New Castle News

September 28, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Region boasts some tasty recipes

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle has its hot-dog sauce, lamb on the rod, some darned good pizza and frozen custard — all of which people travel miles for.

Pittsburgh is known for its own set of goodies.

Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio, in general, have recipes unheard of in other parts of the country.

It’s a proud area of proud cooks, and justifiably so.

I’m aware of many of the ethnic recipes that have been around for ages, but I learned some things while visiting a website dedicated to recipes from Pittsburgh.

A dish we have somewhat frequently at my house is city chicken. I didn’t know it was considered a Pittsburgh dish until I read some comments. Add to that — it’s not really chicken. It’s a mixture of pork and veal. And how it got that name wasn’t revealed.

Barbecued chipped ham sandwiches always seem to be a hit, especially at tailgate parties. Pittsburgh potatoes sound like a crowd pleaser anytime, and just for extra measure, I threw in recipes for sticky buns and Buckeyes, which although are mainly associated with Ohio, are certainly enjoyed by neighbors to the east.

What are some of your favorite local or regional recipes? Share them with us at Culinary Conversation.

For the record, as I scrolled through all the comments, I noticed yinz was used a lot.

And “Everything is better Pittsburgh-style.”



CITY CHICKEN

Beat egg and water slightly; stir in salad dressing mix. Dip meat into egg, then coat with bread crumbs. Melt shortening in large skillet; brown meat quickly. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat.

Cover tightly; simmer one hour or until meat is done. Add small amount of water if necessary.

*Can be served with mashed potatoes or noodles and French-style green beans.



PITTSBURGH CHIPPED HAM BARBECUES

In a large saucepan, combine ketchup, water, brown sugar, cider vinegar, sweet pickle relish and Worcestershire sauce. Season with cinnamon, black pepper, garlic salt and liquid smoke. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Shred the ham and stir into the mixture. Simmer longer if desired, then serve hot on hamburger buns. The mixture can also be frozen.



PITTSBURGH POTATOES

Paprika

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork; drain and cut into cubes.

Melt cheese and 1⁄4 cup butter in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in sour cream, onion, salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the cheese mixture and transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish. Dot the top of the potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake in preheated oven until hot, about 30 minutes. Cool before serving.



QUICK STICKY BUNS

Cut each biscuit in half and form each piece into a ball.

Combine sugar, cinnamon and pecans in small bowl. Dip each biscuit half into margarine, then into sugar mixture. Place in greased 8-inch cake pan. Mix remaining margarine and sugar, and spoon over biscuit balls. Drizzle corn syrup over all.

Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes. Serve warm.



BUCKEYES

In a large bowl, mix together peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate, holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes.

Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

*Chill the peanut butter mixture in the fridge 30 minutes before making the balls. You also can melt more chocolate than called for so there is a good pool of chocolate to dip the balls into.

*Note — Most recipes have not been tested.