‘Maverick Cookbook’ offers cornucopia of recipes


WHAT: The Maverick Cookbook.

WHERE: Sold at Colorado Mesa University bookstore.

COST: $14.95. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the scholarship funds of the Alumni Association and the Culinary Arts Program.

Some of my favorite recipes have come from collaborative cookbooks.

The cookbook by the Junior League of Austin, Texas, and recipes from the Ladies Camellia Society of Charleston, S.C., are dog-eared favorites and still on my kitchen bookshelf.

These types of books are like the potluck of recipe compilations. You never know what somebody is going to bring to the table.

So, I was keen to check out the new Maverick Cookbook, with contributions from a variety of folks in the Colorado Mesa University family.

Several grads of the culinary program share some of their recipes, including: Lee Mathis, owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes; Pat Kennedy, Talon Wines; and Shane Dixon/John Wilson, Fin’s Grill.

Restaurants around Colorado are dotted with graduates of the Colorado Culinary Academy, a testimony to the program’s success.

Mathis, especially, was a fountain of recipes. His guide for making steak au poivre and chorizo-stuffed grilled jalapenos make the steps seem relatively easy. He doesn’t include the secret ingredients in his cheesecakes. Darn.

Another prolific contributor is culinary instructor John St. Peter, who offered a passion fruit jalapeno vinaigrette, champagne vinegar and Parmesan dressing and flank steak roulades. He also has a great-sounding idea for a zucchini dish that isn’t zucchini bread or zucchini boats.

Former state Sen. Josh Penry, football standout and alum of Mesa State College, kicked in a recipe for Shrimp Maverick, a rice and shrimp dish that includes, gulp, a pound of Velveeta.

Laurena Mayne Davis, managing editor of The Daily Sentinel and another Mesa graduate, shared a couple of her favorites, red hot walnuts candy for the holidays and German pancakes.

University President Tim Foster offered his chicken curry soup recipe and Coach Kris Mort came up with easy-to-make chicken enchiladas. “The girls on the softball team love these,” Coach Mort said.

While there are a few examples of grandma’s casserole surprise centered around a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, most of the recipes sound quite good and tried-and-true.

The culinary students were bubbling with creative ideas and more than a few regional specialties from their families, including chicken tortilla soup from Mexico, lomi salad from Hawaii, from-scratch wienerschnitzel, Hungarian paprikash and huli-huli chicken.

One concoction with a built-in timer, called popcorn chicken, advises the cook to fill the bird’s cavity with stuffing and popcorn kernels. Listen for the popping sounds to know when it’s ready.

“When the chicken’s rear-end blows the oven door open and the chicken flies across the room, landing on the table, it is perfectly cooked and ready to eat.”

FOOD TRENDS: If the 2012 Zagat Guide to dining in New York City is any indication, “the South will rise again,” the Associated Press reported.

Southern food tops this year’s trends with Red Rooster and The Cardinal serving such dishes as okra, smothered pork chops and fried green tomatoes.

Other trends include on-site gardens providing roof-to-table ingredients.

According to the survey (remember, in New York) the average cost of a meal was $43.46. The average cost of a meal at the city’s 20-most expensive restaurants was $163.34,

FALL WINE SALE: Corks Fine Wine & Spirits in Montrose is having its 12th annual fall wine sale. All wines in the inventory will be on sale through Oct. 31. 16420 S. Townsend Ave., 249-5565.

QUOTE: “It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” — Julia Child

Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@ gjsentinel.com.


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