Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post: 7 Great Recipes for Regional Foods

Today's guest post is brought to you by Katie, a produced screenwriter who has just recently joined the blogging world. She's here to introduce us to great foods found around the U.S., so give her a big welcome! 

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By Katie Fetting-Schlerf

One of the great joys of travelling the United States is the variety of food one finds.  From the seafood of the coasts to the “comfort food” of the inland areas, America is a melting pot – not just of people, but of taste buds. Our collective palate is at times mild and conservative, while at others hot and spicy. Regardless of the state, however, the local cuisine is always interesting.

Below are seven of the best recipes for regional foods from a variety of my favorite culinary websites. Cook away!

ALASKA – Alaskan Halibut Lasagna

While a lot of Alaska jobs relate to CATCHING fish, a few select gigs go to those who cook it. This dish, a spin on the traditional Italian staple, feels both gourmet and simple at the same time.

6 tbs butter or margarine, divided
1 1/2 lbs halibut steaks, bones removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Minced fresh parsley

1.     In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs butter.  Add halibut, garlic and thyme.  Cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
2.     Add the remaining butter to the skillet.  Stir in flour and salt until smooth; cook and stir until golden brown.  Gradually add broth and cream.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
3.     In a greased 13x9x2 baking dish, layer half of the noodles, halibut, white sauce and cheese.  Repeat layers.  Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Uncover; bake 20 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.


HAWAII – Oven Kalua Pork

Hawaiians are perfect at fall-of-the-bone brilliance.  Their roasting is about the best in the country – sometimes even cooking the meat subterranean-style in deep pits underground. has a great version of this on their website.

THE EAST – Maine Lobster

Maine Lobsters are famous throughout the world for their hard shells and soft meat.  Dip these guys in some lemon butter and you can experience heaven on Earth.  Check out for a great boiled lobster recipe.


Nothing says The South like breading and frying.  Southern Living’s Po Boy seafood recipe combines the succulence of shrimp with the crunchy goodness of a perfect batter.


It’s easy to imagine a bunch of cowboys huddled around a fire shoveling in mouthfuls of this thick, Southwestern delicacy.  Don’t mess with Texas (chili).  You can thank for this mouth-watering dish.

THE MIDWEST – Chicago Pizza

Between the ‘dems and ‘deres (I’m from there, so I can say that!), there are a lot of YUMS when deep dish pizza hits the table.

THE WEST COAST – Salmon with Creamy Lime Sauce

While possibly not as healthy as a lot of California fare, this Salmon with Creamy Lime Sauce (courtesy of is just perfect for indulging a little sanctity (the salmon) with some sin (the sauce).

Katie is a big fan of cooking and an even bigger fan of eating.  She loves experimenting in the kitchen, frequently setting off her fire alarm in the pursuit of culinary magnificence.  If she weren’t busy cooking, she would probably be reading, leaping tall buildings in a single bound or lecturing tourists as an Alaska tour guide.

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