JULY 2021 CHALLENGE: Vintage American recipes!

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Let's go beyond burgers, surprise me, educate me. I want to know everything there is about old, traditional cooking of different US states/cities, because I know almost nothing, but it intrigues me.

I first got the idea when someone posted shrimp and grits last year, it seemed like a nice classic recipe I had never heard of. It had regional character and something I would call integrity, if it makes sense at all. And since we have may US members on this forum, I figured we could all explore that part of the world in a way in which it usually isn't explored. Of course everyone can use this opportunity to learn something about American food and post their entries. Hope you have fun!

The rules:
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month (well, on the 2nd this time, sorry for that). The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
 
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I guess that means no butter tarts, Nanaimo Bars, poutine or tourtiere? I'd better do some research!
 
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Well living in Utah funeral potatoes come to mind right away.

Maybe I'll steer clear of the Jello molds and tuna casseroles. Old school, low and slow real pit barbecue might be a nice way to go. Pulled pork, Texas hot links, ...

mjb.
 
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I like it! There are so many different influences to American cuisine. My favorites to point out are General Tso Chicken and Pizza as completely American. And each region of the US has its own culinary identity.

New England- French/English/Irish influences. Lots of seafood. Soups, stews. Hearty cold weather food. New England Clam Chowder

NorthEast - All cultures exist as NY is the “center of the world” but Italian dominates the region. Pizza , Pasta, Hoagies (submarine sandwiches)

South - A lot of African roots from an ugly part of our history. But some great food. Southern cuisine is known as soul food and includes slow and low barbecue, rich gravies, collard greens, grits, cornbread, fried chicken, and on and on. Louisiana has its own identity with its French influence and abundance of seafood. So it is termed Creole cuisine. (That is where you have Shrimp and Grits)

Texas- Has it’s own world. Texas Barbecue and Tex-Mex are laws of the land. Umm. Chili?

Southwest- Like Tex-Mex mixed with Cal-Mex

Cal-Mex- Southern California Americanized Mexican food. The “Mission-style” Burritos, fajitas, crunchy tacos,
Cal-Asian - Large Asian influences like California Rolls among many others

Pacific NW- very similar to New England but with different ingredients. And more Asian influences. Cioppino is a great example.
Alaska fits with the Pacific NW and Hawaii is its own world.

a lot to choose from and many different layers of elegance. I tend to like peasant food best.
 
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American Fourth of July… a few days early.

Pork shoulder, hickory smoked and pulled.

Bread and butter pickle, store-bought Mt Olive brand.

Sweet potato (yam to some), baked.

Crookneck yellow squash from the garden, roasted with crumb topping (sourdough bread, garlic and olive oil)

Tomato wedge, with Maldon salt. (Was supposed to be a Black Russian “Paul Robeson” variety but may have been mismatched by the nursery. )

0DFDBB6D-158C-40AA-AA4B-B9E63710C539.jpeg
 
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A quintessential American dish: The BLT!

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato. On white bread with mayonnaise. So simple, yet unmatched. It is the standard by which every other sandwich is judged.
Mine was so good tonight that I only realized I forgot to bring my drink to the table until I was halfway into it. Then I made the decision that it was so good, I would just finish before I quenched my thirst.
Good Bacon, Fresh tomatoes and hydroponic butter lettuce. Sliced beefsteak tomato and fresh baked white bread. 66971056-04D6-4198-B05F-F00255EABD4A.jpeg
 
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I offer Key West Crab Stuffed Pink Shrimp, with butter sautéed Sugar Snap Peas, and buttered Sweet Corn, lightly seasoned with fine grind Black Pepper. For desert, I had ripe watermelon. 20210702_180327.jpg


Seeeeya: Chief Longwind of the North
 
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I will learn a lot from this challenge ;)
It's not something I know a lot of!
 
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It's chilly today and rainy again so I thought I'd fire up the oven and make PIZZA. In particular a Shields style pizza from Detroit my home town. There were two "square" pizza joints back in the day. The original was Buddy's who makes square pies in blue steel pans. It's not quite "deep dish" like Chicago, but they do put hot sauce on top when it comes out of the oven. Shields was a little different sauce went on then toppings - you could order it like Buddy's, but I'm more of a purist having been a pizza maker for years in my younger days.

Steel pan pizza - raised dough spread out in a blue steel pan oiled with bacon dripping, then home made roasted San Marzano tomato sauce with roast garlic, a layer of torn basil, a blend of hand grated cheese - gouda, 4yr. aged cheddar, pecorino romano, parmigiano and some fresh mozzarella. Then some prosciutto and red pepper marinated in Caesar dressing and pecorino. Damned fine tasting pizza -

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For tonight's entry. I fused two classic American favorites, the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich, an the midwestern, Michigan, Eastern Upper Peninsula open faced beef sandwich. To make\e this one, I sliced leftover medium rare ribeye razor thin, against the grain, made long, thin slices of tie, red bell pepper, and made a silky chase sauce of aged white cheddar, yellow mustard, milk, and black pepper. The pepper slices were sautéed in butter until they just started to soften. The meat was warmed, just a little. Onto a good white bread slice went, in this order, meat slices, piled high, the pepper slices, and finally topped with a copious amount of cheese sauce. I dare say that a good homemade cheese sauce is superior in bith flavor, and texture to the famous commercial cheese sauce in the original Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. I really enjoyed this one, even without open faced cheesesteak 1.jpg fried onions that I forgot to make.

open faced cheesecake 2.jpg

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 
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BOSTON BAKED BEANS... A New England classic.

Baked beans is a New England specialty and for a more complete history of this dish I will defer to Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baked_beans

But even within New England there are regional differences. In Boston the beans are small Navy pea beans. Further north the beans tend to be bigger and more varied: Yellow Eye, Soldier bean, and Jacob Cattle, to mention a few. The easiest compromise for those of us who are not currently living in New England (and those of us who have to diplomatically balance ancestry from two very different parts of New England) is the Great Northern bean.

More important, though, is the cooking vessel. A bean pot is best. Other casserole dishes work, as does a slow cooker, but a bean pot in a "slow oven" really makes the beans more traditional and taste better.

IMG_0295.jpg

The basic seasonings are onion, molasses and mustard. Again, there is variation. In Boston it is common to balance the molasses with brown sugar; in Vermont they sometimes use maple syrup. In Maine... only molasses.

Pork is a common denominator. There must always be some form of port. Salt pork is most traditional but some folks prefer bacon. What I used today was a smoked pig tail. Very "off the chain". :)

IMG_0296.jpg

... and after a dozen hours in a slow brick oven (okay... it wasn't really brick and I couldn't dig a bean hole), I present baked beans!

IMG_0297 (1).jpg
 
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4th Of July Feast

Broiled Lobster tail, dressed with butter,
Hassleback potato, with compound butter worked between slices, baked utile tender with crispy edges
Lightly battered Key West pink shrimp deep fried in clarified butter
Maple glazed Country Style Pork Rib foil packed and slow roasted for 6 hours
Lightly steamed corn on the cob, no dressing required (really good corn)
Black olives (no room on the plate)
Very crunch, and full flavored garlic dill pickle (no room on plate)
Raspberry-Lemonade, on ice.

This was better than grilled kielbasa, dogs, or brats.

4th of July 2021-5.jpg

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 
84
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Joined Jun 7, 2021
BOSTON BAKED BEANS... A New England classic.

Baked beans is a New England specialty and for a more complete history of this dish I will defer to Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baked_beans

But even within New England there are differences. In Boston the beans are small pea beans. Further north the beans tend to be bigger and more varied: Yellow Eye, Soldier bean, and Jacob Cattle, to mention a few. The easiest compromise for those of us who are not currently living in New England is the Great Northern bean.

More important, though, is the cooking vessel. A bean pot is best. Other casserole dishes work, as does a slow cooker, but a bean pot in a "slow oven" really makes the beans not only traditional but taste better.

View attachment 70455

The basic seasonings are molasses and mustard. Again, there is variation. In Boston it is common to balance the molasses with brown sugar; in Vermont they sometimes use maple syrup. In Maine... only molasses.

Pork is a common denominator. There must always be some form of port. Salt pork is most traditional but some folks prefer bacon. What I used today was a smoked pig tail. Very "off the chain". :)

View attachment 70456

... and after a dozen hours in a slow brick oven (okay... it wasn't really brick), I present baked beans!

View attachment 70458

Those are some impressive looking beans, and made right! I've won a baked bean cookoff or two back in the day. My secret is a hint of chili powder, just s a mild accent. I love baked beans, but due to kidney issues, They are no longer allowed on my diet. So, enjoy some for me.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 
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It is 4th of July! United States Independence Day! Hamburger is the food of the day for most Americans, but you laid out you were not looking for burgers in this challenge. Hotdogs are next most popular on this holiday, but I will get to those later in the month. The next most popular 4th of July food is BBQ Chicken. I paired it with sweet potato, and corn on the cob. It is America on a plate!

Chicken had BBQ rub (I make my own, but there are a ton of great ones Available)and smoked at 375 F. Basted every 20 minutes with bacon grease. Cooked to internal temp of 160F. Then moved to oven to rest. Sweet potatoes were wrapped in foil and put on heat of smoker. Corn was boiled for 4 minutes in salted water and tossed in tons of garlic butter.
C94AD261-B862-48C4-BBBD-843CB684ED17.jpeg
 
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