Calamari rings (squid tube sliced from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, frozen will be fine if you can’t get fresh)
Pepper rings (either sweet or spicy, jarred pickled peppers are fine, you won’t need a whole peck)
Breading (any fry mix will do)
Oil to fry in (I like canola, but something light like soy will do)
Soak calamri rings in water in the refrigerator for a while, at least an hour. The peppers and calamari don’t take batter all that well, so if you want a heavier coating stir an egg and add the peppers too. Heat your oil, if you don’t have a deep fryer you’ll need enough oil in the pan to cover the rings. You don’t want it too hot, 325F should do, it should take a little while to brown a bit of bread, you’re not trying to cook these things to death. Put breading in a dish and toss in the rings and peppers. Work the breading in by hand, make sure everything gets well coated and separated. Use a wire basket or colander with big holes to out the excess breading. Toss the breaded rings into the oil. They will cook fast. As soon as they float they are done, but you may need to do a little tossing if you don’t have deep fryer. Remove from oil, drain, eat, and then start another batch because they’re so good you’ll want more. If the squid is rubbery you cooked it too long, they won’t be all that brown, they should be tender.
What a fun idea! Not sure what age your daughter is but this dish I throw together will provide an opportunity to discuss how to cook rice, sauteing and how to use seasonings to taste.
MN Wild Rice Pilaf with Turkey
(We share an ongoing battle with TX over which state is the largest turkey producer.)
Cook wild rice according to instructions
Cook long grain white rice to equal about half the amount of cooked wild rice. Check the packages. They both don’t expand the same when cooked.
Cut up pieces of cooked turkey breast
In a skillet saute some chopped onion, green pepper, sliced mushrooms and celery in butter.
Mix together with the above ingredients. Add salt, pepper and marjoram to taste.
I stir in a small amount of cream of mushroom soup to make it stick together but you can omit. Creamed soups in hot dish are very Minnesotan, though.
MN Northwoods Blueberry Sundae
Simmer some blueberries in a saucepan with a small amount of water and a little sugar until the berries pop and thicken. Cool and serve over ice cream.
Serve with a tossed salad and dinner rolls. Ta dah!
How about prairie oysters? Simple to make, at least…
At nine, she probably shouldn’t be expected to be too interested in Rocky Mountain oysters yet. The prairie oysters are gross enough.
More seriously, how about a New England boiled dinner? Nothing gross, and it’s a good guest dinner, if she wants to try to serve guests as well. You can use a smoked pork shoulder instead of corned beef, if you prefer. I suggest doing this in a slow cooker if you’re going to make it in the summer, so that you can avoid excess waste heat. My mother used to put the slow cooker in the laundry room, or even in the shed, so that the heat didn’t build up in the living areas of the house.
Central N.Y. is easy. Find some good natural casing hot dogs and grill, serve with steamed corn on the cob and salt potatoes - little scrubbed whole potatoes boiled in a strong brine. Alternate is spicy Italian sausage, also grilled with chunks of green pepper and onion, served on a sturdy roll with a touch of marinara sauce.
Since she’s only nine, we could probably skip the moonshine, but in Tennessee, Chess pie is a traditional dessert http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chess-pie/ and almost as popular. It would be good following a meal including Memphis barbeque.
From my childhood home of Indiana, breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches (with mustard, onion and pickle) is something that is pretty area specific.