50 States 50 Recipes | Arizona

Arizona-Sonoran-Hot-Dogs-1

Arizona was tough. One the one hand I have to prepare a food that 1) my family can eat. This means nothing with beans because, one, Joan is allergic to beans, and two, unless the beans are mashed to the point of - well - mashed, then I won't eat beans, except maybe green beans, of course, and garbanzo beans are okay, and I can handle refried beans if they are - well - mashed without any remaining bean texture whatsoever, and 2) my family won't eat the slightly strange I've come to realize. When I began exploring iconic foods of Arizona I kept coming across Sonoran Hot Dogs, a bacon-wrapped hot dog, grilled to perfection, crispy, not burnt, with a 'slightly strange' topping. Bacon-wrapped hot dog - yes. Slightly strange topping - not so much.

But, I wanted to try these Tucson-created and classic hot dog with a bit of twang and delight for my Arizona, 50 States 50 Recipes - recipe. Still, they have beans in their recipe. That, of course, is a simple fix. Remove said beans from the recipe. True, it won't, strictly speaking, be an iconic Tucson, Arizona Sonoran Hot Dog, but I'm all about creating my own recipes. And Joan can't eat beans and I. just. won't. Unless they're mashed without any remaining bean texture whatsoever. Thus, I had to remove this, increase that, add this, double that, change this. The result is Susan's Arizona Sonoran Hot Dogs. 

They were delicious. The flavor combinations were sublime. 

But, here is the unfortunate part: While everyone loved the bacon-wrapped hot dogs (duh!) (Hello! It's bacon!), and Joan ate the Avocado salsa, a layer of beautiful summer, sweet and tangy; only I ate Susan's Arizona Sonoran Hot Dog as the dish was meant to be devoured and enjoyed. 

Still, it was good! Quite honestly, I will make this again. I liked the flavor combinations, and even if the men in the house only eat the hot dog wrapped with bacon smothered in ketchup, mustard and relish - how, un-, un-, un-adventurous, I will delight myself in Susan's Arizona Sonoran Hot Dog. 

Arizona-Sonoran-Hot-Dogs

(Find all my 50 Recipes 50 States recipes below) 

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50 States 50 Recipes | Kentucky

Kentucky-Hot-Browns

Kentucky Hot Browns. Word is "in the 1920's, the Brown Hotel [in Louisville, Kentucky] drew over 1,200 guests each evening for its dinner dance. By the wee hours of the morning, guests would grow weary of dancing and make their way to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Sensing their desire for something more glamorous than traditional ham and eggs, Chef Fred Schmidt set out to create something new to tempt his guests' palates. His unique dish? An open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce. The Hot Brown [and culinary legend] was born!" (The Brown Hotel). 

This open-faced deli roasted turkey sandwich with bacon, because everything is better with bacon, and juicy, ripened, brilliant red Roma tomatoes smothered in an herb and cheese Mornay [Beschamel] sauce, sprinkled with more cheese and cast under the broiler to brown the cheese for the finishing touch is simply amazing! I used a thick artisan bread I happened upon at the commissary (which never happens but delightfully did unexpectedly, so I grabbed it). Of course, I went for the good stuff - Boars Head Roasted Turkey deli meat sliced thin (but nowhere near shaved) and melted smokey Gruyere and nutty Parmesan Reggiano into the Beschamel sauce - so good - when combined with parsley and finely chopped green onions was divine!

P.S. The above recipe should say 8 slices of bacon - duh!

I am positive this will become a regularly occurring meal in my families repertoire of recipes. (Find all my 50 Recipes 50 States recipes below) 

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50 States 50 Recipes | Alabama

I have begun my newest cooking project 50 States, 50 Recipes in which I research those iconic recipes each of the fifty states are often known for, such as, Key Lime Pie from Florida, Kentucky's Hot Browns, or Alaska's King Salmon...I'm perusing Pinterest, favorite recipe blogs, and pulling out my dusty cookbooks and adding those state recipes to our monthly menu, cooking up the new fare, and serving them for my families meal or even as a small group dessert. I haven't given myself a time limit, like all 50 states in a year, but, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes just about that to eat through all 50 states tastes. I already have three states recipes selected for the month of May. But, today I begin with...
 
First up, I baptized some chicken, as the tale goes, in an Alabama White Gold BBQ Sauce. I was inspired to create this tangy, peppery, non-tomato based sauce from quite a few different recipes I scoped out on the internet using the original Alabama White BBQ Sauce as a basic recipe. Alabama White BBQ Sauce is an iconic northern Alabama staple for various barbecue meats including chicken and pork, created in Decatur, Alabama by Big Bob Gibson's BBQ in 1925. Normally, a tangy BBQ sauce is not our families favorite but after one taste of the mouth-watering, basted-with-white gold BBQ sauce-grilled chicken, we were hooked. Super moist, smokey chicken grilled slow and steady, which we smothered in the sauce at the table. Delicious!
 
Alabama-White-Gold-BBQ-Sauc
Alabama White Gold BBQ Sauce
 
2 Cups Mayonnaise (Duke's is best)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly grated, or prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced

Whisk all ingredients together.

Use with Grilled Chicken: Pour half of the mixture over thawed chicken and marinade for 2-3 hours. Reserve remaining sauce. Grill chicken slowly, basting with marinade. Serve with remaining sauce. Store remaining in refrigerator.

 
 
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May 2016 Menu Plan.

May 2016 Menu

A busy and event-filled month ahead juggling our lives, maybe by the skin of our teeth and added to the mix a ton of new recipes because I JUST CAN"T NOT add new recipes to our family's lives and taste buds and repertoire. An anniversary celebration getaway, a boys-only camping trip, family delightfully invading our small, humble abode for the graduation celebration slash pary of the last of my Mom's grand children, John and Jarrod - finally! Besides the new recipes as I continue my tour of 50 States 50 Recipes hosting Kentucky, Florida, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, I have three new recipes just because they sound good and different.

I love spending the time hunting down Pinterest and researching new recipes from food blogs or cookbooks. So often, I nudge the recipes to make them just my own, for our tastes, our likes and dislikes, expanding our palettes with things like Bacon and Eggs Fried Rice (with peas) with Chinese Chicken and Sausages or Bacon and Smoked Gouda Cauliflower Mash, both I believe, will be winners.

Gradually, I am filling my own recipe album, which as I type this I realize I need to have copies made for my kids' recipes books, full of delightful family favorites with main dishes, breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, appetizers, side dishes, and desserts, many of which I'm serving up in the month of May 2016.