8 Ways to Eat like a Commander in Chief this President’s Day
We can’t think of better way to salute our presidents than to indulge in their favorite foods. Can you guess who loved grilled cheese?
Food & Wine
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John F. Kennedy (1961-1963): Fish Chowder
It’s no surprise that this Brookline, MA native loved his chowder, or “chow-dah,” as he might have said. To deepen the flavor of this lightly creamy, bacon-studded chowder, chef Wade Murphy at the Lisloughrey Lodge adds the briny cooking liquid from the mussels and clams.
Despite all the delicacies available to the leader of the free world, FDR was happiest with a simple grilled cheese sandwich. And we can’t blame him! This one calls for a mix of Gruyere, fontina and mozzarella.
As far as non-jelly bean foods go, Reagan was a big fan of our favorite creamy carb dish: mac and cheese. At Slows Bar BQ, Brian Perrone makes his mac and cheese using just cheddar, but its flavor is so rich that customers often assume he uses several cheeses. That inspired Perrone to create this decadent version, which includes cheddar, Muenster, Swiss and just a touch of cream cheese.
A Missouri native, Truman was a lifelong fan of his mother’s fried chicken. This recipe from chef Shaun Doty of Bantam + Biddy in Atlanta is a no-fail, no-fuss version with a perfectly crunchy seasoned crust (the trick is the cornstarch) and juicy meat.
Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the most voracious eater, perhaps due to the fact that he was dealing with stress associated with being president during the Civil War, but one dish that supposedly could tempt him was a creamy Chicken Fricasee. This version, from Chef Andrew Carmellini, has meaty shiitake mushrooms, white wine, sour cream and celery leaves for fresh garnish.
Besides being a Union Army Civil War hero, America’s first four-star general, and the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant was a rice pudding aficionado. A quick thyme-scented butterscotch sauce made with butter, brown sugar and Scotch adds a terrific flavor boost to this rice pudding.
In the days before modern refrigeration, ice cream was a novelty that James Madison and his wife Dolley loved. This recipe for American Style (meaning it contains only milk, cream and sugar, no eggs) is from Molly Neitzel, owner of the hip Seattle ice cream shop Molly Moon’s. She recommends using the best-quality local milk and cream. "You can really taste the difference when making American-style ice creams," she says.