Easy Labor Day Recipes

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A true Labor Day picnic should not be laborious. To allow the day's chef to get in on the fun, The Early Show invited Chef Gerry Hayden, owner of Amuse restaurant in New York, and his wife Claudia Fleming, an award-winning pastry chef, to share their quick and easy recipes.

All summer long, Hayden and Fleming have double-teamed in the kitchen — entertaining friends during their weekend jaunts to their native Long Island. Their philosophy about entertaining is to prepare dishes that not only bring their guests joy, but also allow them to get out of the kitchen and enjoy the party, too.

Hayden honed his culinary skills under the direction of noted chefs such as Charlie Palmer, David Burke and Don Pintabona.

Fleming is the James Beard Award winning former pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern, and author of "The Last Course" — a cookbook all about the art of the dessert.

Hayden says using fresh seasonal ingredients and methods of preparation will help free one from being stuck in the kitchen all day. For our Labor Day Picnic spread, Fleming and Hayden were inspired by many of the seasonal foods presently at their peak.

Here are their recipes:

Marinated Calamari Salad with Ligurian Cured Olives, Celery Leaves And Chiles
Peach-Blackberry Crostada


Marinated Calamari Salad With Ligurian Cured Olives, Celery Leaves And Chiles
Serves 4

2 pounds small squid cleaned and cut into thin strips
12 oil-cured Ligurian olives pitted and cut in halves
2 Serrano chiles seeded and minced
2 tablespoons rough chopped celery leaves
2 tablespoons rough chopped flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 ounce sherry wine vinegar
3 ounces extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large sauté pan over a medium heat add pure olive oil and garlic.

Sauté until garlic is golden brown. Add chiles, squid and cook for 1 minute — stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and transfer squid to a mixing bowl.

Add vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Then season squid with salt and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator for 3 hours. Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving.

Add celery, parsley and olives. Check seasoning and divide into 4 plates.

Peach-Blackberry Croustada

Ingredients for Crust
1 -2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup polenta (coarse corn meal)
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks chilled, unsalted butter, cut into half-inch cubes

Combine first five ingredients in food processor and blend five seconds. Add butter.
Using pulse key, blend until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add one-third cup of ice water.

Use pulse key until dough comes together in moist clumps. Add water by the teaspoon if dough seems dry. Gather dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and flatten into a disc. Then chill for at least one hour. Dough can be refrigerated for one day or frozen up to one month.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured board into a 14-inch round, turning dough occasionally to prevent sticking. Transfer dough to a flat baking sheet, lined with a non-stick baking sheet. Chill dough until firm, about 15 minutes.

Ingredients for Filling

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 medium peaches cut into 16 slices
1 1/2 pint basket blackberries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten (for glaze)
raw sugar crystals

Combine sliced peaches and blackberries in a medium bowl, sprinkle with sugar and cornstarch. Let stand until juices are released (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add vanilla.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove sheet tray with dough from the refrigerator. Allow it to soften slightly for 3 to 4 minutes.

Spoon fruit into the center of the dough. Reserve juices. Arrange fruit in an even 10-inch diameter layer on the dough. Brush a two-inch border of dough with egg glaze. Lift a two-inch dough border and pinch to form vertical seam. Continue around tart, pinching seam every two inches to form a standing border.

Fold border down over fruit (center six inches of fruit remain uncovered). Brush folded border with egg glaze, sprinkle with raw sugar. Pour remaining fruit juices into the center of the tart.

Place tart in oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit filling is bubbling, about 55 minutes. Remove tart from oven. Slide large metal spatula under tart to loosen. Slide tart onto rack. Serve tart with ice cream.