Saturday, November 10, 2007

WANTED: American Regional Recipes - Don't do it for me, do it for your country!

I'm just about finished with my American Foods site for About.com and I need some help. I'm now trying to gather as many regional American recipes as I can. I have lots of the old standard regional recipes, such as a Cobb salad for California cuisine region, and Johnnycakes for New England, so what I am hoping for from you, my loyal readers/viewers, are lots of interesting local recipes and/or specialties from your hometowns. I know just about every community around the country has one or two unique "local favorites" that would be interesting to share with the rest of the country (and world). The classic example of this would be something like Buffalo Chicken Wings, which started out as a very localized, Western New York oddity. By the way, to all my international visitors, unfortunately I can only use recipes and dishes developed in America.

So, if you have a recipe you can send me please click this link and email me the text. The preferred format would be a MS Word document attachment, but it's fine if you just put it in the email body text. If there is a story that goes along with the recipe, that would be even better (even if you have to make one up). Please let me know where this recipe is from (what part of the country) and include your full name if you want the recipe credited to you. I can only accept "your" recipes, I can’t use anything you just copy and paste from a website. Thanks in advance for anything you would be able to send me, and anything that makes the site will feature you as the recipes creator and you can brag to all you friends that you are now a published culinary author!

photo credit: (c) Flickr user Rick

25 comments:

Catherine said...

How about California Sushi Rolls. Strawberry Cheesecake for Ventura California Strawberry festival.

Chef John said...

Got the rolls covered. But, the Strawberry idea is great. That's exactly what I'm looking for, didn't know about that festival. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i would love to see New Mexican food covered, although i don't have any personal recipes. Differing widely from alot of traditional Mexican food (think seafood and pico de gallo) or tex-mex (jalepeƱos, and bowls of meat stew called chili); New Mexican food is smothered in soft cheese and a sauce made from red or green (ripe or unripe) chile pods and served with sopapillas, a delicious pastry seldom seen outside of the state. some good recipes that might help you get the feel for our local flavor can be found at [www.vivanewmexico.com/food.recipes.cocinas.html], and, while i know you can't copy them directly; they may be able to point you in the right direction. (the difficult part may be finding proper chile out there in california). anyway, just bringing attention to a much overlooked, unique, and delicious U.S. region. thanks for listening and best wishes from a huge fan.

Chef John said...

Thanks, ill check it out. I will be covering all regions so NM will be represented.

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Nebraska the German/Czech communities had a recipe for "runza" or "kraut runza" that is big in the midwest. Theres even a chain restaurant throughout Nebraska/KS that specializes in these yummy sandwiches.

I'm still working on perfecting the technique to get just enough bread to surround the filling without it getting doughy. I need to find someones gramma and take a lesson:)

Chef John said...

cool, another thing I've never heard of! Thanks. I'll do some research on that and find that gramma for you.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I got soooo excited... someone looking for Grandma! Then I re-read the post. If anyone out there is looking for a Grandma, let Chef John know and he can hook us up. I'm looking for grandchildren!

PS
Chef John, I think you will like those books I promised with lots of American style - Regional food fare to choose from.

Thomas said...

Is that a Newcastle Brown Ale I see in the background?
One of my favourite ales :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm hoping to see a lesson from gramma soon!

Runza's are one of the things I miss from back home... I could have written one of these stories

http://www.runza.com/halloffame.htm

Anonymous said...

Hi chef john, Are you OK with Dessert recipes? I have a few killer chocochip & pine nut cookies, and 3 layer creme-de-menthe brownies (yum!) and so on..

Plus I also have my grandfathers FUDGE recipe from the 1940's.. It takes hours to make and cool and dries like cement if you stop stirring it, but tastes like no other fudge you will ever try or that you can ever find--I have looked and tried every fudge all over the USA--nothing comes close--commercial fudge is all soft and gooey full of corn syrup and junk...but not his stuff. mostly all sugar, cocoa, evap milk and vanilla. Its pure sugar & cocoa hard fudge that dissolves in your mouth.
-cb

Anonymous said...

Hi chef john, Are you OK with Dessert recipes? I have a few killer chocochip & pine nut cookies, and 3 layer creme-de-menthe brownies (yum!) and so on..

Plus I also have my grandfathers FUDGE recipe from the 1940's.. It takes hours to make and cool and dries like cement if you stop stirring it, but tastes like no other fudge you will ever try or that you can ever find--I have looked and tried every fudge all over the USA--nothing comes close--commercial fudge is all soft and gooey full of corn syrup and junk...but not his stuff. mostly all sugar, cocoa, evap milk and vanilla. Its pure sugar & cocoa hard fudge that dissolves in your mouth.
-cb

Chef John said...

yes, desserts are fine as long as they are some type of regional specialty. If they are just an awesome family recipe, then that's not exactly what I'm looking for. The fudge sounds AMAZING but the have a candy site and unless its a regional U.S. thing I probably cant use. :(
But thanks! I appreciate all the comments.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I think that last guy -cb might be a relative of mine! HIs fudge sounds just like my mom's version.

I've NEVER tasted a commercially produced fudge, including Sees, that comes close to hers, and if he's a natural born citizen, as I am, then maybe his is The All American Fudge Recipe that will knock their socks off at About.com!

C'mon, Chef John, it's got evaporated milk! Aren't we the only country that nukes it's milk and cans it?
-pm

Anonymous said...

Southwest Region
Enchiladas, Fajitas and Pork Carnitas

Southern ( Deep South)
Fried Catfish

West
Fish Tacos, Cioppino and French Dip Sandwiches

Mid Atlantic
Philadelphia Cheese Steak

Southern Central
Jambalaya, Muffuletta, Gumbo, Oysters Rockfeller and Cajun Fried Turkey

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

FYI: Native Buffalo folk like myself hate when they are called buffalo wings. Buffalo wings were originated in the Anchor Bar in buffalo. We are also know for our Beef on weck rolls. I miss these two dishes as only Buffalo restaurant make then the way I have grown up to enjoy. Moved away 8 years ago. http://www.anchorbar.com/

CharGeorge said...

I've always loved the story of Ciopino, it's like the american story in a bowl of spicy tomato and seafood stew!

Plus you're living at the epicenter of it, San Francisco.

MACARONI AND CHEESE. There's so much there too, baked custards, thin cheese sauces, using Bechamel as a thickener vs. using more cheese. It was also invented by Thomas Jefferson (or his cooks) making it not just american cuisine but part of American lore.

Anonymous said...

Check out recipes for Hot Brown, a dish popular in Kentucky.

Chef John said...

thanks, just checked it out, wow, now thats a turkey sandwich!

Chef JP said...

First time visitor to your site--really enjoy your work. I'm going to give your Wanted: American Recipes post a mention in my Friday Food Blog round-up. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Thanks Chef!

Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania farm recipes - Baked Hamburgers, Pepper Pot, and Chicken and Waffles

dandelion said...

Here is a recipe for Runzas I hope you enjoy it. :)

Beef and Cabbage Runzas
4 T butter
4 c thinly sliced green cabbage
2 small or 1 large onion, diced
1 lb ground beef (I use 85%)
1 t salt
¼ t pepper or to taste
2 T AP Flour
1 egg beaten
1 T water
½ t caraway seeds

In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, in hot butter, stir cabbage and onion until coated with butter. Cover skillet and cook vegetables for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef to skillet, cook over high heat until beef loses its pink color, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium; stir in salt and pepper, sprinkle flour evenly over the meat mixture; cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove skillet from heat.

Preheat oven to 350*F. This recipe is for eight Runzas, only remove as much dough as needed. On a lightly floured surface, form eight pieces of dough into 4” X 6” ovals not too thin or thick about a scant ½ inch thick. Place an eighth of the dough into the oval (about ¼ c). Beat egg and water together, use this to brush onto edge of the dough ovals. Fold dough over to seal. Place Runza on a parchment lined cookie sheet continue to fill Runzas until all of the filling is used up. You may need more that one baking sheet. Brush Runzas with egg wash. Sprinkle Runzas with caraway seeds. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 4 main dish servings.

Dandelion's Refrigerator Rolls
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 egg, beaten
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine sugar, vegetable shortening, and salt; stir until well blended. In a small saucepan, scald milk; pour over sugar mixture. Cool to lukewarm (105 to 115 degrees). In a small bowl, combine yeast and water; stir until yeast is dissolved. Mix in egg until well blended; stir into milk mixture.
Add 2 cups flour. Gradually stir in as much of the remaining flour as dough will absorb, mixing well. (Add additional flour carefully. You can always add more flour, but once you've added too much, the result will be dry). Place bread dough into a greased bowl. Turn bread to grease top. Cover bowl and dough with wax paper and a towel, held in place with a rubber band. Refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days. Grease a baking pan or muffin cups. To bake, shape into desired rolls (cloverleaf rolls, Parker House rolls, or crescent-shaped rolls) and place onto prepared baking pan or into prepared muffin cups. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and remove from pans.
Yields 18 to 24 rolls

Chef John said...

Thanks! And thanks to all.

dandelion said...

You know what I would like to see. A recipe for Spiedies (SPEE dee). I think they come from your neck of the woods Chef John. They are an american form of Italian spiedini. I understand that they are delicious when prepared properly and dry as a bone if not. THX

Lhinelle said...

Wisconsin Bratwurst:
Take a large pot on the stove and pour in a couple cans of beer (save the good stuff for drinking). Slice up a white onion and throw that in while turning the heat up; once the beer is just starting to boil place a package (six to eight) of fresh, locally made bratwurst in and let them boil just until they're cooked through. Transfer brats to a hot grill and cook for a few minutes per side, flipping as needed for nice grill marks.
Serve with sauerkraut (warmed or cold), diced onion and brown mustard with your favorite beer.
And feel free to fire up the grill regardless of how much it's snowing ;)