Recipes: How to spoil your dad on Father's Day

Say a special thank you to your dad this weekend with a special Father's Day brunch, says Di Curtin
Recipes: How to spoil your dad on Father's Day

Buttermilk Pancakes with Serrano Ham, Cashel Blue and Maple Syrup. Picture: Di Curtin

YOU can spoil dad any day of the week, any time of year. But his own very special day, dedicated to fathers everywhere, falls this Sunday, June 20.

Father’s Day was first a thing in the early 1900s, after a young lady called Sonora Dodd from Washington, on hearing a Mother’s Day sermon at her local church, suggested that dads should also have a day dedicated to them. The third Sunday of June became the date for Father’s Day, which remained popular for some time, then gradually fell by the wayside. It wasn’t till the 1980’s that Father’s Day was widely adopted in Europe as the official designated day for dads.

This Sunday is the day to say a special thank you to the man who helped you with your homework, taught you how to ride a bike, took you to matches and stood in the rain while you played dismally, but still treated you to chips on the way home - and perhaps has even walked you down the aisle. Time to let the Auld Fella put his feet up while his offspring wait on him, hand and foot! Nothing he’d like better!

Breakfast in bed is always a good way to spoil someone special. 

This weekend, I’ve got an amazing late breakfast menu that will go down a treat for Father’s Day. Buttermilk pancakes are topped with crispy slices of Serrano Ham and crumbled Cashel Blue cheese. A drizzle of maple syrup adds its own special magic, its natural sweetness complimenting the savoury toppings. This filling main course also looks sensational and will set dad up for the day!

Most dads love a little sweet treat! 

Strawberries are all the rage right now, coming into their absolute best for the height of summer. Ripe and juicy, they make great dunkers for some rich chocolate sauce enriched with coffee and a swirl of cream on top.

Serve dad a stunning platter of skewered berries with my rich choccie sauce this weekend, with a little glass of bubbly on the side if the fancy takes him! P.S. I think you better make some extra for Mum too!


Ingredients - Serves 4 (12 small pancakes)

For the batter:

100g plain flour 

Pinch of salt 

1 fresh free range egg, beaten 

300mls buttermilk 

1 tbsp melted butter 


12 thin slices Serrano ham 

225g Cashel Blue cheese 

Maple syrup for drizzling 

Baby salad leaves


  • Sift the flour into a bowl with salt and make a well in the centre.
  • Add the egg and a drop of buttermilk.
  • Begin to whisk the mix together, gradually adding the remaining buttermilk.
  • When all is added, whisk smooth and stir in the melted butter. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a tiny bit of oil in the pancake pan.
  • Whisk the batter again. Using a ladle or jug, pour just enough mix into the pan to make small circle, spaced apart. The mix will spread out, so don’t cook too many at a time. You don’t want them sticking together.
  • Cook over medium heat till the pancakes set and surface starts to develop little holes.
  • Flip over to cook the other sides for a minute or two more.
  • Slide out onto a warm plate and reserve, covered with film or greaseproof,, keeping hot while you make the remainder.
  • For the topping, fry the serrano ham crisp in a dry pan.
  • Serve warm buttermilk pancakes layered with ham on warmed plates. Crumble over the cheese and drizzle with maple syrup.
  • Scatter with baby salad leaves to finish.

Strawberries with Chocolate Coffee Sauce.
Strawberries with Chocolate Coffee Sauce.


Ingredients (Serves 1)

50g best quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

1-2 tbsp cream 

1 tsp honey, or to taste 

1 tbsp coffee essence 

100g fresh ripe strawberries, hulled 

Extra cream for swirling 


  • Melt the chocolate in a pan over a bowl, stirring.
  • Add the cream, honey and coffee essence and stir smooth.
  • Pour into a dish and leave to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, thread the strawberries onto cocktail sticks or little bamboo skewers.
  • Arrange on a plate with the sauce in a dish.
  • Drizzle a little cream over the chocolate sauce and swirl with the end of a teaspoon before serving.

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