Saturday, September 1, 2018

Labor Day Grillin' - Holiday Recipes

Labor Day is a day of rest for us working nine-to-fivers, yeah right! Well don't sweat it, I'll do the heavy lifting with a wheelbarrow full of tasty recipes for you to choose from. And this Penny Pinching Proletarian has all the photo-illustrated cooking instructions laid out for my visiting toilers, with some videos sprinkled in for no extra charge.

Smoking Pastrami

For this final summer holiday here at the Institute of Penny Pinching, I'm getting out the BBQ grill for a backyard blowout. So read on and click on any recipe name below and you'll be directed to my original blog post recipe page of eats, illustrated with yummy photos.

Let's start with the main meat course. This Chintzy Hash Slinger cooks with chicken because it's the cheapest.

And dark meat is the best bargain. I can even get boneless and skinless chicken leg quarters on sale for around 99 cents per pound at my local Latin market. They also sell 10-pound bags of plain whole leg quarters for 49 cents per pound.

Use your favorite BBQ sauce for a traditional red, white and blue backyard poultry cookout. I just season cheap chicken pieces with salt and pepper and slather on the BBQ sauce. Before serving, slice into the thickest part of the chicken piece to make sure the juices run clean - no pink or red is allowed!

Next to chicken, pork is one cheap protein and I like to smoke it. Smoking thick meaty Country-style Pork Ribs are a favorite. I boil the ribs until tender (you can also wrap them in foil and oven roast) then throw them on the grill for an hour of smoke. This is a tasty shortcut to traditional all-day smoking. My blogpost shows you how to smoke pork ribs 2 ways.

If you like a rack of ribs then watch my video below for an eyeful of deliciousness. The video recipe features Pork Spare Ribs and I've used this recipe for Beef Ribs, too.

What helps drive this great nation economical engine is our mosaic of industrious cultures, so why not get multi-culti and try my recipe for a grilled Thai-style Chicken Satay with a Peanut Dipping Sauce.

The Japanese version of grilled Shish Kabobs is called Yakatori. And the Japanese like to grill it all, even chicken livers. If that is too pungent for you it's okay to substitute liver with cubes of firm fish like salmon or halibut, and chicken fillets. Everything tastes better when served on a skewer.

Chicken Satay - ready for the grill.

Los Angeles has a bustling Koreatown and I have had the pleasure to try a few Korean BBQ joints. Enter one and you are enveloped in smoke from the tabletop grills, loaded down with marinated beef and chicken. I have my own cheap$kate version of Korean BBQ you can make for your next backyard gathering.

It's all about the marinade that mainly consists of garlic, soy sauce, and brown sugar. It's a potent combination you should try out sometime. Just click here for my Korean-style BBQ Chicken recipe. The photo below shows cheap, grilled boneless and skinless, dark meat leg quarters.

 If you are glued to the widescreen TV for a baseball game, then you can't go wrong with grilled tube steaks. They are the easiest fast food to make, and you won't have to put in any overtime for my wiener vittles. I have a couple of unusual recipes I think you will enjoy. And it's easy enough to replace cheap hot dogs with your favorite specialty sausages - if you're the artisanal type.

I usually get my hot dogs with just relish and mustard, but sometimes I like to mix it up. Here in Los Angeles, we have a uniquely constructed wiener sold by entrepreneurial sidewalk vendors called the L.A. Street Dog.

It's a crazy quilt combination of sauteed onion and bell pepper that's strewn over a bacon-wrapped wiener, then topped with mayo, mustard, ketchup, and finally crowned with a spicy jalapeƱo!

You've never had a hot dog like this - it's the roman candle of finger foods. In my video below I grill the bacon wrapped wiener on the stovetop, but it's even better sizzling on your BBQ grill.

Allow me to introduce to you to a Currywurst, which is a sausage or hot dog that's grilled and topped with a spicy sauce consisting of ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, cayenne pepper, and curry powder (dried cumin). This Berlin, Germany delicacy started just after WWII as street food for British and American soldiers stationed there. It sounds like a weird combination of ingredients, but it works and it's so easy to make, so give it a go - it makes a great appetizer served with toothpicks.


Another Eastern European entree is made with grilled Sausages, Sauerkraut and Beer. Now, these are ingredients that work well together! Again, I cooked this dish on a stovetop, but you can cook the sausages over an open fire for extra charred flavor.

To add some veggie crunch, try my bastardized version of a Chicago Dog. I can't get Day-Glow green relish out here in LA so I tweaked the Windy City's fast food classic by adding some chopped lettuce along with traditional sliced tomato. Hopefully, Chicago tough guys will give me a pass for tweaking this culinary bad boy. And check out my wacky video below, where my Chicago Dog is the video punchline.

Hamburger is a backyard grill favorite that almost every working stiff lusts over. And boy do I have a meaty South of the Border spin with my Mexi-Turkey Burger.

It packs a lot of flavor with the main ingredient, Mexican chorizo, which has a deep flavored red chile taste, spiced with paprika, Mexican oregano and garlic powder. And you can use regular ground beef instead of poultry. Get out the salsa for my Mexi-Burger.

My fave grilled hamburger is slathered with barbeque sauce and has sauteed mushrooms and cheddar cheese. What's yours?

Attention all you breadwinners, I have the perfect meal between 2 buns, Smoked Pork Butt Sammies! For lovers of smoked pork, the following entree will have you asking for seconds and thirds. I like to smoke a whole pork shoulder (or butt) when I throw a Labor Day BBQ party.

If you have traveled the South then you've run across BBQ Pulled Pork. Mainly served between buns and topped with BBQ sauce, this crowd-pleasing self-serve sandwich has it all: smokey tender pork that's seasoned with a dry rub of sugar and spice.
Pulled Pork Dry Rub
Click on any photo to see larger.

Just set out a tub of Pulled Pork along with hamburger buns, BBQ sauce, sliced onion, pickles, and Coleslaw, and get out of the way as the line forms. And I have an easy gas grill smoking method you can see in my video below.

Pork Carnitas are my favorite tacos. While not done on a BBQ grill it's still one of my go-to backyard holiday foods, so I gotta give you the recipe gratis, no charge. You can always give it a quick smoke pass to kick it up a notch. It really is the perfect party food because you get to sit back and let your friends do all the work and build their own tacos. Go to the following blog post to see some tasty Homemade Salsas to spoon on your taco - or scoop up with tortilla chips.

Carnitas Taco

And pork is still cheap these days, especially when it comes on sale at my local Latin market. So you won't break the bank feeding your lovers of all things porcine.

I seldom cook with beef because it's just too darn expensive for this wage earner, but when I splurge, it's for ribeye steak. I just season it with salt and pepper, that's it. Believe it or not, 3 ounce thin-sliced steaks do show up at my local 99c only and Dollar Tree stores from time to time.

Sometimes I'll finish a steak with a little BBQ sauce. But if you want to impress your guests then try out my Carne Asada recipe. Ribeye (or any favorite tender cut) is marinated in cilantro, green onion, garlic, lime juice, and a little ground cumin. When it's hot off the grill, chop the meat for Carne Asada Tacos or a Warm Steak Salad.

Carne Asada Marinade

If you are smoking meat, get your hands greasy and throw on a slab of corned beef brisket for Homemade Pastrami. I always freeze 2 or 3 corned beef briskets when they are on sale for about 2 dollars per pound during St. Patrick's day sales.

My  Easy Smoked Homemade Pastrami recipe is tasty as any Jewish Deli version - so says everyone I've served it too, and you don't have to leave me a tip. I think it's because the smoky flavor it more intense fresh off the grill, than from a deli where the pastrami has been setting in the cold case for a few days. Hey, don't take my word for it, give it a shot and get ready for an assembly line of high fives sure to come your way!

Seafood and a BBQ grill go together. For Grilled Fish you have to have a delicate touch as fish is easy to overcook. But it's done quickly so you won't smell too smokey slaving over the grill.

Grilling a whole fish is the easiest way to do it. Of course, your guest may have to work overtime to pick out fish bones, but all that effort will be worth it if you cook the fish my way.

I have a deep-fried Fish Taco recipe that's easily adapted for outdoor grilling. Just leave off the batter and grill the fish for a lighter and healthier pescado. Check out my recipe for all the details, including a cool Creme Topping.

A bag of tortilla chips and a light Seafood Ceviche made with budget fake crab is a chill appetizer to greet the guests with.

Seafood Ceviche

For my vegetarian friends working for a living, and who've got off the conveyor belt of meat, the following recipes are for you. My sister Denise has a fave veggie Eggplant Burger (and easy enough to BBQ instead of frying pan sauteing).

 Eggplant Burger

Portabella Mushroom Burger

A tasty meat substitution is an earthy Portabella Mushroom Burger that's topped with grilled bell pepper and cheese (or use a cheese substitute).

Roast a few ears of corn to serve with the veggie burgers or go a little further and make my Roasted Cream Corn.

It's all about the veggie sides when you have a BBQ patio party. You can simply drizzle a little olive oil and season any fave summer veggie to grill over the fire.

 Braised Romain Heart

Click on any recipe name to get my recipe details for: Sweet Potatoes, Grilled Bell Peppers, Zucchini with Herbs, and Braised Romain Hearts (originally done inside, but easy enough to do outside).

You gotta have Potato or Macaroni Salads when you grill meat. I have a colorful Peanut Coleslaw made with red cabbage. But a regular Coleslaw it good enough for me, like in the video below.

My Mom recently dropped by the cheap$kate kitchen and set off a flavor bomb: Cajun Potato Salad. It was so good I had to make a video to share her recipe with you.

Get your guests started with light salads such as: refreshing Watermelon, Mango and Spinach; hearty Black Bean & Corn ; an exotic, but simple, Korean-style Cucumber Salad; a tangy Cuban Salad, or luscious Pears & Spinach with Herb Cream.

Watermelon, Mango & Spinach Salad

If you are doing burgers, then you want fries to go with it, and my double-fried French Fries does the trick.

I like a pot of beans on the stove simmering while I'm grilling. Cook them the day before and they taste even better the next. Be sure to set out a stack of bowls so your guest can help themselves. I like to have some grated cheese and minced onion on the side.

My New Orleans friend, Miss Patty, has a delish Vegetarian Red Beans recipe for you, and I have my own Beef & Bean Chili and Cuban Black Beans recipe.

There is nothing better at stoking appetites than walking past the kitchen and inhaling the savory perfume of seasoned slow cooking legumes.

Every holiday has their produce specials, so be sure to check out your local grocery fliers for all the holiday deals.

Labor Day is almost here, and this Parsimonious Culinary Artisan put in 12 hours, 8 days a week, cranking out the recipes for your use, royalty, and tax-free.

So get to work and click on any recipe name listed above and get all my tasty recipe details - it's the easiest and tastiest job you'll have all year!

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