Faith, Family & the Feast
Recipes to Feed Your Crew from the Grill, Garden, and Iron Skillet
*Paniolo Pineapple-Pepper Poppers (recipe included below)
Can’t say I’ve come across a cookbook quite like this before. It may be one of my favorites for 2020. Faith, Family & the Feast: Recipes to Feed Your Crew from the Grill, Garden, and Iron Skillet by Kent Rollins and Shannon Rollins will speak to your inner cowboy/girl with its southern and western style recipes and tall tales. If you have someone in your life who loves the whole cowboy genre, this book will make an excellent addition to their library.
You may already know the authors. If not, it’s time for you to jump on team cowboy with authors Kent and Shannon as your guide. They are the superstars of the YouTube channel Kent Rollins Cowboy Cooking. In this cookbook you’ll join the chuck wagon trail experience through endearing recipes, spirited trail tales, and photos focusing on life, love and delightful meals. It’s really an excellent blend of Americana spirit and yum.
The authors share their recipes and wisdom as they cook for the ranch hands and campers entrusted to their care. ”We wrote this book as a way to pass on the blessings we’ve received from living in a mall rural cowboy community…” Unbelievably, they wake up between 2 and 3 a.m. each morning to prepare the meals. For my BBQ aficionados, you will be inspired by tales of the daily use of the portable 385 pound stove, “Bertha”. As the first cup of coffee is poured, the cooks and ranch hands gather to, “…thank the good Lord for the blessings we have, the grace to get us through the day without any bad horse wrecks, and the opportunity to have another great day above the grass.”
In the end, this is a cookbook. I like the fact that the recipes are easy to follow and filled with flavors influenced by traditional Mexican flavors including lots of different kinds of chiles. I am in heaven, just sayin’. You will enjoy the recipes like the Cowboy Eggs Benedict with Lemon Hollandaise Sauce, Paniolo Pineapple-Pepper Poppers (recipe included below), Root-Beer Roasted Potatoes and Caramelized Onions, Green Chile Mac and Cheese, and Grilled Shrimp in Chipotle-Honey Sauce.
Inspiring campfire stories, accounts of life at home and on the range, and cowboy poetry are combined with striking photos by Shannon Rollins showing both life on the range and what a successful recipe looks like. Each chapter begins with a cowboy tale. Part scripture, part faith and part hope capture the feeling of life’s trials and blessings. When you read the “Catch a Rabbit” story, let me know how you fare. I was a blubbering idiot.
At times, it seems the world is spinning out of control. This is probably good timing for the release of this particular kind of cookbook. The authors have provided a path for all of us to slow down and sit for a spell. Enjoy the original cowboy-tested recipes. If you can’t be out there in the wilds of Oklahoma with Kent and Shannon, find yourself an enamel cup, pour some coffee, fire up your BBQ, try the recipe on page 185 and tip your hat to food, family and American values.
This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. Take the book for a free spin around the proverbial corral.
Paniolo Pineapple-Pepper Poppers
MAKES 20 TO 24 POPPERS
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes
Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for a cowboy, and this recipe gives an island twist to baked pepper poppers by stuffing them with cream cheese mixed with pineapple chunks. It’s an appropriate homage to our island cowhands. Sweet mini peppers will give a change of flavor from the usual jalapeños.
8 slices thick-cut bacon
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15.25-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained well
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 to 12 large assorted sweet mini peppers or jalapeños, stems removed
Store-bought barbecue sauce for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Place the bacon on a baking sheet and bake, without turning, for about 10 minutes, until it is about half to three-quarters done. Drain the bacon on a paper towel or wire rack until cool enough to handle, then cut each slice into thirds. Wipe off the baking sheet. Leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, whisk the cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Chop the pineapple and mix it in, then mix in the cheddar cheese.
- Cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove any veins and seeds.
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pepper halves. Lay a piece of bacon on top of each one and push it down slightly onto the cheese. Generously brush the bacon with barbecue sauce.
- Place the stuffed peppers on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy and the peppers soften slightly. Serve hot.
TIP: Mini peppers come in red, orange, and yellow. They can vary greatly in size, so you may have leftover cream cheese mixture.
Excerpted from Faith, Family & the Feast: Recipes to Feed Your Crew from the Grill, Garden, and Iron Skillet © 2020 by Kent and Shannon Rollins. Photography © 2020 by Shannon Rollins.
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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Kent Rollins is an acclaimed storyteller and poet. He has appeared on the Food Network, NBC’s Food Fighters, and CBS Sunday Morning. He and his wife, SHANNON, live on a ranch in Hollis, Oklahoma.
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Note: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this cookbook provided a free copy to me to perform a professional review. No fee was paid by the author for this review. I review only recommends books that I find to have value for my readers. Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.