America is rich in resources – from the fresh produce of California to the rich succulent seafood of Chesapeake Bay. American cuisine is more than just hot dogs, burgers and fries.
You will find a fantastic fare ranging from classic dishes to delicate crab cakes. You will find even more hearty dishes in the Deep South. Native cooking traditions have developed over the years and have acquired a sophisticated American taste.
You will find delicious seafood in the Mississippi Delta. This is also the country’s ‘soul food’ central. The huge population of African American has resulted in the creation of many culinary delights of the Deep South like gumbo, jambalaya, collard greens, fried chicken, and peas and grits. People were quite resourceful when it came to cooking. They use what was available and made delicious dishes from these simple ingredients.
When you move further north, you will enjoy delicious maple syrup, baked beans, clam chowders, brown bread and clambakes. These are the mouthwatering offerings of New England. In Buffalo, you will get to enjoy tasty Buffalo wings. Local produce also plays a role in regional cuisine. For instance, in Alaska moose burgers are quite popular. In Hawaii, pit bakes are popular and pineapples are dominant ingredients.
Americans especially like to enjoy good food during Thanksgiving. Native produce like turkey and cranberries are a holiday staple. People have become quite inventive with their Thanksgiving feast. There’s the turducken which originates from Louisiana. This is an elaborate heart-stopping dish which consists of turkey that is stuffed with duck. Oh, this is definitely far from being health, but it is incredibly delicious. It is becoming an alternative to the popular turkey dish.
A cook-out is also a popular tradition especially during the summer months. Americans love their barbecue and everything that goes with it. They’ve learned the many different types of wood that would give the barbecue that smoky flavor. Americans have also become quite inventive with their spices to rub on meats.
When it comes to desserts, of course, nothing beats apple pies as an All-American favorite. Of course, there are the cherry, pumpkin, key lime pies as well which you can eat in just about any diner across the country.
Here are a few super easy recipes of some of the most popular dishes in the country:
Gumbo (via food.com)
- 2 lbs sausage, preferably spicy Louisiana type
- 1⁄2 lb cooked ham, salty southern type
- 1 lb chicken or 1 lb shrimp, but not both
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons garlic, crushed
- 1 cup onion white, chopped
- 1 cup green onion, chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup okra, chopped
- 1 cup roma tomato, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Start a big pot of rice to serve the gumbo over.
- Cut meat into bite-sliced sizes
- Heat oil over a big pot and sauté garlic, onions and meat. (Precooked meat to hasten up the process. Boil chicken or shrimp in chicken broth. Avoid undercooking chicken.)
- Continue sautéing until brown.
- Add broth to the pot and bring it to a boil.
- Lower heat to medium and then add all the other ingredients. Make sure to start with hard vegetables as they take longer to cook.
- Add the spices.
- Cook all the ingredients over medium heat until all ingredients are cooked.
- Add ingredients according to your liking. Toss in wine, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over rice.
Grits with Bacon and Beans (via foodnetwork.com)
- 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1 -pound bag frozen chopped collard greens, thawed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 28 -ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 15 -ounce can black-eyed peas (do not drain)
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups quick grits
- Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat until almost crisp
- Add the vegetable oil and adjust the heat to medium high
- Add bell peppers, onion, collard greens, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt
- Cook until vegetables are slightly soft, continue to stir occasionally.
- Add tomatoes and black eyed peas. Make sure to include the liquid.
- Bring all the ingredients to a simmer
- Season with salt.
- In a saucepan, combine milk, 2 ¾ cups of water, a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
- Add grits and cook.
- Stir until thick.
- Serve the grits topped with the collard mixuture.
Simple Clam Chowder (via myrecipes.com)
This clam chowder recipe is easy and it tastes great even the next day. It has a lot of nutritional benefits too.
- 2 bacon slices
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/4 cups chopped celery
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 (6 1/2-ounce) cans chopped clams, undrained
- 5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
- 4 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
- Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and then remove from pan.
- Make sure to reserve a teaspoon of drippings in pan
- Crumble bacon and set aside.
- Add onion, celery, salt, thyme and garlic to bacon drippings in pan.
- Cook until vegetables are tender.
- Drain clams and reserve the liquid.
- Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice and bay leaf to a pan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until potato is tender.
- Discard bay leaf.
- Combine milk and flour and stir with whisk until smooth
- Add the flour mixture into the pan and bring to a boil.
- Cook until thick, stirring constantly.
- Add clams and cook for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with bacon.
Easy Buffalo Wings Recipe (via chowhound.com)
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) mild to medium hot sauce
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 pounds chicken wings, separated into 2 pieces and wing tips discarded
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
- Blue cheese dressing (optional)
- Celery sticks (optional)
- Place buttermilk, garlic powder and 1 cup of hot sauce in a large resealable bag and stir.
- Add the wings into the bag.
- Seal the bag and make sure to press out any excess air.
- Turn the bag to coat the wings evenly.
- Let it marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally for at least 2 hours.
- Heat the boiler to high and place a rack in the oven.
- Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on the sheet.
- Remove the wings from the marinade and let excess drip off.
- Arrange wings in a single layer on a rack. Don’t let the wings touch.
- Broil the wings until the meat separates from the bone and the skin is deep golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the oven an turn the wings over using a tong.
- Return wings to the oven and broil until the skin has turned deep golden brown and crispy on the other side.
- Combine the remaining hot sauce and melted butter in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add cooked wings to coat