American Home Cooking

American Home Cooking

by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison

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Nothing says American like American home cooking. From a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder, to Tucson Chimichangas, to Door County Sour Cherry Pie, these are the dishes that form the soul of our collective culinary heritage. And these are the recipes that bestselling, award-winning authors Cheryl and Bill Jamison serve up right here—in American Home


Nothing says American like American home cooking. From a steaming bowl of New England Clam Chowder, to Tucson Chimichangas, to Door County Sour Cherry Pie, these are the dishes that form the soul of our collective culinary heritage. And these are the recipes that bestselling, award-winning authors Cheryl and Bill Jamison serve up right here—in American Home Cooking.

In a lively and lucid style that appeals to both novice and experienced cooks, the Jamisons invite you to sample a coast-to-coast feast of more than 300 recipes straight from the heart of America's own home cooking tradition. To the degree that we are what we eat, the dishes are us, a vibrant expression of our national spirit that's as full of robust flavor as the food of any land.

Cheryl and Bill speak with authoritative passion on the home-grown culinary tradition. They visited family cheese crafters in Wisconsin, over-nighted with Pennsylvania Dutch farmers between market days, and picked up techniques for frying catfish from the first African American catfish farmer in Mississippi. They talked with a vendor of live poultry in Providence's Little Italy over the din of squawking chickens and quacking ducks and barbecued a whole hog one night and day with a jolly and generous gang of rice farmers from Arkansas. They ate warm fig cake on Okracoke Island and chilled Dungeness crab freshly pulled from Oregon waters.

American Home Cooking features the best home cooking the Jamisons found, with outstanding recipes for classic favorites like meat loaf, scalloped potatoes, iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing, sticky buns, angel food cake, and lemon meringue pie. Regionaldishes with coast-to-coast appeal include Tidewater Peanut Soup, Kansas City Sugar-and-Spice Spareribs, Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles with Corn and Tomatoes, Maui Mango Bread, and Catahoula Sweet Dough Pies. You'll also relish recipes for intriguing local treasures like Louisville Benedictine, Iowa Skinny, and Miles Standish—all sandwiches.

Exquisite color photographs illustrate the dishes, and sidebars celebrate our nation's food fancies, from peanut butter to po'boys, and memorable cooks, from Lydia Marie Child to Julia Child. Destined to become a culinary classic, this sweeping collection offers delicious ideas for every meal and occasion, every day of the year. Bring the best of America's home cooking tradition into your home with American Home Cooking.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The husband-and-wife team of James Beard award-winning authors (The Border Cookbook; Smoke and Spice) offer 400 recipes celebrating four centuries of American home cooking. The Jamisons carefully distinguish home cooking--"simple, hearty, seasonal fare... prepared for and enjoyed by family and friends"--from convenience foods (like tuna noodle casseroles and pizzas) and elaborate haute restaurant-style preparations. Seventeen chapters explore the diversity of the American table, including breakfast fare (flapjacks, grits, hash), sandwiches, appetizers, soup, game, garden vegetables, preserves, baked goods and beverages (from mint juleps to sassafras tea). Emphasizing fresh ingredients and straightforward techniques, recipes feature an assortment of regional classics, from New England Clam Chowder and Swiss Steak to Fried Green Tomatoes and Hoppin' John, as well as local specialties like eastern Virginia's Tidewater Peanut Soup, the Florida Keys' Old Sour Seafood Salad and New Mexico's Chimay Carne Adovada, a chile-infused pork preparation. Culinary trivia (e.g., turtle soup was once a favorite among American home cooks) and technique tips lend nuance and context to America's rich culinary tapestry. The Jamisons authoritatively articulate the pastiche of multicultural influences that characterize American regional cuisine, enabling readers to rediscover national (and regional) culinary treasures. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The Jamisons (The Border Cookbook) have written about specific regional cuisines in some of their earlier books; this time, they take on the whole country. Their "home cooking" encompasses classics like Chicken and Dumplings as well as local specialties such as Iowa Skinny (a pork loin sandwich) and New Mexico Calabacitas. Headnotes provide recipe pedigrees, and sidebars offer commentary on American home cooking from a wide variety of sources, including many early cookbooks. Recommended for most collections. Dojny, a Bon Appetit columnist and prolific cookbook author, has compiled almost as many recipes as the Jamisons while concentrating on just one part of the country, her own New England. All the traditional dishes are here, like Crispy Ipswich Clam Fritters with Tartar Sauce and Boston Baked Beans, but there are also dozens of ethnic specialties from the various immigrant groups who have helped populate New England: Oregano-Scented Greek Lamb Shanks, Portuguese Tuna Escabeche, and Garlicky Mussels, Italian-style, to name a few. The recipes come from good home cooks (including the author's extended family), chefs and diner cooks, and other local experts. Hundreds of sidebars explore culinary traditions and history and provide a good dose of nostalgia. Highly recommended. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Jennifer Wolcott
Like a film with Anthony Hopkins, it's hard to go wrong with a cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison. The couple have established quite a following with award-winners The Border Cookbook and Smoke and Spice, and their latest American Home Cooking is sure to swell the ranks. The Jamisons foraged all across America for the book's 300 down to earth recipes, visiting a cheese-crafting family in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers, African-American catfish farmers in Mississsippi, a live poultry vendor in Providence, RI's Little Italy, an more. Pithy quotes from such culinary greats as M.F.K. Fisher and James Beard entertain while evocative recipes such as Santa Fe Breakfast Burritos, South Carolina Shrimp and Grits, and Nantucket Corn Pudding offer a kitchen-table tour of America's regional riches.
Christian Science Monitor

Product Details

Random House, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.34(h) x 1.55(d)

Read an Excerpt

Onion and Olive Enchiladas

Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, a descendant of the original Spanish settlers in California, grew up eating these unusual enchiladas at family barbecues and breakfasts alike. She recalls them in California Rancho Cooking (1988) as "a favorite of las comidas del pais (the native foods)," and a single serving will show you why.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs or unbleached all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground dried mild red chiles, such as ancho or New Mexican
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups diced onions
12 large thin flour tortillas
3/4 pound medium to sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
3/4 cup sliced pitted water-packed black olives

Prepare the sauce, first warming the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the bread crumbs and brown briefly. Add the garlic, oregano, and chiles. Slowly pour in 4 cups of water, stirring to avoid lumps, and then add the vinegar and salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until somewhat thickened and reduced, 20 to 25 minutes. (The sauce can be made up to several days in advance and refrigerated, covered, or frozen for up to several months. Reheat before proceeding.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a large baking dish, one that is at least as wide as your tortillas.

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté for 30 minutes, stirringoccasionally. The onions should become translucent and very soft, but not brown. Reduce the heat if needed.

Dip a tortilla into the chile sauce and place it on a plate. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of the cheese and 2 tablespoons of the onions down the center of the tortilla. Scatter a couple of teaspoons of olive slices over the onions. Instead of rolling up the tortilla, just fold the tortilla in half. With a spatula, transfer the enchiladas to the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling ingredients, placing each enchilada so that it overlaps the previous one. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese or olives.

Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. (Some tortillas may balloon up a bit as they cook.) Serve immediately.

Meet the Author

Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison are the authors of numerous travel guides and cookbooks, including the 1996 James Beard Award winner, The Border Cookbook, and the 1995 James Beard Award winner, Smoke and Spice.  Prolific journalists who write for an array of food and travel magazines, the Jamisons live near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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