What's a good American Recipe to share with an Italian Family?
Hi All - My 21 year old daughter is off to Italy tomorrow to visit her boyfriend spending a college semester in Florence.
Our assignment is to share an 'American Dinner' recipe that she and her boyfriend can prepare in Florence for their host family.
I'm stumped, mainly because I like to cook like they do in Italy.
Any thoughts on how to prepare an awesome 'American Dinner' that the boyfriend's host family would appreciate?
Many Thanks in advance....
When we lived in Italy, cookies and brownies were always a big hit.
Doing a whole dinner is tough, since most good American food depends on ingredients that they don't have. Good homemade hamburgers, for example: they don't have the right beef, or even the right kind of flour for the buns.
Pancake supper? She could bring some mix and good maple syrup. You can get smoked bacon there in larger supermarkets.
Biscuits and gravy?
re: Robert Lauriston
I think most of this is correct. I wonder if more than one brownie recipe and more than one chocolate chip cookie recipe wouldn’t be the way to go. My off-hand thinking is that these are both things that came from here, not "the old country."
The idea that fixing an American meal for foreigners is easy was really beaten up in a previous heated thread.
Maybe pack some packages of various chocolate chips.
Oh gosh, that's a tough one! Maybe it's OK to show them that "real" American cooking draws from all over the globe? (In other words maybe one of your favorite recipes is OK) Another option would be to go with what we deem "homestyle" such as macaroni and cheese. Ina Garten has one that has been recommended on this board and also a penne with 5 cheeses that I have made with incredible results. Another "homestyle" option: meatloaf (maybe other chowhounds can post fabulous recipes). Tomato soup and grilled cheese?! Fried chicken? My sister in law is from Spain and I usually impress her with Asian-inspired dishes. I am just one voice and I am sure you will get lots of responses. I would love to share our culinary abilities over in Florence without being limited to what the original settlers might have been eaten!
If she has good syrup and you're thinking in a breakfast direction, what about fried chicken and waffles? I don't know if she'd have access to a deep fryer, but I think pretty much whatever cut of chicken you can get would work with this... and it's definitely a unqiue (Southern) American dish.
Well that sounds like a great option. I wasn't able to connect with a trusted source until Saturday (my aunt, an incredible cook who lived in Italy for 20 years and still spends every summer there). But I felt compelled to post. Her take was to send a dry rub or marinade recipe for something universal like a pork tenderloin. She has really blown Italians away with rubs and marinades, she said they generally will just put the meat on the grill straightaway. She likes to do a dry rub on a pork tenderloin and brown it on all sides in a pan, then bake it while making a red wine reduction in the searing pan. Her other suggestion, represented well in the posts here, was desserts. She said we kill them in nearly every category and they simply can't believe that food so tasty could be American. (!) I hope your daughter enjoyes her visit.
There are a lot of American foods that don't show up elsewhere that much. The trick is they are "ordinary" to us, so we don't see the uniqueness of them as much or they are regional things.
A proper pot roast with brown gravy, carrots, and mashed potatoes
Southern fried chicken, greens, biscuits, and white gravy
A pot of real chili with cornbread and fried okra
Navy bean soup, succotash, and hard crackers
Ham slice with red-eye gravy (sausages and red-eye gravy) and home fries or hashbrowns
Fried clams with coleslaw and french fries
Roast ham with Dr. Pepper glaze (and pineapple!), waldorf salad, cheese crisps
Pecan pie, sweet potato pie, apple pie, blueberry pie
Berry cobblers, apple crisp
Chicken and dumplings
Carrot Cake (don't know if it's American, but never ran across it in any of my travels)
Sweets like rice crispy treats, popcorn balls, fudge
Peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, molasses cookies
I'm sure there's a lot more, but I can't vouch for ingredients in Italy
My personal advice here comes from only one italian named Gianluigi who is my sister in law's brother. When he came to America the guy could not stop eating hamburgers...I think to the tune of one per day. The italians can be quite finicky about their food so I would be a little careful ie I made some balsamic mushrooms and used some dijon (that was a nono). I studied in Flo and think you can get some hamburger meat at the Centro Market which was located by where I used to live. If you are facing the Duomo facade walk around the left side and take a left on Via Ricassoli this changes names a couple times but walk down this street for a good mile and eventually you will find it. I am pretty sure they sell ground beef, buns (not great ones) and condiments. This is the biggest supermarket I saw in Flo. Good luck...