Cool weather brings with it longings for comfort food, and Cooking Fearlessly is the perfect tool to help you whip up something fabulous. But we’re not talking the usual fare like meat loaf or mashed potatoes. Authors Jeff Blank and Jay Moore (with Deborah Harter) have used a little imagination (and know-how) to come up with a cookbook full of recipes for comfort dishes with a little pizzazz like Pheasant Tortilla Soup, Wild Game Chili, Bourbon Vanilla Praline Sweet Potatoes, and Green Apple and White Bean Soup.
Back when Cooking Fearlessly was written, Moore was the executive chef at Austin’s renowned Hudson’s on the Bend. Blank (the owner) continues to delight patrons at Hudson’s, but Moore has since moved on and has opened his own restaurant, AransaZu, in Rockport.
This book is filled with beautiful photographs that make your mouth water while you flip through the pages. The colorful illustrations are the work of Jeff’s wife, Shanny Lott. After a foreword by Dan Rather, a regular customer at Hudson’s, the book begins with an introduction that describes the premise of the book. “Cooking Fearlessly is about wild and great ingredients, demystifying professional techniques, a little chemistry, and a lot of fun.” The authors claim that there is a philosophy by which they cook that subsequently became their motto: “We cook fearlessly!” Everything in Cooking Fearlessly centers around this one motto: how to excite the taste buds, how to inspire, how to break the rules. Each recipe has a list of tools you will need, an estimated time it will take to complete the recipe, a musical accompaniment, and a flavor note. In addition to pages on salt and seasoning, smoking, and grilling, you can also expect to find recipes for the following:
Rattlesnake Cakes in a Pistachio Nut Crust With Spicy Chipotle Sauce
Spinach Salad With Hot Honey Mustard and Bacon Dressing Topped With Smoked Quail Dipped in a Honey Cilantro Ginger Glaze
Butternut Squash and Granny Smith Apple Soup Topped With Jerked Pumpkin Seeds
Smoked Rainbow Trout With Nopalitos, Smoked Bacon and Apple Jack Sauce
Wild Turkey With Corn Bread and Chorizo-Liver Pâté Stuffing and Harvest Cider Sauce
Venison Stew With Wild Mushrooms and Biscuits
Hudson’s Nutmeg Scalloped Potatoes
Crumbled Apple With Bubbling Brandy Butter