Labor Day Cookout Recipes with a Fruity Twist
It may be time to head back to school, but there’s still one more weekend to go this summer! If you’re planning to hit the grill this weekend, add a sweet twist to your meals with these fruit-infused Labor Day cookout recipes. And if you want to take your culinary skills to the next level, check out Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton, CT!
Grilled Citrus Chicken with Connecticut Cucumber-Cantaloupe Salsa
Chicken is sort of the “blank canvas” of foods, and the options to add some pizzazz to it are limitless! If you are celebrating the end of summer with a Labor Day party, then try this citrusy twist on a classic crowd pleaser.
The salsa recipe is ideal for taking advantage of fresh cucumbers and cantaloupe before they’re out of season. Guests are usually expecting burgers, hot dogs and plain chicken, so this gourmet addition will catch their attention. Truth be told, it’s not that much more complicated than throwing some chicken breasts on the grill, so even the Grillmaster-in-training can pull this dish off without a hitch!
This healthy option is brought to life by a variety of flavors, and the zing of the citrus really livens up the dish. Paired with an unusual combination of cucumber-cantaloupe salsa, this new and improved grilled chicken is light, refreshing and delicious! Happy grilling!
4 Chicken Breasts-boneless, skinless
1 Lemon-zest removed and chopped, reserve juice for salsa
1 Lime-zest removed and chopped, reserve juice for salsa
2 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 Cup Cucumber-peeled, seeded, small diced
1 Cup Cantaloupe-peeled, seeded, small diced
3 Tbs. Red Onions-minced
1 Cup Red Bell Pepper-small diced
2 Tbs. Cilantro-chopped
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice-reserved from above
2 Tbs. Lime Juice
Salt and Black Pepper to taste (added to salsa at last moment)
Marinate chicken breasts with the citrus zests, vegetable oil, and black pepper at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator or overnight. Grill chicken breasts until an internal doneness of 165° f. Serve with salsa (procedure below).
Combine all remaining ingredients in bowl, adding the salt and black pepper just before serving to avoid removing the water from the fruit and vegetable. Divide the salsa onto four serving plates, top with the grilled chicken. Enjoy!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Peach and Sweet Potato Relish
If you’ve been to the farmer’s market or local fruit and vegetable stands, you’ve probably seen an abundance of end-of-season peaches. At this point in the summer, maybe you’ve grown tired of adding them to fruit salads or slicing to eat plain, but just haven’t figured out how to intensify the fruit and heighten it to gourmet status. This relish might do the trick!
You can serve this relish with any items you’re grilling, but grilled pork tenderloins can be a perfect unexpected accompaniment. This lean meat cooks quickly, so your guests can start eating in no time!
2 Pork Tenderloins-trimmed of any silverskin, cut into ¾” thick medallions
1 Sweet Potato-peeled, sliced ½” thick
1 Red Onion-sliced ½” thick
1 Poblano Chile Pepper (optional)-cut into quarters lengthwise, seeds removed
1 Red Bell Pepper-cut into quarters lengthwise, seeds removed
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Native Peaches-peeled, pitted, diced ½”
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro-chopped
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
Heat grill on high heat. Lay pork medallions on cookie sheet, pat dry very well with paper towels, brush both sides lightly with vegetable oil, and season both sides with salt and black pepper.
Place the sweet potato, red onion, chili pepper, bell pepper in a bowl, drizzle with the remaining vegetable oil, tossing to coat evenly. Place pork and vegetables on the grill.
Grill on high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, check for doneness. The pork should read 145º f internal temperature using an instant read thermometer. The vegetables should be fork tender. If everything is cooked, remove from grill.
Allow vegetables to cool slightly, then chop into ½” pieces. Place in a bowl with the diced fresh peaches, lime juice, cilantro, and toss together seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with the grilled pork medallions, enjoy!
- LCI Shelton