Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Guerrilla Gourmet Cooks American

Does anyone remember when Jeff Smith cooked? For that matter, does anyone remember when Dave Letterman had hair and a real sense of humor? Personally, I love exotic comfort food. Simple, sustaining dishes that may be commonplace in their countries of origin stay simple, sustaining, and cheap when made in this country but acquire an exotic touch that keeps things exciting. But now I find myself in the strange situation of knowing a half-dozen Sicilian recipes for eggplant but having only the faintest clue of how to make meatloaf. It's time to come back home, so to speak, and try cooking food from our own shores. The full menu after the jump. Smith's book, The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American is, sadly, quite out of print, but now we have the internet to do a lot of the legwork for us. Here's what's cooking this week. Monday: Southwest Frito Pie* (Oh My!) and Cilantro Coleslaw. Tuesday: Northeast Amish Bean Soup Wednesday: Southern Mustard Greens with Ham Hocks Thursday: Midwest(ish) Vegan Meatloaf and Green Bean Casserole Friday: Pacific Northwest "Bouillibaise" and Sauteed Pea Shoots Link Note: Since I didn't actually get around to posting this on Monday, I can reveal that the Frito Pie was exceptional, the bean soup was pleasantly porky but otherwise bland, and though I'm a Yankee, I found the mustard greens and ham surprisingly tasty. *Second note: A real Frito pie is not served in a plate or baked in a dish. It is served in a bag and it looks like this.