Summertime always evokes some of our most fond and enduring memories. The sights, smells, vibrant colors and of course all the amazing different smells and flavors of the foods we love. Whether it is being at the dancing of Giglio di Nola at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Feast in Brooklyn, or the Street Fair on Grand Avenue in Maspeth all the way to the local beaches, parks or just walking out of your house and smelling the legions of serious back yard chefs plying their trades on their personal BBQ grills… Even just the word “SUMMERTIME” is enough to bring a smile to your face.
In this edition of the Juniper Berry, I am sharing with you a few of my favorite summertime foods that are outside of the average BBQ fare. These are dishes that I love to make and eat, of course. These dishes are very flavorful, extremely fun to prepare and enjoy with family and friends alike.
So, with no further ado, I say to you, my friends and family out there – Happy Eating & God Bless you all this summer, have a blessed and safe Independence Day!
Shrimp Tacos Served with Savory Avocado-Cilantro-Lime Sauce
What you will need:
• 2 pounds 16-20 peeled and deveined shrimp
• 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves • 1 small red onion chopped • 1 1⁄2 TSP paprika • 1 TBSP minced garlic
• 1⁄2 TSP chili powder • 1 TSP kosher salt
• 1 TSP fresh ground pepper
• Zest of 1 lime / Zest of 1⁄4 Lemon
In a sauté pan coat the bottom with olive oil and add the SALT, PEPPER, GARLIC, CILANTRO, CHILI POWDER, PAPRIKA, LIME & LEMON ZEST. Once hot add your shrimp and sauté for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked thoroughly.
• 2 TBSP sour cream
• 1 TBSP fresh cilantro
• 1 lime / zested and juiced • 1⁄4 TSP garlic powder
• 2 pinches of salt and pepper • 1⁄2 chopped red onion
• 1 diced jalapeno
• (more if you like heat, none if you don’t)
1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
In a food processor blend ingredients until smooth. Lightly toast corn tortillas. Serve with a lime wedge.
Grilled Lamb Chops w/ Lemon Glazed Carrots and a Simple Greek Salad
• • • • •
6 Lamb Chops • One White Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic • 2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
2/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 Bunch of Fresh Bunch Carrots
(Remove the greens and wash thoroughly)
1-2 Green Bell Pepper • 1 English Cucumber 1-2 Beefsteak Tomatoes
8oz Greek Feta Cheese (Cubed or Crumbled)
1 Small Red Onion • 1 Stick Salted Butter
1⁄2 Cup Brown Sugar • Lemons
First in a blender, add your white onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 TSP salt, 1 TSP black pepper and blend into a smooth liquid. In a large bowl or preferably a large Ziploc bag, add your lamb chops and cover in the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours before grilling. The grill should be set to high and you should cook your lamb chops for about 3 minutes on each side. (Longer if you prefer them well done, although I do not recommend this)
Let us now make our Lemon Glazed Carrots. This process is super simple and quick to make. First par boil your carrots for 5-6 minutes. Drain the water and set the carrots aside. In the same pot add; 1 stick of butter and melt it down, once melted add your 1⁄2 cup of brown sugar and melt in. As it’s melting add the zest of 1 1⁄2 lemons along with the juice of 1 lemon. Next add 3 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of cracked black pepper. Now add in your carrots and cook on medium heat constantly moving the carrots around and coating them very thoroughly for 5-6 minutes. Set aside and serve.
We will now be finishing this fine meal off with a traditional Greek Salad. To make this simply cut 1-2 green bell peppers into 1” x 1” cubes, crumble or cube your feta and slice 1 large red onion very thin. Next cut 1 large English cucumber in half and cut in 1⁄2” slices and finish with 1 beefsteak tomato cut into 1⁄2” slices.
To make your salad dressing in a blender add
• 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
• 1⁄2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 2 TSP Dried Oregano • 1 Clove Garlic • 2 Pinches Salt • 1 Pinch Pepper
• 1⁄4 TSP Dry Mustard Powder
Blend well and let sit up to 2 hours before dressing your sal- ad with it. This is a very fresh, healthy, and refreshing meal that I hope you will love as much as I do.
Watermelon Summer Salad
What you will need:
• 1 Baby Watermelon Cubed
• 1 Red Onion Thinly Sliced
• 3 TBSP Fresh Lime Juice
• 3 Cups Sliced Kirby Cucumbers
• 10oz Greek Feta Cubed or Crumbled
• 1⁄4 Cup Chopped Mint • 1⁄4 Cup Chopped Basil
In a small bowl, marinate the red onions by drizzling olive oil on them, 2 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of pepper. Add the lime juice and let sit for at least 1-2 hours in the fridge, toss every 20-30 minutes.
Next, take your Kirby cucumbers and marinate with 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar, 1 TSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Also let marinate 1-2 hours mixing it every 20-30 minutes.
Prior to serving, in a large bowl add your chilled watermelon, feta, mint, basil and add in your marinated cucumbers and onions with all their juices. Mix well, let sit 15-30 minutes in the fridge before serving.