September 01, 2011

Labor Day BBQ Pays Tribute to Arizona

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.  (Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved September 1, 2011)

Authentic Arizona recipes were chosen for our Labor Day barbecue this year - Caesar Salad, Honeyed Lamb Chops and Summer Squash - to pay recognition to Phoenix and her unrelenting heat last month (this August is officially the hottest August of all time in Phoenix!).  Kokopelli's Kitchen chose these scrumptious recipes from "The Arizona Cook Book" by Al and Mildred Fischer. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers in Phoenix, AZ.

  • 3 quarts SALAD GREENS, bite-sized
  • ½ cup SALAD OIL
  • ½ cup Parmesan CHEESE
  • ¼ cup BLUE CHEESE
  • ½ teaspoon DRY MUSTARD
  • ¼ teaspoon SALT
  • ⅛ teaspoon PEPPER
  • 1 EGG
  • ½ cup fresh LEMON JUICE
  • 2 cups garlic-flavored CROUTONS
 Put crisp, cold salad greens into large , chilled salad bowl that has been rubbed with a clove of garlic. Add oil, cheeses, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper. Break raw egg over greens and pour in lemon juice. Toss very thoroughly so every leaf is coated with seasonings. On the last toss, add croutons. (Makes 8 servings.)

  • 4 loin LAMB CHOPS (1-inch thick)
  • ¼ cup HONEY
  • 2 teaspoons SOY SAUCE
  • ¼ cup LEMON JUICE
  • 4 ONION slices
Combine soy sauce, honey and lemon juice. Mix well. Add lamb and chill one hour, turning occasionally. Remove lamb. Reserve honey mixture. Broil lamb 3 to 4 inches from source of heat for six to seven minutes. Turn and top with onion slices and broil six to seven minutes longer. Brush lamb with honey mixture frequently during cooking.

  • 2 pounds ZUCCHINI, sliced
  • 2 TOMATOES, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ONION, thinly sliced
  • 1½ teaspoons SALT
  • ½ teaspoon PEPPER
  • ½ teaspoon dried or 3 sprigs fresh BASIL
  • ½ teaspoon OREGANO
  • 3 tablespoons BUTTER
Place zucchini, tomatoes and onion in center of large square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dot with butter. Bring foil up over vegetables and seal with a fold to make a tight package. Cook on grill over a medium fire, shaking occasionally, about 30-40 minutes.