July 10, 2013

"Open Range" by Jay Bentley

Open Range: Steaks, Chops, and More from Big Sky CountryMy rating: 5 of 5 spoons

This is a beautiful book!! Before you ever get to the recipes it is a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous photos of one of this nation's beautiful states and glorious food tempt you immediately. There is a history of the author's restaurant as well as a brief history of meat in Montana and an "Equipment and Essentials" section before diving into the food--and what food!! Everything from your basic comfort foods of Salisbury Steak and Meatloaf to the more interesting Bison Carpaccio (okay, let's be honest here. This is a dish I'm sure to avoid as I don't like raw or even rare meat, but some would love it!), Pan-Roasted Halibut with Beurre Blanc and Fresh Chanterelles, Plancha-Grilled Flank Steak, Argentine Style, and Dearborn Ranch Pheasant Wrapped in Bacon and Grape Leaves. There are plenty of great sides and starters as well. There isn't a photo for every dish, but a good portion of them are illustrated.

There are so many lovely recipes in this book. Truly, there's something for just about everyone. The Mint-Style Barbeque Shrimp is seriously calling my name!! The Polenta and Grilled Sausage is destined for my family's "please make this again!" pile, and the Butte Pasties as well as the Natchitoches Meat Pies are sure to be made often. I love that the Butte Pasties are baked making them a little healthier, and can be made ahead and frozen for months at a time.

I knew I would enjoy this book the moment I saw it, but honestly wasn't sure how many recipes I'd actually cook out of it. I was so pleasantly surprised! Many cookbooks like this use hard to find ingredients or mostly expensive cuts of meat that don't fit into our budget, or have such off the wall ingredient combinations that it doesn't even sound appealing. "Open Range", however, caught my interest from the get go and didn't let go. This is sure to go on my favorites shelf and I highly recommend it!

I received a copy of this book from Running Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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