One of America’s Favorites – Roast Beef Sandwich

October 3, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A roast beef submarine sandwich

The roast beef sandwich is a sandwich that is made out of sliced roast beef or sometimes beef loaf. It is sold at many diners in the United States, as well as fast food chains, such as Arby’s and Roy Rogers Restaurants. This style of sandwich often comes on a hamburger bun and may be topped with barbecue sauce and/or melted American cheese. The roast beef sandwich also commonly comprises bread, cold roast beef (either the leftovers from a homemade dinner or deli meat), lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard, although it would not be uncommon to find cheese, horseradish, fresh/powdered chili pepper and even in some cases red onion. Roast beef sandwiches may be served cold or hot, and are sometimes served open faced.

Some trace the origins of the modern (American-style) roast beef sandwich as far back as 1877, with the then little known “beefsteak toast” recipe: cold beef, bread and gravy dish. In 1900, the dish was described by The Washington Post as “unattractive” and as “a tired ark in a gravy flood”. The dish gained popularity in the coming years and by 1931, some critics even went as far as to describe it as “a true taste of South Dakota”

Roast beef sandwiches have been a specialty of the Boston area, in particular in the North Shore of Massachusetts, since the early 1950s, typically served very rare, thinly sliced (sometimes referred to as shaved) and piled on an onion roll. Restaurants specializing it include Londi’s in Peabody, King’s of Salem, Hot Box of Somerville, Mike’s of Everett, Nick’s of Beverly, Harrison’s of North Andover, Land & Sea of Peabody, and Bill and Bob’s of Peabody, Salem and Woburn. In Brooklyn a small handful of establishments, beginning with Brennan & Carr in 1938, have served a variant of the sandwich, and two more directly Boston-derived roast beef restaurants opened in the early 2010s.

A modern variety of roast beef sandwich has become a staple in Eastern Massachusetts. Their most popular toppings are mayonnaise, James River BBQ sauce, and cheese (white American cheese on the bottom) individually or in some combination of the three, all together being called a “3-Way”. A horseradish cream sauce can also be added for extra tang/zest. Kelly’s Roast Beef restaurant of Revere, Massachusetts, claims to have invented the sandwich in 1951.

A traditional beef on weck sandwich

Beef on weck
The beef on weck is a sandwich found primarily in Western New York. It is made with roast beef on a kummelweck roll topped with salt and caraway seeds. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus and topped with horseradish.

Chivito sandwich
The chivito sandwich is a national dish in Uruguay, and consists primarily of a thin slice of filet mignon (churrasco beef), with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black or green olives, and commonly also bacon, fried or hard-boiled eggs and ham. It is served in a bun, often with a side of French fries. Other ingredients might be added into the sandwich such as red beets, peas, grilled or pan-fried red peppers, and slices of cucumber.

Corned beef sandwich
The corned beef sandwich is a sandwich prepared with corned beef. The salt beef style corned beef sandwiches are traditionally served with mustard and a pickle. In the United Kingdom, pickle is a common addition to a corned beef sandwich.

A French dip sandwich

A French dip sandwich

The French dip sandwich is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef (or, sometimes, other meats) on a “French roll” or baguette. It is usually served au jus, that is, with beef juice from the cooking process. Beef broth or beef consommé is sometimes substituted. Despite the name, this American specialty is almost completely unknown in France, the name seeming to refer to the style of bread rather than an alleged French origin.

Pastrami on rye
The pastrami on rye is a classic sandwich made famous in the Jewish kosher delicatessens of New York City. First created in 1888 by Sussman Volk, who served it at his deli on Delancey Street in New York City. It became a favorite at other delis, served on rye bread and topped with spicy brown mustard. Delis in New York City, like Katz’s Delicatessen, have become known for their Pastrami on rye sandwiches.

One of America’s Favorites – Barbecue Spaghetti

September 26, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Barbecue spaghetti

Barbecue spaghetti is a dish from Memphis, Tennessee, that combines spaghetti with a sauce made from shredded smoked pork or pulled pork, vegetables, and barbecue sauce. It is served as a side dish in some Memphis barbecue restaurants. Southern Living called the dish iconic and “perhaps the city’s most unusual creation”. HuffPost called it “a Memphis staple”.

Barbecue spaghetti can be made with pulled pork or shredded smoked pork. The sauce is “half marinara and half barbecue sauce”, sometimes with onions and peppers included, and is simmered before adding the pork; the consistency is close to that of barbecue sauce. The spaghetti is cooked until soft, then tossed in the hot sauce. This dish is served as a side and sometimes as a main course.

The dish was invented by former railroad cook Brady Vincent, who opened a barbecue restaurant called Brady and Lil’s. In 1980 Frank and Hazel Vernon bought the restaurant and renamed it The Bar-B-Q Shop. Vincent also taught the recipe for barbecue spaghetti to Jim Neely, who opened Interstate Bar-B-Q in the late 1970s; Interstate modified the sauce recipe adding the “extra back flap meat” from a rack of ribs and cooking it in a pot with peppers and onions.

State Park restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, serves a “Memphis BBQ spaghetti” that uses pulled pork in a marinara that uses a barbecue sauce as its base.

According to John Shelton Reed, “Barbecue spaghetti is to spaghetti Bolognese as Cincinnati chili is to the Tex-Mex variety”. Filipino spaghetti is spaghetti sauced with banana ketchup and topped with hot dogs.

One of America’s Favorites – Green Bean Casserole

September 19, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole is an American baked dish consisting primarily of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.

It is a popular side dish for Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and has been described as iconic. The recipe was created in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly at the Campbell Soup Company. As of 2020 Campbell’s estimated it was served in 20 million Thanksgiving dinners in the US each year and that 40% of the company’s cream of mushroom soup sales go into a version of the dish.

Variations on the dish include broccoli casserole, using a different creamed soup variety, or using sautéed onions instead of deep-fried ones.

Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom flavored soup variety was created in 1934 and was the first of the company’s soups to be marketed as a sauce as well as a soup. It became so widely used as casserole filler in recipes for the hot dish recipes popular in Minnesota that it was sometimes referred to as “Lutheran binder.” Like other food companies, Campbell’s employed recipe developers to create recipes using their products as part of their marketing strategy.

It was originally marketed as an everyday side dish but became popular for Thanksgiving dinners in the 1960s after Campbell’s placed the recipe on the can’s label. The recipe popularized the combination of the soup with green beans. Campbell’s Soup now estimates that 40 percent of the Cream of Mushroom soup sold in the United States goes into making green bean casserole. As of 2020 Campbell’s estimated it was served in 20 million Thanksgiving dinners in the US each year. Campbell’s in 2020 reported their online version of the recipe is viewed 4 million times each Thanksgiving Day. According to Campbell’s as of 2018, the recipe is the most popular ever developed in their kitchens.

Folklorist Lucy Long in 2007 noted that its inclusion on Thanksgiving dinner tables crosses ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious differences. She also notes it is included in most popular American cookbooks, mentioned in the media regularly, and referred to a “classic”, “traditional”, and “a Thanksgiving standard”. She wrote that the popularity of the dish was related to its categorization as a casserole, which in the US is associated with “communal eating, sharing, and generosity” and that the green bean casserole in particular represents the familiar and also the festive.

The recipe, which hasn’t changed, calls for green beans, mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, ground black pepper, and French fried onions. The beans, soup, milk, and seasonings are mixed together with a portion of the onions and baked, then topped with more onions and baked for another few minutes.

Multiple similar recipes have been developed that “update” or “upgrade” the original recipe to use fresh beans, homemade cream sauce, and fresh mushrooms as the convenience-food based recipes of the 1950s and 1960s have become less fashionable, but according to culinary historian Shapiro, the green bean casserole remains popular for Thanksgiving for reasons of nostalgia. Other recipes have been developed, by Campbell’s and others, that incorporate a variety of ingredients in addition to or in replacement of those in the original.

One of America’s Favorites – Hot Dogs

September 12, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A typical hot dog with added mustard as a condiment

A hot dog (less commonly spelled hotdog) is a food consisting of a grilled or steamed sausage served in the slit of a partially sliced bun. The term hot dog can also refer to the sausage itself. The sausage used is a wiener (Vienna sausage) or a frankfurter (Frankfurter Würstchen, also just called frank). The names of these sausages also commonly refer to their assembled dish. Some consider a hot dog to technically be a sandwich. Hot dog preparation and condiments vary worldwide. Typical condiments include mustard, ketchup, relish, onions in tomato sauce, and cheese sauce. Common garnishes include sauerkraut, diced onions, jalapeños, chili, grated cheese, coleslaw, bacon, and olives. Hot dog variants include the corn dog and pigs in a blanket. The hot dog’s cultural traditions include the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

These types of sausages were culturally imported from Germany and became popular in the United States. It became a working-class street food in the U.S., sold at stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture. Although particularly connected with New York City and its cuisine, the hot dog eventually became ubiquitous throughout the US during the 20th century. Its preparation varies regionally in the country, emerging as an important part of other regional cuisines, including Chicago street cuisine.

The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, as King. “Wiener” refers to Vienna, Austria (German: Wien), home to a sausage made of a mixture of pork and beef. Johann Georg Lahner, an 18th/19th century butcher from the Franconian city of Coburg, is said to have brought the Frankfurter Würstchen to Vienna, where he added beef to the mixture and simply called it Frankfurter. Nowadays, in German-speaking countries, except Austria, hot dog sausages are called Wiener or Wiener Würstchen (Würstchen means “little sausage”), to differentiate them from the original pork-only mixture from Frankfurt. In Swiss German, it is called Wienerli, while in Austria the terms Frankfurter or Frankfurter Würstel are used.

Hot dogs being grilled

It is not definitively known who started the practice of serving the sausage in the bun. One of the strongest claims comes from Harry M. Stevens who was a food concessionaire. The claim is that, while working at the New York Polo Grounds in 1901, he came upon the idea of using small French rolls to hold the sausages when the waxed paper they were using ran out.

A German immigrant named Feuchtwanger, from Frankfurt, in Hesse, allegedly pioneered the practice in the American Midwest; there are several versions of the story with varying details. According to one account, Feuchtwanger’s wife proposed the use of a bun in 1880: Feuchtwanger sold hot dogs on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri, and provided gloves to his customers so that they could handle the sausages without burning their hands. Losing money when customers did not return the gloves, Feuchtwanger’s wife suggested serving the sausages in a roll instead. In another version, Antoine Feuchtwanger, or Anton Ludwig Feuchtwanger, served sausages in rolls at the World’s Fair – either at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, or, earlier, at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, in Chicago – again, allegedly because the white gloves provided to customers to protect their hands were being kept as souvenirs.

Another possible origin for serving the sausages in rolls is the pieman Charles Feltman, at Coney Island in New York City. In 1867 he had a cart made with a stove on which to boil sausages, and a compartment to keep buns in which they were served fresh. In 1871 he leased land to build a permanent restaurant, and the business grew, selling far more than just the “Coney Island Red Hots” as they were known.

Ingredients
Common hot dog sausage ingredients include:
* Meat trimmings and fat
* Flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika
* Preservatives (cure) – typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite
Pork and beef are the traditional meats used in hot dogs. Less expensive hot dogs are often made from chicken or turkey, using low-cost mechanically separated poultry. Changes in meat technology and dietary preferences have led manufacturers to lower the salt content and use turkey, chicken, and vegetarian meat substitutes.

Commercial preparation

Hot dogs with ketchup, mustard, raw onion, fried onion, artificial bacon bits, and sliced pickle

Hot dogs are prepared commercially by mixing the ingredients (meats, spices, binders and fillers) in vats where rapidly moving blades grind and mix the ingredients in the same operation. This mixture is forced through tubes into casings for cooking. Most hot dogs sold in the US are “skinless” rather than “natural casing” sausages.

Natural-casing hot dogs
As with most sausages, hot dogs must be in a casing to be cooked. Traditional casing is made from the small intestines of sheep. The products are known as “natural casing” hot dogs or frankfurters. These hot dogs have firmer texture and a “snap” that releases juices and flavor when the product is bitten.

Kosher casings are expensive in commercial quantities in the US, so kosher hot dogs are usually skinless or made with reconstituted collagen casings.

Skinless hot dogs
“Skinless” hot dogs use a casing for cooking, but the casing may be a long tube of thin cellulose that is removed between cooking and packaging, a process invented in Chicago in 1925 by Erwin O. Freund, founder of Visking.

The first skinless hot dog casings were produced by Freund’s new company under the name “Nojax”, short for “no jackets” and sold to local Chicago sausage makers.

Skinless hot dogs vary in surface texture, but have a softer “bite” than with natural casing. Skinless hot dogs are more uniform in shape and size and cheaper to make than natural casing hot dogs.

Home consumption
A hot dog may be prepared and served in various ways. Typically it is served in a hot dog bun with various condiments and toppings. The sausage itself may be sliced and added, without bread, to other dishes.

A Coney Island hot dog with chili, onion, and mustard

In the US, the term hot dog refers to both the sausage by itself and the combination of sausage and bun. Many nicknames applying to either have emerged over the years, including frankfurter, frank, wiener, weenie, coney, and red hot. Annually, Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs.

Hot dog restaurants
Stands and trucks sell hot dogs at street and highway locations. Wandering hot dog vendors sell their product in baseball parks. At convenience stores, hot dogs are kept heated on rotating grills. 7-Eleven sells the most grilled hot dogs in North America — 100 million annually. Hot dogs are also common on restaurants’ children’s menus. Fast-food restaurant chains typically do not carry hot dogs because of its shorter shelf-life, more complex toppings and cooking, and mismatched consumer expectations. There are also restaurants where hot dogs are a specialty.

Variations
Many variations are named after regions other than the one in which they are popular. The “New York dog” or “New York style” hot dog is a natural-casing all-beef frank topped with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard, onions optional. Sauteed bell peppers, onions, and potatoes find their way into New Jersey’s deep-fried Italian hot dog. In the Midwest, the Chicago-style hot dog is served on a poppy seed bun and topped with mustard, fresh tomatoes, onions, “sport peppers”, bright green relish, dill pickles, and celery salt. Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York (as are white hots), while Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan. Hot wieners, or weenies, are a staple in Rhode Island where they are sold at restaurants with the misleading name “New York System.” Texas hot dogs are spicy variants found in upstate New York and Pennsylvania (and as “all the way dogs” in New Jersey), but not Texas. In the Philadelphia metro area, Texas Tommy refers to a hot dog variant in which the dog is topped with melted cheddar or another cheese and wrapped in bacon.

Some baseball parks have signature hot dogs, such as Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and Fenway Franks at Fenway Park in Boston, which are boiled then grilled, and served on a New England-style bun.

One of America’s Favorites – Chicken Parmigiana

September 5, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Chicken parmigiana from an American restaurant

Chicken parmigiana, or chicken parmesan (Italian: pollo alla parmigiana), is a dish that consists of breaded chicken breast covered in tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan, or provolone cheese. A quantity of ham or bacon is sometimes added.

The dish originated from 20th-century Italian diaspora. It has been speculated that the dish is based on a combination of the Italian parmigiana di melanzane, a dish using fried eggplant slices and tomato sauce, with a cotoletta, a breaded veal cutlet generally served without sauce or cheese in Italy.

Chicken parmigiana is included as the base of a number of different meals, including sandwiches and pies, and the meal is used as the subject of eating contests at some restaurants.

The dish, also known as “chicken parm”, originated in the northeast United States from Italian immigrants, and became a popular staple in restaurants serving Italian-American cuisine by the 1950s. Home versions also grew in popularity. A recipe was published in the 1953 issue of the New York Herald Tribune that used frozen fried chicken patties or fillets along with other pre-processed foods to make a version of the dish at home. A recipe for chicken parmigiana was published in The New York Times in 1962.

In the United States and Canada, chicken parmigiana is often served as a main course, and sometimes with a side of, or on top of pasta. Many restaurants also offer chicken parm sandwiches. Upon arriving in America, Italian immigrants began to take advantage of America’s affordable meat market, incorporating chicken into parmigiana.

Chicken parmigiana was known in Australia by the 1950s. It was offered in restaurants in Adelaide as early as 1953. It is regularly served as a main meal throughout Australia, where it is considered a staple of pub food. In a 2019 interview that was broadcast on ABC Radio Hobart, food historian Jan O’Connell believes that chicken parmigiana did not become a pub staple until the 1980s; before that time it was primarily served in restaurants.

Chicken parmigiana is typically served in Australia with a side of chips and salad, although there is some dispute as to whether they should be served under or next to the chicken. Its popularity has led to a specialized chicken parmigiana restaurant opening in Melbourne, and chicken parmigiana is the subject of reviews on dedicated websites which compare the dish as purchased from various pubs within a region. The dish’s colloquial name varies across regions, with ‘parmy’, ‘parmi’ and ‘parma’ the most popular variations.

In fusion cuisine, chicken parmigiana has been modified to suit Asian taste preferences by the addition of a small amount of soy sauce (as a salt substitute) to the tomato-based sauce and sometimes served with a side of rice or stir-fried noodles. This dish is sometimes marketed in English-speaking areas as chicken katsu parmesan. Sometimes, the soy sauce is added instead to the egg wash for the chicken.

Aside from the melanzane alla Parmigiana, a dish using breaded eggplant slices instead of chicken, there are other similar dishes in Italy that use meat.

Chicken pizzaiola in Venice, Italy

Carne pizzaiola is a dish derived from the Neapolitan tradition that features meat topped with cheese and often cooked with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and white wine. Beef is used most often but it can be made with chicken and pork as well.

A similar dish using veal is known in Italian as cotoletta alla Bolognese, which excludes tomato sauce but includes melted parmesan cheese and prosciutto. Costolette Parmigiana is another similar veal dish, but in Italy it is generally served without sauce or cheese.

In England, parmo is a dish originating in Middlesbrough that typically consists of fried breaded chicken or pork topped with a white béchamel sauce and cheese instead of tomato sauce. Parmo originated as escalope Parmesan, a derivative of chicken parmigiana.

In Argentina, a variation of milanesa a la napolitana is made with chicken instead of the usual beef, similar to chicken parmigiana. It is sometimes topped with ham, bacon, or a fried egg and is usually served with french fries.

One of America’s Favorites – Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

August 29, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Pork tenderloin sandwich (large)

The pork tenderloin sandwich, also known as breaded pork tenderloin sandwich aka BPT, contains a breaded and fried cutlet similar to the Wiener Schnitzel and is popular in the Midwest region of the United States, especially in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. The sandwich is claimed to have originated at Nick’s Kitchen restaurant in Huntington, Indiana (near Fort Wayne).

The primary differences between a Pork Tenderloin sandwich and a Wiener Schnitzel are that the Pork Tenderloin sandwich is made exclusively using pork loin and it is deep fried instead of pan fried. The Pork Tenderloin sandwich is also usually served on a bun. There is a grilled variant of the Pork Tenderloin that omits the breading and grills the tenderloin instead of deep frying it.

A Pork Tenderloin sandwich is traditionally prepared from a thinly sliced piece of pork loin, hammered thin with a meat mallet. The meat is then dipped in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers before being deep fried in oil. After cooking, the prepared Pork loin is then served on a hamburger bun, with the meat overhanging the bun considerably. The sandwich can be served with condiments such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, onions and pickles.

The sandwich is usually served with a side of French fries, though onion rings are often provided instead.

A variant of the fried tenderloin sandwich is made with a grilled prepared pork loin. Recipes for this variant appear from New England to South Carolina. The meat is seasoned, brined or marinated and cooked on a grill. After cooking, the meat is placed on a Kaiser roll or hamburger bun and topped with condiments.

One of America’s Favorites – Steamed Clams

August 22, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Steamed clams

Steamed clams is a seafood dish consisting of clams cooked by steaming.

In the United States, steamed clams are usually made with small soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) called steamers, and sometimes with other shellfish harvested and served along the East Coast and in New England.

Hard shell clams, sometimes known as quahogs, can also be steamed. They are categorized by size— the smaller ones are called littlenecks, medium-sized ones topnecks, the larger ones cherrystones, and the largest are simply called quahogs.

The clams used for steaming are usually cooked live. If in a hard shell, the clam should be closed when purchased and should open after being cooked. Soft shell clams are open slightly (agape) while alive. Larger chowder clams are not typically used for steaming.

There are many dishes based on steamed clams. In China, steamed clams can be served with eggs. In Thailand, steamed clams are served with lemongrass, ginger, or herbs. In France, they are often cooked with white wine, onion, garlic, shallots, and butter. Steamed clams are also eaten in Japan (oosari are large steamed clams).

The New England clam bake is a traditional preparation that includes clams layered with other ingredients such as corn, lobster, mussels, crabs, potatoes, and onions in a metal bucket. The layers are separated by seaweed and steamed over a fire outdoors and served family style as at a picnic.

Dish of steamers in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Live clams are rinsed carefully to remove sand and grit and then cooked in a large kettle of water with salt added. Lemon juice, beer, garlic, shallots, parsley, and wine are sometimes used.

They are served with the cooking broth and melted butter. The clam is given a few quick dips in broth to remove any lingering sand before being dipped in melted butter and eaten. Steamers can be held by the siphon or “neck” when eaten. The covering of black skin is pulled away and removed as the clams are ingested.

Steamers are praised by many chefs, for instance Jacques Pépin: “Plentiful and inexpensive during the summer, especially in the Northeast, steamers are one of the great treats of the season.” They are found in shallow waters from the Arctic Ocean to North Carolina, and have been found in Florida and Europe. They can be dug up by amateur clam diggers. Steamers have been transplanted to the West Coast and are available from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They are sold in tanks and can also be shipped directly to consumers, but their shells sometimes get cracked.

One of America’s Favorites – Ham and Cheese Sandwich

August 15, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Ham sandwich made with focaccia bread, with lettuce and mustard

The ham sandwich is a common type of sandwich. The bread may be fresh or toasted, and it can be made with a variety of toppings including cheese and vegetables like lettuce, tomato, onion or pickle slices. Various kinds of mustard and mayonnaise are also common.

Sliced bread, sliced cheese, and sliced cooked ham are very readily available in Western supermarkets and as a result ham sandwiches are quick and easy to prepare. They are a common component of a packed lunch.

The British Sandwich Association says that the ham sandwich is the most popular sandwich in the UK, and a survey they conducted in 2001 saw ham as the second favorite filling behind cheese. 70% of the 1.8 billion sandwiches eaten in France in 2008 were ham sandwiches, prompting a French economic analysis firm to begin a ‘jambon-beurre index’, like the Big Mac Index, to compare prices across the country.

A grilled ham and cheese sandwich, in a cast iron frying pan (croque-monsieur style)

The world’s longest ham sandwich was created by butcher Nico Jimenez in Pamplona, Spain in 2009.

In French cuisine, a croque-monsieur is a type of ham and cheese sandwich. It is baked or fried.

In Brazilian cuisine, this sandwich roasted is known as misto-quente (“hot mix” in literal translation).

The Cuban sandwich is made with ham, cheese, and crusty Cuban bread, often toasted in a panini press. Variations of this sandwich are popular in both Cuba and South Florida.

One of America’s Favorites – Tex-Mex Cuisine

August 8, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Examples of modern Tex-Mex dishes and ingredients: corn, tortilla chips, cheese, tacos, salsa, chilies, and beef dishes

Tex-Mex cuisine (from Texan and Mexican), also known as Mexican American cuisine, is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of the Tejano people living in Texas. It has spread from border states such as Texas and others in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country as well as Canada. Tex-Mex is most popular in Texas and neighboring areas, especially nearby states in both the US and Mexico. The Mexican food market is a 41 billion dollar industry within the United States.

Tex-Mex is a subtype of Southwestern cuisine found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Some ingredients are common in Mexican cuisine, but other ingredients not typically used in Mexico are often added. Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of shredded cheese, meat (particularly beef, pork and chicken), beans, peppers and spices, in addition to flour tortillas.

Generally cheese plays a much bigger role in Tex-Mex food than in mainstream Mexican cuisine, particularly in the popularity of Chile con queso (often referred to as simply “queso”) which is often eaten with chips (alongside or in place of guacamole and salsa), or may be served over enchiladas, tamales or burritos.

Moreover, Tex-Mex has imported flavors from other spicy cuisines, such as the use of cumin, introduced by Spanish immigrants to Texas from the Canary Islands and used in Berber cuisine, but used in only a few central Mexican recipes. And in recent years Tex-Mex has incorporated elements of traditional Mexican food into the cuisine, including the more creative use of chile peppers and the serving of so-called “street tacos” (which would be simply called “tacos” in Mexico).

The word “Tex-Mex” first entered the English language as a nickname for the Texas Mexican Railway, chartered in southern Texas in 1875. In train schedules published in the newspapers of the 19th century the names of railroads were abbreviated. The Missouri Pacific was called the Mo. Pac. and the Texas-Mexican was abbreviated Tex. Mex. In the 1920s, the hyphenated form was used in American newspapers in reference to the railroad and to describe Texans of Mexican ancestry.

Chili with garnishes and tortilla chips

In the mission era, Spanish and Mexican cuisines were combined in Texas as in other parts of the northern frontier of New Spain. However, the cuisine that would come to be called Tex-Mex originated with Tejanos (Texans of Mexican descent) as a mix of native Mexican and Spanish foods when Texas was part of New Spain and later Mexico.

From the South Texas region between San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso, this cuisine has had little variation, and from earliest times has always been influenced by the cooking in the neighboring northern states of Mexico. The ranching culture of South Texas and Northern Mexico straddles both sides of the border, where beef, grilled food, and tortillas have been common and popular foods for more than a century. A taste for cabrito (kid goat), barbacoa de cabeza (barbecued beef heads), carne seca (dried beef), and other products of cattle culture is also common on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Fajitas, Wheat Tortillas as taco wraps

In the 20th century, Tex-Mex took on such Americanized elements as cheddar cheese, as goods from the United States became cheap and readily available.

In much of Texas, the cooking styles on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border were the same until a period after the U.S. Civil War. With the railroads, American ingredients and cooking appliances became common on the U.S. side.

A 1968 Los Angeles Times feature wrote “If the dish is a combination of Old World cooking, hush-my-mouth Southern cuisine and Tex-Mex, it’s from the Texas Hill Country.”

In France, Paris’s first Tex-Mex restaurant opened in March 1983. After the 1986 release of the film Betty Blue, Tex-Mex cuisine’s popularity in Paris increased.

One of America’s Favorites – Beef on Weck

August 1, 2022 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A traditional beef on weck sandwich

A beef on weck is a sandwich found primarily in Western New York. It is made with roast beef on a kummelweck roll. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus. Accompaniments include horseradish, a dill pickle spear, and french fries.

The origin and history of the beef on weck sandwich is not well established. It is believed that a German baker named William Wahr, who is thought to have immigrated from the Black Forest region of Germany, created the kummelweck roll while living in Buffalo, New York. Wahr may have based the kummelweck roll on a special loaf left as a ceremonial offering for the dead known in Swabia as Schwäbische Seele, which is a thin roll resembling a baguette that is topped with salt and caraway seeds. The sandwich’s creation is estimated to have taken place some time in the mid-19th century, according to a butcher in Western New York.

A local pub owner is said to have used the roll to create the beef on weck, with the thought that the salty top of the roll would encourage his patrons to purchase more drinks.

The kummelweck roll (sometimes spelled “kümmelweck”), topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds, gives the sandwich its name and a distinctive taste. Kümmel is the German word for caraway, and Weck means “roll” in the south-western German dialects of Palatinate, the Saarland, Baden and Swabia areas (northern Germans generally say Brötchen). However, the roll used for this American sandwich tends to be softer and fluffier than a standard German Kümmelbrötchen or Kümmelweck. In Austria, a similar type of small white-bread is known as Kümmelweckerl (diminutive from Wecken, which refers to a whole big bread, i.e. Brotwecken).

A typical beef on weck is made from slow-roasted rare roast beef that is hand-carved in thin slices, served on a kummelweck roll. The cut face of the top half of the roll may be dipped in the jus from the roast. Prepared horseradish is usually provided for the diner to spread to taste on the top half of the roll.

The beef on weck has long been popular regionally, and has gained a following in other areas of the United States where it has been introduced. Expatriates from Western New York have taken the dish and brought it to other areas after relocating. For example, PJ’s BAR-B-QSA in Saratoga Springs in Eastern New York is noted for its beef on weck. It has also been featured by chefs on cooking shows including the PBS special Sandwiches That You Will Like. Bobby Flay, Anthony Bourdain and other chefs have featured the beef on weck, or a variant, on their television programs.

The American restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings was started by former residents of the Western New York area and the original name of the restaurant was “Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck”, abbreviated as “BW3”, the third W referring to weck. Some still refer to the company with the extra “W” in its abbreviation, despite the fact it was removed in 1998. The chain used to serve an updated version of the beef on weck called the Thirty-Fifth Weck Sandwich.

The Daily Meal reviewed the beef on weck as a “roast beef sandwich that dreams are made of” in their article “12 Life-Changing Sandwiches You’ve Never Heard Of”.

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