The Fort Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Famous Denver Restaurant

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9780060175672: The Fort Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Famous Denver Restaurant

1959 when he bought the stunning property that now holds The Fort, Informer advertising executive Sam Arnold was just looking for a place to build a house for his family. Then his eye was caught by a photograph of the fabled Bent's Fort, one of the original trading posts in Colorado. His family home became an adobe-brick replica of Bent's Fort, which then became The Fort, an extraordinary restaurant whose fame has spread far beyond the wide borders of the West even as the city of Denver has expanded toward Arnold's once-rural locale.

The Fort Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Famous Denver Restaurant chronicles the life of this singular eatery by presenting recipes from its earliest days and throughout its near-forty-year history. There are the unforgettable favorites that helped make The Fort beloved, such as White Cheese Shrimp Enchiladas and Rocky Mountain Oysters, as well as new spins on Old West classics, such as Gonzales Steak stuffed with green chiles and Buffalo Burgers, not to mention enough fabulous steak recipes to make a beef lover swoon. Arnold's inventive cuisine ranges from unfamiliar recipes for increasingly available ostrich and elk to such southwestern comfort food as Blue Corn Blueberry Muffins, Lakota Indian Fry Bread, and Chocolate Chile Cake.

Peppered with Arnold's exuberant notes on the history of the Old West and wisdom about food and ingredients, The Fort Cookbook is the result of Arnold's genuine curiosity and hands-on experience. Like the colorful Western characters that people his pages, Sam Arnold-author, raconteur, historian, and keeper of The Fort-is a larger-than-life figure with a generous, twofisted approach to hospitality. For armchair travelers recipe lovers, diners, and cooks, there could be no better scout.

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Review:

Mix a little theme-park flavor with a taste for the history of the Old West, add a hearty appetite and the yen to cook, and you might come close to The Fort--after 40 years of business, more a Denver institution than a restaurant. It was Samuel P. Arnold who first built his home as a replica of Fort Bent, a Colorado fur-trading post, circa 1840. And it was Sam Arnold who invited the public to share his enthusiasm for a time long gone but not forgotten. The Fort Cookbook tells the whole amazing story, dishing up some of the restaurant's more memorable recipes. The meat recipes (elk, venison, buffalo, lamb, and loads of beef) are alone worth the purchase price, but don't think for a minute that Arnold focuses on historic relics that taste as though they might best be left in a museum. He's a man with a modern palate, an eye on Southwestern cuisine as it has developed over the last 20 years, and the good sense to take any and all modern ingredients into account.

From the Publisher:

Have a hankering for buffalo meat? How about some Rocky Mountain oysters? For gourmets hungry for a taste of the Old West, these dishes and more can be found at The Fort, a popular restaurant near Denver that draws more than 100,000 guests per year.

The Fort Cookbook allows readers to savor the ambiance of this remarkable restaurant while enjoying the flavor of its celebrated fare. Here are recipes for such dishes as Hot Sausage Bean Dip, Battered and Fried Jalapeos with Cheese (a.k.a. Scorpions), Braised Buffalo Tongue with Caper Sauce, Chicken Adobe, Quail en Quinoa, Santa Fe Pork Chops and more. The Fort Cookbook also includes tempting desserts, breads and even drinks such as George Washington's 1786 Chatham Artillery Punch. Illustrations and stories from the old frontier days and atmospheric sidebars ("How to Teach a Bear to Drink") are peppered throughout, making it the perfect addition to cookbook libraries both east and west of the Rockies.

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