'Low and Slow' Brings out the Flavor at Juniper Grill; Cooking Class Visits the Kitchens of Area Restaurants, Whose Chefs Share Their Popular Recipes. [Derived Headline]

By Weisberg, Deborah | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 19, 2016 | Go to article overview

'Low and Slow' Brings out the Flavor at Juniper Grill; Cooking Class Visits the Kitchens of Area Restaurants, Whose Chefs Share Their Popular Recipes. [Derived Headline]


Weisberg, Deborah, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Cooking Class visits the kitchens of area restaurants, whose chefs share their popular recipes.

American fare with Southwestern flair is what's cooking at Juniper Grill in Murrysville.

The newest location for other eateries by the same name in Cranberry and Peters townships, Juniper Grill is owned by Restaurant Holdings Inc., which is also the parent company of Atria's Restaurant and Tavern and managing partner of Mike Ditka's restaurants in Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Sometimes called cowboy cuisine, Southwest cooking features house- smoked, slow-roasted chicken and beef, wood-grilled burgers and fish tacos, pork, seafood and vegetable enchiladas, skillet cornbread, big salads and an array of margaritas, sipping tequilas and craft beers.

"The key is low and slow," says Leah Cederstrand, executive chef in Murrysville. "We brine our rotisserie chicken to make it tender and juicy and then roast it for 1 1/2 hours. We smoke our brisket for 11 hours and our pulled pork for 14 hours."

Soaked hickory chips are used in the smoker, and seasoning rubs are made in house.

Menus are seasonally inspired and feature locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, says Cederstrand, who uses free- range Amish chicken and all-natural beef.

Popular items include barbecued Angus beef brisket with mashed potatoes and spit-fired chicken, Memphis-rubbed and served with barbecued baked beans. The wood-grilled Romaine salad offers a choice of proteins and the rotisserie-roasted chicken and avocado comes with almonds, dates, cornbread croutons, goat cheese and creamy bacon dressing. Any variety of enchiladas and tacos can be mixed and matched, including shrimp and crab enchiladas with rich lobster sauce and fire-roasted vegetable enchiladas with cheddar- jack cheese.

Many dishes include salsas ranging from mango to roasted corn, while sides include guacamole, hand-cut fries, black-eyed pea salad (AKA cowboy caviar), "drunken" black beans stewed in Yuengling beer with brown rice and bacon-crusted mac & cheese. Not to be left out, non-carnivores can choose from vegan vegetable soup, the grill's signature guacamole and chips, and a variety of fish and seafood plates. …

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