Make the most of the upcoming long weekend-the holiday we think of as the unofficial end of summer-and host an (almost) labor-free Labor Day party. These easy Labor Day recipes can be mostly made ahead so you just need to add a few finishing touches as your guests arrive.
Easy make-ahead Labor Day recipes:
Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter-The butter for this grilled corn is so delicious, you'll find other ways to use it. Make the butter the day before your party-preferably in a generous-sized batch and freeze the leftovers-and you'll only need a few minutes to grill the corn before dinner is served.
Total time: 15 minutes
4 ears fresh corn, husked
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce plus 1/4 teaspoon adobo sauce (see Ingredient Note) or 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat grill to high. Wrap each ear in foil. Place on the grill and cook, turning frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and let stand in the foil while preparing the butter. Combine butter, lime zest, lime juice, chipotle and adobo sauce (or ground chipotle) and salt in a small bowl. Carefully unwrap the corn. Serve with the butter.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 129 calories; 7 g fat (4 g sat, 0 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 222 mg sodium; 245 mg potassium.
Ingredient Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Ancho chile peppers, one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico, are dried poblano peppers. They have a mild, sweet, spicy flavor. Ground ancho chile pepper can be found in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets, or substitute ground chili powder plus a pinch of cayenne.
Lime-Jalapeno Chicken-Tangy, mildly spicy and tender, this chicken can be marinated up to a day ahead then finished on the grill. Or grill it the day before too and serve it cold.
Mexican Coleslaw-Crunchy and refreshing, this tangy coleslaw is a delicious alternative to traditional mayonnaise-based slaws.
Watermelon-Yogurt Ice-Inspired by creamy watermelon sherbet, our light and refreshing dessert captures the essence of summer.
Homemade Lemonade-Beats the stuff made from frozen concentrate hands down. And you can control the sweetness level. Try adding some pureed berries for color. And have some vodka on hand for the adults.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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