U. S. A. Cookbook

U. S. A. Cookbook

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by Sheila Lukins

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In a great, friendly, and indispensable book, Sheila Lukins, America's most trusted home cook and co-author of The Silver Palate Cookbooks and The New Basics Cookbook, rediscovers, interprets, and transforms the best of American tastes and ingredients. Over 600 recipes, from Roasted and Fresh Vegetable Gazpacho to Smothered Beef Shanks, Super Bowl


In a great, friendly, and indispensable book, Sheila Lukins, America's most trusted home cook and co-author of The Silver Palate Cookbooks and The New Basics Cookbook, rediscovers, interprets, and transforms the best of American tastes and ingredients. Over 600 recipes, from Roasted and Fresh Vegetable Gazpacho to Smothered Beef Shanks, Super Bowl Clambake to Chocolate-Pecan Banana Cream Pie, combine the sophisticated and homespun to create pure culinary dazzle. Pride of place is given throughout to fresh and dried chiles, wild rice, Walla Walla onions, Western beef, cranberries, maple syrup, morels, and seafood right from our bays, rivers, and oceans. Featuring great American wines, beers, and cheese, plus regional and holiday specialties with a twist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Following up 1994's All Around the World Cookbook, the energetic Lukins, coauthor of the Silver Palate cookbooks, here assembles some 600 domestic recipes, collected during 50 trips around the country. The result is an extremely broad sampling of comfortable, recognizably American home cooking. The recipes, however, are arranged in a somewhat ungainly fashion in six sections by meal, with chapters determined generally by main ingredient; e.g., "The Salad Plate," with eight variations of potato salad and four cole slaws, is in the section Cafe Lunch. The 12 chapters in Dinnertime cover more than half the total number of pages. Although many of the dishes are traditional fare, such as Glazed Country Ham, Lukins frequently puts her own spin on conventions: Really Thick Chicken Reuben or Caesar Sandwich, which adapts a Casear Salad and piles it on a soft roll. The nation's diverse regional cuisines show up in the likes of Creole-influenced Vegetable Jambalaya; Spearfish Canyon Buffalo Steak from South Dakota; Taco Polish-Style (kielbasa with guacamole and Pico de Gallo in a flour tortilla), which Lukins happened upon in San Antonio; Chinatown Lamb Chops; and Grilled Halibut Teriyaki. The All-American Firepot, beef shanks and vegetables stewed in a cast-iron Dutch oven over an open fire, captures the essence of homegrown patriotic fare. Overall, this is an enthusiastic, upscale sampling of regional food just right for cooks looking to their own heritage for fresh culinary inspiration. Nutritional analyses are not included, though wine and beer (American-made) recommendations are. 250,000 first printing; major ad/promo; 40-city author tour. (June) FYI: In the spring, United Airlines will offer a new coach-class menu based on recipes Lukins created for this book.
Library Journal
Lukins is no doubt best known as co-author of the perennially popular Silver Palate cookbooks, as well as The New Basics Cookbook (LJ 12/89). In her first book on her own, the All Around the World Cookbook (Workman, 1994), she explores other cuisines, and for this one she traveled throughout the country to discover the best American cooking. She visited farmers' markets, diners, and food festivals, where she found homey, old-fashioned favorites, but she also stopped at well-known restaurants serving more elegant fare. While the section called "The Breakfast Nook," for example, is filled with muffins, pancakes, and hearty egg dishes, "The Cocktail Hour" includes drinks from New York City's Rainbow Room and hors d'oeuvres suitable for garnishing with caviar. In short, the more than 600 recipes of all sorts, from simple to fancy, for any occasion or mood, will delight Lukins's many fans. Essential.

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 9.52(h) x 1.89(d)

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Read an Excerpt


Until I spent a weekend in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I had always thought of apple butter as one of those elusive foods that was sold in jars or served on relish trays at quaint country inns. But visiting with Mennonite and Amish families, I was treated to the most delicious, perfectly spiced apple butter imaginable. I knew the time had come for me to have a lesson in this all-American spread. To begin with, I learned that any old apple won't do. For the perfect consistency, it has to be a mealy-textured cooking apple, such as Gravenstein, McIntosh, or Rome Beauty. Cooked with cider, then baked with a touch of cinnamon and a splash of vinegar, this apple butter is thick, dark, and deeply aromatic. Although this recipe may be more work than a trip to the supermarket, it is eminently worthwhile, and the apple butter will keep for up to 3 weeks--if you don't eat it all with the first taste!

6 pounds mealy apples (Gravenstein, McIntosh, Rome Beauty)

1 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar

1. Peel and core the apples, then quarter them. Place the apples in a heavy ovenproof pot, add the cider, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the apples are soft, about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

3. Press the apples, along with any liquid, through a strainer into a bowl. Return the mixture to the pot and add the cinnamon, vinegar, and brown sugar. Bake, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about 5 cups


Wait till you taste these little devils. They're just nicely spiced, not searingly so, but they do pack a surprise because most folks, I've found, don't expect to have their lamb served with a little heat. Pile the chops on one half of a large platter with grilled corn piled on the other. If you're not in the mood for wine or beer, an icy pitcher of iced tea is the drink of choice.

Wine: Sonoma County (CA) Cabernet Sauvignon

Beer: Pennsylvania double bock


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Salt, to taste

8 rib lamb chops, cut 1 inch thick, bones frenched

1. Prepare the marinade: Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Add the lamb chops and coat them well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, turning them occasionally.

3. Prepare a barbecue grill with medium-hot coals or preheat a broiler.

4. Grill or broil the lamb chops, 3 inches from the heat source, brushing them with the marinade, for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare meat.

Serves 3 to 4


Fennel and acorn squash have surprising affinity for each other. Although sugary winter squash is delicious on its own, the sweet licorice flavor of the fennel brightens the taste and makes for a more interesting side dish.

1 acorn squash (about 1 pound)

1 fennel bulb (about 1 1/2 pounds), ferns trimmed off, chopped into 1-to 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, or slivered fresh basil leaves, for garnish

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.

2. Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and then cut the squash into large chunks. Cook the squash in the boiling water until tender, 10 minutes. Drain. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin with a paring knife. Cut it into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, bring another pot of water to a boil. Add the fennel and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

4. Melt the butter with the orange juice in a large skillet over medium-low heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes.

5. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and puree until smooth. Serve warm, garnished with the chives.

Serves 4

Excerpted from U.S.A. Cookbook. Copyright c 1997 Sheila Lukins

Reprinted with permission by Workman Publishing.

Meet the Author

Sheila Lukins, one of America's best-known and best-loved food writers, was the co-founder of the legendary Silver Palate take-out shop. Her celebrated cookbooks, written alone and with her Silver Palate partner, Julee Rosso, helped change the way America's eats. For the past 23 years, she was also the Food editor of Parade Magazine.

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U. S. A. Cookbook 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
blessedCB More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite cookbook. It has been used so much that it has fallen appart. I love her down-to-earth recipes. My favorites are her Banana Pudding and her Boston Cream Pie. USA Cookbook has everything in it that an American woman would want to know, including; information about Hawaiian Vintage Chocolates, how to make marshmellows, great omlets, to name a few. I gave this book to my friend and we both love it and we've both used it for about 10 years. I highly recommend it for any 'new' American Bride, as well as anyone who just wants to cook American...Recipes come from various restaurants, Bed and Breakfast, and hotels around this Great country...Try Shelia Lukins USA Cookbook, I've never been disappointed. I have been truly blessed by this book.