As consumers continue to seek authentic dishes, regional ingredients are impacting menus along with global cuisines. To tap into America’s culinary roots and flavors, start with these five recipes.
1. Almond-Crusted Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and waffles, a classic duo, is currently trending on many menus. To differentiate the pairing, chef Fraser dredges chicken thighs in a blend of rice flour, almond meal and cornstarch for a light but crispy coating and adds almond meal to the waffle batter, too.
2. Johnny Cakes with Bacon, Corn and Maple Drizzle
Johnny cakes are a New England specialty, a type of griddlecake with cornmeal in the batter. At the Gypsy Cafe in New Hampshire, chef-owner Duris intensifies the corn flavor by stacking the Johnny cakes high and layering them with a creamy filling of corn, bacon, honey, basil, garlic and lemon. The preparation earned an award for the chef in the 2018 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest.
3. Nutty Fireman Chili
Chili may have been born in Texas, but many cooks give the dish a local or personal spin. At Grandpa Mac in Delaware, chef-owner Cameron creates a plant-based version, substituting walnuts for meat. Two kinds of beans power up the vegan protein, and a variety of smoky and spicy ingredients add shots of flavor.
4. Grilled Applewood Smoked Pork Chops with Cider Sauce
Chef Dupar’s catering company is located in the Pacific Northwest, and her food is inspired by both regional ingredients and her own Southern roots. This cold smoke method of cooking pork chops infuses them with the flavor of applewood chips. Once smoked, the chops can be refrigerated until needed, then grilled to order and serviced with a hard cider sauce, rich with seasonal flavors.
5. Pozole Rojo de Puerco (Red Pork Pozole)
Pitmaster Davila puts the spotlight on South Texas-style barbecue, a style developed by the Spanish and Mexican cowboys or “vaqueros” who populated the area. This pozole recipe comes from the chef’s new cookbook, “Cowboy Barbecue: Fire and Smoke from the Original Texas Vaqueros.” The Latin-accented dish is based on pork bacibones and hominy, making it a low-cost addition to winter menus.