My future mother in law is coming to America for the first time. I want to cook her something nice for dinner but this is the problem.. She hates garlic, nothing spicy or with spices and she hates bland food. What do I make? I want to impress her but i can't come up with anything. She's from Japan, but wants home-made American food.
A Thanksgiving dinner
What about a roast beef or pork tenderloin - lightly marinated to give it some flavor but not be too spicy. Chicken would work well, also. You could pair it with some new potatoes, a salad with dressing of her choice, fresh vegetables - and a great apple pie (very American) for desert. I would definitely plan on serving family style whatever you choose, as portion sizes in Japan are much smaller and you don't want to overwhelm her.
Take her to McDonald's! or fix hamburgers, what could be more American than that? she can decide how much BBQ sauce or onions she wants on hers. Or southwest cuisine, where she can add her own picante sauce?
How about meatloaf and mashed potatoes
What's more american than fried chicken and apple pie?? Hehe good luck!
my experience with foreign visitors is that they like AMERICANA - so homemade fried chicken - or pizza - or baked beans and franks - Think of something terribly ordinary to you that says America. My coup was taking some German visitors to a classic Bob's Big Boy for real hamburgers!
The all-American favorite is fried chicken! Make some potatoes and gravy, a vegetable and maybe an apple or cherry pie for dessert and you have your all American meal!
YES to the fried chicken. Salt & pepper then roll in Barley flour and fry away. I can't do wheat, but barley is okay. My aunt wanted to cook some fried chicken and she asked me if I had some flour for her to roll it in. She was amazed and all she uses for her chicken now is barley.
A good old pot roast dinner or a boiled dinner.
This american enjoys ribeye steak / prime rib with baked potatoe and all the fixings, with a great salad and sourdough bread.
How bout an old fashioned weenie roast over a bonfire ? with toasted marshmallows , and smores ? Hamburger and french fries, fried chicken.
How about a potato bar? Then she can dress her own potato with beef stroganoff, broccoli cheese soup, mild chili, cheese & sour cream, a side salad & with ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Or, how about breakfast for dinner? Pancakes or waffles with bacon, sausage & eggs are just the ticket!
Pumpkin Waffles with Maple Walnut Apples
From Food Network Kitchens
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup melted shortening (transfat-free)
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 crisp apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Special equipment: standard 4 x 4-inch waffle iron
For the waffles: Preheat a waffle iron to medium heat.
Whisk the flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, spice and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat together the milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and melted shortening, egg and egg white, in a large measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk together to make a slightly lumpy batter.
For the topping: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and let cook until slightly browned, but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the maple syrup and walnuts and toss to coat.
Pour and spread about 1 cup batter into the waffle iron. Cover and cook until crisp and a rich golden brown, about 7 minutes. (Try to resist the temptation to open the waffle iron too soon. Steam will puff out of the iron while the waffles cook, when this stops the waffle is cooked.) Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with the apples.
Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved
These recipes are from Michael Chiarello from the Food Network:
Large Brioche Toast with Roasted and Mashed Honey Sweetened Berries
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
Show: Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello
Episode: Lazy Breakfast in Bed
4 (1-inch) thick slices brioche
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 pints mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon gray salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat a large grill pan and toast the brioche slices, turning once. Spread each toasted slice with butter and set aside.
Toss the berries in a bowl with the honey, lemon juice, and salt. Put them onto a sheet pan and roast for 5 minutes. Mash the cooked berries with a fork until spreading consistency. Spoon the warm berries over the brioche toast or let cool to room temperature. Berry mixture can be refrigerated for 1 week.
Honey Roasted Apple Sauce:
12 apples, Gravenstein or McIntosh
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt, preferably gray salt
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel the apples with a vegetable peeler, remove the core and cut into 1-inch chunks, place in a large bowl. Heat a large skillet or roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter. When the butter begins to brown, add lemon juice, then add the apples and salt. Cook until the apples just begin to color, about 4 minutes. Stir in the honey. Roast the apples in the oven until soft and lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Fork mash for a chunky version or puree in food processor for a smoother sauce.
I asked my mother, who is Japanese, for some suggestions and here's what she said: hamburgers, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, any kind of seafood, fresh vegetables, clear soups(broth, consomme), French fries(plain, not cheese or chili). They love sweet potatoes but once again plain, they probably wouldn't like them candied or with marshmallows. They don't eat much bread, you could probably do without it. Sweets are fairly recent to Japan and the ones they make there are terrible! She might be impressed by some good quality chocolates or cookies. Or maybe a sweet potato pie(they really love sweet potatoes!). 95% of all Asians are lactose intolerant so be careful there. And don't serve rice! American rice is not like Japanese. And don't worry so much -- I'm sure she will be very gracious. Good luck and have fun!
Our favorite holiday dinners would be a place to start. Ham dinner with baked sweet potatoes. Turkey like Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Forth of July picknic foods. New Years in our part of the country is sauerkraut, pork roast cooked long and slow in the sauerkraut, then dumplings, and mashed potatoes.
Another favorite of mine is cheep cut roast beef roasted, make gravey, mashed potatoes, and boiled carrots.
Most of these just use salt and pepper, to let the natural flavors come through.
Just a quick cute story...
My dear friends mother visited from China for the first time. Knowing she was very eager to try "real American food", I asked her how she had liked her meals so far. She said they were all very delicious, but her favorite American dinner so far had been at "Taco - banana" (taco cabana, Mexican fast food )
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