Host a Laid-Back Labor Day Party
We can’t believe it either. Labor Day is just over a week away! Hopefully, you managed to soak up all that summer had to offer and are ready to send it off in style.
And because it is still summer, we’ve got plans to host a laid back get together that requires minimal effort. Below are some of our favorite recipes that you can prepare beforehand and enjoy the party with your guests:
The traditional way to make carnitas is to take chunks of pork shoulder and simmer them in lard (aka. manteca) until they are achingly tender and sinfully rich and delicious. For those who do not want to go down this decadent path, here is an alternate version—just as yummy but a little more healthy-ish.
3 1/2 lb to 4 lb boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into two inch chunks.
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
Juice and zest from 2 oranges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
- Heat oven to 275 degrees.
- Season pork with cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and black pepper & salt.
- Lay seasoned pork in single layer in a 13 x 9 baking dish.
- Add water, orange juice and bay leaves. Cover with foil and bake for two hours, or until fork tender.
- Remove pan from oven. Remove foil from pan. Raise oven temp to 450 degrees. Return pan to the oven and roast until all liquid is evaporated and meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes.
- Continue roasting, turning frequently, until meat is brown and crispy, about 30 additional minutes.
- Serve with warmed corn tortillas and your choice of green and red salsas.
- Other accoutrements: chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, Mexican crema or sour cream, hot sauce, radishes, pickled jalapeňos.
Watermelon and Feta Salad
(Courtesy Brenda Bosetti Catering)
1/4 fresh lime juice
1/4 fresh orange juice
1 shallot, minced
1 t. dijon mustard
1 T. honey
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups baby arugula
4 cups seedless watermelon cubes
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled or cubed
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or torn
Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together. Set aside. Place arugula, watermelon, feta and mint on a platter or shallow bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over, season with salt and pepper.
Wine Sisterhood Citrusy White Wine Sangria
- 1 750-ml bottle of *white wine such as Middle Sister Drama Queen Pinot Grigio or Middle Sister Surfer Chick Sauvignon Blanc
- one cup ginger ale
- 3 medium oranges
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- Orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)
Squeeze the juice of three medium oranges, one lemon, and one lime through a strainer into a large glass pitcher. Slice the citrus and add to pitcher. Add one chilled bottle of your favorite white wine with one cup (or more) of ginger ale depending on your sweetness preference. If you want to pump it up a notch, throw in several hearty splashes of an orange-flavored liqueur.
Serve in large wine glasses filled with ice and garnish with a few citrus wheels. Note: we don’t add ice to the pitcher so the flavors won’t be diluted if you allow the Sangria to steep for a while in the refrigerator.
Cheers to a fabulous holiday weekend!