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Name a surprising/intense/unusual American dish.

I have a friend who moved to New Zealand and she is trying to think of something to cook for her new friends that is a "surprising/intense/unusual American dish." Ideas?

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    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Heh, that's exactly the first thing I thought of as well. Uniquely American for sure.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I just did a search for Bacon Explosion on Chowhound and ended up here. I made one of these things Sunday night, took it to our cabin in the woods and smoked it and it was....underwhelming.

        I first ran across the Bacon Explosion in a newspaper story a few years ago, went to the website and copied the recipe and waited for a time I thought appropriate to make it. It wasn't terrible, but it really did not live up to limited expectations. Maybe the website made the expectations too high.

        One thing that was too high was the heat and the humidity. Not only don't we have AC at our cabin in the woods, we don't have electricity or running water. If it were not for the severe thunderstorm that came through at 8pm I think we might have driven home instead of sleeping in a cabin with an interior temperature of 94 and a dew point of 73. The storm dropped the outside temperature from 90 something to about 70 but the inside temperature stayed pretty warm. We came home today and will be spending the 4th as an average suburban family usually does. (?)

      2. Something Creole or Cajun would certainly qualify.

        1. Is your friend American? I would think a local specialty from her area of this country and something she's cooked before would be a good place to start, depending of course on the availability of ingredients in NZ.

          A seafood Gumbo, crab boil or a traditional Downeast Maine style lobster and clam bake speaks to me; modified by the available local seafood; lobster, clams or mussels, corn on the cob, boiled new potatoes, coleslaw and something blueberry for dessert, blueberry slump, grunt, cobbler or pie.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            I wasn't familiar with grunts and a quick search made me laugh out loud over the origin of the name there... the fruit actually grunts as you cook it :)

          2. Jambalaya
            Chicken biscuits
            Chicken fried steak
            Turducken
            Chili con carne
            Cincinnati chili
            Juicy Lucy
            Pulled pork

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              Turducken, now that truly is surprising/intense/unusual. Probably easy to source in NZ also.

            2. We spent 3 weeks there in 2003 and Italian was exotic and I never saw any Tex Mex. I'm sure things have changed in the big cities but I think home cooks might be thrilled to have a taco night or enchilladas or even chlii dogs loaded with onions and cheese.