September 07, 2011

Big Ranch, Big City

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What happens when a staunch Texan from the rural ranching world goes to culinary school and trains in high-end restaurants? If that Texan is Louis Lambert, you get haute ranch cooking that blends the bold, simple flavors of his cattle-ranching heritage with sophisticated cooking techniques, a rustic repertoire touched with elegance. Now Lambert shares his West Texas food heritage in Big Ranch, Big City. This is a serious cookbook by a serious chef with five successful restaurants. The 125 recipes included are the kind you want to read through carefully, savoring the details and the often intriguing juxtaposition of ingredients. I’d save most of these dishes for weekend cooking when time is not an issue. You don’t want to rush through the prep or the enjoyment of dark roux-based Port Arthur Seafood Gumbo (his grandmother’s pièce de résistance), Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Quail Stuffed with Chorizo Corn Bread, Bock-Braised Beef Short Ribs or any of the proudly Texan treasures served up here.

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