I get more free cookbooks at the office than I could use if I cooked ten meals a day for the rest of my life. It’s an occupational hazard of being a food writer. I give a lot of them away, but this is one I think I’ll keep for myself: Grady Spears’ new book, Cooking the Cowboy Way, which he co-authored with June Naylor (full disclosure: I know both Grady and June). The two went all over the country, with a heavy emphasis on Texas, of course, drawing inspiration from cooks on and around ranches large and small. They then took these recipes and adapted them for regular kitchens and modern uses (i.e., dinner parties and backyard cooking). The results sound great: cayenne-rubbed ribeye with lime butter, lamb tenderloin with green olive jam, a pecan-and-pear crisp. Oh, and a Bloody Maria made with tequila and jalapeno Tabasco! The photography is fun, too. It’s never too soon to start stockpiling ideas for Christmas gifts. $29.99 (less on amazon and other web sites, of course); Andrews McMeel Publishing.
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