By Iuliana Petre

Killeen Daily Herald

Every culinary artist has their specialty, Chef Emeril Lagasse has New Orleans flavor, Rachel Ray has 30 minute meals that are heavily influenced by her Sicilian and Cajun ancestry, and Chef Tim Gary, the owner of Tim's Precious Catering & Cakes, has Nuevo Americana.

Nuevo Americana is Gary's own personal style of cooking in which he kicks American cuisine up a notch.

"I'm taking ordinary American cuisine and making it better," Gary said, adding that American food is just as good as the food in other countries except that American cuisine has received a lot of criticism for it's unhealthy appeal.

When people in other countries think of American food, they think of McDonald's, and unhealthy foods like hamburgers, french fries and hot dogs, Gary said, adding that Europeans like the French and Italians, and those from Asian countries like China and Japan, look down on American food.

Gary's approach to American cuisine, Nuevo Americana, involves being creative.

Take the hamburger for instance. Instead of a patty on a bun, Gary suggests stuffing the burger with the fixings – diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce and a flavorful cheese – then serve it on a foccacio bread.

Gary offers another variation with meatloaf. Instead of the seasoned ground meat and ketchup that we're used to, Gary suggests making a meatloaf cordon bleu by stuffing the meatloaf with ham and cheese.

"American food is just as good, you just have to experiment with different things," Gary said.

To see some of Chef Tim Gary's recipes, go to the Taste section at

Blackened tilapia with Remoulade Sauce


2 6-ounce tilapia fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

For remoulade sauce:

1 cup mayonaisse

2 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 medium shallots, finely chopped

1 diced red bell pepper

1 diced green bell pepper

1 stewed tomato, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Place the olive oil and butter into a pan.

Place the fillets into the pan and allow them to cook thoroughly before turning over.

For the remoulade sauce:

Stew one tomato in water. Peel off the skin. Dice the tomato.

Mix it in a bowl with the other ingredients.

Mix all of the ingredients it a bowl and place in the refrigerator for one hour. Pour the sauce over the cooked fish.

Maque Choux


1/2 of red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped

3 strips chopped cooken bacon

1 stalk diced celery

1 small white onion

1/2 cup (canned) lima beans

1/2 cup (canned) corn

2 tablespoon sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons milk

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine the vegetables (with the exception of the corn and lima beans) and cook them all at one time on stove top for 10 minutes.

Add the corn and lima beans, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Add the cream, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix in the cayenne, salt and pepper.

Add the milk and immediately turn off the heat.

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