Happy Labor Day! Start the celebration with clams on the half shell. Shuck them yourself or ask the fishmonger to do it for you and pick them up an hour so before the party. To serve raw clams, line a shallow serving bowl with lettuce leaves, add crushed ice, set the clams in the ice and tuck lots of lemon wedges around the edges. Have Tabasco and cocktail sauce on hand and start the party!
Choose your favorite sausages and knockwurst from the meat market or if you are adventurous, try Bovine & Swine Craft Meat’s sausages. Uniquely flavored pre-cooked sausages from the Wyoming-based company include garlic, knackwurst, jalapeno cheddar, black pepper and blue cheese, and great tasting natural cased all beef hot dogs, all available at: bovineandswinejh.com.
To cook the wursts, sausages, and hot dogs, heat the grill to high, cut slits every so often in each sausage and place them on the grill. Cook, rotating the sausages around, until grillmarks appear or until charred. Reduce the heat to medium and cook about 10 minutes. Serve with marinated grilled onions, ketchup and mustard.
Once again, I’ve chosen do-ahead recipes for the side dishes. Marinate the onions at least one day ahead. Hint: Make more than you think needed, as everyone loves them!
The cole slaw will keep well for up to four or five days. The cabbage slightly wilts, almost like sauerkraut but not fermented. It’s the perfect side dish to go with grilled sausages and marinated onions.
The potato salad tastes best at room temperature, so make it in the morning and keep it in a cool place. For dessert, make a big batch of brownies or buy fruit pies and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Bon appetit!
Grilled Marinated Onions (Serves 6)8 medium white onions, peeled, cut into quarters or sixths
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, bruised
2 sprigs fresh oregano, bruised
About 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
Sea salt, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Metal skewers for grilling
Large quart or two quart jar for marinatingTo prepare:Cut onions into even sized quarters keeping the root end intact. Stack onions into a clean glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Tuck sprigs of rosemary and oregano in and around the onions.
Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk vinegar together with salt and pepper. Pour the vinegar into the jar; add just enough olive oil to completely cover the onions. Cover the jar and shake well to distribute the marinade. Place the jar on the counter and every time you think of it, turn the jar over to distribute the marinade. Marinate for at least 6 to 10 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator
Preheat the grill on high. Remove onions and thread onto a metal skewers or single layer in basket. Grill until marks appear on both sides of the onions, move the skewers to moderate heat area of the grill, cover and cook until they are tender to the point of a fork. About 20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size of the onions.
With a fork, slide the onions off the skewers onto a platter. Cole Slaw(Serves 6)1 medium head cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
6 organic carrots, peeled and shredded
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the dressing:
2 to 3 tablespoons fig white balsamic vinegar or more to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or more if necessary
1 small jalapeño pepper, mincedTo prepare:Wash, halve and core the cabbage. Cut into wedges. Stack the wedges into the feeding tube of the food processor fitted with the slicing blade. Slice cabbage into slaw and transfer to a mixing bowl. Remove the slicing blade, add the shredding blade, and horizontally stack the carrots into the tube, shred, and transfer to bowl of cabbage.
Remove the shredding blade, add the chopping blade, and add onion, pulse until chopped. Do not over-chop and add to the cabbage. Place green pepper in processor and pulse until evenly chopped, add to cabbage. (Optional: slice, shred, and chop by hand.)
With a fork, combine the vegetables. Add salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, cover with plastic wrap or transfer to a bowl with a lid and refrigerate overnight. Before serving taste the slaw and adjust the seasonings. Simply Delicious New Potato Salad (Serves 6)4 to 5 medium (2 to 3 inch) Yukon gold new potatoes, scrubbed
4 to 5 medium (2 to 3 inch) red skinned new potatoes, scrubbed
About 5 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley or more to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 4 tablespoons mustard vinaigrette, or more to taste
For the Vinaigrette (with leftovers):
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, (aged in oak casks)
About 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A handful of chives, snipped and tossed with the potatoesTo prepare:Scrub potatoes. Cut each potato in half, then quarters and each quarter in half. (One potato equals 8 bite-sized pieces). Transfer potatoes to a large saucepan filled with cold water.
Add salt, cover and set the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a slow boil and cook until the potatoes are tender to the point of a table fork, but not falling apart. Immediately, drain potatoes in a colander, shake off excess water and return potatoes to the saucepan. While the potatoes are still hot, add vinaigrette, salt and pepper, parsley and toss to coat the potatoes. Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more vinaigrette, salt and pepper according to personal preference. Taste again and serve at room temperature. If refrigerated, bring to room temperature.
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