American food is no longer just steak, potatoes and apple pie. Over the past 50 years, dishes that were once exotic have become part of the American menu. Remember Spaghetti and Meatballs? Shrimp Egg Foo Yung? Here, for the first time, David Rosengarten has created a definitive cookbook of truly American favourites, ranging from coast to coast, back into the past, and into the cuisines that have merged with the American mainstream in recent decades. Rosengarten places authentic Cajun recipes alongside the sizzling Cuban specialities of Miami. He unveils the mystery behind Philly cheesesteak sandwiches and Maryland crab cakes. He retrieves American classics like Chicken Pot Pie and Tuna Melt from Junior League cookbooks and restores them to their glory. From breakfast where he gives us the secrets for perfect scrambled egg, bacon and hash browns, to an array of indulgent late-night desserts, David Rosengarten has written an unpretentious and accessible adoration of the American kitchen.
"This is a book about what we eat in America," says David Rosengarten in his cookbook It's All American Food. For Rosengarten, author of The Dean & Deluca Cookbook among others, this means ethnic specialties like Eggplant Parmigiana and Shrimp Egg Foo Young; regional dishes, such as Philly Cheesesteak, plus barbecue, including Carolina Pulled Pork Shoulder with Two Sauces; and classic American fare like his Best Buttermilk Pancakes and The Ultimatre BLT, which transcends cultural boundaries. Offering more than 400 recipes for coast-to-coast favorites, Rosengarten is at pains to show that our cuisine is endlessly (and admirably) elastic, embracing and transforming traditional, sometimes exotic fare into something distinctly American for which we need not apologize. If he labors this point, Rosengarten has nonetheless done readers a great service in collecting so many characteristic recipes, which have often lacked the thoughtful treatment supplied here. This can mean tweaking more dubious (or degraded) recipes, lightening, for example, General Tso's chicken, or simply finding model formulas, like those for his cobb salad and macaroni and cheese (his recipes sometimes call for convenience ingredients, like banana pudding mix, that signify authentic versions). His section on regional favorites is a mini-guide to the best local dishes from New England to Hawaii, while his ethnic explorations present the food of virtually every group to have settled here--dishes that have gained acceptance, usually, through restaurant interpretations. Rosengarten has, of course, also eyed sweets, and treats such as tiramisu and New York cheesecake are also accounted for. With useful technical illustrations, ingredient notes like Spanish Paprika, and informative asides such as The Perfect Spatezel Method. --Arthur Boehm