Labor Day Picnic Foods

Labor Day is coming up – a holiday that commemorates the workers who have helped make this country great. To many, it also heralds the end of summer and the last 3-day weekend before school starts.

So why not enjoy the last blast of summer with a great picnic potluck among friends and family? Try twisting up your menu with some new drinks and dishes too. Start out with a refreshing drink such as a house-made sparkling blackberry lemon soda – perfect for using up the last of those wild picked blackberries! Serve it dry or add a splash of your favorite local vodka or gin.

For the food – set out an array of apps to make a meal of it. Try giving a sassy twist to some old favorites like Sriracha Deviled Eggs, or something new in the dip department like Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary topped with chopped up fresh summer tomatoes and served up with fresh cucumbers, and grilled pita for dipping.

The possibilities are endless and delicious! –Kathy

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Sriracha Deviled Eggs – Yum!
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs with Crunchy Cucumber & Shrimp
Sriracha adds a spicy kick and a beautiful color to these festive eggs. The shrimp and cucumber topping adds a fresh note and fun texture. Be sure to use eggs that are at least 10 days old or the shells will not peel off easily.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

Filling
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbsp. finely minced celery

Topping
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, well drained
2 Tbsp. finely minced English cucumber
1 Tbsp. finely minced red pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Garnish: extra Sriracha sauce and cilantro leaves (if desired)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise, Sriracha and salt, and mix until smooth (you can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment). Stir in the green onion and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, stir the vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl, until dissolved. Add the shrimp, cucumber, pepper and cilantro, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about one heaping teaspoon of the mixture. For extra flavor and spice top each egg with a dot of Sriracha and garnish with a tiny cilantro leaf, if desired. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Creamy White Bean Dip with Garlic and Rosemary
I like to serve this dip with crostini, grilled flat breads or fresh veggies, such as pieces of fennel, red peppers, blanched green beans or grilled vegetables. For a variation, top with diced fresh tomatoes, cucumber and your favorite olives.

Makes 3 cups

2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well (I used S&W White Beans in Light Seasoning)
6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely minced lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprig

Drain beans well, then combine in a food processor with the garlic cloves. Process for about 1 minute, then scrape down sides of food processor work bowl, and add the chili flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. This dip will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve in a bowl; drizzle dip with a tiny bit of olive oil and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on September 1st, 2016  |  Comments Off on Labor Day Picnic Foods |  Posted in Uncategorized

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