IF YOU JUST FLIP THROUGH Tim Love's new cookbook, you might come across the recipe for blue corn-crusted soft-shell crab with fire-roasted red pepper hollandaise and think, "Huh? What does that have to do with the West?" But on closer inspection, Love, the owner and executive chef of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, has created a culinary trail drive of his own through the West—one that reflects the past but emphasizes the present. Using as a base the commonplace staples of a variety of locales, he infuses his cuisine with the influences brought to the West by those early adventurers who populated it—German settlers, French traders, Spanish missionaries, Mexican vaqueros, the Acadian refugees, Chinese railroad workers, and of course, Native Americans. Therefore, armed with that knowledge when you came across a recipe for braised antelope ribs with Lonesome Dove BBQ Sauce and house pickles, you'd probably think, "Aha!"
Covering the same ground as the cattle drives from Texas up through New Mexico and Colorado, and even venturing off the well-traveled path with side trips to California and what Love calls the "new 'new' West—Australia, the closest thing in the world today to what the American West was a hundred years ago."
Love serves up dove tacos with ranchero sauce alongside roasted garlic-stuffed beef tenderloin with western plaid hash and syrah demi-glacé: Yes, the landscape of the rugged fare that was mere sustenance to the cowhands and settlers of yesteryear is familiar, but in Love's hands it has evolved—just like the West itself.
Blue Corn Crusted Soft Shell Crab with Fire Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise
Rocket and Goat Cheese Stuffed Quail with Roasted Ginger Sweets and Lingonberry Demi Glacé
Braised Antelope Ribs with Lonesome Dove BBQ sauce and House Pickles
Roasted Garlic Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Western Plaid Hash and Syrah Demi Glacé
September Dove Tacos with Ranchero Sauce and Pico de Gallo
Rattlesnake Cakes with Guajillo Aioli and Fried Spinach
New York Strip with Chipotle Sauce
Duck Spring Rolls with Sweet Hoisin and Spicy Garlic Dipping Sauce
Coffee Rubbed Kangaroo with Cilantro Lime Mashed Potatoes
Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce
Tuaca Cappuccino Flan
Chicken Fried Strawberries with Cinnamon Vanilla Cream