America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.
A pasty is a baked meat pie, a traditional variety of which is usually associated with Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is made by placing an uncooked filling, typically meat and vegetables, on one half of a flat shortcrust pastry circle, folding the pastry in half to wrap the filling in a semicircle and crimping the curved edge to form a seal before baking.
The traditional Cornish pasty, which since 2011 has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in Europe, is filled with beef, sliced or diced potato, swede (also known as yellow turnip or rutabaga) and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper and baked. It is regarded as Cornwall’s national dish and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. The origins of the pasty are unclear, though there are many references to them throughout historical documents and fiction. The pasty is now popular worldwide due to the spread of Cornish miners and sailors from across Devon and Cornwall, and variations can be found in Australia, Mexico, the United States, Ulster and elsewhere.
Michigan Pasty (Meat Hand Pie)
When Cornish miners migrated to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1800s, they brought with them their beloved national dish, the pasty. The Finnish miners that followed adopted these meat pies as their own (easily transportable for long subterranean days!), and the pasty became such a large part of the regional culture that there’s an annual pasty festival in early July. In this recipe, beef, carrots, onions, and potatoes are essentially steamed within the dough pocket.
6 hand pies
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1 cup shortening or lard ( I use Spectrum)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup ice-cold water
8 ounces boneless steak such as sirloin, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
Ketchup, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, shortening, and salt in a food processor and run the motor until the dough starts to clump together. With the motor running, drizzle in the water. Stop the motor when a ball begins to form.
. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour. This step allows the gluten to relax and makes for easier rolling.
Mix together the steak, carrots, onions, potatoes, and parsley and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to form the pies.
Cut the dough into 6 even pieces, about 5 ounces each, and form into balls. Flour a work surface and roll out each ball of dough into an 8-inch circle. Or roll each piece of dough between a sheet of wax paper and a piece of plastic wrap.
Evenly divide the filling (about 3/4 cup per pasty) on one half of each dough circle. Brush the edges of the circles with egg. Fold the dough over to cover the mixture and crimp the edges using a fork. Cut 3 small slits on top of each pie. This prevents steam from building up and splitting the dough. Brush the pasties with the egg and refrigerate the baking pans until ready to bake for dinner.
Bake on the prepared baking sheets until the crust is golden brown and flaky about 1 hour. Serve with ketchup, if desired.Pasties can be baked and then frozen. To reheat, place in a 300 degree F oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
Makes two loaves that are good for breakfast or dessert.
1 cup soft unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 small to medium very ripe banana, mashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper cut to fit.
Combine the berries with the ¼ cup flour and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the 3 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, banana, milk and lemon juice
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the yogurt mixture. Add the flour to the egg mixture mixing just until combined. Fold in the blueberries.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pans dividing the mixture in half. I weigh the baking pans as I add the batter to each pan so that they are equal.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes, then remove the loaves from pan and cool on a rack.
For the glaze:
Stir the sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Drizzle over the Blueberry Loaves.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
1 1/2-pound beef tenderloin roast, all visible fat and silverskin removed
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Tie the meat in three or four places with kitchen twine. Put the roast in a medium-sized heavy nonstick roasting pan and coat the roast with the olive oil. Rub the garlic all over the meat and sprinkle on the herbs and pepper. Scatter the shallots on top of the meat.
Cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes per pound for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice the roast and place it on a serving platter. Drizzle the pan juices over the meat and serve.
Roasted Stuffed Zucchini
4 small to midsize zucchini
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or substitute unseasoned breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Split the zucchini in half lengthwise. With a serrated spoon scrape out the seeds, digging a trough in the center of the zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini shells with salt and turn them over on a paper towel to drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.
For the filling: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add tomato, breadcrumbs, herbs, and cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
Place the filling down the center of each zucchini half. Place the zucchini in a greased baking dish and roast in the oven until the zucchini shells are tender and the topping is lightly brown (about 25 -30 minutes). Serve as a side dish in this meal.
Basil Pesto Pasta
4 packed cups washed basil leaves
½ cup shelled pistachio nuts, pignoli or walnuts
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
! cup grated parmesan cheese
One lb bucatini or other long pasta, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons room temperature butter, cut into small pieces
Place the nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a processor bowl. Process until the nuts and garlic are chopped.
Add the basil leaves and process for a minute or two. In the opening spout at the top, pour the olive oil as you process. Keep processing until the mixture is smooth.
Place the sauce in a large pasta serving bowl. Add the hot drained pasta, parmesan cheese, and butter. Gently toss until the pasta is coated in sauce. Serve as a side dish in this meal.
Oven BBQ Pulled Pork
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1 (5 pounds) pork shoulder or Boston butt
Cider-Vinegar Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup yellow or brown mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Burger Rolls and Cucumber Salad
Mix the paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan, uncovered, and roast it for about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it’s falling apart.
While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you’re ready for it.
When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.
While the pork is still warm, you want to “pull” the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to “pull” shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.
To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of each hamburger bun and top with some of the remaining sauce.
Cucumbers in Dilled Sour Cream
Makes About 2 Cups
2 large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, sliced into 1/4″-thick half-moons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons green onion (scallions), minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
Place cucumber slices in a colander; sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, vinegar, honey, and dill in a mixing bowl. Add cucumber slices and toss to coat. Let salad stand for at least 5 minutes before serving, or chill for up to one day.
Roasted Potatoes And Green Beans
1 1/2 pounds baby gold potatoes, halved
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 whole bay leaves
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and add the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Arrange the green beans on top.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until veggies are just tender. Stir the mixture halfway through the baking time. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Italian Tomato and Sundried Tomato Bruschetta Sauce
This sauce is also excellent for an appetizer spread on toasted slices of Italian bread.
5 Roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, about 8, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.
Baked Chicken Bruschetta
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup Italian Tomato and Sundried Tomato Bruschetta Sauce, recipe above
2- 4 large slices Mozzarella cheese
Place the chicken cutlets in an oiled baking dish and drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake in the oven alongside the potato/green bean pan. After 25 minutes, remove the dish from the oven and spread the chicken evenly with the Bruschetta sauce and cover with slices of mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes more to melt the cheese. Serve with the potatoes and green beans.
Serve this pasta with a mixed greens salad and Italian vinaigrette.
4-5 cups cooked (leftover) pasta. I used linguine
3 links of Italian sausage
2 cups Marinara sauce
11/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
Brown the sausage links in a skillet and add the marinara sauce. Simmer the sausage in the marinara sauce for 30 minutes. Remove the sausage and cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
Mix the marinara sauce with the pasta. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta, egg, parmesan, parsley salt, and pepper. Mix with the pasta. Coat a 12-inch x 8-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.
Coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with cooking spray. Place on the top of the baking dish. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 45 minutes, uncover the dish and bake for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Coconut Layer Cake
When baking with coconut milk, I use shelf-stable boxed coconut milk.
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature-very soft)
1 2/3 cups sugar
9 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups coconut flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 1/3 cups coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch or two 8-inch layer pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
Combine the butter and sugar, and beat together for about 2 minutes using an electric mixer.
Add eggs in one at a time and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla while beating the eggs and butter mixture.
Combine the dry ingredients together and add one cup at a time, alternating with the coconut milk. Beat batter for about five minutes on high speed.
Spoon batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before removing the layers from the pans. Cool cakes completely before frosting.
1 cup raspberry or strawberry jam
1 (8 ounces) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted or tinted coconut flakes
Prepare the Frosting: Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with a heavy-duty stand mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla and heavy cream and beat until fluffy.
Assemble the cake: Place 1 layer on a serving platter, and spread jam over the layer, spreading to within 1/2-inch from the edge. Top with the second layer, and spread frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with toasted coconut.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded zucchini squeezed to remove water (about 1 medium zucchini)
2 cups Oat Flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Coat an 8×4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Spray the paper.
In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, egg, vanilla extract, honey, milk, and zucchini.
Combine dry ingredients together (oat flour, spices, baking powder/baking soda, salt) and stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, Fold in walnuts.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the bread is golden and the cake tester comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool completely for at least 20 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ½ teaspoons molasses
2 cups pumpernickel or dark rye flour
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2-3 cups whole wheat flour
6 quarts water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
To make the bagel dough:
Whisk 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, yeast, and molasses in a large bowl until the yeast dissolves. Stir in pumpernickel flour, onions, cornmeal, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in enough of the wheat flour to make a soft dough, about 2 cups.
Knead, gradually incorporating more wheat flour, until the dough is resilient and quite firm, 10 to 12 minutes (the dough will remain slightly sticky). Cover the dough with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces; roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope. Wet the ends lightly with water. Form into bagels by overlapping the ends up 1 inch. Pinch ends together firmly. Set bagels aside, uncovered, to rise until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bring water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large pot.
Slip several risen bagels at a time into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds, turn them over with a slotted spoon or tongs and cook for 45 seconds longer. Drain the bagels on a clean dish towel and place them on the prepared baking sheets.
Place in the oven, reduce heat to 425°F and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the bagels over and bake 5 more minutes. Cool on wire racks. Bagels freeze very well.