What could be more American than a turkey on the table and plenty of family and friends to be thankful for? In this special episode, Jeffrey Saad will travel from coast to coast to check out the dishes a few of our leading chefs will be putting on their own tables this year. We'll see some familiar dishes done perfectly, and get a few surprising lessons in what the real pilgrims ate at the first Thanksgiving. Venison, anyone?
Warm, pillowy, gooey, and soft, a good dumpling inspires nothing short of rapture-filling bellies and hearts alike. Jeffrey Saad explores dumplings trendy and traditional, domestic and exotic, simple and complex in his quest to find the best in the country. Whether you're a fan of Southern chicken and dumplings, Polish pierogi, or Chinese xiao long bao, you'll find something to chew on in this episode.
Peanut butter, the stuff our childhood lunches are made of, the world's most inexpensive protein. But in the hands of talented chefs and peanut butter fanatics, it's enjoying a culinary renaissance. Jeffrey Saad will try it gourmet style-with foie gras and tempura figs. He'll try it straight up in sandwiches with jelly, bananas, and (in homage to Elvis) bacon. He'll try it spiced and sauced in a few of the world's most exotic cuisines.
Pasta sheets, savory sauces, hunks of meat, fresh vegetables, secret spices, gooey cheeses-we say: Lay it on thick! Jeffrey Saad will do just that in an episode dedicated to the ultimate Sunday dinner: lasagna. He'll try an incredible deconstructed lobster lasagna, a monumental 100-layer Sicilian timballo, Greek and Mexican versions, and even-yes-sushi lasanga!
Meatloaf is practically synonymous with "homestyle"-it's a simple, stick-to-your-ribs most Americans grow up on. But the mixture of meat, spices, eggs, and crumbs is also endlessly versatile, lending itself to endless gourmet and global variations. Grab a side of mashed potatoes and pull up a plate as you watch Jeffrey Saad cross the country to in search of the best loaves in the land.
Nothing says sweet celebration like a cake - the food we use to mark marriages, births, anniversaries, engagement, promotions, and every other American rite of passage. Jeffrey Saad will explore a world of cake that includes incredible gourmet reinventions right along with straight-up party cakes. And in the shocking conclusion, he'll encounter the ultimate cake decorator and his most disturbing creation.
The oven mitts are off as Jeffrey Saad joins the high-stakes competition at the 2011 American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City. With a grandmaster champion as his coach, Jeffrey gets a crash course in cooking pork butt, brisket, chicken, and ribs over an open fire-all at once!-in preparation for the ultimate judgment. While the judges deliberate, Jeffrey will soothe his nerves with the world-class side dishes, sauces, and desserts on hand. Will he emerge from this episode with champion status?
What could be more American that steak and potatoes? Our beef-loving nation - with its cowboy heritage - has elevated the steak to cult status, give rise to a new wave of talented steakhouse chefs. Jeffrey Saad will check in with some of the best of these, learning how to finesse a quality piece of meat to present it simply (seared), gourmet style (Wellington), globally (churrasco), and even raw (carpaccio). Whether you like it bloody or burnt, this episode has a steak with your name on it.
Oysters and clams have dug deeply into the bed of American history; they were on hand to nourish and sustain our country's very first settlers. We celebrate them every year on Cape Cod with the Wellfleet Oyster Fest. This year, Jeffrey Saad will be on hand to explore the world of American oysters and clams-and learn how to shuck, suck, sauce, sear, and even shoot with the best of them!
Piping hot pot pies are the essential home-cooked meal, the ultimate American comfort food. Jeffrey Saad will explore what goes on under the crust - and find out how talented chefs are combining modern ingredients with global flavors and time-tested techniques to create one-of-a-kind casseroles that will keep us begging for seconds.
Funnel cakes, caramel apples, fried Twinkies, sausage sandwiches, sugary lemonade, chili-smothered fries-we're willing to indulge ourselves once a year in the name of good fun at the fair! Jeffrey will check out the best fair food in the country at the State Fair of Texas, tracing the history of the corndog, revealing the secret life of the candied apple, and showing us the most outrageous fried food of the year.
Carnivores rejoice! Meat is back on the menu at restaurants across the country as top chefs embrace the art of charcuterie - that is to say, sausage making. Jeffrey Saad will eat his way through this trend, sampling intricate terrines, making forthright salamis, and even helping one ambitious chef reinvent the pate of the masses: Spam.
Born in New Orleans out of depression-era necessity, the Po-Boy might just as well be declared our official national sandwich. Take a loaf of French bread, stuff it with a little shrimp or oysters or beef or pate or burnt ends or whatever you have on hand, add some lettuce, tomato, and a little Cajun magic, and you've got a filling and memorable meal. Jeffrey Saad will check out the best sandwiches in the Crescent City at the New Orleans Po-Boy Preservation Festival. As he eats his way from tent to tent, you can trust that' he'll be doing his best to keep the dream alive!