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Must-try Labor Day Recipes
Labor Day and the end of summer are just around the corner so we’ve put together three must-try recipes to help you finish your summer with a last dose of fun. If you’re planning to get outside, barbecue, bask in the company of friends, and enjoy the final vestiges of warmth before fall shows up, we’re here to help you plan your menu and finish summer with a bang.
Labor Day weekend is the final three-day weekend in summer and signals the beginning of cooler temperatures and pumpkin spiced everything. Try out this totally summer, vegetable casserole before the warm weather runs out.
Tomato Zucchini Casserole
Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter a 9x9-inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine Cheddar, Parmesan, oregano, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese and herb mixture on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in breadcrumbs; cook until they have absorbed the butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
Cover loosely with foil, and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
For your main course, consider this recipe for a slight twist on the traditional summer barbecue dish that’s easy to eat with your fingers.
Flank Steak with Balsamic Barbecue Sauce
Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 small chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons molasses
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds flank steak
For the cheesy bread:
1 French baguette, halved lengthwise and cut into 4-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced scallions, for serving
Make the sauce: Bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until reduced by about half, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the ketchup and 3 tablespoons water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add the reduced balsamic vinegar, the chili powder, paprika, mustard, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chipotle chili, brown sugar, honey and molasses. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. (The sauce will keep for 1 week refrigerated in a sealed container. If it gets too thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water.)
Let the steak sit 30 minutes at room temperature before grilling. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to high. Brush the steak with the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat until browned on one side, about 3 minutes, then turn over and grill until the other
side is browned, about 3 more minutes.
Move to a cooler part of the grill, away from direct heat. Baste with the sauce and continue grilling, turning several more times, until medium rare, about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the cheesy bread: Brush the cut side of each piece of bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides. Remove from the grill and top each piece with a mound of grated Monterey Jack cheese. Put the bread on a piece of aluminum foil and return to the grill to melt the cheese. Transfer to a serving platter.
Thinly slice the steak against the grain. Arrange the steak slices on the bread and garnish with sliced scallions.
For dessert, remind your guests that summer is not yet over with a fresh, mixed-berry crisp. A crisp is as delicious as a pie, without all the prep work. Your guests will think you slaved over a hot stove when this recipe will actually take only 20 minutes to prep.
Triple Berry Crisp
Start to finish: 1 hour
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Your guests are sure to enjoy these summertastic recipes as you all celebrate that wonderful time of year as the weather starts to cool and the days grow shorter.
If you’re not planning an outdoor get-together for Labor Day, come to Isle of Capri Casino® for some great eats at Farmer’s Pick® Buffet, The Lone Wolf® or Tradewinds® Marketplace. It's the perfect end to a wonderful holiday weekend!