An All-American Menu
Alabama: Pulled Pork Sandwiches with White Barbecue Sauce
These pulled pork sandwiches, topped with Alabama-style white barbecue sauce and served on homemade biscuits, are perfect for entertaining.
Alaska: Grilled Salmon and Brown Butter Couscous
Fire up the grill for a seafood dinner tonight, and load up on your omega-3s. Wild Alaskan salmon is a sure sustainable choice and more nutritious than farmed salmon.
Arizona: Southwest Burger
"Chile peppers and cacti are staple ingredients in Southwestern cooking. Here I mixed a sweet-smoky ancho chile paste with bottom notes of earthy cumin into the beef patty. For a condiment, I started with nopales (cactus paddles) to give deep green veggie flavor. Jicama adds hearty crunch, while lime juice and cilantro brighten it all up." –Tiffany Vickers Davis, Test Kirchen Manager
Arkansas: Drop Biscuit Chicken Potpie
Buttery buttermilk biscuits make this family-style fave irresistible, and they couldn't be simpler to prepare, even for biscuit novices. Cooking the chicken bone-in makes it more flavorful and moist, but for convenience, you can substitute 4 cups diced skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Brown them first, and then mix into the filling to bake in the last step.
California: Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
A mix of textures is the key to this West Coast dish: Flaky fish with a slightly crunchy exterior, crisp cabbage, juicy tomatoes, and firm, chewy tortilla combine in each bite. Each ingredient's fresh flavor stands out, so very little seasoning is needed. Tacos aren't the only way to make this dish―serve the slaw as an entrée salad topped with the fish (or cooked chicken), or use it as an outdoor party side.
Colorado: Green Chili
A panful of char-roasted fresh green peppers gives Colorado chili its distinctive hue. You can sub sweet green bell peppers for Cubanelles if you prefer. Look for masa harina—the traditional thickener in this chili—in the supermarket's international aisle or in Latin markets. Serve with brown rice, if desired.
Connecticut: Lobster Rolls
Unlike the classic New England lobster roll (made up of cold lobster salad in a bun), the Connecticut lobster roll is comprised of a top-split hot-dog bun stuffed with warm lobster tossed with a little melted butter.
Delaware: No-Bake Peach Pie
Peach pie is the state dessert of Delaware. A gorgeous pile of syrupy fruit tops a creamy concoction that falls somewhere between decadent cheesecake and billowy chiffon pie. This luscious dessert comes together easily and is the perfect ending to summer supper with friends. Use the softest and juiciest peaches you have, even slightly overripe fruit. For added peach oomph, chop some of the topping and stir it into the filling.
Florida: Cuban Sandwiches
Citrus-laced mojo and tangy relish add big flavor to this south-Florida classic.
Georgia: Peanut-Fried Chicken
J.C. and Jo Bell revolutionized peanut butter a few years back when they were charged with creating something amazing from America's massive peanut surplus. PB2, a powdered peanut butter, is a culinary dream ingredient. Cut 50/50 with Wondra flour, it makes for an unparalleled dredge for chicken. This dish retains the gentle sweetness of peanut, and has most of the crunch of true-to-form fried chicken.
Hawaii: Tuna Poke Bowl
Poke is a Hawaiian dish made of fish that is typically marinated in citrus and shallot. Pair it with rice and fresh cucumber for a refreshing and filling lunch. Any veg options work as well, and switch up your rice with quinoa.
Idaho: Lemony Smoked Trout Hash
Potatoes and wild trout is a quintessentially Idahoan dish. This lemony, lush take on the classic would be equally delightful and bright with smoked salmon.
Illinois: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Try your hand at homemade pizza with this traditional Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza recipe. Making your own crust is easier than you may imagine!
Indiana: Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Creamy Corn Relish
This Midwestern signature sandwich traditionally features a deep-fried pork cutlet that sprawls like the Great Plains over a comically overmatched bun. Our pork is more modestly sized. But the flourish here is creamy-tangy corn relish that makes the sandwich pop.
Iowa: Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie
Though a beloved pie classic, rhubarb has a strong tartness that sometimes needs moderating. Sweet raspberries do that job perfectly here, while a splash of crème de cassis adds even deeper berry flavor. A slice of this pie absolutely screams for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Kansas: Summer Succotash
"Every vegetable in a succotash has a slightly different cooking time that you need to respect," says Ashley Christensen, owner of seven Raleigh, North Carolina, restaurants. "The corn is right where it needs to be, while the tomatoes cook down a bit and act as a binder."
Kentucky: Bourbon-Peach Limeade
The flavors point South in this summertime refresher: peaches getting happy with bourbon. Freeze fresh peach and lime slices on a parchment-lined pan, and drop a few into your drink for a frosty garnish.
Louisiana: Oven-Fried Shrimp and Okra Po'boys
We buttermilk-battered shrimp and baked it in a hot oven to golden crispiness, adding fresh okra to the mix for some extra Gulf state color. Creamy caper-spiked remoulade keeps things moist, and hot dog buns make this Cajun country treat right-sized.
Maine: Grilled Lobster Tails
Put a fresh twist on a romantic dish: Miso brings salty umami notes to the sweet, succulent lobster.
Maryland: Simple Flaky Crab Cakes
These crab cakes hold together best with dry, finely ground whole-wheat breadcrumbs; if you use whole-wheat panko, they may fall apart in the pan. Chives have a delicate onion flavor that won't overpower the crab.
Massachusetts: Clam Chowder
No tricks here: Modest amounts of butter, bacon, and a mix of reduced-fat milk and half-and-half for richness enhance this version of a New England classic. Don’t forget a few oyster crackers.
Michigan: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge
When you can't get your hands on decadent Mackinac Island fudge, try your hand at this lighter version. Make the combination of peanut butter and chocolate even better by stirring in instant coffee granules and topping the fudge with chopped peanuts.
Minnesota: Fennel-Cured Halibut Gravlax
Like salmon, the usual choice for this Swedish delicacy, cured halibut is delicious. Depending on the size of the fillets, you may use two to five pieces. Don't use one large fillet, as the salt cure will not seep evenly throughout the fish.
Mississippi: Mud Pie
It may not be the prettiest pie, but many folks speculate this cross between a chocolate-bottomed pie and a chocolate cake was named for its textural similarity to the rich, gooey mud found all along America's greatest river.
Missouri: Chicken and Dumplings
It’s generally accepted that there are two regionally distinct dumpling styles—the Midwestern biscuit-like option and the Southern pasta-like version. This lightened-up dish is inspired by the Midwest's version, and it's rich and satisfying enough to be a meal.
Montana: Bison Chili with Chickpeas and Acorn Squash
This chili is a new take on the classic cold-weather, one-pot meal. It's amped up with rich ground bison, that takes the place of ground beef, and chunks of sweet acorn squash.
Nebraska: Reuben Sandwich
Some people assume the Reuben was created by the owner of Reuben’s Restaurant, a celebrity hot spot in New York City where the sandwich was popular. But the truth is that it was invented by Reuben Kulakofsky in Omaha, Nebraska, as a late-night snack for poker-playing friends.
Nevada: Seared Shrimp Cocktail with Tropical Chipotle-Avocado Salsa
Shrimp cocktail is a Las Vegas staple. This fresh take on the dish makes an impressive first course for a dinner party. Shrimp picks up flavor quickly and doesn't need to marinate for more than half an hour.
New Hampshire: Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle
These irresistible whole-grain goodies are Live Free or [to] Die [for].
New Jersey: Chicken Parmesan Over Zucchini Noodles
Enjoy a lighter version of this Italian-American pasta dish for your favorite weeknight meal with zucchini noodles. They add a punch of fiber, and a boost of nutrients to this classic dish in just two additional minutes.
Make this cheesy chicken dish part of your Cooking Light DIET meal plan. Sign up today.
New Mexico: Green Chile Cheeseburgers
Black bean patties make a savory, delicious alternative to beef. A poblano pepper can stand in for the Cubanelle.
New York: Pigs in a Blanket
Brooklyn Piggies, a food stand in Brooklyn, NY, serves up a version of this 1950s American cocktail appetizer that’s parallel to none. Light, flaky puff pastry encases quality sausage to create one of America's favorite indulgences. At home, substitute pizza dough for the puff pastry and turkey dogs for the sausage.
North Carolina: Southern Barbecue Bowl
Bread-and-butter pickles, pinto beans, coleslaw and pulled pork unite for a true Southern twist, y'all.
North Dakota: Rhubarb Jam Cheesecakes
Rhubarb is a tart summer treat in prairie states like North Dakota. These make-ahead cheesecakes are divine. Pull a cake out when you start making dinner, and it'll be ready for dessert. Now that's sweet!
In this classic confection from the Buckeye State, peanut butter and chocolate combine to create an adorable replica of an Ohio tree nut.
Oklahoma: Chicken-Fried Steak with Milk Gravy
Chicken-fried steak is part of Oklahoma's official state meal. The secret to this steak’s crispy crust is crumbled saltine crackers. To achieve a crispy outside and a tender inside, firmly push the cracker crumbs into the cube steak to fill crevices and to keep the steak from shrinking as it cooks.
Oregon: Marionberry Mojito
Let freedom ring while sipping on these summery cocktails (and mocktails).
First on the list is an updated mojito. Marionberries, an exceptionally juicy, slightly tart blackberry variety developed by Oregon State University, are perfect for this fizzy summer refresher. You can also use regular blackberries.