Smoked Salmon Dip – Alaska

 We’ve talked before about Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, a.k.a. King Salmon, a.k.a Chinook salmon, the state fish of Alaska. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in heart health,

Smoked Salmon Dip - Alaska

 

reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of stroke.

We especially love the flavor of smoked salmon. We’ve been buying Costco’s Alaskan version for several years now (they also carry Norwegian smoked salmon). Wild caught, it contains no artificial colors or preservatives. We took a few liberties with Ina Garten’s

Smoked salmon dip Smoked Salmon Dip. Double this recipe if you’re having a party, otherwise, it’s the perfect amount for a pre-dinner nibble with some raw veggies and crackers.

Rising over 20,000 feet, Denali is North America’s tallest mountain. Sitting amid 9,400 square miles of parkland, this jewel in the national park system is bigger than the state of New Hampshire and contains only one road.

Smoked Salmon Dip

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

 In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, mix cream cheese with yogurt until smooth. Add lemon juice and horseradish. Mix again. With a wooden spoon, add salmon and mix until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled with crudité and crackers.

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Czech Kolaches – South Dakota

We’ve talked before about how kuchen is South Dakota’s official state dessert, but you might not be aware the close runner-up were kolaches (koh-LAH-chees). This tasty pastry was brought to the

Czeck Kolaches - South Dakota

Mount Rushmore State from immigrating Czechs around the middle of the 19th century to the southern part of the state. In fact, tiny Tabor (population 413), holds Czech Days every year and kolaches are a huge draw.

Kolaches can be made with a variety of fillings including cream cheese, poppy seed, prune and even savory elements like sausage and cabbage. We tried our hand at apricot and cherry as we thought those were the real crowd pleasers and we were not disappointed. Great with a cup of coffee or tea, we found ourselves sneaking just one more . . . and then another.

If spelunking is your thing, check out Wind Cave National Park, located in the southern part of the Black Hills National Forest. With over 143 miles of winding passageways under only 1.2 square mile of surface area, and housing a unique cave formation known as boxwork, this cave system is not to be missed.

Czech Kolaches

  • Servings: 24 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1¼ cup warm milk, divided
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For Apricot Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

For Cherry Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • ¾ cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup milk, sugar, yeast and ¼ cup flour. Let stand for 15 minutes or until mixture becomes frothy. Add remaining flour and milk, then butter, egg and lemon zest. Mix with a dough hook on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, about 4 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To make fillings: While you are waiting for the pastry to rise, make the fillings. For the apricot, in a small sauce pan, add orange juice and dried apricots. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until apricots are very soft. Remove from heat and add sugar. Let cool. Add to bowl of food processor, along with rum and process until well combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

For the cherry filling, in a small saucepan add cherry juice, sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat. Add cherries. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

To assemble kolaches: Punch down dough. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape with hands into flattened balls. Place dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. Cover with tea towels and let rise until puffed, about 35-45 minutes. With your fingers, make a deep indentation in the center of the ball leaving a generous lip so the filling does not ooze out. Drop mounded tablespoons of filling in the center of each pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

 

New York System Hot Wieners – Rhode Island

Calling all hot dog aficionados. Yes, we acknowledge that the name of this dish is confusing. Why are Rhode Island hot dogs called “New York System Hot Wieners”? As best we can determine, New York

NY System Wieners - Rhode Island

System is a nod to New York’s Coney Island and might have been used as a marketing strategy at the turn of the century. These dogs, usually a mixture of veal and pork with a super snappy casing, are doused with yellow mustard, then a chili beef mixture, raw chopped onions, and finally a dusting of celery salt. Of course, every Rhode Island hot dog joint and every Rhode Island family has their favorite recipe so a quick Google search will yield many variations. We tinkered with the spices a bit and came up with this recipe which we think you will love, not too sweet but definitely sassy. It’ll elevate your dogs from humdrum to wicked good. These would be a welcome addition to any Memorial Day celebration no matter what part of the country you happen to be.

The Cliff Walk in Newport was designated a National Recreation Trail way back in 1975. This three and a half mile walk hugs the eastern shore of Newport with stunning ocean vistas on one side and the backyards of Gilded Age mansions on the other.

New York System Hot Wieners

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 16 hot dogs, cooked
  • 16 hot dog buns
  • Yellow mustard
  • Chopped onion (for garnish)
  • Celery salt (for garnish)

Instructions

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Once melted, add onion, cook until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, approximately 15 minutes. Break up large chunks of meat with potato masher. Add Worcestershire sauce, spices and ¼ cup water. Stir until spices are completely incorporated.

To prepare wieners, microwave buns for 15 seconds. Add hot dog, mustard, approximately two tablespoons of beef mixture and chopped onion. Top with celery salt.

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread – Kansas

Kansas is the largest wheat producing state, growing almost one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States. An acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day which is why the Sunflower State is sometimes called the

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread - Kansas

“Breadbasket of the World.” We decided to bring you this Parmesan Basil Beer Bread as it features both beer and flour, both of which are wheat products. This bread is a quick bread (no yeast) so it comes together quite quickly and easily. Use whatever beer you like to drink as the flavor will come through in the bread. The StateEats kids gobbled this bread down one sunny Saturday morning with just a slathering of butter.

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark is off the beaten path about 25 miles outside of Oakley, Kansas, but is worth the drive to see chalk formations rising out of the prairie. Some formations are over 70 feet high and contain fossilized sea life.

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of beer
  • 1 ½ cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl add flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Add beer, mix until combined. Add cheese and basil and stir until incorporated. Drop batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

Cheese Frenchee – Nebraska

Do you like grilled cheese? Ok, we admit, that’s like asking if you like to breathe. OF COURSE you like grilled cheese. Grilled cheese with tomato soup was the backbone of many an American childhood. Well, a Cheese Frenchee is a grilled cheese only kicked up about

Cheese Frenchee

thirteen notches. Purportedly invented by a drive-in restaurant chain called Kings Food Host in Omaha, Nebraska, this lunch-time marvel is a fried grilled cheese. The wonderful texture is thanks to the sandwich being dipped first in an egg/milk mixture, and then

Cheese Frenchee
Cheese Pull!

corn flake crumbs. Kings used American cheese, but you can use whatever type of cheese you like, as long as it melts well. Grilled cheese just died and went to heaven.

 

If you are visiting Omaha, check out the Joslyn Castle. Built at the turn of the century for socialites George and Sarah Joslyn, this stunning Scottish baronial mansion once housed a bowling alley and later served as headquarters for Omaha Public Schools.

Cheese Frenchee

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 pieces white bread, crusts removed
  • 4-6 slices melting cheese, such as mozzarella, gouda, havarti
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of milk
  • 3/4 cup corn flake crumbs
  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

Assemble the cheese sandwiches. In a dish or shallow bowl, beat egg with splash of milk. In a separate dish, place corn flake crumbs. Dip sandwich in egg mixture, coating both sides of the bread. Dip in corn flake crumbs, again coating both sides of bread. Repeat with other sandwich. Heat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Fry sandwiches 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars – Kentucky

It’s Derby Week! Yes, the Kentucky Derby is one of the fastest sporting events, clocking in at around two minutes, but it’s oh so much fun, even if you simply watch on TV with a few friends. If you

Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan Bars - Kentucky

do decide to host a viewing party, be sure to include mint juleps (see our recipe for the hands down best way to pump up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns, (a turkey sandwich fancied up with mouthwatering Mornay sauce and then topped with tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese). The traditional sweet finish is Bourbon Pecan Pie but if you want the same flavors in an easier to eat form, try these Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars. The shortbread cookie crust is a great base for the bourbon-laced filling.

Can’t make it to the Kentucky Derby? Don’t fret. You can take a variety of different tours of Churchill Downs after the crowds disperse.

Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

   For Cookie Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

 For Filling: 

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

For cookie crust: In the bowl of food processer, add flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter pieces and process until dough forms. Press into bottom of a greased 8X8 pan, being sure to add about a quarter of an inch around the sides of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven or just until cookie crust begins to brown. Remove and let stand.

For filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add butter and brown sugar. Mix until creamed. Add eggs and bourbon, mix until incorporated. Add flour, chocolate chips and pecans. Mix until just incorporated. Pour filling on top of cookie crust and smooth to the edges. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until filling is firm and top is light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Honey Lavender Lemonade – Utah

It may surprise you to know that almost every state has a state insect. Utah’s state insect is the European honeybee, so designed in

Honey Lavender Lemonade - Utah

1983 after the lobbying efforts of schoolchildren. What’s more, Utah adopted the beehive as its official emblem in 1959. The beehive symbolizes the industry, perseverance and thrift of Utah’s first settlers.

Fitting then, that we should feature a recipe with honey as one of culinary lavenderthe ingredients. We recently were gifted with some pure culinary lavender (thanks Mom!) and thought that it would be the perfect addition to this honey lemonade. We love how the lavender turns the lemonade slightly pink. The taste is subtle, but if you want a stronger lavender flavor, add a bit more than one tablespoon and/or steep for longer than 30 minutes.

Visit Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. The park is a red rock paradise with over 2,000 natural stone arches.

Honey Lavender Lemonade

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon culinary lavender
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, add 2 ½ cups water and honey. On medium heat, bring to steaming or until honey dissolves. Remove from heat, add lavender. Let steep 20-30 minutes. Strain liquid into a pitcher. Add lemon juice and additional 2 ½ cups water. Mix well. Serve chilled.

Would You Like Fries with That: Pittsburgh Salad

A Pittsburgh salad is a unique, regional dish that few outsiders know about. Well, we here in the StateEats Kitchen are about to break open the lid on one of the best taste sensations east of the Monongahela River. The recipe, purportedly created in the 1960s at a drive-in called Jerry’s Curb Service, can vary a bit.

Pittsburgh Salad

The greens are usually romaine. Toss on a few veggies, usually English cucumber, red onion and tomatoes, but add whatever you like. Thinly sliced steak is the most common protein, (use your favorite) but you can sub in chicken if you’d prefer. Add some shaved Parmesan cheese, or crumbled blue if you want to get crazy. However, the two “musts” for this dish include crunchy croutons and French fries. Yes, you read that right. Croutons and FRIES. We might have died and gone to heaven. Anytime you can turn something virtuous into something a little bit naughty is a win in our book. Top with ranch dressing and have it at. You’re welcome.

Check out the Andy Warhol Museum right near the confluence of the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. Pittsburgh’s native son is honored with seven floors of prints, sculpture, paintings, film and video, and other documents of the artist’s life.

Pittsburgh Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3-4 steaks, grilled and then thinly sliced
  • 6 cups chopped romaine salad
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly
  • Baby tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved or cheese of your choice
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Ranch dressing

Instructions

Top romaine salad with cuke, red onion, and baby tomatoes or vegetables of your choice. Add sliced steak, the croutons and fries. Top with dressing.

Dippin’ Chicken: Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Barbeque sauce takes on a different meaning depending where you are in the country. North Carolina has their vinegar based sauce. South Carolina likes their mustard based sauce. Kansas City sauce is on the sweeter side with the addition of brown sugar and/or

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

molasses, while Memphis BBQ sauce is a little more balanced. And the Texans, they like to add tomato sauce or tomato paste to their barbeque sauce.

Now comes Alabama White Barbeque Sauce. This mayo-based sauce was created by Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama and will elevate your barbequed chicken to something near heavenly. Bonus points for being super easy to whip up with ingredients you probably have on hand, this is one unique sauce that you need to try.

Get your Great Gatsby on by visiting the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum in Montgomery, a house the couple rented in the 1930s. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, shaved on a microplane
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk together. Spoon over chicken or pork after it is cooked. This will keep up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel – Vermont

Sniff around outside in the Green Mountain state from early late March to late April, and you’ll suddenly be struck with a craving for pancakes. That delicious smell is from sugarmakers who are

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel - Vermont

processing and boiling the sap of sugar maples to make Vermont’s most famous product, maple syrup. We’ve talked before here and here about how maple is the official state flavor (pretty cool to have one of those, right?).

This apple strudel recipe calls for maple syrup both in the filling and also in the glaze on top. Using puff pastry for the dough makes it super easy, too. If you don’t like pecans leave them out or add a ¼ cup of raisins to the filling if you are so inclined.

Check out the Maple Open House Weekend, March 25-26, 2017, when sugarhouses across the state of Vermont give tours, demos and samples.

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

 For Strudel:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 large tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll out with a rolling pin until it is 12 by 12 inches. Peel the apples, core them, then slice thinly. Sprinkle with lemon juice so they do not brown. In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of pecans. Mix well. Add apples and stir until they are well coated. Place apple mixture on one half of the puff pastry. Fold over the other half and pinch the edges closed. Gently lift onto a parchment lined baking sheet and turn seam side down. Cut 3 vents in top of puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush top and sides with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if glaze is too stiff, add a teaspoon of milk at a time to reach desired consistency). When strudel is cooled, add maple glaze, then sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pecans.

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