Cooking with Laurel Evans

327_Laurel Evans_lowEasy Milano had a quick chat with Laurel Evans, American foodie who’s been busy cooking up American treats in Milan since 2004. Evans a seventh generation Texan, followed her curiosity across the United States, or as she says ‘loving and hating its foods, cultures and contradictions.’ Love brought her to Milan where her passion for food (especially for her native American dishes) took an unexpected turn with a successful food blog, several TV spots, published books and occasional cooking classes.

When and how did you first become interested in culinary arts?
I’ve always loved cooking, as long as I can remember, but my interest really took off when I moved to Italy. Being surrounded by one of the world’s most refined, beautiful and delicious cuisines really sparked my interest.

What are the most common stereotypes about American cuisine you aim to refute in your blog?
The idea that Americans only eat junk food, and don’t care about fresh ingredients or healthy eating.

What advice can you give to Italians when it comes to experiencing American cuisine?
Keep an open mind and do not judge us by our fast food! You wouldn’t want the world to judge Italian cuisine by the offerings at Autogrill!

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently helping to coordinate the Food Truck Nation at the U.S.A Pavilion at Expo. I create recipes for the trucks and do quality control.

How often do you host cooking classes and are they open to anyone?
My cooking classes are open to anyone, though I won’t be offering any more until after Expo ends in October. (Visit unamericanaincucina.com for details on cooking classes).

Laurel’s Buttermilk Pancakes327_pancakes
(Makes 5 large or 10 small pancakes)

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or substitute with 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, and 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil (for griddle)
  • extra butter (for serving)
  • maple syrup

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda and powder.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, lemon, egg, and melted butter. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just blended, but do not over mix.

Heat a spoonful of oil in a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium flame. When skillet is hot, pour a ladleful of batter into skillet. Flip when edges dry and bubbles start to form in the middle, about 2 to 3 minutes. The bottoms should be browned. Cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with remaining batter and serve immediately with a pat of butter and abundant maple syrup.

Follow Laurel Evans on Twitter (@laurelevans) or visit her blog: unamericanaincucina.com

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