Cook This: Regional American Classics You Can Make at Home

Take a cross-country food tour from the comfort of your own kitchen.

  • Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock's Shrimp Grits. Head to the south with shrimp stirred through creamy grits. The shrimp paste goes further than a few pretty prawns piled on top ever could, pervading every spoonful with the pure essence of shrimp at its best and most seductive. Get the recipe.
  • Bay Scallop Chowder. This chowder will transport you to the bays of New England. It's a terrific starter course because most of it can be made ahead, and it feeds a crowd. Get the recipe.
  • Ian Knauer's Sticky Balsamic Ribs. Knauer's bake-then-grill tactic isn't new for home-cooked ribs—but we're usually told to keep it low and slow. Instead, Knauer goes for fast and reckless. But the ribs are well-marinated and steamed, so they come out inexplicably tender, yet sturdy enough to hold up to flipping on the grill. Get the recipe.
  • Brigit Binns' Crab Cakes. You don’t have to live in Maryland to experience the state’s signature crab cakes. This recipe is a perfect showcase crab, with little filler. Get the recipe.
  • Shrimp Gumbo. This Cajun classic has all the right flavors and plenty of kick from a smoky dark roux and well-chosen cocktail of spices. By design, this dish could be made year-round from pantry staples, but you can always put a little Mardi Gras in it by adding andouille or tasso. Get the recipe.
  • Citrus Pulled Pork Tacos. Channel the spirit of Tex-Mex (or Cal-Mex) cuisine by making these bright, zippy tacos. Or head east and toss the pulled pork with barbecue sauce and layer in a bun with the citrus slaw. Get the recipe.
  • Southern Buttermilk Bathed Fried Chicken. It’s hard to mention regional American cuisines without immediately thinking of fried chicken, and we think this recipe yields the ultimate version. The result is an intensely flavorful and expertly spiced chicken with a crisp, dark skin. Just how it should be. Get the recipe.
  • Aromatic Poached Salmon with Rye and Caper Breadcrumbs. Salmon is one of Alaska’s staples, so what better way to pay tribute to our northern neighbors than with this crumb-topped variation? Herbs, lemon, and crunchy breadcrumbs keep this poached fish from feeling ordinary. Get the recipe.

It’s easy to get stuck in a cooking rut, reverting to the same pasta and meat sauce recipe night after night. You have your go-to dishes that you know and love, but before long, you find yourself craving more. To add new flavors, textures, and ingredients to your menu, you don’t need to look as far as other countries—just to other regions in the U.S. If you haven’t made crab cakes, gumbo, or fried chicken in a while, then hopefully this roundup will leave you inspired to do just that.

Click through the gallery above to get all of the recipes.

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