Welcome to Popular Pittsburgh’s “Summer Recipes” Section! A perfect place to find that easy to follow recipe
sure to put the Zing in your Spring.
I love recipes that have just a few ingredients, that take just a few steps, where you end up with something that’s absolutely delicious. You can cook frozen carrots in a few minutes, but you’re not going to get the flavor that the following recipe delivers.
- About a pound of medium sized carrots
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Carefully peel carrots, and cut them into 3 to 4 inch pieces. Carefully cut carrots in half lengthwise. While most of the carrots I cut lengthwise are fairly uniform in size, I make sure that some of the pieces are smaller sometimes much smaller than the carrot halves I started with. It gives the dish another dimension of flavor.
In a mixing bowl coat carrots with oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.
Place carrot mixture in baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in a 400 degree oven covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.
Mango, Avocado and Black Bean Tacos
These tacos taste like summer. I like to do all the prep work and set up the assembly line for guests to put them together as they please.
- 8 corn taco shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 16 oz. can cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- hot sauce to taste (optional)
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
- a small container of sour cream
Yield: about 8 tacos
Place taco shells on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 6 to 7 minutes.
In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add onions, garlic and jalapeños to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat and add beans, cumin, chili powder, lime juice, and salt. While cooking, gently smash about half the beans with the back of a large spoon.
Note 1: Make sure your guests like jalapeños before you add them.
Note 2: The consistency of the bean mixture after cooking should be slightly moist. If your mixture appears too dry, add a few tablespoons of water and remove from heat. If the mixture has an abundance of liquid, keep on burner until the solution reduces before you remove it from heat.
Note 3: Make sure you have a container of hot sauce available for guests who like to take their tacos to a higher temperature.
Mix mango with cilantro. Set aside
Mix tomatoes with avocado. Set aside
Assembly Add a few tablespoons of bean mixture to a heated taco. Place a teaspoon full of sour cream on top of the bean mixture. Add mango with cilantro and top off with tomato and avocado mixture.
Basic Iced Tea
Ice Tea, A Summer Favorite.
- 4 Cups Water
- 3 Tea Bags
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Possible Additions:
- Lemon Wedges & Fresh Mint
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add 3 tea bags (without cardboard identification tag). Cover and steep for 12 minutes.
Gently remove the tea bags. Add sugar to tea and stir until dissolved. Pour the tea into a 1quart heatproof container.
Serve a few minutes after making or a few days after it’s been sitting in the refrigerator.
Add a wedge of lemon or and or a bit of mint if you desire.
I’ve found that the prepared iced tea I’ve bought at supermarkets the taste the same whether it’s in my refrigerator for a day or a week. I’ve never seen my iced tea get to be a week old.
Super Shrimp & Cheesy Grits
Super Shrimp & Cheesy Grits
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup stone-ground grits (sometimes it’s labeled polenta)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 cup shredded sharp cheese
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons butter (if using precooked bacon otherwise use the bacon drippings)
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 can diced green chilies, drained
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 pounds of peeled, cleaned, deveined shrimp (I use frozen)
- 6 slices of bacon (I’m lazy, I use precooked bacon)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter
Cooking the Grits:
Bring 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of grits and 2 teaspoons of salt to boil in a heavy sauce pan with a lid. Add half-and-half and stir. Turn the heat down to simmer until grits thicken approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cover and set aside.
Cooking the Shrimp & Vegetables
If using uncooked bacon, place it in a large skillet and fry until brown. (I use precooked bacon and microwave it instead and then crumble when cool.) If using real bacon, transfer the cooked bacon to paper towels to drain and crumble when cool.
If using real bacon, retain the bacon drippings in the skillet and add the peppers, onion, and garlic to the drippings and sauté until translucent.
If using precooked bacon, add 2 teaspoons butter to a skillet and then sauté the peppers, onion, and garlic in butter until translucent.
Add the shrimp to the skillet with the cooked vegetables and heat on medium.
While the shrimp mixture is cooking, in a small sauce pan, melt ¼ cup butter and then stir in ¼ cup of flour to make a smooth roux (paste). Cook the roux on low for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly until it turns a medium brown color. This can burn easily so keep an eye on it.
Once the roux is browned, add it to the skillet with the shrimp and vegetables and over medium heat add, 1 cup of chicken broth, crumbled bacon, green chilies, diced tomato, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the sauce thickens and the shrimp turns pink.
To the warm grits, add 1 cup of cheddar cheese and heat until the cheese melts. (Note, if you prefer thinner grits, you can thin by adding more chicken broth until you reach your desired consistency.)
Serve shrimp and vegetable mixture over the cheddar grits.