Mario Batali's Big American Cookbook

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Shrimp and Grits

Celebrity chef, restaurateur and host of "The Chew" Mario Batali talks about his new cookbook: Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. Batali spent over two years collecting the best regional American recipes from the Northeast/New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast. He includes a variety of barbecue recipes from Texas, the Smoky Mountains and the Carolinas, seafood soups from Boston and Gulf Coast gumbos, and berry pies from the Pacific Northwest.

Events: On Sunday, October 16th at noon, Mario will be signing copies of the new cookbook at The BookMark Shoppe (8415 3rd Ave.) in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. On Sunday, October 30th at noon, Mario will be signing copies at Books & Greetings (271G Livingston Street) in Northvale, New Jersey. 


Shrimp and Grits



2 cups Brown Chicken Stock

2 cups milk

1 cup stone-ground white grits

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups finely shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese


2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into small strips

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne

1½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 cup Brown Chicken Stock

1 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

FOR THE GRITS: In a large saucepan, combine the stock and milk and bring to a boil. In a steady, gradual stream, add the grits, stirring constantly. Add the salt and continue stirring until the liquid returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring regularly but not constantly, for 20 to 25 minutes.

When the grits start to thicken, they’ll gurgle, and they’ll be molten hot, so make sure you’re using a long-handled spoon. Remove from the heat and cool a spoonful to take a taste. If the grit is gone, you’re ready to gradually stir in the cheese, then cover and set aside in a warm place.

FOR THE SHRIMP: Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the grease in the pan.

Mix together the salt, pepper, and cayenne and use to season the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the pan and sauté for about 1 minute, then flip and sauté for another minute, until opaque. Remove to a plate. Add the green onion whites and the garlic to the pan and cook for a minute. Add the stock and hot sauce and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the butter and flour. When the stock comes to a boil, take the pan off the heat, add the butter/flour mixture, and whisk to incorporate. Put pan back over the heat and stir until the sauce thickens.

Add the shrimp to pan and simmer 2 minutes, then add the lemon juice. Stir through and remove from heat.

Serve the shrimp over the grits, garnishing with the crisped bacon and onion greens.

Amish Beef and Noodles


1 beef chuck roast, 3 to 4 pounds, preferably bone-in

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, quartered

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 large carrots, chopped into

½-inch half-moons

4 stalks celery, chopped

1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves and stems separated

2 bay leaves

8 cups water

1 (1-pound) package egg noodles, preferably hand-cut Amish noodles

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season the roast with a liberal amount of salt and pepper on all sides.

In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the meat, deeply browning it on each side for 5 to 6 minutes, about 25 minutes total. Add the onion, garlic, half the carrots, half the celery, the parsley stems, and the bay leaves to the pot, then the water. Bring to a boil and cover.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 3 hours. Carefully lift roast from the pan and put on a platter. With a slotted spoon, remove the parsley stems, onion, bay leaves, and any of the other vegetables that may come up with them. Add the remaining carrots and celery to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook until tender, 7 to 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary. The noodles should soak up most of the liquid and be left coated in the remaining broth. Chop or shred the meat, discarding any bones. Season the meat with salt and black pepper, then return it to the pot. Stir and serve, garnished with chopped parsley leaves.

Apple Dumplings

Makes 6 Dumplings

Basic Pie Crust

6 medium cooking apples, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, peeled and cored, but left whole
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup raisins
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
½ cup cream

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Roll the pie dough out to about ¼ inch thick and cut into six 6-inch squares. Place one apple in the center of each square.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Divide the sugar mixture, raisins, and butter among the apples, stuffing it into the core of the apple and allowing it to generously overflow. Bring the corners of the dough to the top of each apple and pinch the edges together. Place the apples in the pan, at least 1 inch apart. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden. Serve warm with cream.


All recipes and photos excerpted from MARIO BATALI BIG AMERICAN COOKBOOK by Mario Batali and Jim Webster. Copyright © 2016 by Mario Batali LLC.  Used by arrangement with Grand Central Publishing.  All rights reserved.

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