Here are a dozen places to visit in Downtown/Strip District, East End, South Side and South Hills for the best tacos in Pittsburgh.
I know you can buy pierogies with jalapeno peppers inside them, but I wanted to try something with green chilis. Tasty and pretty, these are mini pierogies with class. Canned chilis make it a snap, but at some point I'll try this with roasted fresh chilis and church-made pierogies.
-- Bob Batz Jr.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and divided
- 4-ounce can fire-roasted green chilis, drained
- 1 large onion, peeled, halved and cut into crescent-moon-shaped slices
- 28-count box Mrs. T's frozen mini pierogies (or about 12 ounces of other frozen pierogies)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
In a small bowl, mix 6 tablespoons butter and chilis.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat and fry onion until it is soft and browned on the edges (or to desired doneness). Place onion in a bowl.
Place frozen pierogies in a single layer in hot pan over medium heat and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes until browned.
Flip pierogies and add cooked onions and chili butter to the pan, allowing butter and chilis to melt as pierogies cook for another 5 minutes or so. Salt and pepper to taste.
>Remove pierogies, onions and sauce from the pan and serve immediately with lime wedges (for squeezing juice on the pierogies).
-- Bob Batz Jr.
There's a lot going on with these Pitt-meets-West quesadillas, which I named for the Steelers 300-plus-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton. Hey, his nickname is "Big Snack" and these are big stacks, which you could fill with other ingredients of your choice. This recipe also is my homage to the Mystery Sandwich at the late Chiodo's in Homestead, always a super bar for the Super Bowl. These are best with good quality tortillas, such as the ones made at Reyna Foods in the Strip District. The Mexican tomato sauce really makes it, but you could substitute other enchilada sauce or salsa. In that the Mystery Sandwich had a hamburger base (plus kielbasa, ham, kraut, cheese ...), I considered trying to add another tortilla layer -- say, with cooked ground beef, sour cream and black olive slices?
Try it if you dare.
-- Bob Batz Jr.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced in crescent-shaped slices
- 12 6-inch (soft taco-size) flour tortillas
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 pound chipped ham
- 1/2 pound shredded cheddar cheese, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1/2 pound kielbasa, sliced into thin discs
- About 1 cup sauerkraut, drained
- 7 3/4-ounce can El Pato Mexican hot tomato sauce (or salsa of your choice)
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry onion until soft and brown on the edges. Remove to a bowl.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
On a nonstick baking sheet or two, arrange 8 tortillas.
Divide the Monterey jack cheese over 4 tortillas, then divide the ham over those 4 tortillas, and then top with onions. (You could have some filling leftover.)
Over the other 4 tortillas, divide the cheddar cheese, the kielbasa slices and the sauerkraut.
Carefully stack the 4 kielbasa tortillas on top of the 4 ham tortillas, and then top each with remaining 4 tortillas.
Lightly brush the tops of tortillas with oil and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until tops are golden and interior cheese has melted.
Cut into wedges and serve drenched in a tablespoon or 3 of sauce or salsa.
-- Bob Batz Jr.
For a healthier recipe for Sunday, I re-named this black and gold Black Bean Burrito Bake from Cooking Light. I simply mashed half of the beans with a fork rather than food processing them. You can make this up to 8 hours in advance and chill the dish, then return to room temperature before you bake it.
- 7-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
- 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
- 4 8-inch flour tortillas
- Cooking spray (I used olive oil)
- 1 cup bottled salsa
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove 1 or 2 chiles from can (I used 2). Chop chile(s). Reserve remaining adobo sauce and chiles for another use. Combine sour cream and chile(s) in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.
Place half of beans in a food processor; process until finely chopped (or just mash with a fork). Add chopped beans, remaining beans, and corn to sour cream mixture.
Spoon 1???2 cup bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas; place, seam side down, in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray (or olive oil). Spread salsa over tortillas; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Yields 4 servings (4 burritos) (serving size: 1 burrito).-- adapted Cooking Light, March 2003