Monday, September 3, 2012

Your Perfect Labor Day Menu!

Whether it's the delicious smell of hamburgers sizzling on the grill, the juicy and flavorful watermelon, or the sound of a cold beer being opened, we all love the tastes of summer. Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end, but Labor Day is the perfect way to end it with a bang! Try out some of these delicious recipes on your day off and enjoy what's left of the season! 

Almost-Famous Fried Pickles  

What you're going to need: 
For the Sauce: 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon drained horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • For the Pickles: 
    • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 3/4teaspoons Cajun seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 cups sliced dill pickles, drained

    • Directions: 
      • Make the sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup and Cajun seasoning in a bowl; set aside.
        Fry the pickles: Heat 1 inch peanut oil in a pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl until smooth. Spread the pickles on paper towels and pat dry.
        Add half of the pickles to the batter and toss to coat. Remove from the batter using a slotted spoon, letting the excess drip off, and add to the oil one at a time. Fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Return the oil to 375 degrees F and repeat with the remaining pickles and batter. Serve immediately with the prepared sauce.

        Creamy Dijon-Dill Potato Salad 
        What you need: 
        • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
        • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
        • 2 stalks celery
        • 1 cup mayonnaise
        • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
        • 1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
        • 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar
        • 1/2 lemon, juiced
        • 1 tablespoon grainy or regular Dijon mustard
        Put the potatoes in a big pot with enough water to cover by 1-inch. Season with salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook just until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
        Drain the potatoes and return them to the uncovered pot off the heat. Let them sit until almost room temperature. (Cooling them in the warm pot will get rid of any excess water in the potatoes, and that's good.)
        Meanwhile, cut the white parts off the ends of the celery stalks. Cut the stalks in half lengthwise, then across into 1/4-inch slices. Stir the celery, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining ingredients together in a serving bowl large enough to hold all the potatoes.
        When they're cool, cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces, add them to the bowl as you go. Stir gently until all the potatoes are coated with dressing. You can make the salad up to a couple of hours in advance. Keep covered at room temperature. Don't refrigerate or the potatoes will lose their rich, smooth texture.

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