There are two things that amaze me about this book. First, it is already 10 years old. Second, I’ve never posted a review. Well, it’s Throwback Thursday and time to fix all that.
When I go through a cookbook, I do it with care. I turn each page, scan each recipe and, if the recipe peaks my interest, then I put a sticky on the edge. In a good book, I’ll find ten or so things I want to try. Or, actually, nudge my wife Suzi into making for me. I do bake and I make cocktails. I make a good Caesar salad. Beyond that, I leave it to her.
This book is the record setter. I marked 43 recipes as ones we have to try. And we’ve made a start, doing almost 20 of them. Some I’ve posted here:
- Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes
- Spoonbread with Simple Chorizo
- Bread and Butter Jalapenos
- La Paloma Grapefruit Margarita
I can’t put every recipe in the book up here. The author would be a tad miffed, but if I could I would. The recipes roll on, page after page, invitingly delicious. The primary chapters include, with some examples:
- Starters: tamales, chiles, sliders and tostadas
- Soups, Salads, and Sides: maple mashed sweet potatoes, bread salad with oven-dried tomatoes and cheese
- Texas Chef’s Corral: trail food like biscuits and chowders
- From the Butcher Shop: from meatloaf to ribs to sausage
- Things You Don’t Rope: trout, catfish, chorizo, quail, chicken [and dumplings]
- From the Pantry and Larder: roasted chiles, onion jam
- From the Bakery: cornbreads, flapjacks and blueberry butter
- Before the Bedroll: desserts like Dr. Pepper Cake, blackberry crisps, and apricot fried pies
Now, I don’t think that real cowboys often dine on the recipes I tagged. I just don’t. Take a look and render your own opinion:
Barbeque Quail Tamales
Cilantro Nut Mash
Goat Cheese Sliders with Creamed Onion Jam
Lamb Chops with Orange-Fig-Pecan Relish
Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Salsa
Tamales Stuffed with Roasted Garlic Shrimp
Oh, and then there are the West Texas Brownies. A standard brownie batter is prepared and put in a pan. Then there’s a cheesecake mixture — cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and more — poured on top. Then you bake. Then you frost. Then you top with pecans. It’s enough to turn you into a cowboy. If you are every in west Texas, the town of Marathon, then go to the point of creation: the Burnt Biscuit Bakery.
You can spend many night dining ala Texas cowboy. It’s a book loaded with ideas you can use year round. Perhaps you’d enjoy the morning jolt of an English muffin topped with Jalapeno Apple Jelly. I do.