Watch Cooking Channel

A Chef’s Perspective on Preparing America’s State Dishes

Young Sun Huh discusses a dish with the culinary team.

By now you’ve seen our list of 50 dishes (plus one for D.C. and an election year-themed cake) that represent American cuisine, and have read our behind-the-scenes blog post all about the creation of this huge project. (Oh, you haven’t? Trust us — it’s worth a couple clicks.) Our chefs up in the Kitchens were super busy (and sometimes super stumped) preparing regional dishes from all 50 states, from classics like peach pie and lobster rolls to some crazy-sounding dishes like Lefse, Pastys and Chislic.

We sat down with Chef Young Sun Huh to walk us through her recipe development process, and share some of her favorite memories from this fun collaborative project.

Cooking Channel: You prepared and tasted a lot of dishes. Which one were you most surprised to find yourself going back for second (or third) helpings?

The dish that stole everyone's hearts (and stomachs).

Young Sun Huh: I was most surprised by the Funeral Potatoes from Utah. Based on the morbid-sounding name, I honestly didn’t know what to expect! This dish — traditionally served at the meal for grieving mourners after a funeral — turned out to be the ultimate comfort food: a creamy, cheesy, downright delicious casserole. Though I don’t normally cook with a lot of convenience products, I found that it’s much easier to use frozen potatoes and the dish is no less delicious for it.

CC: What was the biggest challenge you faced in trying to replicate a local dish’s authentic flavors?

Can't get to Nebraska? These hand-held meat pies are the real deal.

YSH: I was assigned the task of developing a recipe for Runzas, a meat-stuffed pocket bread from the Nebraska-based food chain, but had never eaten one before. Fortunately there are a lot of passionate Nebraskans who try to re-create their favorite state dish at home and like to blog about it online. Of course, there are just as many opinions about what ingredients make up a definitive Runza — beef only or beef and pork? Cabbage or sauerkraut? — so I just tried to create a basic but tasty recipe that covered most of the bases. Still, I didn’t know whether I had an authentic-tasting product on my hands. Luckily, we managed to find a native Nebraskan on staff who just happened to be available to taste my attempt at the Nebraska Handheld Meat Pie. When she gave it the thumbs up, I knew I could rest a little easier!

CC: Which was the easiest dish for you to develop?

This sandwich is all about the assembly.

YSH: The easiest dish to develop was the Pork Roll Sandwich With Egg and Cheese from New Jersey. There are so few ingredients that the hardest part about writing this recipe was describing how to construct the sandwich. Also, I could confirm every detail — the type of bread, the cheese, the meat, how to cut the meat, etc. — with Ali Clarke, a born-and-bred New Jerseyan who works with me in the Kitchens.

CC: Choosing one recipe from this project, can you walk us through your process of recipe writing, development and testing?

It might look simple, but salmon candy was a real stumper for the culinary team.

YSH: The Salmon Candy for Alaska was an interesting recipe to develop. The first step was to research salmon candy in books and online. We have an extensive cookbook library and it is an excellent resource for such projects. The research unearthed different recipes, techniques and flavor preferences, so my main goal was to develop an authentic recipe that tastes good and makes sense culinary-wise.

Salmon candy is usually cured first and then smoked and basted at very low heat for a long time in a smoker. Since most people don’t have a smoker, we decided to develop a recipe that’s more accessible for the home cook. Instead of a smoker, the salmon in this recipe is dried out slowly in a regular oven.

Before I start cooking, I always begin by writing the recipe. It’s best to think through the recipe and get all your thoughts organized on paper. When I reach this phase of the process, I try not to consult specific recipes, since I don’t want to copy someone else’s recipe. I want to make it my own. Once the recipe is written, I send it to the project head for review. Next, I send a shopping list to our purchasing department. Once all the ingredients are in, usually by the next day, I can start cooking.

I try to follow my written recipe, but I’ll make changes if I sense that something isn’t going to work. For example, I originally didn’t have any soy sauce in the recipe, but I found that the salmon needed this salty, umami component to offset the sweetness of the maple syrup and brown sugar. Once I had finished a first pass of salmon candy, I took a picture of the finished dish for a visual reference and scheduled a tasting for later in the day.

The culinary project head, director of the test kitchen, and members of the Cooking Channel Web team attended the tasting and made comments. We decided that the salmon was a little too crumbly in texture and the glaze should be cooked onto the fish a bit more. We discussed extending the curing time from four hours to 12 hours and basting the salmon earlier in the oven-drying process. I revised the recipe, ordered more salmon, and attempted a second pass the next day.

Once the second batch was ready, the same group gathered and tasted it again. This revised batch was approved and the recipe was then moved to the cross-testing phase. I handed off the approved recipe to the cross-tester, in this case Ali, who approached the recipe from the perspective of the average person. If anything was confusing or didn’t work, Ali took notes on how the recipe should be modified. Then another tasting was scheduled to taste the cross-tested salmon candy. I believe Ali had to cross-test this recipe twice. The culinary editorial team then proofread the recipe for punctuation and grammatical errors and to make sure it followed the Cooking Channel format.

For even more behind-the-scenes content, check out these photos of the recipe development and photo-shoot process.

See all 50 dishes and the completed project here: Across the Country in 50 State Dishes.

Tags:

Comments (3343)

  1. webcamgirls posted 12/28/2012

    Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  2. AnvelopeAutoNoi.ro posted 12/28/2012

    AnvelopeAutoNoi.ro…

    […]The information and facts talked about within the report are some of the very best obtainable […]…

  3. Student Credit Cards posted 12/28/2012

    Souls in the Waves…

    Superior Early morning, I just stopped in to visit your internet site and considered I’d say I appreciated myself….

  4. live web cam posted 12/28/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]……

  5. updated blog post posted 12/28/2012

    updated blog post…

    […]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but really don’t get a great deal of link enjoy from[…]…

  6. free chat online posted 12/28/2012

    free chat online…

    […]usually posts some pretty exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]…

  7. sign language posted 12/29/2012

    sign language…

    […]Here is an excellent Weblog You might Come across Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]…

  8. check this video posted 12/29/2012

    check this video…

  9. custom computer systems posted 12/29/2012

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  10. nike free run 2 womens Sale posted 12/29/2012

    nike free run 2 womens Sale…

    […]please visit the websites we follow, such as this a single, as it represents our picks through the web[…]…

  11. only sex webcam website posted 12/29/2012

    only sex webcam website…

    […]The info mentioned inside the write-up are several of the best accessible […]…

  12. medical web design posted 12/29/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    […]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[…]……

  13. web cam da sohbet posted 12/29/2012

    web cam da sohbet…

    […]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they’re essentially worth a go by, so possess a look[…]…

  14. Bathroom Remodeling Tulsa posted 12/29/2012

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  15. twitter followers posted 12/29/2012

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  16. about the hcg diet posted 12/29/2012

    Sites we Like……

    […] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose […]……

  17. Herbal Smoke Blends posted 12/30/2012

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  18. Бг тенис posted 12/30/2012

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  19. Furniture posted 12/30/2012

    Furniture…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  20. basement waterproofing posted 12/30/2012

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  21. forever body transformation posted 12/30/2012

    forever body transformation…

    […]check below, are some entirely unrelated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  22. your sex webcam sites posted 12/30/2012

    your sex webcam sites…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 understand about Mid East has got more problerms too […]…

  23. Dunia wanita posted 12/30/2012

    Dunia wanita…

    […]Here are a few of the sites we advocate for our visitors[…]…

  24. ultra hcg posted 12/30/2012

    ultra hcg…

    […]one of our visitors just lately encouraged the following website[…]…

  25. pc games posted 12/30/2012

    pc games…

    […]Here is an excellent Blog You might Locate Intriguing that we Encourage You[…]…

  26. wedding photography posted 12/30/2012

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  27. The cam to cam web sites posted 12/30/2012

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  28. deals posted 12/31/2012

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  29. Tulsa Tile posted 12/31/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  30. Markus Dancy posted 12/31/2012

    exceptional current…

    I make use of the helpful info anyone truly surrender the particular reviews. I’ll pay consentrate concerning the particular blog in addition consider once once more right your following frequently. I’m fairly particular I’ll understand many innovativ…

  31. symphony music posted 12/31/2012

    Woman of Alien…

    Ideal function you may have done, this page is de facto amazing with great details. Time is God’s method of preserving anything from taking place without delay….

  32. team building posted 12/31/2012

    team building…

  33. surface ownership posted 12/31/2012

    surface ownership…

    […]the time to read or pay a visit to the content or sites we’ve linked to below the[…]…

  34. joinery glasgow posted 12/31/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  35. contact management software posted 12/31/2012

    contact management software…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single find out about Mid East has got far more problerms at the same time […]…

  36. logistics software posted 12/31/2012

    Links…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  37. 24 Hour Emergency Locksmith posted 12/31/2012

    24 Hour Emergency Locksmith…

    […]The data mentioned within the write-up are a number of the most effective obtainable […]…

  38. CRM software posted 12/31/2012

    CRM software…

    […]check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated internet sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  39. West London locksmiths posted 12/31/2012

    West London locksmiths…

    […]that will be the finish of this article. Right here you?ll obtain some web pages that we feel you will appreciate, just click the links over[…]…

  40. steel strapping posted 01/01/2013

    nice…

    Fantastic website. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your sweat!…

  41. lanautica.com posted 01/01/2013

    lanautica.com…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to simply because we believe they may be really worth visiting[…]…

  42. Expert Indonesia posted 01/01/2013

    Souls in the Waves…

    Great Early morning, I just stopped in to visit your internet site and assumed I would say I experienced myself….

  43. casti de copiat posted 01/01/2013

    casti de copiat…

    […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]…

  44. linux vps posted 01/02/2013

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  45. CJC-1295 DAC side effects posted 01/02/2013

    The Ships’s Voyages…

    I believe technologies just makes it worse. Now there is a channel to never ever care, now there would not be a chance for them to find out….

  46. Healing’s Dragon…

    to uncover troubles to enhance my web-site!I suppose its alright to generate usage of a few within your concepts!!…

  47. fajna strona posted 01/02/2013

    Online Article……

    […]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available […]……

  48. Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  49. heist slot posted 01/02/2013

    heist slot…

    […]the time to study or stop by the content material or web sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  50. onebuckresume posted 01/02/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c