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Don’t Labor on Labor Day

September 3, 2010

Labor Day weekend is upon us, and I’m sure many of you will be either hosting or attending one or more barbecues over the next few days.  The Mouse House Kitchen would like to help take the labor out of deciding what to make or bring to summer’s last big weekend, so here is a sure-fire menu – compiled from previously posted recipes – for your Labor Day blowout.  Have a fun and safe weekend!  Enjoy.

STARTER:

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

(makes about 1 ¼ cups)

½ lb. (about 4 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 jalapeno, stemmed and chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro

½ tsp. salt

Chop tomatillos into quarters.  Place the tomatillos, 1 garlic clove, jalapeno, cilantro and ½ tsp. salt into a blender or food processor.  Pulse until coarsely pureed.  Add a little water if too thick. Use within one hour.  Serve with chips.  Eat!

SALAD:

Eric’s Snazzy Side Salad

(serves 4)

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

½ red onion, sliced very thin

1 scallion, diced

1 clove garlic, sliced very thin

1 tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, shredded

1/3 cup Feta cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil until blended.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a salad bowl.  Mix in the dressing until coated.  Eat!

MAIN COURSE:

Cajun Turkey Burgers with Blue Cheese and Grilled Jalapenos

(serves 4)

1 lb. ground turkey, formed into 4 patties

½ cup mayo

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. oregano

½ tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. white pepper (or black is ok too)

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. pickle relish

4 slices blue cheese, about ¼-inch thick (or about 1 cup crumbled)

4 jalapenos, stemmed, sliced lengthwise and seeded

4 onion rolls, sliced in half

Heat grill on medium.  Combine the mayo and the next 9 ingredients in a bowl.  Mix until thoroughly blended.  Place patties on the grill, along with the jalapeno halves.  Grill burgers approx. 5 minutes, until juices begin to form on the top.  Flip burgers and jalapenos; top each burger with cheese and grill for another 3-5 minutes with grill lid down.  Spread mayo on bottom half of onion rolls.  Remove patties and jalapenos from grill.  Slice jalapenos into thin strips.  Top each onion roll bottom with a burger patty and jalapeno strips.  Close with top half of onion roll.  Eat!

SIDE DISH:

Grilled Corn with Jalapeno-Honey Butter

4 ears of corn, husked and rinsed

4 tbsp. butter, softened

1 jalapeno, stemmed and diced

2 tbsp. honey

Place the corn cobs directly on the grill over medium heat.  Grill for about 25-30 minutes, depending on the size, turning them every 5 minutes or so to get them nicely browned on all sides.  While corn cooks, place butter, jalapeno and honey into a small food processor.  Pulse until well blended.  Scrape into a small bowl.  Brush on to cooked corn cobs.  Eat!

DESSERT:

Eric’s Hell-Fired Angel Food Cake Supreme

(serves 4)

4 thick slices angel food cake

Chocolate syrup

Vanilla ice cream

Fresh strawberries, sliced (or other fresh fruit like bananas, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

Heat grill on medium-high.  When heated, place angel food cake slices directly over heat.  Grill approx. 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.  Transfer cake to plates, top with a scoop of ice cream, drizzle with chocolate syrup, and top with berries.  Eat!

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