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    RecipesManiac.com   >   National + Regional Cookbooks   >   USA   >   Midwestern


    How to Cook dishes from United States Mid-West midwest


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    The Midwstern as an important center of grain production, and, as a reuslt, these states are sometimes known as "breadbasket of America". As a result, agricultural produce tends to form an important of Midwestern cuisine. In short, simple and hearty dishes, in many cases inspired by Eastern European cuisine (especially Polish cuisine), Scandinavian cuisine (especially Swedish cuisine), and other European cuisines (such as Greek cuisine), tend to be the core of the Midwestern diet.

    Some particular aspects of Midwestern cuisine to look out for, include:
    • Beef and pork are important meats. This is unsurprising given that Chicago and Kansas City are both centers of the beef trade, and that Iowa is known for its production of pork.

    • Dairy products are also important, given the the Midwest in general, and the state of Wisconsin in particular, are known for their milk and cheese production.

    • The upper Midwest is known for producing a range of cold-climate fruit, such as apples, berries, cranberries, cherries, and peaches.

    • Given the distance of the region from oceans, fish and seafood is not traditionally very important in Midwestern cuisine. Local freshwasher fish such as perch and trout are eaten to some extent, and are sometimes supplemented by canned (most often herring, salmon or tuna), and nowadays air-shipped seafood.
    Some popular Midwestern recipes and dishes include:
    • Chicago-style pizza - A very deep-dish pizza, originally from Chicago. It was probably originally invented at Pizzeria Uno.

    • Flat pizza - A thin and crunchy pizza, also originally from Chicago, cut into small squares. This style of pizza is sometimes known as "party cut".

      Flat pizza

    • Chicken Vesuvio - An Italian-American dish from Chicago. Chicken Vesuvio is chicken on the bone with wedges of potatoes, sautéed in white wine and olive oil, flavored with garlic and oregano, and baked until the chicken skin becomes crispy.

    • Congealed salad - A salad made from flavored gelatin, fruit, carrots and sometimes other vegetables as well. Various other ingredients such as pretzels, nuts, cream cheese, or marshmellows may also be added in some recipes.

    • Denver Omelette - A rich omelette containing bell peppers, onions, ham and bacon.

    • Fried-brain sandwich - A sandwich made from sliced calves' brains on sliced white bread toast. The dish is believed to have originated in St. Louis, Missouri, although it is no longer as popular there as it used to be. However, the dish is still eaten in some other parts of the Midwest. Concern about the BSE disease ("mad cow disease"), has no doubt had a impact on the popularity of the dish, and as a result, some eateries now base the dish on pigs' brains rather than cows' brains.

    • Horseshoe sandwich - This is an open-sandwich originally from Springfield, Illinois, and now popular throughout central Illinois. It is made from a thick slice of toasted sourdough bread, which is topped with hamburger patties or ham, then covered with French fries and a cheese-based sauce.

      Horseshoe sandwich

    • Meatloaf - Seasoned ground meat (usually beef with lamb, pork or veal), shaped into a loaf-shape and then baked. There are many different recipes, and the dish has of course become popular throughout the whole of the United States. In the Midwest, meatloaf is often eaten with gravy, although sometimes tomato or barbecue sauce are used instead.

    • Pierogi - Dumplings inspired by Eastern European cuisine, and especially Polish cuisine. In the United States, they often contain different ingredients from traditional recipes, including chicken, jalapeño, peppers, or spinach.

    • St. Louis-style pizza - This is a style of pizza that is popular in St. Louis, Missouri. It is made with a thin unleavened crust, and uses Provel processed cheese (a mix of cheddar, provolone chess, and Swiss cheese).

      St. Louis-style pizza

    • Shrimp DeJonghe - This is a shrimp casserole, originally from Chicago (it originated at DeJonghe's Hotel and Restaurant).

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    The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

    By Ree Drummond

    Harper Collins Publishers
    Released: 2009-10-27
    Hardcover (256 pages)

    The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
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    • ree drummond
    Product Description:

    My name is Ree. Some folks know me as "The Pioneer Woman."

    After years of living in Los Angeles, I made a pit stop in my hometown in Oklahoma on the way to a new, exciting life in Chicago. It was during my stay at home that I met Marlboro Man, a mysterious cowboy with steely blue eyes and a muscular, work-honed body. A strict vegetarian, I fell hard and fast, and before I knew it we were married and living on his ranch in the middle of nowhere, taking care of animals, and managing a brood of four young children. I had no idea how I'd wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

    The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a homespun collection of photography, rural stories, and scrumptious recipes that have defined my experience in the country. I share many of the delicious cowboy-tested recipes I've learned to make during my years as an accidental ranch wife—including Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler, and Cinnamon Rolls—not to mention several "cowgirl-friendly" dishes, such as Sherried Tomato Soup, Olive Cheese Bread, and CrÈme BrÛlÉe. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it's as easy as pie to follow along.

    You'll also find colorful images of rural life: cows, horses, country kids, and plenty of chaps-wearing cowboys.

    I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.

    A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail

    By Kent Rollins

    Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    Released: 2015-04-07
    Hardcover (256 pages)

    A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail
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    Product Description:
    Irresistible recipes from pantry ingredients by an authentic cowboy and TV veteran

    Whether he’s beating Bobby Flay at chicken-fried steak on the Food Network, catering for a barbecue, bar mitzvah, or wedding, or cooking for cowboys in the middle of nowhere, Kent Rollins makes comfort food that satisfies. This gifted cook, TV contestant, and storyteller takes us into his frontier world with simple food anyone can do.

    A cowboy’s day starts early and ends late. Kent offers labor-saving breakfasts like Egg Bowls with Smoked Cream Sauce. For lunch or dinner, there’s 20-minute Green Pepper Frito Pie, hands-off, four-ingredient Sweet Heat Chopped Barbecue Sandwiches, or mild and smoky Roasted Bean-Stuffed Poblano Peppers. He even parts with his prized recipe for Bread Pudding with Whisky Cream Sauce. (The secret to its lightness? Hamburger buns.) Kent gets creative with ingredients on everyone’s shelves, using lime soda to caramelize Sparkling Taters and balsamic vinegar to coax the sweetness out of Strawberry Pie.

    With stunning photos of the American West and Kent’s lively tales and poetry, A Taste of Cowboy is a must-have for everyone who loves good, honest food and wants a glimpse of a vanishing way of life.

    Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes

    By Ronni Lundy

    Ronni Lundy
    Released: 2016-08-30
    Hardcover (320 pages)

    Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes
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    • Victuals An Appalachian Journey with Recipes
    Product Description:
    Winner of the James Beard Foundation Book of the Year Award and Best Book, American Cooking, Victuals is an exploration of the foodways, people, and places of Appalachia.

    Written by Ronni Lundy, regarded as the most engaging authority on the region, Victuals guides us through the surprisingly diverse history--and vibrant present--of food in the Mountain South. Victuals explores the diverse and complex food scene of the Mountain South through recipes, stories, traditions, and innovations. Each chapter explores a specific defining food or tradition of the region--such as salt, beans, corn (and corn liquor). The essays introduce readers to their rich histories and the farmers, curers, hunters, and chefs who define the region's contemporary landscape. Sitting at a diverse intersection of cuisines, Appalachia offers a wide range of ingredients and products that can be transformed using traditional methods and contemporary applications. Through 80 recipes and stories gathered on her travels in the region, Lundy shares dishes that distill the story and flavors of the Mountain South.

    Epicurious: Best Cookbooks of 2016

    Talk About Good Cookbook

    By Louisiana Lafayette Junior League

    Junior League of Lafayette
    Spiral-bound (450 pages)

    Talk About Good Cookbook
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    Product Description:
    This cookbook takes you on a journey throuh south Louisiana's traditions, cultural heritage and the culinary artisries of Cajun food. It is in it's 23rd printng with over 70,000 copies sold. Winner of McIlhenny Hall of Fame Award.

    Cheers to the Publican, Repast and Present: Recipes and Ramblings from an American Beer Hall

    By Paul Kahan & Rachel Holtzman

    Lorena Jones Books
    Released: 2017-09-19
    Hardcover (336 pages)

    Cheers to the Publican, Repast and Present: Recipes and Ramblings from an American Beer Hall
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    Product Description:
    The highly anticipated narrative-rich cookbook by Chicago’s superstar chef, Paul Kahan, whose destination restaurant, The Publican, is known for its incredibly delicious pork- and seafood-centric, beer-friendly cooking. 

    The Publican, often named one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants, conjures a colonial American beer hall with its massive communal tables, high-backed chairs, deep beer list, and Kahan’s hallmark style of crave-worthy heartland cooking that transcends the expected and is eminently cookable. Cheers to The Publican is Paul Kahan’s and Executive Chef Cosmo Goss’s toast to the food they love to make and share, the characters who produce the ingredients that inspire them, and the other cooks they honor. Larded with rich story-telling and featuring more than 150 evocative photographs and 150 recipes for vegetables and salads, fish and seafood, meat, simple charcuterie, and breads and spreads, Cheers to The Publican is sure to be one of the most talked-about and cooked-from cookbooks of the year.

    Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience

    By Ron Faiola

    Brand: Agate Midway
    Hardcover (224 pages)

    Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience
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    Wisconsin Supper Clubs is a resource for and about supper clubs throughout Wisconsin that includes beautiful photographs of the unique supper club interiors, proprietors, and customers, as well as fascinating archival materials. Also recorded in this book are the regional specialties served at these clubs, ranging from popovers and fried pickles in the northern part of the state to Shrimp de Jonghe in the south. One Northwoods supper club even features fry bread, a traditional Native American dish uncommon to most any restaurant.

    The "supper club experience" is a tradition embodied by many long-standing restaurants scattered throughout the small towns of Wisconsin. It is based around a bygone idea that going out to dinner is an experience that lasts an entire evening. The clubs emphasizing food made from scratch, slow-paced dining, and family-run businesses. Combine this with stately dark-panel decor, complimentary relish trays, and the best brandy Old Fashioned sweet you'll ever have, and you have barely scratched the surface of the Wisconsin supper club's appeal.

    Author Ron Faiola is the critically acclaimed director and producer of the documentary by the same name. Supper clubs are hugely popular with Wisconsin locals and regularly frequented by all Midwestern foodies "in the know." With Wisconsin Supper Clubs as a guide, these establishments are primed to be choice summer road trip destinations for anyone looking for low-cost vacations this summer. After the successful debut of Faiola's documentary, this book is sure to be a hit throughout the region and beyond.

    A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend: How to live a healthy veggie life . . . and still eat treats

    By Emma Chapman

    Chronicle Books
    Released: 2017-11-07
    Hardcover (208 pages)

    A Beautiful Mess Weekday Weekend: How to live a healthy veggie life . . . and still eat treats
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    Product Description:
    A Beautiful Mess is one of the most popular DIY style blogs in the world, with more than 1 million readers. Co-creators (and sisters) Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson share their unique and approachable diet with fans and healthy eaters in this, their first cookbook. Their philosophy involves eating responsibly during the week—avoiding refined flours, sugars, alcohol, and dairy—and indulging on weekends. Vetted by nutritionists and divided into four parts (breakfast, meals, snacks and sweets, and drinks), each containing a weekday and weekend chapter. Featuring an attractive textured case vibrant photographs, this one-of-a-kind book makes a special gift for yourself or a friend looking for a lifestyle change—or simply more healthy and delicious go-to recipes!

    Vegetarian Heartland: Recipes for Life's Adventures

    By Shelly Westerhausen

    Westerhausen Shelly
    Released: 2017-06-20
    Hardcover (272 pages)

    Vegetarian Heartland: Recipes for Life s Adventures
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    • Vegetarian Heartland Recipes for Life s Adventures
    Product Description:
    Showcasing the heartland dishes we all love made vegetarian, this cookbook provides a literal and visual feast of creative, generous cooking that's born in the traditions of the Midwest but transcends geographic boundaries. Celebrated photographer and blogger Shelly Westerhausen presents 100 wholesome, meatless recipes for everything from drinks to desserts. Thoughtfully organized by the adventures that make a weekend special—picnics, brunch, camping and more—this gloriously photographed book will inspire folks to eat well, wherever their vegetarian ventures lead them. Celebrating a fresh perspective in food, here's a new go-to that's perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking for more delicious vegetable-forward meals.

    Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories

    By Jerry Apps

    Wisconsin Historical Society Press
    Paperback (320 pages)

    Old Farm Country Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, and Memories
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    Product Description:
    When Jerry Apps was growing up on a Wisconsin farm in the 1930s and 1940s, times were tough. Yet most folks living on farms had plenty to eat. Preparing food from scratch was just the way things were done, and people knew what was in their food and where it came from. Delicious meals were at the center of every family and social affair, whether it be a threshing-day dinner with all the neighbors, the end-of-school-year picnic, or just a hearty supper after chores were done. As Jerry writes, "For me food will always be associated with times of good eating, storytelling, laughter, and good-hearted fun."

    Inspired by the dishes made by his mother, Eleanor, and featuring recipes found in her well-worn recipe box, Jerry and his daughter, Susan, take us on a culinary tour of life on the farm during the Depression and World War II. Seasoned with personal stories, menus, and family photos, Old Farm Country Cookbook recalls a time when electricity had not yet found its way to the farm, when making sauerkraut was a family endeavor, and when homemade ice cream tasted better than anything you could buy at the store.

    Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories

    By Jocelyn Delk Adams

    Agate Surrey
    Hardcover (224 pages)

    Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories
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    Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm, Soulful Memories is the debut cookbook from sensational food writer, Jocelyn Delk Adams. Since founding her popular recipe blog Grandbaby Cakes in 2012, Adams has been putting fresh twists on old favorites. Adams has earned praise from critics and the adoration of bakers both young and old for her easygoing advice, rich photography, and the heartwarming memories she shares of her family’s generations-old love of baking.

    As a child, Adams and her family would routinely embark on the ten-hour journey from their home in Chicago to Winona, Mississippi. There, she would watch her grandmother, affectionately nicknamed Big Mama, bake and develop delicious, melt-in-your-mouth desserts. From blooming tree-picked fruit to farm-raised eggs and fresh-churned butter, Big Mama used what was readily available to invent completely original treats. Adams treasured the moments when her mother, aunt, and Big Mama would bring her into the kitchen to let her dabble in the process as a rite of passage. Big Mama’s recipes became the fabric of their family heritage. Grandbaby Cakes is Adams’s love note to her family, thanking those who came before and passing on this touching tradition with 50 brilliant cakes.

    Grandbaby Cakes pairs charming stories of Big Mama’s kitchen with recipes ranging from classic standbys to exciting adventures—helpfully marked by degree of difficulty—that will inspire your own family for years to come. Adams creates sophisticated flavor combinations based on Big Mama’s gorgeous centerpiece cakes, giving each recipe something familiar mixed with something new. From pound cakes and layer cakes to sheet cakes and "baby" cakes (cupcakes and cakelettes), Grandbaby Cakes delivers fun, hip recipes perfect for any celebration.

    Readers will love this cookbook for its eclectic and bold recipes steeped in equal parts warm Southern charm and fresh Midwestern flavors. Not only will home bakers be able to make staples like yellow cake and icebox cake exactly how their grandmothers did, but they’ll also be preparing impressive innovations, like the Pineapple Upside-Down Hummingbird Pound Cake and the Fig-Brown Sugar Cake. Grandbaby Cakes is a collection for both new-aged and traditional bakers, but mostly it’s for anyone who wants a fresh, modern take on classic recipes as well as cakes full of heart and soul.

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