the smoker.

Lay salmon fillets on parchment paper and place on the smoker tray or steamer. Cover with a lid, remove from the heat and allow to smoke for two minutes. Transfer the salmon to a baking sheet and place in oven for six to seven minutes or until fillets are firm but still moist. While the salmon is cooking, make the beer hollandaise.

In a double boiler over medium heat, or in a metal mixing bowl suspended over a pot of simmering water, whisk together the egg yolks, vinegar and beer until light and fluffy. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in clarified butter. Serve the salmon fillets with a generous pour of hollandaise on top.


This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Momaha Magazine.

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