One of America’s Favorites – Chicken Parmigiana

April 17, 2017 at 5:33 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A chicken Parmigiano, served with french fries and salad.

Chicken parmigiana, or chicken parmesan (Italian Pollo alla parmigiana) (also referred to colloquially in the United States as ‘chicken parm’ and in Australia as a parma or parm is a popular Italian-American dish. It consists of a breaded chicken breast topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, parmesan or provolone cheese. A slice of ham or bacon is sometimes added, but not all chefs are in agreement with the addition of pork. It has been speculated that the dish is based on a combination of the Italian melanzane alla Parmigiana, a dish using breaded eggplant slices instead of chicken, along with costelette Parmigiana (the latter 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.

 

 

 

Chicken parmesan in a pan

In the United States and Canada, chicken parmigiana is often served as an entree, and sometimes with a side of or on top of pasta. Many restaurants also offer chicken parm sandwiches, putting chicken parmigiana between two slices of bread. A recipe for chicken parmigiana was published in The New York Times in 1962. The New York Public Library has in their collection a menu from New York City Italian restaurant that has been in the same location since 1906 which shows that chicken parmigiana was being offered in 1958. In the same collection at the New York Public Library, there is a menu from a restaurant on board an ocean liner of the Italian Line that crossed the North Atlantic between North America and Europe and had offered Petti Di Pollo Alla Parmigiana in 1956. There is a recipe that 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.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Cashew Chicken

April 10, 2017 at 5:16 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A plate of stir-fried cashew chicken (traditional)

Cashew chicken is a simple Chinese-American dish that combines chicken (usually stir-fried but occasionally deep-fried, depending on the variation), with cashews and either a light brown garlic sauce or a thick sauce made from chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

 

 

 

 
is a simple Chinese-American dish that combines chicken (usually stir-fried but occasionally deep-fried, depending on the variation), with cashews and either a light brown garlic sauce or a thick sauce made from chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce.

 

Springfield-style cashew chicken

 

A plate of Springfield-style (deep fried) cashew chicken

The deep-fried version of the dish is closely associated with the city of Springfield, Missouri. Deep-fried cashew chicken was apparently first served in 1963 at the Grove Supper Club in Springfield. David Leong, the chef, who moved to the United States from China in 1940, struggled to gain acceptance for the foods of his homeland so he began searching for a dish that would appeal to local residents’ taste buds. His famous deep-fried cashew chicken recipe was so popular he soon opened Leong’s Tea House in Springfield. The dish became exceedingly popular in the Springfield area and is often cited as the unofficial “dish of the city”. Springfield even hosts an annual festival that is centered on this chicken dish: Springfield Sertoma’s Cashew Craze.

 

Borrowing from the local love of fried chicken, Leong came up with a variation of the preexisting dish. Instead of stir-frying the chicken, as is normally done, he deep-fried the chicken chunks. He then covered them with the typical sauce made from chicken stock, soy sauce and oyster sauce, and added the handful of cashews. He also included chopped green onions as a twist and it became an immediate hit with the local crowd. As word spread about the dish, so did the recipe. Leong’s Tea House closed its doors in 1997, but Springfield-style cashew chicken is still being served at over 70 Chinese restaurants, as well as many non-Chinese restaurants, in and around the Springfield metropolitan area, and elsewhere in Missouri and other states. Springfield-style cashew chicken has been mentioned on The Food Channel, a nationwide syndicated radio program, and the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

In 2010, Leong’s son, with his father’s assistance, opened a new restaurant in Springfield serving the same style of cashew chicken.

 
In Thai cuisine, there is a related stir-fry dish called kai pad med mamuang himmapan or gai pad med ma muang.

In Haitian cuisine, there is an unrelated chicken stew with cashews called poul ak nwa.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Hash Browns

April 3, 2017 at 5:32 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Shredded hash browns, pictured with slider sandwiches

Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple preparation in which potatoes are pan-fried after being shredded, diced, julienned or riced, in the style of a Swiss Rösti. In some cultures, hash browns or hashed browns can refer to any of these preparations, while in others it may refer to one specific preparation. Hash browns are a staple breakfast food at diners in North America and the UK, where they are often fried on a large common cooktop or grill.

In some parts of the United States, hash browns strictly refer to shredded or riced pan-fried potatoes and are considered a breakfast food, while potatoes diced or cubed and pan-fried are also a side dish called country fried potatoes or home fries (though many variations of home fries are par-cooked before frying). Some recipes add diced or chopped onions.

Hash browns are a mass-produced product that are purveyed in refrigerated and frozen varieties. The product is also manufactured in dehydrated form.

 

 

 

Hash browns, bacon, eggs and coffee

Originally, the full name was “hashed brown potatoes” (or “hashed browned potatoes”), of which the first known mention is by food author Maria Parloa (1843–1909) in 1888. The name was gradually shortened to ‘hash brown potatoes’. Bite sized Hash Browns are small cylindrical dumplings, known as Tater Tots in the USA and Potato Gems in Australia, and are sold commercially at diners and in frozen food aisles in packets.

 

 

 

Hash browns with eggs

A chef may prepare hash browns by forming riced potatoes into patties before frying with onions (moisture and potato starch can hold them together); however, if a binding agent is added (egg or oil for example), such a preparation constitutes a potato pancake. Frozen hash browns are sometimes made into patty form for ease of handling, and the compact, flat shape can also be cooked in a toaster oven or toaster. If a dish of hash browned potatoes incorporates chopped meat, leftovers, or other vegetables, it is more commonly referred to as hash.

Hash browns are also manufactured as a dehydrated food, which is sometimes used by backpackers.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Cobbler

March 27, 2017 at 5:16 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Cobbler

Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, particularly in the United Kingdom and United States, consisting of a fruit or savory filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or dumpling (in England) before being baked. Some cobbler recipes, especially in the American south, resemble a thick-crusted, deep-dish pie with both a top and bottom crust.

 

 

 

 
Cobblers originated in the British American colonies. English settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together.[citation needed] The origin of the name cobbler, recorded from 1859, is uncertain: it may be related to the archaic word cobbler, meaning “wooden bowl”.

 

 
North America

Peach cobbler with ice cream

Grunts, pandowdy, and slumps are Canadian Maritimes and New England varieties of cobbler, typically cooked on the stovetop, or in an iron skillet or pan, with the dough on top in the shape of dumplings. They reportedly take their name from the grunting sound they make while cooking. Another name for the types of biscuits/dumplings used are called dough-boys. Dough-boys are used in stews and cobblers alike.

In the United States, additional varieties of cobbler include the apple pan dowdy (an apple cobbler whose crust has been broken and perhaps stirred back into the filling), the Betty, the buckle (made with yellow batter (like cake batter), with the filling mixed in with the batter), the dump (or dump cake), the grump, the slump, and the sonker. The sonker is unique to North Carolina: it is a deep-dish version of the American cobbler.

In the Deep South, cobblers most commonly come in single fruit varieties and are named as such, such as blackberry, blueberry, and peach cobbler. The Deep South tradition also gives the option of topping the fruit cobbler with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Savory cobblers are less common in the region; for example, tomato cobbler, which may include onion and a biscuit topping that may include cheese or cornmeal, is one savoury variant that also resembles Southern tomato pie.

 
Betty
The American variant known as the Betty or brown Betty dates from native times. In 1864, in the Yale Literary Magazine, it appeared with “brown” in lower case, thus making “Betty” the proper name. In 1890, however, a recipe was published in Practical Sanitary and Economic Cooking Adapted to Persons of Moderate and Small Means with the word “Brown” capitalised, making “Brown Betty” the proper name.

Brown Betties are made with breadcrumbs (or bread pieces, or graham cracker crumbs), and fruit, usually diced apples, in alternating layers. They are baked covered and have a consistency like bread pudding.

In the midwestern United States, apple or strawberry Betty is often a synonym for apple crisp.

 
UK and British Commonwealth
In the UK and British Commonwealth, the scone-topped cobbler predominates, and is found in both sweet and savoury versions. Common sweet fillings include apple, blackberry, and peach. Savoury versions, such as beef, lamb, or mutton, consist of a casserole filling, sometimes with a simple ring of cobbles around the edge, rather than a complete layer, to aid cooking of the meat. Cheese or herb scones may also be used as a savoury topping.

Cobblers and crumbles were promoted by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War, since they are filling, yet require less butter than a traditional pastry, and can be made with margarine.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Coleslaw

March 20, 2017 at 6:27 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Coleslaw (also known as cole slaw or simply slaw) is a salad consisting primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage and dressed most commonly with a vinaigrette salad dressing. Prepared in this manner, coleslaw can be pickled for up to four weeks if it is stored in an airtight container. Another way to make coleslaw is to use foods that already contain vinaigrette: mayonnaise, for example, is commonly used.

Coleslaw is frequently served as a side dish in traditional meals in many countries, and can be seen in major fast food chains as well.

 

 

Coleslaw made with mayonnaise

There are many variations of the recipe, which include the addition of other ingredients such as red cabbage, pepper, shredded carrots, onion, grated cheese, pineapple, or apple, mixed with a salad dressing such as mayonnaise or cream. A variety of seasonings, such as celery seed, may be added. The cabbage may come in finely minced pieces, shredded strips, or small squares. Other slaw variants include broccoli slaw, which uses shredded raw broccoli in place of the cabbage. Cream, sour cream, or buttermilk are also popular additions. Buttermilk coleslaw is most commonly found in the southern United States.

 
In the United States, coleslaw often contains buttermilk, mayonnaise or mayonnaise substitutes, and carrot, although many regional variations exist, and recipes incorporating prepared mustard or vinegar without the dairy and mayonnaise are also common. Barbecue slaw, also known as red slaw, is made using ketchup and vinegar rather than mayonnaise. It is an essential part of “Lexington style” North Carolina barbecue.

 
Coleslaw is generally eaten as a side dish with foods such as fried chicken and barbecued meats and may be accompanied by French fries or potato salad as another side dish. It also may be used as a sandwich ingredient, being placed on barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs along with chili and hot mustard. A vinegar-based coleslaw is the signature ingredient to a Primanti Brothers sandwich. Coleslaw also is used on a variant of the Reuben sandwich, with coleslaw substituting for the sauerkraut; the sandwich is commonly called a Rachel to differentiate it from the Reuben.

 
According to The Joy of Cooking (1997), raw cabbage is the only entirely consistent ingredient in coleslaw; the type of cabbage, dressing, and added ingredients vary widely. Vinaigrette, mayonnaise, and sour cream based dressings are all listed; bacon, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple, pickles, onions, and herbs are specifically mentioned as possible added ingredients.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Loco Moco

March 13, 2017 at 5:22 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A loco moco plate lunch, with soba noodles (left) and macaroni salad (right)

Loco moco is a meal in the contemporary cuisine of Hawaii. There are many variations, but the traditional loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. Variations may include chili, bacon, ham, Spam, kalua pork, linguiça, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats. Loco Moco is also the name of a Hawaiian-based restaurant chain that serves Hawaiian rice bowl dishes.

 

 

 

 

Hamburger loco moco at Aqua Cafe, Honolulu

The dish was reportedly created at the Lincoln Grill restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii, in 1949 by its proprietors, Richard Inouye and his wife Nancy, at the request of teenagers from the Lincoln Wreckers Sports club seeking something that differed from a sandwich, was inexpensive yet quickly prepared and served. They asked Nancy to put some rice in a bowl, a hamburger patty over the rice and then topped with brown gravy. The egg came later. The teenagers named the dish Loco Moco after one of their members, George Okimoto, whose nickname was “Crazy”. George Takahashi, who was studying Spanish at Hilo High School, suggested using Loco, which is Spanish for crazy. They tacked on “moco” which “rhymed with loco and sounded good”. However, to Spanish-speakers, this may sound odd, considering that moco means “booger” in Spanish.

 

 
The dish is widely popular in Hawaii and now on the menu at many Hawaiian restaurants in the mainland United States. In keeping with the standards of Japanese cuisine, rice is used as a staple starch, finished off with the hamburger, gravy, and fried eggs to create a dish that does not require the preparation time of bento. Loco moco can be found in various forms on many Pacific islands from Hawaii to Samoa to Guam and Saipan, and is also popular in Japan.

Fish loco moco

This dish was featured on the “Taste of Hawai’i” episode of Girl Meets Hawai’i, a Travel Channel show hosted by Samantha Brown. The episode features the dish being served at the popular restaurant, Hawaiian Style Cafe, in Waimea together with the plate lunch, another Hawaiian specialty dish.

The loco moco was also featured on a Honolulu-based episode of the Travel Channel show Man v. Food (this episode aired in the show’s second season). The host, Adam Richman, tried this dish at the Hukilau Café, located in nearby Laie. Richman also tried an off-the-menu loco moco at a San Francisco eatery called Namu Gaji on his 2014 show, Man Finds Food.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Eggo Waffles

March 6, 2017 at 6:39 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 3 Comments
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Two Eggo toaster waffles with butter and syrup

Two Eggo toaster waffles with butter and syrup

Eggo is a brand of frozen waffles in the United States, Canada and Mexico, which is owned by the Kellogg Company. Several varieties are available, including homestyle, miniature, blueberry, strawberry, vanilla bliss, brown sugar cinnamon, buttermilk, and chocolate chip.

Other than waffles, Eggo also produces a selection of pancakes, French toast, and egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, of which varieties include ham or sausage.

By mid-June 2009, Eggo had a 73% share of the frozen waffle market in the United States.

 

 
Eggo waffles were invented in San Jose, California, by three brothers, Tony, Sam, and Frank Dorsa. In 1953, the Dorsa brothers introduced Eggo frozen waffles to supermarkets throughout the United States. Frozen waffles do not require a waffle iron to prepare.

When the Dorsas first introduced the product it was called “Froffles”, a portmanteau of frozen waffles. However people started referring to them as “eggos” due to their eggy taste. The name caught on and the brothers began using the moniker in marketing. Eventually the name became synonymous with the product and, in 1955, the Dorsa brothers officially changed the name to “Eggo”.

Along with frozen waffles, the Dorsa brothers also produced Eggo potato chips (and Golden Bear potato chips) and Eggo syrup. All of the products were produced at a sprawling plant and factory on Eggo Way in San Jose, CA, near the intersection of US101 and East Julian Street. The Dorsas were very involved in local community activities and donated extensively to school and community projects. For Halloween, instead of candy, Tony Dorsa would give out bags of Eggo potato chips to trick-or-treaters.

In 1968, as a means of diversification, the Kellogg Company purchased Eggo. Their advertising slogan—”L’eggo my Eggo”—is well known through their television commercials.

Kellogg’s produced an Eggo brand breakfast cereal that was shaped to have the likeness of waffles. Flavors include Maple syrup and cinnamon toast.

In 2016, the Netflix series Stranger Things featured Eggo waffles as a key story theme bringing the brand to global attention beyond the countries where the brand is sold. In the show, they were the favorite food of the character Eleven.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Beignet

February 27, 2017 at 6:16 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Potato beignet

Potato beignet

 

Beignet (English pronunciation: /bɛnˈjeɪ/; French: [bɛɲɛ], literally bump), synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry. Beignets may also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough.

 

 

 

The tradition of deep-frying fruits for a side dish dates to the time of Ancient Rome, while the tradition of beignets in Europe is speculated to have originated with a heavy influence of Islamic culinary tradition. The term beignet can be applied to two varieties, depending on the type of pastry. The French-style beignet in the United States, has the specific meaning of deep-fried choux pastry. Beignets can also be made with yeast pastry, which might be called boules de Berlin in French, referring to Berliner doughnuts which have a spherical shape (in other words, they do not have the typical doughnut hole) filled with fruit or jam.

In Corsica, beignets made with chestnut flour (Beignets de farine de châtaigne) are known as fritelli.

Donuts (doughnuts) in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada are referred to as both Beigne and Beignet in French.

 

Beignets from Café du Monde in New Orleans

Beignets from Café du Monde in New Orleans

Beignets are commonly known in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top. They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot. Variations of fried dough can be found across cuisines internationally; however, the origin of the term beignet is specifically French. In the United States, beignets have been popular within New Orleans Creole cuisine and are customarily served as a dessert or in some sweet variation. They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists, from “the old mother country”, and became a large part of home-style Creole cooking, variations often including banana or plantain – popular fruits in the port city. Today, Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination specializing in beignets with powdered sugar, coffee with chicory, and café au lait. Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

 
Preparation
Ingredients used to prepare beignets traditionally include:

* lukewarm water
* granulated sugar
* evaporated milk
* bread flour
* shortening
* oil or lard, for deep-frying
* confectioners’ sugar

 

One of America’s Favorites – Italian Sandwich

February 20, 2017 at 6:26 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A close-up view of an Italian sandwich

A close-up view of an Italian sandwich

The Italian sandwich, sometimes referred to as the Maine Italian sandwich, is an American submarine sandwich in Italian-American cuisine prepared on a long bread roll or bun with meats, cheese and various vegetables. The ingredients serve to counterbalance one-another, creating an equilibrium of flavors and texture. The Italian sandwich was invented in Portland, Maine, in 1903 by Giovanni Amato, a baker. It is known as a submarine sandwich or a sub in Boston, Massachusetts, and as a spuckie in East Boston.

 
The Italian sandwich is prepared using a long bread roll or bun with meats such as salami, mortadella, capicolla and ham along with provolone or American cheese, tomato, onion, sour pickle, green bell pepper, black olives, olive oil or salad oil, salt and black pepper. Additional ingredients, such as pepperoni, banana pepper, lettuce and mustard, may be added, and the sandwich is often cut in half to make it easier to handle. The flavors and texture of the sandwich are counterbalanced by the ingredients used, creating an equilibrium of flavors, and the fats and acids in the ingredients also serve to counterbalance one another.

 

 

An Italian sandwich

An Italian sandwich

The Italian sandwich was invented in Portland, Maine, by baker Giovanni Amato in 1903. While selling his bread on his street cart, Amato received requests from dockworkers to slice his long bread rolls and add sliced meat, cheese and vegetables to them. Amato later opened a sandwich shop named Amato’s, and today the sandwich continues to be prepared by Amato’s sandwich shops in Portland. The Amato’s version is traditionally prepared using fresh-baked bread, ham, American cheese, slices of tomato, green pepper and sour pickle, black olives and salad oil.

The Italian sandwich is known as a submarine sandwich or a sub in Boston, Massachusetts, and in east Boston it is referred to as a spuckie, which may be named after the spuccadella, an Italian bread roll with a pointed shape. In Philadelphia and South Jersey it is known as a “hoagie” or a “grinder”. It is the first name that has given the designation to “Subway Sandwich Shops” around the world.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Burgoo

February 13, 2017 at 5:56 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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kentucky-burgoo-served-with-mashed-potatoes

Burgoo is a spicy stew, similar to Irish or Mulligan stew, often served with cornbread or corn muffins. It is often prepared communally as a social gathering. It is popular as the basis for civic fund-raisers in the American Midwest and South.

 

 

 
Traditional burgoo was made using whatever meats and vegetables were available—typically, venison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon or game birds, and was often associated with autumn and the harvest season. Today, local barbecue restaurants use a specific meat in their recipes, usually pork, chicken, or mutton, which, along with the spices used, creates a flavor unique to each restaurant.

A typical burgoo is a combination of meats: pork, chicken, mutton or beef, often hickory-smoked, but other meats are seen occasionally; and vegetables, such as lima beans, corn, okra, tomatoes, cabbage and potatoes. Typically, since burgoo is a slow-cooked dish, the starch from the added vegetables results in thickening of the stew. However, a thickening agent, such as cornmeal, ground beans, whole wheat, or potato starch can be used when cooked in a non-traditional way. In addition, soup bones can be added for taste and thickening.

The ingredients are combined in order of cooking time required, with meat first, vegetables next, and thickening agents as necessary. A good burgoo is said to be able to have a spoon stand up in it. Cider vinegar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or chili powder are common condiments.
Burgoo making in Kentucky often serves as a social event, in which each attendee brings one or more ingredients. In Kentucky and surrounding states such as Indiana, burgoo is often used for fund-raising for schools. This kind of event has been claimed to have been invented by the family of Ollie Beard, a former Major League Baseball player.

In Brighton, Illinois, a local traditional burgoo is prepared and served annually at the village’s summer festival, the Betsy Ann Picnic. Franklin, Illinois identifies as the Burgoo Capital of the World;[citation needed] they have an annual burgoo cookout over July 3 and July 4. Burgoo events are also held in Cass County, Illinois in the towns of Chandlerville and Arenzville. Arenzville claims to be the home of the world’s best burgoo.

Multiple cities have claimed to be the burgoo capital of the world such as Franklin, Illinois, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and Owensboro, Kentucky.

 

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