5 Recipe Hacks for Iconic City Foods

by Lynn Lilly, Aug 19 2015
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is EAT!! Most iconic city foods are hard to replicate. I have come up with some easy hacks to create your favorite city foods at home! 
ATLANTA: Chicken & Waffles
Using a box waffle mix and a waffle press bake your waffles. Top with Chick-fil-a fried chicken nuggets. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy one of the best brunch treats EVER!!!!

CHICAGO: Chicago Dog
1. Some will argue the dogs are best served boiled. I prefer them char grilled. 
2. Place your cooked dog in the bun
3. Layer thin sliced pickles and tomatoes on the sizes
4. Squirt yellow mustard the length of the dog
5. Top with chopped white onions
6. Top with regular relish instead of bright green sweet relish (it's hard to find) 
7. Traditionally you are suppose to finish your dog with pickled sport peppers but they are had to find and expensive. Instead use cajun picked peppers which are inexpensive and easy to find at your local grocery store
8. Top with celery salt
NEW YORK: Cheesecake 
We took the basic New York style cheese cake recipe and created a lighter (as light as it can be) version using low fat cream cheese and light whipping cream. 
  • 3/4 cup of smashed cinnamon graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 packages of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (8 ounce packs)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla 
  • Light whipping cream 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush your graham crackers and mix with butter. Press into the bottom of a glass dish or spring form pan. 
  3. Mix sugar and cornstarch.
  4. In a large bowl whip sugar, cornstarch and cream cheese.
  5. Beat in eggs. 
  6. Lightly beat in vanilla light whipping cream
  7. Pour mixture into the pan.
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven and cool for 1.5 hours on a rack.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. 
PHILADELPHIA: Philly Cheese Steak
Cheese Steaks are one of my all time favorite foods. I prefer mine with out a red sauce. If you want a red sauce just a heat a bit and top the sandwich with it after the last step. This hack will be forever be my new cooking method for true Philly cheese steaks. 
  • 1 lb of Boars Head Slow Roasted Roast Beef (from the deli counter)
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 cup of mushrooms chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 hoagies 
  • 12 slices of white American Cheese
  • Tin foil 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Saut?  green pepper and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of oil until lightly browned.
  3. Remove mushrooms and peppers and saut?  onions with remaining oil until they are lightly browned. 
  4. Add the roast beef, peppers and mushrooms to the sauté pan. 
  5. Chop up meet as it is cooking. Cook until is no longer pink. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Slice your hoagies and line with slices of cheese.
  7. Once beef mixture is done fill the hoagie rolls.
  8. Wrap hoagie rolls in tin foil and place in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. 

CHICAGO: Deep Dish Pizza 

The crust is the most important part of a true Chicago pizza. I recommend spending time to make a delicious crust and use a hack to make jar pizza sauce taste homemade. 
Crust Ingredients:
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
Crust Directions:

Mix yeast ¼ cup of warm water, ¼ cup of flour and sugar in a bowl cover and let stand in a warm place for 15~20 minutes then mix in all the other ingredients mix well and let stand covered for about 1.5 hours. Kneed dough on a floured surface to remove the air bubbles. Split into two dough balls and roll out for two pizzas! 

Sauce & Fillings: 

Sausage, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan and 3 jars of pizza sauce 

I love sausage so I sauteed a simple pork sausage. I used a jar pizza sauce instead of making one from scratch. The trick to creating a tasty jar sauce is to heat the sauce, add a teaspoons of olive oil, salt pepper, Italian seasoning and cooked sausage. Let the sauce simmer for 20-30 minutes so the favors meld into each other. 



  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Rub butter all on the interior of the skillet/pan
  3. Roll out dough and press dough into the skillet or pan. 
  4. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese.
  5. Add sauce and sausage topping.
  6. Top with mozzarella and parmesan 
  7. Rub the tops of the crust with olive oil. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is light browned and the sauce is bubbling. 
Happy Eating!! 
xoxo- LL

cat-food Chicago Foods chicago hotdog Chicken & Waffles Deep Dish Pizza Famous Foods food New York Cheesecake New York Foods Philly Cheese Steaks Pizza Recipes

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