America’s Regional CookBook


“To get new ideas and find new inspiration, you must venture out and travel around the country. This cookbook has just done that. . . This joyous celebration of the best of American cooking should inspire us all to jump into the kitchen and whip up some time-honored meals.

Cooks will find inspirataion for appetizers, entrees, vegetables, breads, desserts, and drinks. Historical notes on the eight regions and origins of the recipes make this a must for coobook collectors, novice chefs, and kitchen veterans.

Hardcover with Jacket 187 pages


The United States has to be one of the best places in the world to live if you love food. Due to the diversity of ethnic groups that make up this beautiful country, almost everything you could possibly imagine is at your fingertips. With the convenience of telephone, facsimile, and computer ordering, literally nothing is unattainable.

Remember Mom and your favorite aunt in the kitchen cooking that delicious meatloaf for all the family to sit down to after a long day of softball in the yard? The smell of an apple pie cooling in the window, tempting you to the point of putting your finger in it without leaving a trace so Mom would not know? These are the foods that people seem to be coming back to.

While all of us did not grow up in the Midwest, we all have our own “homestyle” foods. I grew up in New York, under foot of my wonderful Italian grandmother. I remember her kitchen as the focal point of my existence. The smell of fresh tomatoes and herbs simmering on the stove, and Grandma rolling out the dough for the fresh pasta we would all enjoy, are some of my fondest memories. Just down the street, my friends were sitting down at their table for some knockwurst and sauerkraut. Next door, the Cohen family was sitting down at their table for beef brisket and kasha. We all have our own food memories that stir those special thoughts in the back of our minds.

In my teens, I moved to Los Angeles—the City of Angels or the city of “anything goes.” The memories of my grandmother’s kitchen never left my mind, and I found myself working in a restaurant. It was not enough to be out front with the diners; I had to jump into the trenches and get right into the process of preparing food. It is because of my love of food and my crazy imagination that I started combining different ethnic tastes and foods to come up with some exciting new dishes.


O Beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crowned thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!

During the time I was writing this cookbook, my granddaughter Evelyn graduated from the fifth grade. As part of the ceremony, a youthful school band played this nostalgic American song. The audience, young and old, sang enthusiastically, and the simple words and melodic beauty filled me with patriotic sentiment. I reflected on the many alluring American sites I had visited, and the delicious foods I had tasted, while collecting recipes for this book.

It is satisfying to discover that American cooking is very much alive, in spite of diets, restaurant franchises, health worries, and hurried schedules. Men and women are having fun taking cooking classes, watching televised food programs, and searching for culinary information on the Internet. There is a renewed interest in seeking out old family recipes. The focus on American cooking is evident in every city. Restaurants offer dishes unique to our nation, and to their own regions, on their menus. Across America, “farmers’ markets” are appearing and growing for customers who desire just-picked vegetables and fruits. Americans are rediscovering the joy of homestyle cooking.

I am confident that these recipes will not be intimidating for any cook. It is my hope that this book will encourage you to invite friends, new and old, to share a lunch or dinner with you. There is an intense, captivating warmth in cooking and dining friendships.


New England 

Paulas Mystic Hot Crab Dip, 3. Corn Chowder, 3. Boston Clam Chowder, 4 East Coast Steamed Lobster, 5. Dons Oyster Stew, 6 Cape Cod Clam Pie, 7 Exotic Chicken Curry, 8 . New England Boiled Dinner, 9 Red Flannel Hash, 10 RinktumTiddy, 10 Boston Baked Beans, 11 Succotash, 12 · Harvard Beets, 13 · North Truro Blueberry Spice Bread, 13. Boston Brown Bread, 14. Vermont Soft Gingerbread1912, 15. Indian Pudding, 16. Apple Pandowdy, 17 Maine Slump and Grunt,18. Connecticut Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie, 19 Boston Cream Pie, 20 Snickerdoodles, 22. Massachusetts Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, 23 All Seasons Easy Cranberry Sauce, 24 New England Drinks: Tavern Grog, 25; Mulled New England Cider, 25; Cranberry Cape Codder, 25 

The Middle Atlantic 

Mushrooms à la Russe, 29. Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, 30 Senate Bean Soup, 31. Roasted Long Island Duck, 31 . New York Chicken Divan, 32. Capitol Chicken Hash, 33 . Greenwich Village Chicken Cacciatore, 34 Russian Tea Room Shashlik, 35 Harlem Barbecue Sauce, 37 Pennsylvania Waffles, 37 Waldorf Salad, 38 Diner Greek Salad, 39 New York Cole Slaw, 39 Maryanns Jersey Tomato Salad, 40 Deli Double Chocolate Cheesecake, 41 . New York Cheesecake, 42 ShooFly Pie, 43 Teddy Roosevelts Christmas Sand Tarts, 44 . Anns Apple Cake, 45 Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes, 46. MidAtlantic Drinks: Philadelphia Winter Punch, 48; New Jersey Egg Nog. 49; The Manhattan, 49 

The South 

Shrimp Remoulade, 54 · Virginia Peanut Soup, 54 Thomas Jefferson Deviled Crab, 55 Shrimp Jambalaya, 56. Myrtle Grove Plantation Gumbo, 57. Southern Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy, 59 Brunswick Stew, 60 Pulled Pork Sandwiches, 61 · HoppinJohn, 62 Red Beans and Rice, 63. Fourth of July Macaroni and Cheese, 64 Baked Virginia Cheese Grits, 65. Skillet Cornbread, 65 Kentucky Scramble, 66. Eggs Sardou, 67. Pelican Club Mashed Sweet Potatoes, 68 Delta Queen Bread Pudding, 69 Brennans Bananas Foster, 70 . Key Lime Pie, 71 Savannah Pumpkin Pecan Pie, 72 Ambrosia, 74 Cooling Southern Drinks: Mint Julep, 75; Sazerac, 75; Ramos Gin Fizz, 76; Cajun Coffee, 76; Southern Summer Lemonade, 7

The Heartland 

Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Mushroom Sage Dressing, 80 Cathys Moms Great Pork and Sauerkraut, 82 Milwaukee Beer Beef Party Stew, 82 Grannys Ham and Potato Gratin for a Crowd, 83 Swiss Steak, 85 Swedish Meatballs, 86. Delilahs Utah Casserole, 87. German Apple Pancakes, 88 Minnesota Wild Rice with Mushrooms, 89 Chicago Polish Asparagus, 89. Golden Glow Salad, 90 Kansas Potato Salad, 91 · Farm Buttermilk Biscuits, 92 · The Toasts: Cinnamon, French, and GetWell Milk, 92 · Indiana Devils Food Coffee Cake, 94 Illinois Lincoln Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, 95 Wichita Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies, 96. AllAmerican Brownies, 97. Heartland Drinks: Bourbon Highball, 98; Bourbon Press, 99; Whiskey Sour, 99; Tom Collins, 99; Gin Rickey, 99 

The Northwest and Alaska 

101 Anchorage Broiled Halibut with OliveCheese Topping, 103. Alaska State Fair Barbecued Spareribs, 104 Steaks with Oregon Blue Cheese Topping, 105 The AllAmerican Hamburger, 106 · Alaskan Sourdough Starter, 107 Sourdough Blueberry Pancakes, 108 Seattle Art Museums Salade Niçoise Northwest, 109 · Baked Alaska, 111 Washington Apple Pie, 113. Coffee Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bars, 114 Rogue Valley Poached Pears, 115 Northwestern Drinks: Seattle Hot Cocoa, 116; Oregon Celebration Raspberry Punch, 116; Bloody Mary, 117; Kenai Campfire Coffee, 117 

The Southwest 

Georgia OKeeffe Watercress Soup, 121 Santa Fe Gazpacho, 121 Tortilla Soup, 122 · New Mexico Albondigas Soup, 123. Party Posole, 124 Taos Enchiladas, 125 San Antonio River Walk Enchiladas, 126 . Texas Chili, 128 Texas Chickenfried Steak, 129 Santa Fe Jalapeño Cheese Muffins, 130 . Rio Hondo Autumn Pear Salad, 131 Texas Ranchstyle Dressing, 132 · San Antonio Pecan Pie, 133 Canyon Road Spicy Crunch Cookies, 133 Favorite Drinks for Hot Summers and Cold Winters: Margaritas, 134; White Sangria, 135; Texas Iced Tea, 135 

The West 

Celery Victor, 139. San Pedro Marinated Vegetables, 140 Las Vegas Shrimp Cocktail, 141 Sonoma Spinachfilled Hardboiled Eggs, 142 Yellow Squash Soup with M.F.K. Fisher, 142 . Fishermans Wharf Cioppino, 144 . Idaho Rainbow Trout, 145 · Zesty Catalina Swordfish, 146 Rancho Days Fiesta Enchiladas, 147. Luisa Tetrazzinis Chicken and Pasta Casserole, 148 Les Guthries Mothers Meat Loaf, 149 Los Angeles Tamale Pie, 151 · Americas Favorite: Hot Dogs, 152 . Chinese Eggs Foo Yung, 154 · Everyday Lunch Tuna Sandwiches, 155. California Mission Days Green Chile Rice, 155 San Francisco Stirfried Asparagus, 156. Idaho Perfect Baked Potatoes and Variations, 157 Cafe Hash Browns, 158 · Cobb Salad from Los Angeles, 159 Hollywood Bowl Pasta Salad, 160 D.D.s Ceres CarrotRaisin Salad, 161 Snake Basin Idaho Applesauce, 162 California Lemon Snow Bars, 162 Golden Gate Rum Pie, 164 Drugstore Banana Split, 164 Classic Western Drinks: Californiastyle Martini, 166; Irish Coffee, 166; Orange Brunch Sangria, 16


Island Rumaki, 171 Portuguese Bean Soup, 171 Maui Onion Soup, 172. Baked Opakapaka in Orange Citrus Sauce, 173 Hawaiian PineappleBeef Skewers, 174. Islandstyle Steak Teriyaki, 174 Polynesianflavored Brisket, 175 Diamond Head Sunset Papaya Salad, 176 Hanalei Bay Chicken Salad, 177 Pineapple Cornbread Muffins, 177 Paradise Banana Bread, 178 · Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, 179 Waikiki Coconut Cream Pie, 180 Cool Island Drinks: Mikes Mai Tai, 181; Piña Colada, 182; Waikiki Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri, 182; Honolulu Sunset Cooler Punch, 182 

The All American Hamburger

Hamburgers are consumed everywhere in our country. It seems to be the food associated with international impressions of what America eats, and sometimes Americans are looked down upon gastronomically for this casual food. Hamburgers need defending! If one analyzes a ham burger, there is nothing but tasty ingredients all layered together. They are always appetizing and, in spite of health doomsayers, are balanced and nutritious. I thought of this when I was in Alaska, our most northern state. I was in a rustic cafe and most of the customers (Eskimos, tourists, and locals) were eating hamburgers with French fries. Bottles of catsup and mustard adorned the plastic tablecloths. Americans adore this national dish, and if anything unites the American people it is the hamburger

Hamburgers originated in the German seaport city of Hamburg. Ger man immigrants coming to America brought this recipe for a Ham burgstyle chopped steak.There is a dispute about who made the first hamburger in America. Louis Lassen is recorded as serving the first burgerat his Connecticut luncheonette in 1890, but then there is Car lie Nagreen, whose relatives claim that he sold hamburgers from his ox drawn food stand at the Outgamie County Fair in 1885. This debate will surely continue among hamburger scholars

Of course, there are hamburgers and there are hamburgerssome well made and some notsowell made. The key to a good hamburger is that the ingredients should be fresh and of good quality. Both my moth er and my motherinlaw always had the butcher grind their hamburger beef fresh. It only takes a minute to politely ask your local butcher to grind either round or chuck steak for you. He or she will not mindthis is part of their job. With freshly ground beef you know exactly what is in your hamburger. This recipe is for four hamburgers but may easily be enlarged. Hamburgers are a casual affair, and some may like onions and not tomatoes, so there is always a choice of ingredients

freshly baked hamburger buns
pound freshly ground chuck or round steak
salt and pepper to taste
tablespoon butter or oil, if burgers are to be fried
onion slices
tomato slices
cheddar cheese slices
pickle slices or relish
iceberg lettuce 

To begin, assemble all the ingredients on a platter so you will have them on hand to construct your hamburgers. The buns should be heated or toasted. If desired, the cheese may be placed on the buns while they are heated if you like really melted cheese

Mix the ground beef with salt and pepper. Form into 4 flattish patties that will fit your hamburger buns. I like to cook hamburgers in an iron frying pan. To do this, heat the pan for 3 minutes. Place the butter or oil in the pan. Fry patty on each side until brown and cooked to your taste. If broiling, simply place on foil under broiler and broil on each side. If using an outside barbecue grill, cook on each side, turning once

Place cooked hamburger on the bottom section of bun. Add desired ingredients. Gently press top of bun on assembled ingredients. Eat while hot and enjoy this American classic

Harlem Barbeque Sauce

When we lived in New York, some of my husbands colleagues from the Art Students League would get together for potluck dinners. The food contributions would be laid out on a big studio table covered with brightly colored construction paper. We ate on paper plates and every one had a great time. One of the best dishes anyone ever brought was a platter of chicken covered with this splendid, tangy sauce

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
8ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste  

Melt butter in a saucepan. Lightly cook onion and garlic just until limp (not browned). Add remaining ingredients and cook over a low flame for 10 minutes. This will make enough to sauce2 chickens, 8 pork chops, or 6 pounds of spareribs, cooked as desired

The South

I grew up in California with a Southern grandmother, Lilla Wilkinson. She had been born and raised at the Myrtle Grove plantation on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Nanawas a great greatgranddaughter of General James Wilkinson, who accepted the Louisiana Purchase for the United States. It is only natural that I have come to look upon the South through Nanas perspectiveHer tales of Southern foods, with their mingling of exotic flavors from the Spanish, French, African, Native American, and Cajun people, sounded exciting to meNana was a gumbo cooking master. All her many versions of the dish were full of tantalizing flavors. When she was almost 18, she fell in love with a dashing Spanish gentleman, Fernando. Her family felt he was not the right match for her. She was sent to New York to place a distance between them. While there, she took piano lessons at the Staats Piano School, where she fell in love and married her teacher, Henry Taylor Staats. Eventually, they moved to Pasadena to begin a music school. She never returned to Louisiana but all her life continued to inspire everyone with her Southern cooking and tales of Southern life

Because of Nana, when I visit the South I feel at home. I can visit New Orleanss Cabildo Museum and see the painting of my distant grandfather and touch the table where he signed the Louisiana Pur chase. I can dine in restaurants that offer all the foods she happily cooked for me. I can visit the French Market in New Orleans to see the okra, eggplant, Creole tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, garlic, peanuts, onions, and praline vendors

It is true that New Orleans is only part of the Southern culinary her itage; however, it is the best destination for Southern dining. Flying into New Orleans, the plane will drift across the swamps. You can almost see the alligators. The taxi ride into the city passes the above the groundcemeteries, with their white sculptured tombs adorned with angels guarding the lifeless in these gardens of the dead. When the taxi stops at the hotel, lively music from a street saxophone player instantly puts me in the mood of the city. This is the town of eternal jazz mingled with scents of spices and chicory. Quickly, I rush out to a French Quarter restaurant where I know the menu will be filled with choices: oysters on the half shell, shrimp remoulade, gumbo soups, smoked hams, barbecued pork, catfish, crawfish étouffée, Southern drinks, flamboyant desserts, and coffee laced with chicory. These are all foods my grandmother told me about. Waiters do not rush. They call me honey,and when several of us are dining it is yall,said with all the manners and hospitality of gentlemen or gentle ladies. I know I am in my Nanas South

I have drifted up the Mississippi on the historic Delta Queen river boat to visit the great restored Southern mansions, and I have listened to tales of this great river. A friend of ours nearly drowned in the river while out in a pirogue. A waiter at Arnauds told me how he would swim naked as a wormin this muddy river with his neighborhood friends, another sailed the entire river in a tiny boat. I have been in Cajun country and have tasted alligator and spicy Cajun sausage and have heard the rhythmic music and Evangeline legends. In the per fectly restored town of Williamsburg, I have tasted peanut soup, bis cuits, and colonial game pie. In our nations proud capital, with its spacious treelined streets and bountiful flower beds, I have tasted fresh Virginia spring asparagus, Baltimore crab cakes, and briny Chesapeake Bay oysters in historic inns. At the farthest point of the South, in Florida, I have dined on the famed key lime pie and trea sures from the tropical sea. The riches of the food of the South are among the most appealing in the nation, reflecting the influences of settlers, immigrants, and gentry

The South is deeply imbued with our nations history. On the Get tysburg battlefields, the famous battle is relived and reconstructed by avid Civil War buffs. In Richmond, kindly ladies will show you where Patrick Henry stood and the grave of Edgar Allen Poe‘s moth er. A senior docent in the Virginia State capitol claims that the statue of Robert E. Lee winks at her as she finishes her tour duties. Ladies of eight decades will lead you up and down stairways and long hall ways in Southern historic houses. During special Southern pilgrim ages, family members dressed in antique Southern attire will guide you around their gardens and offer refreshments on antique bone china. The hospitality is warm and plentiful

The Southern states are blessed with a rich, fertile soil and a tropi cal climate that produces exotic fruits, rice, chicory, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. Wild game and fish fill the forests and waters. The mys terious swamps have offered them a refuge from persecution and a natural preserve. The scenery is ravishing, with multitudes of mean dering plants and Spanish moss draping over the trees. The dramatic weather includes torrential rains, high humidity, hurricanes, and intense summer heat

When I was about 10, I read the Southern saga Gone With the Wind. My mother and Nana had a lengthy discussion about whether it was proper reading for my age. With my persuasion, they gave in and I was completely engrossed in it for several days. I must freely admit that this stirring novel added to my fascination with the South. I like to reflect on the strong character of Scarlett OHara and her love of fine Southern food: As God is my witness, Im never going to be hungry again!Southern cooks continue to take very great pride in a heritage of cooking that began with the colonistsfirst campfire in Virginia

Shrimp Remoulade

This delectable appetizer makes a perfect beginning to any dinner. Fresh Gulf shrimp are firm and full of sea flavor. My Southern grand mother preferred to use pretty little glass dishes to serve remoulade, and I still think this is the nicest way to do it. In the South, however, you may also find remoulade served on little saucers or even in tiny bowls

3 cups cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (approximately 7 pound)
cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce 

Remoulade Sauce 

2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard (or prepared)
2 tablespoons horseradish
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or Tabasco
 1 tablespoon minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced parsley 

Combine the shrimp with the blended sauce ingredients, and chill. When ready to serve, finely shred the lettuce and divide into 6 portions. Carefully spoon the shrimp on top of the lettuce


Here is a joyous celebration of our nation’s culinary heritage. This appetizing collection of traditional recipes reflects the American melting pot of flavors and cultures from eight distinnct areas of the United States. For example:

  • New England: Cape Cod Clam Pie
  • The Middle Atlantic: Teddy Roosevelt’s Christmas Sand Tarts
  • The South: Shrimp Jambalaya
  • The Heartland: Granny’s Ham and Potato Gratin for a Crowd
  • The Northwest: Ancorage Broiled Halibut with Olive-Cheese Topping
  • The Southwest: Taos Engchiladas
  • The West: Zesty Catalina Swordfish
  • Hawaii: Waikiki Coconut Cream Pie….



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