All posts by stateeats

Nashville Hot Chicken – Tennessee

Nashville is a fun town, boasting more than 160 live music venues, giving Music City its well-earned moniker. Hot chicken hails from these parts and was born from revenge. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Nashville Hot Chicken - Tennesseemay be the oldest establishment to make this dish, dating back to the 1930s. The story is that Thorton Prince III was a womanizer. His girlfriend found out about his philandering and added spicy cayenne pepper to his chicken to punish him. However, Prince liked it so much, he decided to open a chicken joint with it on the menu.

You can make Nashville Hot Chicken yourself with a little bit of patience as fried chicken takes a bit of time. Two tablespoons of cayenne pepper is not a typo and is unbelievably the amount called for if you want the chicken “mild.” Reduce to one tablespoon if you are really spice-adverse and increase to 6 tablespoons for “hot” ― if you dare.

Want to see the recording studio where Elvis recorded more than 250 hits? Check out Historic RCA Studio B, an unassuming beige brick building sometimes called the “Home of a Thousand Hits.” Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, and many others recorded here.

Nashville Hot Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the egg dredge:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot sauce

For the flour dredge:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For finishing:

  • Vegetable oil (for frying), 6 cups
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup used frying oil

Instructions

At least 3 hours before cooking, generously salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Let marinate in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, heat oil in a large pot with deep sides. Prepare egg dredge by combining eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow baking dish. In another shallow dish, prepare flour dredge by combining flour and salt. One at a time, dip chicken pieces first in egg dredge, then in flour dredge. When oil is 325 degrees, fry chicken, working in batches, frying a few pieces at a time. Turn pieces occasionally to achieve consistent color. When chicken is deep golden brown or reaches 160 degrees internally, remove to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet lined with newspaper or paper towels. Let oil temperature return to 325 between batches.

To finish: In a small bowl, combine cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Take ½ cup of the used cooking oil, and add to bowl. Stir well. With a brush, baste pieces of chicken with hot oil mixture. Serve chicken while still warm.

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The Best Cornbread – Oklahoma

Oklahoma had to be special and designate a state meal (the only other one in the country is the state meal of North Louisiana). It consists of cornbread, fried okra, barbeque pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, black eyed peas, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, and pecan pie.

Cornbread - Oklahoma

We’ll eventually get around to cooking some of these dishes but we went out of our way to try to find THE BEST cornbread recipe. We’ve been using the cornbread recipe off the back of the cornmeal canister for years with no complaints. But then we tried a few different recipes. No offense back-of-the-canister recipe, but this, recipe, whoa! The cornbread that emerged from the oven was sweet, dense, and moist. One stick of butter, two eggs and buttermilk will give you the best dang cornbread you’ve ever had.

For a completely different experience, visit Oklahoma City’s Museum of Osteology.   With over 300 skeletons on display, this privately held collection is one of the largest in the world.

Best Cornbread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick butter, melted in microwave
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda). Set aside. In a separate, larger bowl combine melted butter, sugar and honey. Add eggs and stir to combine, then add buttermilk. Gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated into wet ingredients. Do not over-stir. Pour batter into greased 8×8 pan. Smooth top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes and top is golden brown or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Thai Basil Chicken – Nevada

We read that there are 450 Thai restaurants in Las Vegas. While we couldn’t confirm that number, it does seem that every corner, block and strip mall has a Thai eatery, no doubt the result of a sizable

Thai Basil Chicken - Nevadapopulation of Thais who have immigrated to Clark County. If you are ever in Vegas, stand outs Lemongrass on the strip or Le Thai in downtown are worth the visit.

But if you can’t make it there, you can always try making Thai Basil Chicken. Basically a stir fry, this dish whips up very quickly as stir fries do. Try to find Thai holy basil which has a peppery kick, but if you can’t, regular basil will work. You can also omit the chili peppers if you don’t like heat.

One of the first reclamation projects along the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam is a sight to behold, supplying electricity to 100,000 households. Tours of the dam take place from 9:00 to 5:00 daily.

Thai Basil Chicken

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small chili peppers (such as red fresno or jalapeno), deveined and deseeded and diced
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup Thai holy basil (can sub other basil)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

In a wok or shallow sided pan, add a bit of olive oil and sauté garlic and chili peppers until fragrant, careful not to brown garlic. Add more oil, and then chicken. Sauté until chicken begins to brown. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Stir to combine (if mixture seems too dry, add additional oyster sauce and soy sauce by the teaspoon). Add basil and cook one minute longer, or until it begins to wilt. Serve with rice.

Moravian Sugar Cake – North Carolina

Pennsylvania to North Carolina is a damn long walk. But 15 Moravians (German speaking Protestants who were followers of

Moravian Sugar Cake - North Carolina

Czech priest and philosopher Jan Hus) took this walk in 1753 to begin their settlement of Bethabara, located where present day Winston-Salem sits. The Moravian Church continues to thrive, and this cake, often made during Christmas and Easter, is a wonderful Moravian treat.

Moravian Sugar Cake - North CarolinaDewey’s Bakery in Winston-Salem has been around for over 85 years and they make one of the finest. The fun part is poking the indentations in the dough with your finger, all the better to catch that wonderful buttery-brown sugar topping.

History comes alive at Old Salem Museum and Gardens, which presents an authentic view of early Southern life with a special emphasis on Moravians.

Dewey’s Bakery Moravian Sugar Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons mashed potatoes
  • 3 teaspoons powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 4 packages dry yeast (1 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup warm water

For topping:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

For dough: In a small bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg, shortening, salt, milk, mashed potato and sugar. With paddle attachment, mix for 4 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, then add 2 types of flour. Continue mixing. Add yeast mixture and mix another 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Grease a 12 x18 sheet cake pan with sides.  Punch dough down and roll it out so that it can fit into the pan. With a fork, poke holes into the dough. Shape into the pan, making sure the dough touches the sides of the pan.

For topping: In a small saucepan, combine, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat until boiling, then remove from heat. With a finger, poke indentations into the dough, making sure not to poke all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Pour the topping all over the dough, spreading with a brush, making sure it is evenly distributed. Let dough rise again, until doubled in height, about 30 minutes.

To finish cake: Bake in a 350 degree oven. At the 10 minute mark, check for bubbles. Pop any bubbles and continue baking for another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Pig Candy – Wyoming

Fries dipped into a milkshake. Chocolate covered pretzels. Prosciutto wrapped melon. Sweet and salty pairings may seem incongruous (see our recent Fluffernutter post) but they are actually delicious. Now comes Pig Candy (a.k.a. candied bacon) made famous

Pig Candy (aka candied bacon)

 

by Café Genevieve in Jackson Hole. You could order this online for princely sum, or try our recipe. Just leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t want the heat. You can also make this on the grill if you prefer.

The National Elk Refuge near Jackson Hole is a conservation area run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Its mission is to provide, preserve, restore, and manage the winter habitat for the Jackson Elk Herd. The refuge is also habitat for endangered species, birds, fish, and other big game animals.

Pig Candy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

With a fork, combine brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Lay bacon on slotted broiler pan with foil underneath to catch drippings. Spread half the brown sugar mixture in an even layer on the bacon, making sure there are no clumps of sugar. Place pan in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush on half of the maple syrup. Turn the bacon over and spread on the remaining brown sugar mixture, followed by the rest of the maple syrup. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until bacon is crisp and browned. Let cool completely before serving.

Fluffernutter – Massachusetts

October 8th is National Flutternutter Day. If you’ve never experienced the joy that is a flutternutter, let us indoctrinate you.

Marshmallow Fluff is actually celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Originally sold door to door in Somerville, Mass. by an

Fluffernutter - Massachusetts

enterprising fellow name Achibald Query, Boston candy company Durkee-Mower bought the recipe in 1917 for $500.

The sandwich dates back to WWI, when Snowflake Marshmallow Crème (an initial competitor of Durkee-Mower) began printing small brochures with the recipe, dubbing it a “Liberty Sandwich.” Durkee-Mower, however, really capitalized on the idea with a marketing campaign in the 1960s.

Catchy, right?? Even in black and white, this ad makes you want a fluffernutter RIGHT NOW. Luckily, this is a ridiculously easy sandwich to make and enjoy.

Quincy Market, which opened in 1826 in Boston, is a food-lovers mecca with over 50 restaurants and eateries, selling everything from lobster rolls to Boston cream pie.

Fluffernutter

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 slices, favorite soft bread
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Marshmallow Fluff

Instructions

Spread one piece of bread with peanut butter, the other with Marshmallow Fluff. Cement together and enjoy.

 

 

UP Pasties – Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is known for its pasties (pronounced pass-tee) which are meat pies, usually filled with potatoes, onions and carrots and sometimes rutabaga. The pasty

UP Pasties - Michigan

was brought to the UP by the Cornish who settled there to be copper miners. Much like it’s cousin, the pepperoni roll of West Virginia, the pasty was a quick, easy and filling meal that miners could pack for lunch. Bonus: it didn’t have to be heated to be delicious.

We loved this recipe, slighted adapted from one sent to us by reader Russell Primm. UP PastiesThe dough came together easily and the filling was delicious. Thanks Russ!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising hugs the shore of Lake Superior. With its dramatic sandstone cliffs and iconic sandstone feature called Miners Castle, this beautiful area offers all kinds of outdoor pursuits including hiking, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

UP Pasties

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 cup grated rutabaga
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

For dough:

In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and blend with a pastry blender. Add the ice water, a bit at a time until the dough comes together. Divide dough into 6 equal disks. Place between sheets of waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For filling and finishing pasties:

In the meantime, combine potatoes, onion, rutabaga and carrots in a very large bowl. Add ground beef. Stir until well combined.

Roll out each pasty dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle. Add a heaping cup of filling. Sprinkle filling with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of butter. Fold the dough over, forming a half moon. Roll the edges closed, slightly crimping with fingers, making sure the dough is sealed. Repeat with remaining dough disks. Place pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pasty to vent steam. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 20-30 more or until pasties are golden brown.

Whoopie Pies – Maine

Whoopie pies are the state treat of Maine (not be confused with the state dessert which is blueberry pie). Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine, takes credit for inventing this confection way back in 1925.

Whoopie Pies - Maine

Whoopie pies come in various flavors combinations (both the cake and the filling), but in our humble opinion, the classic recipe is really the epitome of a perfect dessert. The outside is two soft chocolate cakes, that surround a fluffy, vanilla marshmallow-y filling. YUM! We have been making this recipe for years and years to much acclaim. No one can resist a whoopie pie. Why would you even want to?

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is the second most visited national park east of the Mississippi. Visitors who make the trek up Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, can claim to be the first people to see the sun rise, at least for part of the year.

Whoopie Pies

  • Servings: 12-15 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar

For filling:

  • 2 cups marshmallow spread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

For cakes:

In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg and oil. Mix well until well combined. Add sugar and continue mixing, until well combined. With the mixer running, alternate adding the flour-cocoa mixture, with the milk mixture. Mix until just combined and no flour pockets appear in the batter.

Drop tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will yield between 24 and 30 cakes depending on the size. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until the tops spring up when touched. Let cool on wire rack.

For filling:

Combine marshmallow spread, confectioners sugar, butter and vanilla in a clean bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Filling should be light and fluffy. When cakes are completely cool, spread filling on half of the cakes. Put cakes together to form a sandwich.

Turkey, Orange and Rosemary Kebabs – Minnesota

The Gopher State is the number one producer of turkey in the country, raising approximately 44 to 46 million birds annually, according to the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. Turkey

Turkey, Orange and Rosemary Kebabs, Minnesota

has more protein than chicken or beef and is lower in calories and fat, making it a good, heart healthy choice.

Even if summer is slowly slipping away, we couldn’t resist this tasty kebab recipe. We can grill outside until it snows, right?

If you are Twin Cities bound, be sure to check out the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, part of the Walker Arts Center. Forty works are highlighted, including the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Turkey, Orange and Rosemary Kebabs

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

• 10 ounces orange marmalade
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
• 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoons orange zest
• 2 pounds boneless turkey breast, cut into 1-inch pieces (can use chicken)
• Salt
• Pepper
• Orange slices, cut thinly (optional)

Instructions
Place marmalade in a small sauce pan and heat until melted. Combine marmalade and next six ingredients (mustard through orange zest) in shallow dish or ziptop bag. Mix well. Liberally salt and pepper the turkey, then add to marinade, tossing until well coated. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, longer if you can.

When ready to grill, thread meat on skewers, along with orange slices, if using. Grill the kebabs, turning occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes.

Boiled Peanuts – Georgia

If you are driving in Georgia and see a “Boiled Peanuts” sign by the side of the road, by all means, pull over. Peanuts are one of the top products of the Peachtree state, along with peaches and pecans.

Boiled Peanuts - Georgia

Georgia produces a little over half of the peanuts in the country, with 1.7 million tons harvested in 2015. Boiled peanuts are one of those Southern specialties that are little known outside the region. Soft, salty and utterly addictive, this delicious snack is easy to make at home if you have a few hours. Be sure to use raw peanuts, not roasted, and keep a watch on them as the water will evaporate quickly at high heat.

Who is the most famous American presidential peanut farmer? Why, Jimmy Carter of course. Check out the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta. This museum and research institute houses 40,000,000 pages, 1,000,000 photographs, 2,200,000 feet of film, and 2,500 hours of video.

Boiled Peanuts

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 pound raw peanuts, in the shell
  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 gallons water

Instructions

In a large bowl, let peanuts soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain. In a large pot, bring peanuts, 3 gallons of water and salt to boil. Let boil for two to three hours or until peanuts reach desired consistency. If a very soft consistency desired, and more cooking time is needed, add more water if necessary. Drain and let cool before serving.