Books That Cook

The Wild Wild West: Cuisine From the Land of Cactus and Cowboys

The women of the Junior League of Odessa believe there’s nothing better than “puttin’ on a pair of boots, meetin’ friends and eatin’ some good food.” And in The Wild Wild West: Cuisine From the Land of Cactus and Cowboys, the ladies show Texans how to celebrate the legends and icons of the Old West in a celebration of food and festivities.

Included in the celebration are more than 1,100 tested and pleasing recipes from dips, finger foods, and salads to brunch specialties, seafood, and sandwiches the size of Texas (not to mention some of the most creative pies and cobblers—think Western Mocha Pie and Frozen Champagne Dessert). Not only does The Wild Wild West contain scads of innovative, mouth-watering recipes, but it also includes comprehensive insider notes on the basics, such as making pie crusts and making domestic cheese look imported (running it under the boiler until the cheese runs). Look for “the good ol’ hints” section for some helpful, and often surprising, know-how.

Many recipes are packed onto single pages, and this book could be used as reference for just about any occasion or meal, Southwest-influenced or not. Though short on images and photos, Odessa artists have fashioned a charming cover scheme evoking everyone’s favorite cowboy imagery.

Sales from The Wild Wild West help fund the Junior League of Odessa’s many diverse philanthropic ventures, such as aiding the Children’s Symphony Concerts, the Salvation Army Toy Tea, the Hospice of Odessa, and much more. But the book’s creation goes beyond financial aspirations; these ladies hope to convey a sense of the true spirit of the Wild West and introduce some favorite recipes. Here’s a sampling of The Wild Wild West ’s offerings:

Rodeo Munchies
Mushroom Artichoke Quiche
Hot Stuffed Avocados
Best Little Margarita in Texas
Pancho Pie
Ranch Grilled Rack of Lamb
Chocolate Rope
Frozen Strawberry Margarita Pie

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