I do love cookbooks. When offered the chance to review one that celebrates Montana I was quite excited. The Big Sky Bounty Cookbook by Chef Barrie Boulds and Jean Petersen was sent to me at no charge for my honest review by Arcadia Publishing. Read on to learn all about it.
About The Big Sky Bounty Cookbook:
From mountain streams in the west to rolling prairies in the east, Montana’s habitats and natural resources offer an abundance of culinary possibilities. The mountains provide the necessities for a delightful elk tenderloin with huckleberry demi-glace, while the prairie contributes to rattlesnake cakes with roasted red pepper remoulade. And gardens and farms statewide produce the makings of Aunt Lois O’Toole’s rhubarb strawberry pie. Chef Barrie Boulds and author Jean Petersen present locally sourced epicurean dishes that exude Montanan charm. Historical context enhances seventy-five easy yet sophisticated recipes celebrating unique flavors and heritage–with forewords from Chef Eric Trager and Western Ag Reporter editor Linda Grosskopf.
The Big Sky Bounty Cookbook is available at Arcadia Publishing
About the Authors:
Montana-born chef Barrie Boulds (chefbarrieboulds.com) brings more than twenty-eight years of experience to her private chef and catering business in the Yellowstone area. She has been featured in Wine Enthusiast magazine, the New York Times, Fodor’s and USA Today and has served clientele from celebrities to presidents. A graduate of Colorado State University and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Jean Petersen (jeanpetersen.com) has more than twenty years of professional writing experience as a columnist with Western Ag Reporter and nonfiction children’s author.
Let me start by noting that while most that live in this beautiful state would not begin to consider me a Montanan, I am just beginning to feel like I might have a small claim to the title. I’ve lived here for 12 years now so that is as long as I lived in Philadelphia. This state stole my heart as soon as we drove into it.
Montana is a state with a culture all its own. We learned a lot in our time touring the country in a fifthwheel and nothing so much as how different each state is. Food is one of the things that most defines a locale and here in Montana meat is king. It could be beef or wild game like elk, deer or antelope. But we mustn’t forget the occasional meal of trout as fly fishing is almost a religion. The Big Sky Bounty Cookbook offers delicious takes on all of these and more.
The recipes showcase the bounty of ingredients that are very familiar to the people that live in Big Sky country but looking through it with my New Jersey brain I can see how they can, in many cases, be worked around to suit what you have in your local pantry. They will then lose the Montana flavor but the base recipe will still work. For example, the Elk Tenderloin with Huckleberry Demi Glace could be reworked with either venison or beef and blueberries.
The book follows a traditional layout with chapters for appetizers, salads, main dishes, breads and desserts. The one deviation is a section for wild game – which in a state where hunting is a way of life would be expected. The desserts are pretty standard – as you see from the cheesecake I’ve made – but they are good, solid recipes that would be welcome at the end of any meal.
There are several recipes I am looking forward to trying like the Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette. The spinach should be coming in soon. The elk recipe I mentioned above but as I have venison in the freezer that is what I will use – unless I’m presented with an elk. And there is a breadstick recipe that looks very interesting. I suspect you’ll be seeing that soon in my Instagram feed. The recipes are all easy to follow and for the most part the ingredients are either easy to find or easy to substitute.
There are delightful bits of Montana history and lore sprinkled throughout the book along with some great photos. I’m still learning about my new home state and any little snippet of information is welcome. This book would make a delightful gift for someone new to Montana, an old Montana hand or someone who dreams Montana dreams.
Find more great books from Arcadia Publishing
New York Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 TBS white sugar
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese ( 5, 8oz pkgs) at room temperature
1 lemon, zest and 1/2 tsp of juice
1 orange, zest and 1/2 tsp of juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 TBS all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
Chocolate Ganache if desired for serving
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
chopped fruit like strawberries or cherries
Preheat oven to 375°
Butter the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with 3″ sides
In a bowl combine the graham crackers, sugar and softened butter. Mix well
Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
Bake until light golden in color, about 8 minutes. Remove and let cool
Lower the temperature to 350°
Heat and keep warm enough water to fill a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan.
When the pan is cool butter the sides and wrap the sides and bottom in several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil
With a mixer, mix together the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, vanilla and sugar.
Continue blending while adding flour and each egg and yolk, one at a time until well combined.
Add in the sour cream and mix well
Pour mixture into the prepared springform pan.
Place the springform into the roasting pan and place it on the oven rack. Carefully add enouth hot water to come halfway up the side of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly you can create a foil tent.
How Was the New York Cheesecake?
Seriously? Do you have to ask? This was a very different recipe from my normal cheesecake recipe. That one does not require a water bath. It’s also a bit denser. I like that recipe very much and I like this recipe very much – they are just different from each other.
I fancied this up with a ganache sauce and some fresh cherries. Another night I had some fresh strawberries. Both were delicious.
Questions? Comments? Leave them here: Instagram
A big, fluffy, light classic cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 1/2 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 TBS white sugar
- 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese ( 5, 8oz pkgs) at room temperature
- 1 lemon, zest and 1/2 tsp of juice
- 1 orange, zest and 1/2 tsp of juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3 TBS all purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Chocolate Ganache if desired for serving
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- chopped fruit like strawberries or cherries
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Butter the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with 3″ sides
- In a bowl combine the graham crackers, sugar and softened butter. Mix well
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
- Bake until light golden in color, about 8 minutes. Remove and let cool
- Lower the temperature to 350°
- Heat and keep warm enough water to fill a roasting pan large enough to hold the springform pan.
- When the pan is cool butter the sides and wrap the sides and bottom in several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil
- With a mixer, mix together the cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, vanilla and sugar.
- Continue blending while adding flour and each egg and yolk, one at a time until well combined.
- Add in the sour cream and mix well
- Pour mixture into the prepared springform pan.
- Place the springform into the roasting pan and place it on the oven rack. Carefully add enouth hot water to come halfway up the side of the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly you can create a foil tent.
- The cheesecake is done when the center does not jiggle.
- Cool on a wire rack, remove the foil.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
- If you would like to make the ganache sauce for serving:
- Heat the cream just to boiling.
- Add the chips and stir until dissolved.