Launch party for beautiful and useful Tasting Colorado cookbook
Michele Morris was born to cook. When she was a child, the kitchen was her favorite room in the house, and the spacious, well-equipped home not far from the University of Denver campus still is. She has been exploring and expanding her culinary repertoire and knowledge. She wears many toques these days: culinary instructor (classes and private instruction), caterer, trained sommelier, writer, blogger, international culinary tour organizer and now cookbook author and food photographer. Her book, Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes from the Centennial State, was recently published, produced by. Farcountry Press.to showcase the recipes, mostly gleaned from Colorado restaurants, and mouth-waterng photographs.
Michele invited Colorado Authors’ League members and other friends to a tasting in her home to celebrate the launch of the book. Her versatility and easy way with students was evident as she demonstrated one of the recipes, a detuned Tequila-Lime Salsa (page 44) whose modifications including leaving out the tomatoes because Michele has no use for tasteless winter tomatoes. It is one of the few recipes in the book that does not come from a chef. It was created by Michele’s daughter Jenny, who is following in her mother’s footsteps.
Years ago, I was a volunteer assistant at Boulder’s Cooking School of the Rockies (now the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts). I never audited a class where I didn’t learn something, and so it was with Michele’s demonstration. When grating something on a microplane, she explained, if you turn the implement upside down and grate from below, the concave underside will hold what you’ve grated.
As a coffee table book, Tasting Colorado is lovely. As a cookbook, it is clear and easy to use. Most recipes are relatively easy. Michele has taken the trouble to explain the terms she uses. For example, “bread crumbs,” she explains refers to finely ground dry, unseasoned bread crumbs unless noted otherwise.” I was a bit surprised that she uses salted whole butter in her recipes. I only use unsalted, but otherwise, I found myself in synch with most of what Michele explained and also what I found in the book. It’s a keeper.