North America

North America

Having lived in Canada and also travelling into the US on many occassions, I got to sample loads of food. I’m not saying I’m a pig and just stuff myself wherever I go, what I’m saying is that I don’t just eat food for the sake of it. I enjoy food, but good food and not necessarily much of it. I have travelled the west coast of the US, I have travelled from east to west and have spent a bit of time on the east coast of the US too and it is difficult to actually say what is North American cuisine as the two countries are a melting pot of many different cultures and many dishes have come from these people and have been adapted over the years and in some ways probably improved too.

I remember a girlfriend of mine cooking up a beef strogonoff one day and it was really good, so I asked her if she knew where this dish came from. She said her Grandma cooked it so it must be American! Well, beef strogonoff or more correctly beef strogonov is a Russian dish with origins from around the mid-19th-century, of sautéed beef served up with smetana (sour cream). The recipe first appeared in a classic Russian cookbook from the 1860’s which involves lightly floured beef cubes (not strips) sautéed, with a sauce made with. mustard and bouillon, and finished with a small amount of sour cream. Another recipe from 1912, adds onions and tomato paste, and serves it up with crisp potato straws, which are considered the traditional side dish in Russia and my bible the Larousse Gastronomique in their 1938 version includes beef strips, and onions, with either mustard or tomato paste optional.

After the fall of Imperial Russia, the recipe was served in the hotels and restaurants of China before the start of the Second World War. Then Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as U.S. servicemen stationed in pre-Communist China, brought several variations of the dish to the US, which may account for its popularity during the 1950s. It came to Hong Kong in the late fifties, with Russian restaurants and hotels serving the dish with rice, but not sour cream. And of course the version often prepared in the US today consists of strips of beef filet with a mushroom, onion, and sour cream sauce and is served over rice or pasta.

The same can be said of the Hamburger and Hot Dog, two of Americas iconic mainstays! Well folks they came from Germany, apparently, although there are as always debates over who really invented the hamburger or the hot dog. What we can definately confirm is that it was an immigrant of Europe or someone with European descent.

So as far as showcasing North American cuisine goes, I will share with you recipes that have developed into classics and some which I think we should try.

I would love contributions to help me fill this out, so send me recipes please in a word doc with a photo or two!

 

Biscuits with sausage gravy
Biscuits And Sausage Gravy

I hadn’t eaten biscuits and gravy since moving from Canada and after watching many episodes of triple D, I thought it high time that I made me some biscuits and gravy. The first time I had biscuits I was a bit taken aback as I was expecting just that…

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The best incredible caesar salad
Caesar Salad

This is an all time “Classic” American salad that does have many variations, mainly topping a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, steak, or seafood. This to me is quite acceptable. What I cannot accept is when iceburg lettuce is used…

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sufferin succotash!
Succotash

I had heard of Succotash, but never had the chance to try it. I just love the name, well of course it was a phrase used by Sylvester the cat! Remember that “sufferin’ succotash” he said in exclamation with his lisp… Anyway, this recipe comes from Rick Stein’s Seafood Odysey…

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classic burger
The Classic Burger

Hamburger, beefburger, you can even call it Susan if you want, but it really doesn’t matter! The Classic Burger is usually made with 100% beef, some breadcrumbs, an egg and seasoning and has to be our favourite grill ingredient along with the sausage…

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