Big Sky Cooking
Overview - The West has a permanent pull on the American psyche. It's the place where the prairie meets the mountains, the mountains meet the sky, and the sky goes on forever. It's the home of our legends, our heroes and outlaws, our romanticized past. Meredith and Tom Brokaw could feel the attraction all the way from their home in New York City. Read more...
More About Big Sky Cooking by Meredith Brokaw; Ellen Wright; Tom Eckerle; Tom Murphy
The West has a permanent pull on the American psyche. It's the place where the prairie meets the mountains, the mountains meet the sky, and the sky goes on forever. It's the home of our legends, our heroes and outlaws, our romanticized past.
Meredith and Tom Brokaw could feel the attraction all the way from their home in New York City. Native South Dakotans, they had settled into a frenetic Manhattan lifestyle, tempered by frequent visits to Montana, until Tom could no longer resist. He convinced Meredith to join him in buying a ranch north of Yellowstone. Meredith, in turn, convinced her friend, passionate cook Ellen Wright, to come and discover for herself the bounty of the region--its trout, bison, and elk; locally raised poultry; native fruits and vegetables. The result is Big Sky Cooking
, a personal story of this Montana experience told through delicious recipes and menus, charming reflections, and glorious color photographs.
Nearly one hundred recipes, from new dishes to family standbys to reinterpreted classics, are organized into twenty menus that let you dip into the western lifestyle for any occasion: from a sunrise breakfast with eggs straight from the chicken coop to a picnic on the fly, from a rodeo dinner to a moonlight supper under the stars. The food is straightforward, unpretentious fare, as honest as Montanans and guaranteed to make every hour of the day an opportunity to enjoy the good life.
Along the way you'll be introduced to the region's charms: its slow rhythms, its work ethic, the influences of the ancient people and European settlers who formed the present-day state, the "neighbors" who live two hours away, the glow at dusk that's so extraordinary it has its own name.
We've all enjoyed armchair travel and what I've called armchair cookingdreaming about recreating Thomas Keller's ultra-haute "oysters and pearls" or whipping up one of Ferrán Adrià's magical foams. In Big Sky Cooking, by Meredith Brokaw (yes, Tom's wife) and Ellen Wright, we have a wonderfully enjoyable example of armchair living, recipes included. Montana is not exactly an exotic destination, nor are these down-to-earth dishes difficult to make, but most of us don't live on a large ranch with a great trout stream in an isolated valley north of Yellowstone. Tom and Meredith Brokaw doit's their "perfect complement" to the hurly-burly pace of Manhattan and it's been their shared passion for more than 16 years. With help from her friend, cookbook author Ellen Wright, glorious full-color photographs and Montana reflections by five of their literary friends, Meredith shares her "home on the range" with you. The meals and menus follow the rhythm of the ranch: forget cholesterol and breakfast on Bacon and Egg Pie and Lala's lavish Cheese Grits; for lunch, stuff pita pockets with easy Curried Chicken Salad or try the unusual Stetson Salad, with an intensely flavored aioli/pesto dressing. When there's an ocean of stars overhead, bring on the Dutch Oven Short Ribs and Marjoram Onions, grill Chipotle Chicken and end the evening with Rhubarb Crisp or Strawberry Fool. Good life, good eats, I think I'll move in.