American Recipes


Vanilla-Rhubarb Soup with Strawberries

Vanilla-Rhubarb Soup with Strawberries

It’s easy to get carried away at Farmer’s Markets, where the compulsion to grab random things you’ve never used takes over. Letting fresh ingredients sit on the counter for too long defeats the purpose of going to such markets, so I always look for recipes that make the most of seasonal produce.
If you happen to [...]

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Anadama Bread

Anadama Bread

There are several bread-centric blog events and groups that I try to keep up with:

Bread Baking Day (monthly), which I even hosted once
Bread Baking Babes (monthly)
Bake Your Own Bread (biweekly)
Yeastspotting (weekly)

The newest addition to my list is the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge (weekly), where participants bake through Peter Reinhart’s unofficial bible for the beginning bread [...]

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Morel Mushrooms

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Morel Mushrooms

Jerusalem artichokes have nothing to do with either the capital of Israel or globe artichokes, so what gives? Extensive research indicates that we can blame the English. Jerusalem artichokes are root tubers from a type of sunflower. The Italian word for sunflower is girasole (“to turn towards the sun”), which eventually morphed into “Jerusalem” after [...]

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Sautéed Ramps in Guanciale

Sautéed Ramps in Guanciale

I swore that if I failed to post at least one recipe for ramps this season, then I would deport myself to the nearest city with a Chinatown (because a Filipino needs a local source for patis – see blog name). Ramps are the stinky wild leeks after which Chicago was named after all.
The local [...]

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Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Even if the recipe name sounds like a few rounds of word association, there’s nothing disjointed about the flavors in this ice cream. Fresh strawberries are mashed with sugar to draw out its nectar and folded with cheesecake ice cream. The rich custard base is blended with cream cheese and lightened with lemon zest and [...]

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Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée

Green Almonds in Cucumber Gelée

In this relatively easy recipe from Alinea, green almonds are embedded in cucumber gelée and topped with sweet, spicy, sour, and salty elements. The crisp almonds, soft jelly, and four contrasting ingredients fully engage the senses and palate like nothing else.
Green almonds have an edible crunchy shell with a pronounced sourness, so add a pinch [...]

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Potato, Cheddar Cheese, and Chive Bread

Potato, Cheddar Cheese, and Chive Bread

If, in a cheese bread recipe, you were told to deeply cut into the proofed dough to allow the cheese to ooze out while baking, wouldn’t you be interested in seeing what happens? The potential for a crusty-smoky mess in the oven is high, but don’t let that keep you from trying this recipe out.
The [...]

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Sautéed Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans

Sautéed Morel Mushrooms and Fava Beans

Buttery fava beans still in its pale green skin are added to sauteed morel mushrooms in this recipe. Crème fraîche, a cultured cream, gives the dish a rich tang. It’s a simple way of enjoying what is arguably the most coveted of spring produce.
When it comes to fresh ingredients, sometimes the simplest recipes are [...]

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Asparagus Soup with Cream

Asparagus Soup with Cream

The asparagus tips are cooked briefly to retain crispness and the stalks pureed to lend the soup a light green hue. You’ll also need a potato to slightly thicken and some parsley for that fresh herby taste.
The original recipe calls for a brief simmer with a tied-up bunch of parsley, presumably for easy extraction before [...]

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Grilled Chicken with Espelette Pepper

Grilled Chicken with Espelette Pepper

You’ll likely spend more effort looking for the key ingredient than preparing this simple grilled chicken (see below for a substitution suggestion). The original recipe mentions Fox & Obel, a Chicago grocer that makes Whole Foods seem like Cheap Eats Galore by comparison, as the only source for Espelette peppers around here ($17.99 for 45 [...]

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Hazelnut, Fig, Fennel Seed, and Rosemary Bread

Hazelnut, Fig, Fennel Seed, and Rosemary Bread

These loaves of hazelnut and fig bread are loaded in every sense, with such senses being texture and nutrition, for starters. You’d be correct in thinking that it will smell wonderful as it bakes. Even as it rises, the raw dough is already redolent with the aroma of fennel seeds, fresh rosemary, and roasted hazelnuts.
The [...]

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Semolina Cornbread Recipe

Semolina Cornbread Recipe

This semolina cornbread recipe calls for equal parts cornmeal, semolina flour, and soft wheat flour. It’s much like your typical buttermilk cornbread that bakes up moist, crumbly, and slightly gritty.
Naturally golden coarse semolina flour gives cornbread a creamier yellow crumb and nuttier finish than using only cornmeal and wheat flour. I’m not Mr. Sensitive Palate [...]

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Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread – 100% Whole Wheat

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread – 100% Whole Wheat

Sweet and fragrant cinnamon raisin walnut bread is a breakfast option worth waking up for. With all of the fruits and toasted nuts in the loaf, a generous slice is satisfying enough on its own. The center is filled with molten cinnamon sugar but you can leave it out if you prefer a less sweet [...]

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Angel Food Cake Recipe

Angel Food Cake Recipe

If you’ve ever had bad airline food, looked out from your window seat, and wished you could eat cloud instead, it would probably be a lot like having angel food cake. Light, airy, and sweet, a generous wedge of angel food is interesting enough on its own but even better served with fruits or chocolate.
Its [...]

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Hot Chocolate with Caramel and Cinnamon

Hot Chocolate with Caramel and Cinnamon

Pierre Hermé’s hot chocolate recipe calls for milk sweetened with cinnamon-infused caramel. A mug of spiced hot chocolate in the dead of winter sounds tough to resist, doesn’t it? I usually skip drinks unless there’s caffeine or booze involved, but this definitely counts as an exception.
Which is not to say that this hot chocolate drink [...]

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Applesauce Spice Cake

Applesauce Spice Cake

When it’s so cold outside that a hot oven is no longer effective in raising the temperature, bake something with spices in it. Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg give a sense of comfort and warmth in this recipe for spiced applesauce cake. Served with a hot mug of spiced whatever, preferably heavily spiked with alcohol, it [...]

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Cranberry-Walnut Bread

Cranberry-Walnut Bread

Heavy on cranberries and walnuts, bejeweled strips of dough barely held itself together as I tried to make a braid out of it. It didn’t seem like the freshly kneaded ball could take the large amount of dried fruits and nuts, but sure enough, everything came together as advertised after a few folds.
As you can [...]

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

These cookies were originally dubbed “Chocolate Indulgence” before I decided to call it something less cryptic. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s sure to satisfy the worst cravings for chocolate.
The cookies somehow combine the best qualities of brownies and french macarons into one. The center remains soft, moist, and chewy like brownies but the [...]

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Cranberry Drop Scones

Cranberry Drop Scones

Tender and flaky mounds are studded with chewy dried cranberries in this simple scone recipe that comes together in minutes (once all of the ingredients are at room temperature, that is). The scones are light and airy with just enough sweetness to keep yourself from puckering up as you bite into the tart cranberries.
Cranberry drop [...]

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Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

It took several tries to get the crisp texture and cracked tops characteristic of gingersnap cookies, tweaking the recipe a little each time. When I finally noticed that I’ve been mistakenly using baking powder instead of baking soda, it turned out that the original recipe was perfect straight out of the box.
Baking soda is used [...]

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Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough

Whole Rye and Wheat Sourdough

Do you have any recipes that use dark rye flour? A 25-pound bag from Bob’s Red Mill is taking up valuable freezer space for manly essentials such as White Castles and Eggo, so any suggestions would be well appreciated.
Buying a sack of dark rye seemed like a good idea considering that shipping costs were split [...]

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Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting

After completing this month’s Daring Bakers challenge featuring Shuna Fish Lydon’s recipe for caramel cake, I hereby demote Cake Wrecks from hilarious to merely amusing and witty.
Making cakes is back-breaking work and I’ve learned to appreciate the time and effort involved with all things frosted, regardless of how uninspired, bizarre, or wrong it is. I [...]

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Crispy Apple Chips

Crispy Apple Chips

Crispy apple chips were originally meant for garnishing desserts but it also makes for an addictive light snack. Paper-thin apple slices are soaked in a simple syrup and dried in a very low oven to keep the fresh apple flavor intact.
Granny Smith apples are perfect for this recipe — drying intensifies its tartness, but the [...]

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Yeast-Raised Cornbread with Brown Butter

Yeast-Raised Cornbread with Brown Butter

This loaf makes great toast because it’s not only crackly on the outside, but also has crunchy bits on the inside. In this yeast-raised cornbread recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman, fine cornmeal is added to a basic white wheat dough for texture and that freshly made tortilla smell.
I couldn’t help but think of popcorn so I [...]

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Flaxseed and Oat Bran Broom Bread – 100% Whole Grain

Flaxseed and Oat Bran Broom Bread – 100% Whole Grain

Is that 22-ounce steak dinner from last night bogging you down? Suffering from a roughage-deficient diet? Move mountains with this high-fiber variation on the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread. Packed with flaxseeds and oat bran, this bread recipe provides the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fiber without the unpleasant side effects of pumpernickel.
If it’s [...]

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Blueberry-Cranberry Bread

Blueberry-Cranberry Bread

This blueberry and cranberry loaf is based on a recipe for “election day bread,” which originally had raisins, candied citrus, and spices. Considering its name, doesn’t it make more sense studded with reds and blues?
But since blueberries are in season during the warmer months and cranberries during the cooler months, this combination doesn’t make sense [...]

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Challah Recipe from The New York Times

Challah Recipe from The New York Times

Braided loaves intimidate me. Even more intimidating is this double-decker challah recipe from Sara, but it turns out to be a pleasure to work with. It’s an excellent introduction to an essential decorative bread shaping technique shared across many cultures.
I guess it’s time to revisit all of the recipes for braided breads that I overlooked [...]

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Pumpkin Quick Bread – Whole Wheat with Walnuts

Pumpkin Quick Bread – Whole Wheat with Walnuts

If you happen to have some leftover pumpkin puree, chances are, you’ve already made something sweet or otherwise indulgent. Using whole wheat flour and just enough enrichments to make a firm batter, this pumpkin bread adds some much needed balance and nutritional value to the pumpkin-centric diet.
You could, of course, forget about counting calories, toast [...]

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Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread – 100% Whole Grain

Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread – 100% Whole Grain

This 100% whole wheat loaf is my idea of the perfect homemade bread. The ingredient list is fairly short and calls for only a few kitchen staples in addition to the requisite whole wheat flour, salt, water, and yeast. Compared to white flour loaves, whole grain breads are also undoubtedly the healthier choice, but its [...]

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Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe from Alinea

Butternut Squash Soup – Recipe from Alinea

So you pick up a new cookbook and inhale that addictive new book smell. While eagerly perusing photographs and ingredient lists, you may be thinking, “I can make that,” or, “Time to pay Chinatown a visit.”
And then you somehow convince yourself that owning the Alinea cookbook is a good idea, fully intending to actually cook [...]

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Pumpkin Spice Brioche

Pumpkin Spice Brioche

Pumpkin puree and its familiar spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger are kneaded into buttery dough in this seasonal take on the classic brioche. This recipe makes so much sense to me – winter squashes simply roasted with butter is always comforting when in season . These soft yellow puffs topped with crunchy [...]

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Old-Fashioned Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Old-Fashioned Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Studies conducted on yours truly have shown that whole grains are beneficial to one’s health particularly during breakfast, the most important meal of the day.* One noteworthy perk is improved appetite control until the daily ritual colloquially referred to as “lunch,” usually partaken of between 1200 and 1300 hours. This effect is attributable to complex [...]

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Pumpernickel Bagels

Pumpernickel Bagels

This is pumpernickel in the American tradition where a little help from wheat flour (for structure) and molasses (for color) are added to coarsely ground rye flour. The dark color characteristic of German pumpernickel breads is achieved through the Maillard reaction where loaves are cooked low and slow for 16 to 24 hours. This baking [...]

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Whole Grain Anadama Bread

Whole Grain Anadama Bread

Whole grain anadama bread is my first choice when I have a need for hearty sandwich loaves. It has an interesting combination of dense chewiness and texture from the addition of cornmeal. The aroma and richness that it gets from molasses keeps it from taking a backseat even with the richest of sandwich fillings. The [...]

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