USA Kitchen Tour: The Midwest

The foods of the Midwest are considered hearty and straightforward. If you ever travel through the heartland, you’re bound to find simple dishes like casseroles, stews, and sandwiches. Plus, there’s almost always a good helping of dairy and carbs in every meal. 

These three dishes are staples of Midwestern cuisine, and you can easily prepare these recipes in the comfort of your own kitchen:

  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
  • Buckeyes

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are a classic side dish with multiple layers of potatoes and rich, creamy cheese. Serve them alongside chicken or pork chops, and enjoy a hearty dinner on your outdoor patio!


  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1½ cups parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1½ cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups half-and-half


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Evenly spread the butter across the bottom and sides of a nonstick baking pan. Then, cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of potatoes.
  3. Layer a half cup each of parmesan and Swiss cheese over the potatoes, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Repeat the layering process of potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper two more times. 
  5. Evenly pour half-and-half over the dish until it’s about ¾ of the way up. You may need to use more or less half-and-half depending on your pan’s size. 
  6. Cook in the oven for about 45–50 minutes.
  7. Let the dish cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

The pork tenderloin sandwich is considered the official sandwich of POLYWOOD’s home state of Indiana. To make it, you flatten, bread, and deep-fry a massive cut of pork tenderloin and serve on a bun. It’s a hilariously disproportionate sandwich, but that’s all part of its charm!


  • 4 1-inch-thick boneless pork chops 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 3 cups vegetable oil


  1. Place a pork chop between two pieces of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Use a meat tenderizer or heavy mallet to pound the meat down to a ¼ inch. Repeat this process for the other three pork chops.
  2. Crack two eggs into a baking pan and whisk together. Then, add buttermilk, flour, and salt. Mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Take the pork chops and submerge them in the batter mixture. Put plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for 5–6 hours. 
  4. Place crackers in a large bowl and crush them into pieces. Take a pork chop, place it in the cracker bowl, and bread it evenly. Repeat this process for the other three pork chops.
  5. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 360 degrees. 
  6. Put a pork chop in the pot and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Once done, take the pork chop out and let it drain on a couple of paper towels. Repeat this process for the other pork chops.
  7. Serve with your favorite bun and fixings. Enjoy!


If you have a sweet tooth for chocolate and peanut butter, buckeyes are a delicious dessert you must try. They get their name because they resemble the nuts of Ohio’s state tree — the buckeye. This recipe only calls for four ingredients, so it’ll be a breeze for you and the kids to make together!


  • 1¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Add the sugar, melted butter, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together until it’s well combined. 
  2. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Shape into round balls. This should yield about 10–12 balls. 
  3. Place the balls in a separate container and put them in the freeze for 20 minutes.
  4. Microwave the chocolate chips for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until it’s smooth and consistent.
  5. Stick toothpicks in each ball. Swirl and dip them in the chocolate. Leave the top of the ball uncovered. 
  6. Set the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them sit for 15–20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

This is the sixth post in the series called USA Kitchen Tour, where you can get a taste of America’s best recipes without leaving your home! Check out our other posts for more recipes:

Which recipe are you going to try? Let us know in the comments!

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