From The Heartland To The Table: Dine In With Fresh Regional Tastes Of The Nation

Demand for wholesome, sustainable food from American land is gaining momentum as Americans become increasingly aware of their food’s composition and origin.

Demand for wholesome, sustainable food from American land is gaining momentum as Americans become increasingly aware of their food’s composition and origin. Industry experts agree: Natural and domestic are two key criteria for food consumption and will remain on-trend for years to come.

American Lambs, produced in nearly every state across America and available fresh year-round, are raised on a high-quality natural diet and are free of growth hormones, offering a tender, mild flavor that fits in perfectly with this movement. In fact, according to a recent Synovate study, consumers prefer American Lamb, ranking it superior in terms of quality, taste and healthfulness to imported lamb. In keeping with the preferences of U.S. consumers, domestic producers raise American Lamb to ensure the highest-quality product with a consistently mild flavor and higher meat-to-bone ratio.

Chefs across the nation respond to the growing demand for fresh, natively grown ingredients with inventive spins on close-to-home, regional cuisines. From the depths of the Southwest to the heart of the Big Apple, chefs demonstrate how lamb’s versatility and savory flavors harmonize beautifully with cuisines deeply rooted in American heritage. To help expand this trend to the home, acclaimed chefs have provided ideas for dining in with a variety of inventive American Lamb dishes that pay tribute to regional cuisines from across the nation, including Floribbean, Midwest, Southwest and Classic New York:

• Floribbean: The infusion of Floridian, Latin and Caribbean cultures has introduced an innovative cuisine that treats America to savory meats combined with sweet fruit flavors and straight-from-the-garden side dishes and garnishes. Sear a boneless lamb loin marinated in a guava or citrus glaze. Serve with calypso rice and a fruit salsa.

• Midwest: Midwestern cuisine continues to change with its seasons, from sheltering stews to backyard burgers. For a one-pot meal that’s great for entertaining and tastes just as great the next day, try serving a lamb loin roasted with carrots, celery, potatoes and turnips.

• Southwest: Southwestern fare is light, zesty and fun. These dishes are easy to create and simple to share. Grilled lamb with salsa verde is perfect when serving a large group. Butterflied lamb shoulder is tender and flavorful once marinated in spicy salsa and tossed on the grill.

• Classic New York: As the indisputable restaurant capital of America, some of the city’s most enduring scenes are upheld by American culinary classics such as the grilled rack of lamb, New York strip and garlic mashed potatoes. A roasted rack of lamb with a rosemary rub is easy to prepare and provides the perfect crowd pleaser.

Southwest Lamburger With Golden Tomato-Mango Ketchup

Recipe from Chef Sandy Garcia

4 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 10 to 12 minutes

1 pound ground American Lamb

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped roasted poblano or pasilla chile pepper

1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley leaves)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 hamburger buns

Golden Tomato-Mango Ketchup recipe follows

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Make into four 1/2-inch-thick patties.

Grill over coals covered with grey ash for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place lamb patty on each bun and top with golden tomato-mango ketchup.

Golden Tomato-Mango Ketchup

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

4 yellow tomatoes, chopped

1 mango, peeled and chopped

2/3 cup white wine or chicken broth

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon white pepper

In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sautÈ for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and mango, cook for 5 minutes. Blend in wine or broth, vinegar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool. Place in blender and blend until smooth.

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