Labor Day is considered the last unofficial weekend of the summer, and food and entertaining is key. You can skip the barbecue grill for a bolder dish like this Crispy Fish Taco recipe. To help you get ready for the holiday here are some party tips in closing out the final days of the season.
Decorations: Labor Day decorations can be both hassle-free and festive. Emphasize the end of summer by setting out bright flowers and colorful fresh fruits still in season. You can accent the table with seashells and vases filled with beach sand. And for subtle lighting add outdoor tiki torchlights which you can fill with citronella to keep the bugs done.
Activities: Plan outdoor activities such as a game of pick-up soccer, flag football, or basketball. Assemble chairs and food arrangements outdoors to get your guests to enjoy the warm weather and not congregate inside.
Potluck: Encourage guests to bring their favorite summer dishes to the party. You can say thanks by printing and sharing the recipe you’ll be serving that day on pretty note cards.
Menu: Keep the menu simple, but still intriguing. You can swap out the predictable hamburgers and hot dogs for a more unexpected dish, like Ted Allen’s Crispy Fish Tacos with Avocado Citrus Serrano Salsa and Tangy Slaw. Ted, host of Food Network’s Chopped and All-Star Academy, notes however some bold dishes can lead to heartburn. He’s shared with us his personal tips on how he avoids the burn:
• Know which foods are the most likely to give you trouble. Acidic ingredients (like tomatoes), fried food or tart white wine can be triggers. Keep Pepcid® products on hand so you can keep heartburn at bay and get back to experiencing the last flavors of the summer.
• Garlic, spices and onions are a big part of Labor Day weekend. They’re one of the great building blocks of flavor, sweetness, and depth but are also heartburn triggers. Choosing sweeter onions like shallots, Vidalias, and leeks are great substitutes.
Read Related: Summer Salvation: 8 Fish Tacos Recipes You Need to Try
CRISPY FISH TACOS WITH SERRANO SALSA & TANGY SLAW
Serves: 4 (2 tacos per serving)
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 6-8 min.
For the Salsa:
3 serrano peppers; roasted, peeled, seeded & chopped
2 blood oranges or regular oranges cut into segments
2 Tbsp. fresh limejuice
1 avocado diced
2 Tbsps. chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Fish:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup beer
1 ½ pounds halibut or other sturdy white flesh fish like snapper or mahi mahi, cut into ½-inch strips
½ cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying fish, about 4-5 cups
For the Slaw:
3 packed cups slaw mix
¼ cup sliced scallions
¼ cup plain Greek yoghurt
2 Tbsps. fresh limejuice
Salt and pepper to taste
10 tortillas corn or flour warmed
Lime wedges if desired
1. Add all the ingredients for the salsa to a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for the flavors to meld, while you prepare everything else.
2. Add the vegetable oil to a skillet with high sides over medium heat.
3. In a mixing bowl add the flour, salt and spices and whisk to combine. Slowly add the beer to make a thick batter.
4. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and coat with the remaining ½ cup of flour.
5. Dip a few pieces of fish into the beer batter, shaking to remove the excess and add them to the hot oil.
6. Cook the fish turning once for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown and transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all the fish is fried.
7. Add the slaw ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
8. To assemble the tacos place about 2-3 tablespoons of slaw on a tortilla. Top with 2 pieces of fried fish and 1-2 tablespoons of salsa and a wedge of lime.
Recipe by Ted Allen & photo courtesy Megan Schlow