The Universal Iowa Recipe was compiled after hundreds of visits to dining establishments large and small, posh and plain, established and popup. It is the pure, raw, essential heart of the Iowa dining experience, boiled down into one fantastically easy-to-follow rubric.
GROUP A: ANIMAL MATTER: Pick one:
- One pound Niman Ranch pork tenderloin medallions
- One pound Yoder’s Natural Farm free range chicken breast, cubed
- One pound Graziano spicy bulk sausage
GROUP B: HEAVY STUFF: Pick one:
- 16 ounces Barilla Cavatelli Noodles
- 16 ounces Dahl’s Best Buy Tater Tots
- 16 ounces of HyVee Sweet Potato Gnocchi
GROUP C: BINDING MATERIALS: Pick one:
- 15 ounce can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 15 ounce can of Del Monte Creamed Corn
- 16 ounce container of Anderson Erickson Cottage Cheese
GROUP D: PLANT MATTER: Pick one:
- One cup of halved Brussels Sprouts
- Twelve asparagus spears
- One cup of morels (in season) or other mixed fungi
GROUP E: SAUCES: Pick one:
- One cup DeBurgo Sauce
- One cup Marinara Sauce
- One cup Alfredo Sauce
GROUP F: FLAVOR CRYSTAL INJECTIONS: Pick one:
- One-half cup of Maytag Blue Cheese
- One-half cup of LaQuercia Prosciutto Bits
- One-half cup of crisped and crumbled pork belly
GROUP G: INCONGRUOUS WILDCARDS FOR CRITICAL CREDIBILITY: Pick two:
- Caramelized figs
- Vidalia onion rings
- Butter brickle ice cream
- Hot dog relish
- Salmon roe
- Mexican chocolate
Cook Group A items until well browned. Drain fat.
Cook Group B items per instructions. Drain.
Blend Group A, Group B, and Group C items in a large bowl. Pour into casserole and bake at 375 degrees until brown.
Roast Group D items under a broiler.
Heat Group E items on stove top, whisk in Group F items.
Lay Group D items atop the casserole made of Group A, Group B, and Group C items. Pour Group E and Group F mixture on top.
Garnish with two Group G items. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve while hot.
Serves four (in Iowa), or twelve (elsewhere).