When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, they brought many changes to what we now know as America. But one thing that often gets overlooked is their influence on food, particularly New England cuisine. Since the Pilgrims were situated along the coast and relied on raising cattle, seafood and dairy products remain cornerstones of New England cuisine. Also, they were fond of baking foods such as beans, pies, and turkey.
When it comes to New England cuisine, you can expect it to be hearty, comforting, and delicious. These three recipes are signature dishes of the New England region that you can quickly whip up in the comfort of your kitchen:
- Seasoned Crab Cakes
- New England Clam Chowder
- Cape Cod Blueberry Pie
Seasoned Crab Cakes
Seafood is the perfect cuisine for summer lunches out on your patio. If you want to serve appetizers, you can’t go wrong with crab cakes. They’re made all across the country, but the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland is considered the place of origin. If you want a Maryland-style crab cake, it starts with jumbo lump crab meat.
- 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay® seasoning
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Put the crabmeat in a mixing bowl. Add ½ tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning into the bowl. Shake and toss the crab meat around for a few seconds until it’s coated. Then, add black pepper and ½ tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning into the bowl. Shake and toss the crab meat again.
- Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, breadcrumbs, and Worcestershire into the bowl.
- Mix all ingredients with your hands to avoid overworking the crabmeat. You want to keep as much of the lumps as possible.
- Once the ingredients have bound together, form your mixture into patties. You should have enough for about 6 patties.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the patties for about 4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the patties from the skillet and let them stand for about 2 minutes.
New England Clam Chowder
Creamy, indulgent, and loaded with flavor, New England clam chowder is a staple you can find nearly everywhere in Boston. Best of all, it’s wicked easy to make! Whip it up and enjoy a family dinner outdoors.
- 4 cups diced potatoes
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 4 cans of clams (chopped or minced)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 quart half-and-half
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup corn starch
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Season to taste with black pepper
- Get a large pot and put in the celery, onions, and potatoes. Open the cans of clams and pour in their juice using a strainer. Heat on medium-low until the potatoes are tender.
- Grab another large pot and put in the butter, half-and-half, milk, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk together all the ingredients to thicken the chowder. Bring it to a boil.
- Add vegetables and clams into the chowder mixture and stir. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 10–15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with your favorite rolls or crackers and enjoy!
Cape Cod Blueberry Pie
Pies have been decadent treats for New Englanders since Europeans first settled on the eastern shores in the 17th century. Hopefully, you saved room for dessert because the Cape Cod blueberry pie is to die for!
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 cups blueberries
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar
- Vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Transfer the pre-made pie crust to a nine-inch pie plate. Flute the edges with your fingers, then place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Use heavy-duty foil to line the crust. Fill with pie weights, uncooked rice, or dried beans.
- Bake on the lower oven rack until edges are golden brown — about 20–25 minutes.
- Remove foil and weights, then bake the crust until the bottom is golden brown — about 3–6 minutes. Take the crust out of the oven and let it cool completely.
- Mix the flour, salt, and ⅓ cup of water into a bowl. Whisk together until smooth and set aside.
- Combine sugar, 1 cup of blueberries, and ⅔ cup of water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add flour mixture and continuously stir until thickened — about 4–6 minutes. Stir in vinegar and remaining blueberries. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Then, pour the mixture into the crust.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!
This is the first post in the series called USA Kitchen Tour, where you can get a taste of America’s best recipes without leaving your home! Stay tuned for our other posts for more recipes: