Dec 12, 201210:15 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
A Cookie's Christmas: A Holiday Cookbook Gift Roundup
If books are can't-fail Christmas presents, cookbooks are can't-fail Christmas presents that keep on giving (it feels so good to give). And Cowboys & Indians editors love to give. Below are our picks for the must-have cookbooks this holiday season. In their pages, you'll find recipes for venison neck osso buco, spinach, potato and caramelized onion tacos as well as tea and plum roasted rack of lamb. Dishes that range from light snacks to platters that could become new Christmas dinner traditions. Try not to drool over your keyboard, y'all?
Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent by Ellise Pierce (Running Press, $25)
You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl. After moving to Paris, Ellise Pierce began to suffer an affliction experienced by Texans when the Lone Star no longer flies nearby. So she did something about it. Pierce improvised and began to suss out substitute ingredients. Then, she started the Cowgirl Chef blog. Soon thereafter, she established a cooking school. Along the way, she showed that very Texan and American pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality, giving us cauliflower galettes with chipotle crème fraîche, zucchini-cilantro soup and brown butter walnut cakes (financiers aux noix), among other crackerjack recipes. Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent is an ideal gift for the homesick Texan. Buy it here.
Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers by Marissa Guggiana (Welcome Books, $40)
As quickly as we’re being technologically acculturated, we can’t help but continue to work with our hands. Be it woodcarving or breaking down a side of beef. This book gives aficionados of nose-to-tail eating an all-inclusive tutorial from the country’s greatest butchers, including Tom Mylan (The Meat Hook), Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due Supper Club & Butcher Shop) and Erika Nakamura & Amelia Posada (Lindy and Grundy's Meats), while retaining sufficient approachability for the novice. Author and co-founder of the Butcher’s Guild, Marissa Guggiana, has compiled 100 meat recipes (from hot dog to rack of lamb), 50 profiles and portraits of America's best butchers as well as hundreds of supplemental diagrams, illustrations, and photos, not to mention practical advice for the home cook with a shiny new set of knives. Get your modern meat bible here.
Jon Bonnell's Texas Favorites by Jon Bonnell, photographs by B.J. Lacasse (Gibbs Smith, $30)
A sure-fire hit in Texas, this cookbook from the chef-owner of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, one of Fort Worth’s premier restaurants, offers an upscale and unique taste of the Lone Star State’s culinary traditions for family settings. Recipes include crab-stuffed jalapeños, green chile ratatouille, venison quesadillas, and sweet pecan biscuits with cactus jelly, all perfect for passing and group grubbing. Also in Jon Bonnell’s Texas Favorites are techniques and tips essential to a dazzling meal. Among them are where to find quality ingredients, the base of any great meal, by naming the farmers, ranchers, cheese makers, and artisans he uses daily. This is some fine chowing. Buy it here.
Open Range: Steaks, Chops & More From Big Sky Country by Jay Bentley and Patrick Dillon (Running Press, $32.50)
With endlessness all around, Montana seems a land of possibilities. Perhaps that’s why the Western state has attracted a diverse population and is such a magnet for vacationers. Author and restaurateur Jay Bentley along with Patrick Dillon collect the resulting culinary eclecticism in Open Range. Home cooks can try their hands at Sicilian-style bison, wild duck and sausage gumbo, pork chops with honey, chipotles and lime, to name a few of the mouthwatering recipes found in these pages, where the sky is almost the limit. Pick it up here.
From Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish by Jesse Griffiths. Welcome Books. Text © 2012 Jesse Griffiths. Photographs © 2012 Jody Horton. Foreword © 2012 Andrew Zimmern. www.welcomebooks.com/afield
Afield: A Chefs Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish by Jesse Griffiths, photographs by Jody Horton (Welcome Books, $40)
From dove to deer and squirrel to crappie, author Griffiths and photographer Horton take us back to the land and back to the source of our food, offering readers new recipes and helpful tips for butchering, skinning, plucking, cleaning, preparing, as well as living and eating substainably, much in the way Griffiths does it for his critically and popularly praised Austin restaurant, Dai Due. And it begins with the thrill of the hunt. Because rabbit in pipian sauce just tastes better when you've snagged the game yourself. Buy it here.