Tasting Colorado (My First Cookbook) Is Here!

January 8, 2013  •  Colorado Cookbook

I cannot tell you how exciting this day is for me! I began work on my first cookbook project in the summer of 2011, tested recipes like mad through the end of 2011, and turned the manuscript in early in 2012. Then I waited. And edited. And waited. And proofread. And waited. And reviewed copy. And waited. And processed all of my photos for the recipes. And you got it, waited some more. That’s how publishing works, I’ve learned. And now the day is finally here – I have my advance copy of Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State and the books should arrive at the publisher in just a few weeks! You may pre-order books with the publisher (Farcountry Press, 800-821-3874), and for the first 100 books pre-ordered, I’ll send you a signed personalized bookplate. Just send me an email with your name, mailing address (US only please), to whom you would like it to read, and any other information you want to share. Of course, for those of you in Colorado just stay tuned for my book signing schedule and other ways you can get a signed copy of the book.wood-and-props-for-photo-shootsUnless you are someone really, really famous, writing a cookbook is more a labor of love than a get rich scheme. My colleague and friend Eliza Cross (cookbook author and publisher of the Happy Simple Living blog) referred Farcountry Press to me when they were seeking a Colorado chef and food writer (she also wrote the foreword to the book), and needless to say, I was thrilled to be offered the project. I think you’ll find that Tasting Colorado is more than just a cookbook, it’s a love letter to Colorado, filled with 120 recipes from top chefs at the best restaurants, inns, hotels, B&Bs, lodges and ranches that Colorado has to offer. Sidebars offer fun facts about Colorado, and I’m thrilled that the book features gorgeous Colorado scenery photos by none other than my sister, Janine Fugere of As Seen By Janine photography. If you live in Colorado, have ever visited, or just know that it’s one beautiful place, then you’ll treasure having this book.DSC_6344

Frico Caldo, from Frasca in Boulder
All of the recipes were tested and edited to make sure they work well for a home cook. You’ll love recreating recipes like these:

Cowboy Corn Cakes (on the cover)
Crème Brûlée French Toast
Bear Creek Smoked Trout Pâté
Tequila-Lime Salsa
Grilled Palisade Peaches, Serrano Ham, and Rocket Salad
Poblano Chile and Chive Mashed Potatoes
Buffalo Redeye Stew
Lobster Mac and Cheese (recipe below)
Traditional Home-Style Red Chile Pork Tamales
Chili-Chocolate Bourbon Cake
Roasted Colorado Peach-Pistachio Brioche Pudding with Ice Cream
DSC_5984 small for blogTo whet your appetite, I’m including today the recipe for what I consider to be the most decadent recipe in the book, Lobster Mac and Cheese from Frank Bonanno of Mizuna in Denver. It’s not everyday food, as it’s incredibly rich (I do give tips on how to lighten it a bit), but when you want something over the top, this dish is a winner.Lobster Mac 'n Cheese 5985 for blog

4.5 from 2 reviews
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 (1½ -pound) live lobsters
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) butter, cut into cubes
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • Chervil, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat until boiling. While waiting for water to boil, remove the tails and claws from the lobster. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat, add the tails and claws, and cover. Let the tails sit in the boiling water for 6 minutes, then remove and plunge them into an ice bath. After another 2 minutes, remove the claws and plunge them into the ice bath.
  2. When the lobster parts are cool, remove the meat from the shells, reserving the shells. Chop the meat into large pieces and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Place the lobster bodies and the reserved shells in a large pot and cover with 2 cups of oil. Heat until nearly boiling, then turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the paprika and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discard solids, and set the oil aside until ready to use.
  4. While the lobster is resting, cook the macaroni in salted boiling water until very al dente (an extra-firm bite); test often as brands vary in cooking time. Drain and set aside.
  5. Place the white wine, vinegar, peppercorns, and shallots in a nonreactive pan, such as stainless steel, over medium heat and simmer until nearly dry. Add the heavy cream and reduce by two-thirds.
  6. Slowly whisk in the cubed butter, one piece at a time, until fully emulsified. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, discard solids, and set the bowl over another bowl of warm water to hold the sauce warm until ready to use.
  7. Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the mascarpone, stirring until melted.
  8. Add the cooked lobster, stir, and heat until warm. Add the cooked pasta and heat until just warmed through. Stir in the wine sauce and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Divide evenly among four serving bowls; garnish with chervil and drizzle with the reserved lobster oil.
You can simplify the preparation of this recipe buy purchasing either pre-cooked lobster or frozen lobster tails, and simply omit the lobster oil portion of the recipe.



10 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. The Italian Dish says:

    Michele – this book looks great! Love the cover shot. I will be ordering one for sure – congratulations!

  2. Toni | Bouldr Locavore says:

    Woo Hoo! Congratulatons Michele! I know what a huge effort this was for you and I’m sure many will now enjoy the fruits of your labors. Do you feel like you just had a baby?! Cover is beautiful; so yummy!

  3. Karen says:

    Congratulations Michele! The photos are gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it in person.

  4. Kirsten@ My Kitchen in the Rockies says:

    I am looking forward for you to sign my copy of your gorgeous book! Congratulations Michele. I know how much love, time and effort you put into this book. I also think the cover is perfect! I am sure your book will be selling very well.
    (I can hardly wait to publish our travel post :))

  5. Pamela Sinclair says:

    The book cover and photos are beautiful and the recipe list is outstanding! I am so excited about the release of your lovely book – congratulations on this wonderful achievement, Michele!

  6. Carolyn Reimer says:

    Congratulations! I remember when you were working on it two summers ago when you visited Crested Butte and funny I had just been wondering recently when it would be released. The pictures look wonderful. Can’t wait to read it.

  7. Jane Bauer says:

    The book looks wonderful…I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  8. ATasteOfMadness says:

    What a fantastic sounding meal!
    Also congratulations!

  9. Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily says:

    Congratulations Michele! We love Colorado and looking forward to your beautiful New Book!

  10. Michele Gustin says:

    Hi Michele,
    I just found you on LinkedIn and would love to connect you with my Garden Club! Do you have any interest in speaking about your book and experiences in Colorado with us? Thanks for your time.
    Michele G. Dig & Dream

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