New Jersey native John Holl searched from Sussex County to Cape May to find the best recipes New Jersey has to offer, and the result is this rich and unique cookbook celebrating the foods, flavors, cultures, and traditions of the Garden State. These 150 recipes include dishes featuring New Jersey’s own produce — tomatoes, corn, cranberries, blueberries, apples — along with deep-fried boardwalk treats, late-night diner bites, and recipes contributed by casinos, bison and dairy farms, food trucks, old-school delis, famous bakeries, and more. You’ll find Pork Roll Surprise, Cucumber Gazpacho, Ukrainian Holubtsi, Funnel Cake at Home, Tomato and Onion Salad, Jersey Green Clam Chowder, Sunday Gravy, Saltwater Taffy, Traditional Amish Chili, Classic Lawrenceville Mac & Cheese, Jersey Disco Fries, Fresh Jersey Corn Cakes, Honey Thyme Caramel, Black and Blue Cobbler — and a classic Taylor Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich. Beautifully photographed, this collection is the ultimate tribute to New Jersey’s best.
About the Author
John Holl is a New Jersey native and covered the Garden State for the New York Times and the Star-Ledger. He began his career at New Jersey Network Television and has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and many other publications. He is the author of Dishing Up New Jersey and The American Craft Beer Cookbook, and the co-host of the Steal This Beer podcast. Holl is an avid home cook and lives in Jersey City, where his exit is 14C.
Read an Excerpt
Rise and Shine
We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and there's no shortage of options no matter where in New Jersey you travel: A cup of coffee to go from the deli, bodega, or drive-through — just something to sip on while you're commuting (and likely stuck in traffic) or taking that road trip down the shore. Eggs the way you want them at the diner, with your choice of toast. You want a side of bacon, sausage, or Taylor ham with that? On a sandwich with salt, pepper, and ketchup? What about a bagel with cream cheese? A hard roll wrapped in waxed paper? Seize the day.
Here are some favorites from popular Jersey kitchens, cut down to size so you can make them in your own kitchen, the way you like.
Makes 1 roll
Let's be honest: this is a ridiculous recipe to include in a cookbook. It's a roll with butter. Two ingredients. One spread on the other. Easy. Brainless. Plus, why do it at home when every deli in the state has these ready-made, sitting on the counter next to the coffee pots, ready for you to take on the road? Then again, how can we talk about Jersey food without talking about this classic breakfast-to-go? Yeah. That's what I thought.
* Kaiser roll
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
Cut the roll in half lengthwise. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on each half, place the roll back together, and slice down the middle. Wrap in waxed paper and secure with a strip of masking tape.
Or forgo that process and head to your local deli, grab one at the counter, and pair with a cup of coffee.
Pork Roll Surprise
Makes 8–12 servings
Cheese inside pork roll? Genius! This was the winning recipe, created by Anthony McDonald and Rob Rossetti, at the first annual Pork Roll Recipe Contest held at the 2014 Pork Roll Festival in Trenton. Serve the sliced pork roll log on a roll with eggs, or on a plate with your other favorite breakfast foods.
* 1 pound bacon
* 1 (3-pound) pork roll log
* 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
* 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 4 cherry peppers, diced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Garlic powder
* 1 cup Frank's RedHot hot sauce, or a hot sauce of your choice
* 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
* ½ stick butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Create a bacon weave: Place about two-thirds of the strips side by side lengthwise, and then interweave the other strips sideways, like you're making a basket, to form a rectangular weaving. Set aside.
3. Cut the pork roll log in half lengthwise and dig out the middle of both sides (like a canoe), keeping the edges intact. Combine the Asiago, cheddar, and jack with the cherry peppers in a mixing bowl, and mix well. Pack the mixture into the pork roll cavities. Fit the two halves back together to form a log. Season the outside of the log with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Starting on a corner, roll the pork roll log in the bacon weave, tucking in the sides as you roll.
4. Combine the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and melted butter in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
5. Place the bacon-wrapped pork roll on a baking sheet and brush with the hot sauce mixture. Bake for 1 hour, reapplying coats of sauce every 20 minutes.
6. Remove the pork roll from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice into ½-inch pieces and serve.
Classic Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich
Makes 1 sandwich
It seems simple enough, right? Three ingredients stacked inside a hard roll — what's so complicated? For a sandwich with slippery contents, construction is key, as is the ingredients ratio. I remember once being at a South Jersey diner that served this breakfast staple with a dozen slices of Taylor ham. It was a glorious sight — until my first bite sent slices of ham sliding out the back end to plop down onto the plate below. A sandwich should stick together — that's what makes a sandwich a sandwich, rather than something you have to eat with knife and fork.
* ¼ tablespoon butter
* 3 slices Taylor ham or pork roll
* 2 eggs
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 slices yellow American cheese
* 1 kaiser or round crusty roll, cut in half, lightly toasted
* Coleslaw, pickle, ketchup (optional, but really mandatory)
1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cut four evenly spaced slits around the edges of the ham (to prevent curling), add to the skillet, and cook until the edges are beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease.
2. Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook gently over medium heat until you reach your desired level of doneness. Turn off the heat. Cover the eggs with one slice of cheese and let stand until softened, 30 seconds.
3. Meanwhile, put the bottom half of the toasted roll on a plate. Top with one slice of cheese, then the meat, then the remaining slice of cheese. Add the egg and cheese from the pan, followed by the top half of the roll. Serve immediately, with a side of coleslaw, a pickle spear, and ketchup.
Stuffed French Toast
Recipe from Running Deer Golf Club, Pittsgrove
Makes 6 servings
This is a great Sunday-morning breakfast recipe from Stephen Pennese, the executive chef at Running Deer Golf Club, for those weekends when brunch is enjoyed at home. Better than any toaster variety, the fresh ingredients in this French toast make all the difference here. Crunchy, creamy, and vibrant with fresh fruit, all you need to round out this meal is a side of bacon and a strong pot of coffee.
* 1 French baguette
* 6 eggs
* ½ cup light cream
* 2 tablespoons Myers's dark rum (optional)
* 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
* 12 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
* 6 strawberries, sliced
* ½ cup fresh blueberries
* 2 tablespoons clarified butter
* Pure maple syrup
1. Cut the French bread into 1-inch slices on a heavy bias. To make a pocket, cut a slit in the middle of each piece, three-fourths of the way down but not all the way through, at the same angle.
2. To make the batter, combine the eggs, cream, rum, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined.
3. Carefully open the pocket of the bread with your hands and place about 1 tablespoon of cheese on each inner side of the bread. Place 1 sliced strawberry and 6 blueberries, or the amount desired, inside the pocket with the cheese.
4. Working in batches, place the stuffed bread slices in the batter, pressing lightly with your hands to make sure the batter is absorbed.
5. Add the butter to a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the battered stuffed bread and cook until the egg is cooked through and the toast is golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
6. Serve immediately with maple syrup and any leftover or additional fruit.
Makes 4 servings
Good hash browns are a staple of diner breakfasts, but I've never understood why more people don't make these at home. Four ingredients are all you need. Have a hot cast-iron skillet ready, and you'll have a crispy breakfast potato pancake in minutes.
* 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled
* 3 tablespoons butter
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Shred the potatoes into long strips with a box grater. If you have a potato ricer, pass the shredded potato through the ricer to squeeze out extra moisture. Otherwise, gather up the shreds in a piece of cheesecloth and wring well.
2. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and let warm for 5 minutes. Melt the butter in the hot skillet, tipping the pan to distribute it evenly. Immediately add the potato shreds, evenly covering the surface of the skillet. Press down with a spatula to form the potato into a pancake. Cook until the underside turns golden brown, taking care not to burn the potato (turn down the heat if necessary); this takes about 5 minutes.
3. Flip the pancake and cook until the other side is also golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Tip the pancake out onto a cutting board, slice, and serve.
Fresh Doughnuts with Beer Glaze and Chocolate-Covered Potato Chip Crumbles
Recipe from Confections of a Rock$tar, Asbury Park
Makes 10–12 doughnuts
Salty and sweet. This is the kind of snack where you can't have just one. You'll want to use a chocolate that, once melted, hardens quickly and evenly. You can buy specialty melting chocolate for this, but in general, most high-quality chocolate will do the job. These doughnuts use beer as their liquid; if you want to go a more traditional route, simply substitute ¾ cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons water for the beer. Read aboutConfections of a Rock$tar.
* 1 ½ cups Valrhona or other premium milk chocolate
* 4 ¼ ounces kettle chips (about half of a big bag)
* ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons India pale ale
* 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1 large egg
* 2 ½ tablespoons butter
* 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* Vegetable oil, for frying
* ¼ cup India pale ale
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
1. The crumble begins with melted chocolate: Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir. If there is still unmelted chocolate in the bowl, heat in 10-second bursts until fully melted.
2. Carefully coat the potato chips by dipping into the chocolate, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to cool completely.
3. Once the chips are completely cool, crush them into crumbles. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
4. Time to make the doughnuts: Heat the beer in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 105°F. Pour the warm beer into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast and half of the granulated sugar (2 tablespoons + 2½teaspoons) over the surface; let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy. Add the remaining granulated sugar (2 tablespoons + 2½ teaspoons), the egg, and the butter, and whisk to combine well.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt together, and then add to the wet ingredients. Use a dough hook attachment to mix until the batter forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. Remove the dough to a floured surface and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness. Use a doughnut cutter to make 10 to 12 doughnuts. You can re-roll and cut extra dough, but those doughnuts will be denser. Place the cut doughnuts on a tray and let sit, uncovered, in a warm place for 30 minutes.
7. Pour about 3 inches of oil into a large heavy pot and heat to 265°F. Set up a rack with paper towels underneath for draining the fried doughnuts. Fry the doughnuts in batches until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set on the prepared rack to cool.
8. To make the glaze, pour the beer into a mixing bowl and whisk gently to release some of the bubbles. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add a bit of water to thin it out.
9. When the doughnuts are room temperature, you're ready to glaze them. (If they're still warm, the chocolate will melt off the potato chip topping.) Dip each doughnut in the glaze, then set back on the rack. Once the glaze sets (just a few minutes), sprinkle the chocolate-covered potato chips over the top.
Almond-Cherry Pancakes with Coconut Flakes
Makes 4 servings
Pancakes are one of breakfast's great indulgences. Chef Michelle Berckes takes some of the guilt out of this dish with a collection of healthy, organic ingredients. A satisfying option for anyone with a breakfast sweet tooth, these dynamite pancakes might just become a weekend tradition in your house. Read about Busy Bee Organics.
* 1 cup almond flour/meal
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon ground Saigon or Ceylon cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
* ½ cup milk (the chef suggests almond milk or any other seed/nut-based milk)
* 2 egg whites
* 1 whole egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons honey, preferably raw
* ½ cup pitted frozen cherries
* Coconut oil or butter, for cooking
* ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1. Mix the almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry mix, add the milk, egg whites, whole egg, vanilla, and honey, and stir until the mixture is smooth and pourable.
2. Place the cherries in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, covered, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking until the liquid in the pan has reduced slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a bit of coconut oil or butter, swirling it around the pan as it melts. (Berckes suggests grass-fed butter, ghee, or unrefined coconut oil for this application, to keep with the theme.) Dollop the batter in small portions (about 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons) into the hot skillet; you're aiming here for silver-dollar-size pancakes. Let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then use a spatula to flip. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
4. Layer the pancakes and cherries on a plate, sprinkle with coconut, and enjoy!
Note: For added flavor, add chocolate or carob chips to the batter. The flavors complement each other very nicely!
Chocolate Cashew Milk
Recipe from The Cinnamon Snail
Makes 1 quart
This chocolate milk is a hit with everybody, especially those with chronic chocolate dependency. Chocolate addiction runs deep in my family, and we self-medicate often. For serious chocolate fixes, chef Adam Sobel suggests using pure unroasted cacao powder; it provides the most intense flavor and is the best way to access all of chocolate's antioxidants and alkaloids. For a more subtle, typical-tasting chocolate milk, replace half the cacao powder with roasted or Dutch-process cocoa.
* 1 cup raw cashew pieces
* ¼ cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
* ¼ cup agave nectar
* 2 tablespoons coconut butter
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* 3 ½ cups water
1. Place the cashews, cacao, agave, coconut butter, salt, and 1 cup of the water in a blender. Let the contents sit for 15 minutes, to start softening the cashews.
2. Blend for 40 seconds at high speed. Add the remaining 2 ½ cups water and blend until the milk is creamy, smooth, rich, and just a wee bit thicker than regular chocolate milk, 20 seconds.
3. Serve immediately. Store any leftover milk in a sealed container in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 3 days.
Chicken and Waffles
Recipe from Sam a.m., Jersey City
Makes 4–6 servings
A staple in the South, chicken and waffles are treated to a northern spin in this recipe that evokes memories of Thanksgiving dinner. This any-time-of-day meal features roasted chicken instead of the usual down-home fried variety. While you can use prepared ingredients, make it from scratch for a rewarding experience that's worth the effort. Read about Sam a.m.
Excerpted from "Dishing Up New Jersey"
Copyright © 2016 John Holl.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Foreword by Augie Carton Introduction In Season Chapter 1: Rise and Shine Chapter 2: Apps and Snacks Chapter 3: Putting the Garden in Garden State Chapter 4: Down the Shore Chapter 5: The Main Event Chapter 6: Sandwiches, Sauces, and Spreads Chapter 7: The Melting Pot Chapter 8: Sweet Treats Chapter 9: Cocktails Festivals Restaurant Weeks of Note Restaurants, Farms, and Families by County Individual Recipe Contributors Index
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Title: Dishing Up New Jersey - 150 Recipes From the Garden State Author: John Holl Photographer: Amy Roth Published: 5-31-2016 Publisher: Storey Publishing Pages: 288 Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine Sub Genre: Cookbooks; ISBN: 9781612126661 ASIN: B015X2PG44 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 5 stars . I admit my ignorance when it comes to New Jersey. I never thought of Jersey as a producer of vegetables and fruits on a large scale. Gambling, definitely, Tourism without a doubt, even dairy farms but I never thought of Jersey having its own flavor profile. Dishing Up new Jersey showed me I could not have been more wrong. I think Jersey's fresh produce is it best kept secret and I have friends that never mentioned any of this to outsiders. I knew they were proud of their home state. Most people are even with other's who know their states are the best, but are kind enough to let others hold on to their delusions. Now let me tell you about Dishing Up New Jersey. First off let me tell you to take a good look at the spectacular photographs show some of the most beautiful spots and delicious foods of New Jersey. Amy Roth shows her talent in portraying Jersey in all her glory and showing some of the produce she is known for. Did you know there is an Annual Pork Roll Festival held in Trenton, N.J.? Well, there is and some genius won the Pork Roll Recipe contest with a Cheese stuffed Pork Roll. I made it and I think Rob Rossetti is brilliant. Now for those of you have never tried the Fresh Jersey Corn Cakes with Avocado Crème and Tomato Salsa. Don't mock it until you try it. I will eat cooked vegetables, but think they are best raw, so is it no wonder that I found a new favorite salad in Crunchy Broccoli Salad. One look at the photo and my mouth was watering. Lastly let me tempt you with the Honey Roasted Chicken, Dishing up New Jersey certainly tempted me. These are just a few of the 150 recipes found in this cookbook and all are guaranteed to make your mouth water and your taste buds sit up and take notice. Learn New Jersey through the flavors to be found there.