Tag Archives: Parmesan cheese

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
  • Time: 20 min.
  • 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.

True Grit: Shrimp and Grits – North Carolina

Grits are about as synonymous with the South as sweet tea and pulled pork barbeque. For those unfamiliar, grits are made with stone-ground cornmeal. Think of them as the southern version of polenta.

Shrimp and grits North Carolina

 

Grits are a carb that can be dressed up sweet — with a little pat of butter and maple syrup — or like in this recipe, savory — with cheese. The quintessential pairing of shrimp and grits is one that you will find in kitchens from Wilmington to Charlotte with tons of variations in between. We like this version, which is slightly adapted from Saveur. Just don’t use instant grits which are gluey and bland. To quote the 1992 film classic My Cousin Vinny, “no self-respectin’ Southerner uses instant grits.”

Wilmington is home to the annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, April 6-10, 2016. Celebrate spring with arts and crafts shows, entertainment, kids’ activities, a street fair and live music.

Shrimp and Grits

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white stone ground grits
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 lb. medium peeled shrimp (about 30)
  • 6 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in grits. Cook on low, whisking frequently, until grits are cooked through and are tender and creamy, about 30-40 minutes. Add cheeses and 1 tablespoon butter. Salt to taste. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towel. Set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Using the same pan over medium-high heat, cook the shrimp until pink and no longer opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Return heat to high, add broth. Scrape browned bits from pan and then let liquid reduce by about half. Return shrimp to pan, then add lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and hot sauce. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Season again with salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, divide grits into 4 portions. Add shrimp and sauce. Top with bacon and scallions.

Ooooh La La: Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms – Maine

Lobster is not the official state food of Maine, but it should be, with the love of the crustacean evident from lobster shacks that dot the coastline from Portland to Bar Harbor.  We’ve talked before about

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms - Maine

how lobster is a major component of the Pine Tree state’s economy with 121 million pounds landed in 2015 with a value of over $495 million, according to the state’s Department of Marine Resources.

So rich and delicious, lobster is a once-in-a while pricy indulgence that usually marks special occasions. However, if you want to fancify your next dinner or cocktail party without shelling out the major bucks, this recipe is perfect. One cup of lobster meat goes a long way with these stuffed mushrooms. Since it’s chopped finely, you can opt for the claws rather than the more expensive tail meat and no one will be the wiser.

The Maine Science Festival takes place March 18-20, 2016, in Bangor. Enjoy free lectures, demonstrations and exhibits on everything from brain anatomy to aquaculture.

Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 large mushrooms
  • 1 cup cooked lobster (about 1/2 lb.)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

In a small sauté pan, add olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sauté until shallot becomes translucent. While the shallot and garlic is cooking, gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and set on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, add cooked lobster, cooked shallot and garlic, oregano, breadcrumbs, and parmesan. Mix well and then season with salt and pepper. Stuff each of the mushrooms with the breadcrumb lobster mixture. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Add small slice of cheddar cheese on top of each mushroom and parsley if using. Bake five more minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbling.

 

 

Feeling Crabby: Crab Crostini Melts – Delaware

Delaware is the second smallest state, and while only 30 miles wide, it also has 117 miles of coastline. Beaches and the shore make up a big part of the state’s culture and we’ve talked before about how the blue crab is a vital part of the state’s economy.

Crab Crostini Melts - Delaware

We created this this lovely little appetizer for a recent pool party and it was a big hit. You can spend a lot of money on crab meat but since this is basically gussied up crab salad topped with tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, save your money for good cocktails.

If bird watching is your thing, check out Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Dover, with its stellar interpretive programs and photography opportunities.

 

Crab Crostini Melts

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 12 ounces crabmeat
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pepper
  • Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Paprika
  • Small baguette, sliced

Instructions

Preheat broiler. Slice the baguette and place pieces on a baking tray. Broil both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Combine first five ingredients. Season with pepper. Add crab mixture onto crostini. Top with a half tomato slice and then Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on paprika. Broil again until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

Clamoring for More:- New Haven White Clam Pizza – Connecticut

The Nutmeg State’s second largest city, New Haven, is identified with the white clam pizza.  If you’ve never tasted the savory sensation that is white clam pizza, well then friends, you’ve been missing out. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana on Wooster Street claims

New Haven White Clam Pizza

to be the originator of this dish which dates back to the 1960s when the restaurant served little neck clams as an appetizer.  Presumably, Frank didn’t think it much of a stretch to toss some clams and parmesan cheese on top of dough and call it “apizza” (ah-beets as the locals still say).

A couple of tips about white clam pizza: We don’t recommend using canned clams. They will be way too chewy. Frozen will work in a pinch but your best bet, as usual, is freshly steamed. We’ve told you before here and here how to steam clams. It really is easy so don’t be intimidated.  Also, please note that the recipe below makes enough dough for two pizzas but the amount of clams and cheese is for only one pizza. Just double the amounts if you want to make two pizzas.

If you dig all things nautical, check out Mystic Seaport, the nation’s leading maritime museum with four national historic landmark vessels including the 1841 whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan, the country’s oldest commercial ship still in existence.

New Haven White Clam Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1 hour, 30 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust (will make enough for two crusts):

  • I package yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

For pizza (double these amounts if you will be making two pizzas):

  • 25-30 little neck clams
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely minced
  • Olive oil

Instructions

To make crust: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in ½ cup warm water. Let sit until mixture begins to foam. Add rest of water and olive oil.  Add 3 ½ cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Mix with a stand mixer fitted with dough hooks until well combined. If dough is too sticky add a quarter cup of flour at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bowl. Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, about 40-55 minutes. Divide into two. Set aside one crust for a different kind of pizza or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

To steam clams: Pick through clams and discard any with cracked or damaged shells. Soak for 20 minutes in fresh water. Lift them out of the water bath (do not strain) and brush them vigorously to get rid of any excess sand. Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a large pot. Turn down heat to medium. Add clams and cover. Steam about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shells just start to open. Do not overcook as clams will cook again on the pizza. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard any clams that do not open. Once shells are cool enough to handle, open shells, extract and chop meat coarsely.

To make pizza:  Preheat oven to 550 degrees with pizza stone inside if using. Place the ball of dough down on a well-floured work surface. Using the heel of your hand, press down to flatten. Lift the dough onto a round pan or pizza paddle sprinkled with corn meal. Continuing pressing and shaping the dough.  If dough is too springy, let rest about 10 minutes until the gluten relaxes, then proceed. Once dough is the appropriate size, press and shape a ½ inch crust on the edge. Brush dough with olive oil. Add Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic and then clams. If using a pizza paddle, transfer pizza onto baking stone that has been preheating in oven. Bake at 550 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until the dough is browned and the cheese is golden. Finish with additional olive oil if desired.

Mississippi’s Mighty Fish

 Mississippi’s famed Delta region in the northwest section of the state is well known for its flat agricultural expanse, its home-grown blues music, and its whiskered (and very tasty) ambassador – the catfish. If you’ve never tried catfish, you’re missing out on one of the South’s most iconic foods. This quirky-looking freshwater swimmer is found on the menu in fish shacks and at family and community gatherings all throughout the South, and particularly in Mississippi, which is the nation’s largest producer of farm-raised catfish. For traditionalists, this fish is typically deep-fried in a cornmeal coating and served with hushpuppies and coleslaw, but it also can be easily broiled, grilled or baked. We opted to try out a recipe that serves up a heaping helping of flavor with the ease that comes from throwing a pan in the oven.

MISSCatfish.046 sign

 

 

This fish is so treasured in the state that the area around Humphreys County (including the town of Belzoni) is known as the Continue reading Mississippi’s Mighty Fish