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Nov 16, 2011 07:59 PM

Authentic American holiday recipe ideas and/or dishes!?

Okay, here is my dilemma I’m heading to London for this upcoming holiday season to visit one of my closet friends, who I haven’t seen in what feels like forever! Not to mention he’s being so generous by letting me stay with him. I’m thinking cooking is a great way to say thank you. He used to live in the states and adores our American cuisine. I’m running low on ideas and am having trouble brainstorming for any unique American holiday dishes or recipes to make. My friend is the opposite of picky, so all recipe ideas are welcome. Hope the chow world can help because I’m desperate!


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  1. Since it's not like the Brits don't roast poultry, what if you did a sort of tex-mex spin on it? A chili rubbed bird, chipotle and sweet potato mash or gratin, a spicy cranberry sauce, etc?

    1. Will you be there over Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both? If Thanksgiving, this board is currently rife with everyone's traditional menus. Every European person I know is fascinated by American thanksgiving, so why not throw yourself a traditional thanksgiving over there? Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, apple pie - these are among the most "American" recipes I can think of.

      For Christmas, I always think of cookies and candy, since that's what my mom made when I was a kid. Fudge is a very American treat, or for something more regional you could make Buckeyes, which are a peanut butter and chocolate concoction from Ohio (the Buckeye State). For a meal, a classic American ham with cloves and pineapple rings, perhaps?

      1. Pecan Pie! Just take a bag of pecan halves and a bottle of karo syrup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cackalackie

          Pecan pie using the very British Golden Syrup has been discussed on Chow.

        2. What dishes are favorites for you? What dishes have significance in your family history? I'd start there, then fill in with other stuff. Dressing, gravy, potatoes, squash.... those all come to mind. Corn is also very "American," and one has lots of options there.

          1. Hello everyone and thank you for the wonderful responses! I’m going to be heading to London for Christmas and New Years from mid-December to mid-January. I’d say my favorite dishes from the holidays are the classic green bean casserole and peach cobbler….both are great separate, but I’m thinking they’d be a little odd paired together.

            While I’m a good cook, I’m definitely more comfortable in the kitchen when it comes to desserts. Pecan Pie sounds amazing and I’m putting that on the top of my dessert list. Pies are super convenient to eat and serve, not to mention I can make mini pies.

            Now I have to choose if I want to make desserts or dinner to thank my friend. If I do dinner I’ll do a small one with a main dish and 1 or 2 sides. Being just a dinner for two I think we’d have way too many left overs if I made a full blown holiday dinner.

            Does a mini Thanksgiving style dinner with a southwest twist sound good? How about stuffed turkey breast with cheese and/or a chipotle or some sort of chili rub with spinach or green beans on the side? I’m just having a hard time deciding on what I should make and I want to have a set menu to cook when I travel there. Thanks again to everyone for all the help! I’m way too indecisive when it comes to cooking so please keep the comments coming!


            2 Replies
            1. re: HJJaenicke

              Whatever you decide to do, you might want to smuggle items that might be hard to find in the UK or items that might be more expensive considering the exchange rates.
              Might I suggest a corn casserole? It's easily one of my favorite dishes when the holidays roll around.

              1. re: HJJaenicke

                Roast turkey is a pretty traditional British Christmas dinner, but the chili rub will definitely put a uniquely American spin on it! They do stuffing, but making it from cornbread might an American variation they don't see as often. The pecan pie will be a very American treat, too.