Burgers, hot dogs, sausages, potato salad and corn. We can all agree they are the cornerstones of any Labor Day cookout. But here at Feast & Fete we love to spice things up a little. Our taste for adventure begs that we add a little diaspora dimension to the typical grilling menu.
To get everyone started, we've included a much-cherished recipe for red potato batata salad, inspired by travels to the South American country Colombia. We’ve also enlisted the help of some of our favorite foodies from across the diaspora to share their twist on a traditional Labor Day feast. Read on for a selection of savory recipes your friends and family will love.
Chef Ed’s Jerk Chicken
Chef Edward Brumfield is a Brooklyn, New York native and the originator of the Mixtape Dinner, a culinary event where he marries high technique food with iconic hip hop albums. As a Brooklyn native he feels like no Labor Day BBQ is complete without jerk chicken. In his hometown, Labor Day weekend is a time of celebration of Caribbean culture. The streets of Brooklyn are alive with the sounds of soca and reggae and the scent of jerk chicken being grilled on practically every corner. His recipe for jerk chicken will definitely transport your guests to the paint and powder ridden streets of Brooklyn for the Labor Day Parade.
1 whole chicken broken down into quarters
1 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 chopped scotch bonnet pepper or habanero chili
1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger
1 cup of diced scallions
1 cup of diced cilantro
1/2 cup of minced garlic
1 cup of dark Molasses
1 cup of olive oil
-Take the chicken quarters and rinse them in water and lime.
-In a large bowl, place the washed chicken quarters; then add the jerk marinade, massaging deeply into the chicken for 10minutes.
-For best results, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. (If you don't have time, marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.)
-Once the coals on the grill are nice and hot, prepare your grill with your choice of fat so that the chicken doesn't stick.
-Once this is done, sear chicken on the grill for marks; then cook until the internal temperature of the meat is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Red Potato Batata & Salad
10 red potatoes quartered
5 batata, peeled and roughly diced
4 tbsp of veganaise (vegan mayo)
2 tbsp of olive oil
¼ of finely chopped italian parsley
2 tbsp of sweet relish
Coarse sea salt
Finely ground white pepper
-Fill a pot with 4 cups of water on medium high heat.
-Once water has come to a rolling boil, place batata and quartered red potatoes with a pinch of salt and cook until potatoes and batata are soft yet firm.
-Then strain and place in a large glass bowl to cool.
-When the potatoes reach room temperature, add all of the other ingredients and use a silicone spatula to fold potatoes into the other ingredients.
-Garnish with parsley.
Pan Seared Branzino on Corn & Pea Succotash
Chef Michael Philip is a native of Princes Town, Trinidad and Tobago. After completing culinary school in the U.S., he worked with some of the nation’s top chefs and is now leading kitchens of his own. He's currently the executive chef at Southold Social located in the North Fork, an area known for its amazing wines and even more amazing seafood.
When asked why he chose branzino, a delicate fish, hot his cookout recipe, t he responded, “Branzino is my favorite fish. It’s buttery, flavorful and quick to cook. Labor Day people tend to eat a lot of heavy food. This dish makes you feel full without being sluggish. It can be an all-year dish for any occasion.”
1 qt of blanched basil
1 cup of blanched arugula
2 qts of Olive oil
Few garlic cloves
2 sprigs of rosemary
Basil oil preparation:
-Pour the oil, then the other ingredients into a Vitamix.
- Purée at high speed until completely smooth.
-In a sauté pan, add olive oil and wait for first smoke.
-Then, add the fish. Let it sit for 3 minutes, and skin side down on medium heat.
-Flip it over; then, start to baste with the thyme, and butter for a couple minutes.
-When done, remove. Let it cool down on a paper towel.
Ingredients for Corn & Pea Succotash:
2 qts of fresh roasted corn
1 qt of English peas
3 cups of heavy cream
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt & white pepper
-In a stock pot, add cream and thyme.
Bring pot to a boil, then add the corn.
-Cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Then add in the peas, and continue to cook until mixture becomes thick.
Crispy Shark Tacos with Pineapple & Cucumber Salsa
Chef Blu hails from both Guyanese and Jamaican parents so the flavors have never been too far. For this Labor Day feast she has submitted her take on her favorite street foods, Bake & Shark. “Usually, this dish can slow you down and make you feel full really fast,” she explains “I've never met a person that could eat more than one. So, this is how I took a heavy hitter and made it into a little big bang.” I replaced the bake with a warm flour tortilla, so the focus is on the meaty, crunchy, flavorful shark.” It's the perfect finger food for the cookout for those of us that want to have a little bit of everything. Plus, the pineapple cucumber salsa is the perfect dip for any chip.
Crispy Shark (dry & wet prep)
***Note: these ingredients don't have measurements because you have to spice to taste.
-Cleaning the shark and remove its bones.
- marinate the fish with the rest of the ingredients for a few hours, overnight if possible.
Shark Batter Ingredients:
⅕ cups of AP flour (sifted)
1 cup of water
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
¼ cup of hot sauce
Vegetable oil for deep frying
-Combine flour, water and egg in a medium size bowl until smooth but thick.
-Fold in hot sauce.
-Heat oil in a Dutch pot to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Coat shark in the wet batter first, shaking off any excess; then coat in panko.
-Drop each piece into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
- Be sure to let the fried pieces cool down before building your taco.
Diced cucumber (no seeds)
Diced white onions
Diced jalapeno (no seeds)
The juice of 2 limes
2 Bunches of chopped parsley
Tablespoon of salt
-Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
- Mix by hand.
-Once fully incorporated, it's ready to eat.
Spicy Lemon Aioli:
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large egg yolks
1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon of hot jerk seasoning (wet)
1 cup EVO
-Combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Once fully emulsified it's ready to eat.
-Take a warm flour tortilla and add a nice bed of sliced red cabbage to a warm flour tortilla.
-Lay crispy fried shark on top.
-Spoon some of salsa on top.
-Drizzle aioli and enjoy a twist on a tradition.