Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cookbook Lalapalooza

I love my readers, I love cookbooks and I love sharing. I’m combining all of these things to give you something to really celebrate this holiday weekend. During the entire month of July, in conjunction with Andrews McMeel Publishing, I’m bringing you a Cookbook Lalapalooza, where I will be giving away cookbooks every single week.

Here’s how it will work: I’ll feature some of Andrews McMeel’s best of the best cookbooks on Sunday’s. All you have to do is to leave me a comment at this post; send me an email at or tweet me at and TELL ME WHICH ONE YOU WANT! That’s it. YOU choose.

Full rules at end of post.

Today's giveaways would have come in handy this weekend (sorry!), but you’ll have the rest of the summer to experiment.

This week’s books are:

Cooking The Cowboy Way by Grady Spears with cowboy tales and recipes inspired by campfires, chuck wagons and ranch kitchens.

America’s Best BBQ by Chef Paul Kirk and Ardie A. Davis - a fantastic compilation of recipes and other useful information from the country's best BBQ joints.

Rick Tramonto's Steak With Friends contains lots of grilling tips and meat recipes. But it’s also loaded with recipes for appetizers, side dishes and desserts.

Here’s a classic from Steak with Friends – the iceberg wedge salad with blue cheese dressing:

The Wedge

from Steak with Friends by Rick Tramonto

(Posted with permission)

8 slices thick-cut bacon

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup crumbled Stilton or another blue cheese

¼ cup buttermilk

¼ cup sour cream

2 tbls. freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 small, densely packed heads baby iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed, inner core quartered; or 1 large heard iceberg, quartered, each quarter cut into 4 pieces

1 carrot, peeled and julienned

3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal

2 cups diced cucumber

8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

4 radishes, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly black pepper

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until just crispy. Drain on paper towels. When cook, break into small pieces.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, mix together the mayonnaise, cheese, buttermilk, sour cream, lemon juice, and Worcestershire. Pulse until blended but with some chunks of cheese remaining.

Divide the wedges of lettuce among 4 chilled plates. Dress each wedge with the dressing and top with generous scatterings of the bacon, carrot, and scallions. Sprinkle the cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes around the lettuce and season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.

Grilled Sourdough with Texas Onion Butter (serves 10)

From Cooking The Cowboy Way by Grady Spears

(Posted with permission)

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup chopped green onions , tops only

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 loaf sourdough bread

Blend the butter, green onion tops and garlic and refrigerate just long enough to set, about 30 minutes. Cut the sourdough into ½ inch thick slices. Grill over a warm fire (or in a skillet or grill pan), then spread with the onion butter and serve.

Fried Green Tomatoes (serves 6 to 8)

From America’s Best BBQ by Chef Paul Kirk and Ardie A. Davis

(Posted with permission)

4 to 6 medium green tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups cornmeal

2 cups cold milk

2 large eggs

2 tbls. bacon grease, or more if desired

Slice the tomatoes 1/4 to ½ inch thick. Salt and pepper them to taste on both sides. Place the flour and cornmeal in separate shallow dished for dredging. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and eggs, beating until incorporated. Place the bacon grease in a large skillet and heat over high heat. When the skillet is hot, dust each tomato slice with flour, then dip it into the egg wash, and then into the cornmeal. Fry some of the battered tomato slices for about 3 minutes, or until golden on the bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rules for Cookbook Lalapalooza

Each week in July, I’ll highlight 3 cookbooks from Andrews McMeel.

To win one of them, all you have to do is tell me which one you want - one of three ways:

1) Send a comment to this post. (Include your email address, if your name doesn’t link to it.)

2) Send me an email at

3) Tweet me at

Enter as many times as you wish. ONE ENTRY per comment, email or tweet please. Contest open to US residents 18 years old and above.

I will be picking winners randomly at the end of each week. You may give me a second and third choice too, so that if your name is chosen and I’ve already given away your first choice book, you won’t be disappointed.

This week's giveaway ends on Saturday, July 10th at 11:59 pm eastern time.


Cheryl said...

Oh my gravy! I would definitely choose the Rick Tramonto's Steak With Friends.

Thanks for the opportunity to enter my name.

Java Joggers said...

Ooh... I hope I win! I'd love any of the books, but since you want me to choose ONE, I'd want the STEAK WITH FRIENDS cookbook.

Hope all is well with you!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for having the giveaway, Sue! They all sound great, but I think the Cowboy Way sounds like the most fun.

Buy Or Sell Tickets Here said...

Jonathan Hatcher would love to have.....America’s Best BBQ by Chef Paul Kirk and Ardie A. Davis - a fantastic compilation of recipes and other useful information from the country's best BBQ joints. --- My Cook Outs would then be complete!!!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

When I saw the "wedge" I thought it would be a steak sandwich - a big steak sandwich. It's tough living in Westchester, where we're the only folks around who refer to a big sandwich as a wedge.

high low said...

Nice giveaway! I hope I win America's Best BBQ - it sounds like a great book both for grilling and for traveling around the country!


Sue said...

Good choices, everybody! Keep 'em coming. You have until Saturday, the 10th of July at 11:59 pm eastern time to tell me which cookbook you'd like.

Emily said...

Yaaay! I love cookbooks. Great giveaway!

I'm going to go with Rick Tramonto's Steak cookbook, because that's an area I need help with. :D

I'll go with the BBQ for #2.

Heather said...

Ohhh...cookbooks! Can't believe I almost missed the opportunity. Steak With Friends if I win!

Sue said...

Emily and Heather,
Good job! You made it before the deadline.

Robyn @ WannabeWriterRunner said...

Great giveaway! I'd love the BBQ book b/c I've never tried to make a BBQ dish but I love BBQ food!

Sue said...

Welcome! But you're a week behind. That was LAST week's book.

You still have 12 1/2 hours to win one of THIS week's books. Click here.