Recipes: 'Big Sky Cooking'

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Bonny Wolf recommends Big Sky Cooking by Meredith Brokaw and Ellen Wright for her roundup of summer cookbooks: It's "a big, beautiful book on Western living and cooking that evokes the wide-open spaces, high mountains and big sky of Montana."

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Butterflied Turkey on the Grill

It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving or any other holiday for us to serve turkey for dinner. Cooked on the grill and seasoned with lime juice and oregano, the meat acquires a rich smoky flavor that's quite different from that of the oven-roasted variety. Since a ten-pound bird will serve a large group, this is a recipe that we rely on throughout the year. It's really easy, and the conventional cooking time is cut by a third.

Serves 8 to 10

1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey, butterflied (see Note)

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 10 limes)

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the turkey, bone side down, in a large ceramic baking dish. Drench the bird with 1/2 cup lime juice. Sprinkle the oregano under the wings and a little over the rest of the turkey. Marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare a hot grill. Combine the melted butter and the remaining 1/2 cup lime juice and set aside.

Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Grill the bird, skin side up, over indirect heat with the grill covered, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 180°F, 60 to 90 minutes. Baste occasionally with the butter mixture and turn once near the end to crisp the skin.

Note: If I can get my butcher to butterfly the turkey, I let him; I prefer his job to mine. He splits the backbone down the middle and bends the bones so that the bird lies flat. The breast is in the middle with one leg and wing on either side, making a large flattened bird. Butterflying exposes the whole bird to the heat of the grill and promotes faster cooking.

Berry Cobbler

Blueberries, huckleberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any combination are good. We prefer locally grown huckleberries when we can get them, but the huckleberry-obsessed pickers make it tough to find undiscovered berry bushes. Montana's commercial jam businesses have a corner on the market in some areas, and because the season is a brief couple of weeks in early August, it's a mad scramble.

This dough can be made in advance and placed in soft clumps on top of the berries before baking. It's especially good with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream or cold heavy cream, whipped or poured from a pitcher.

Serves 8

6 to 7 cups berries (blackberries, huckleberries, raspberries, or blueberries, or a mixture; wash only blueberries)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (check date on label to make sure it is fresh)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter a deep 10- by 12-inch baking dish (or similar size) and add the berries.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, oil, baking powder, and salt with a fork. With your fingers, gather up clumps of the dough, about the size of lemons, and place on top of the berries. The dough will have small spaces in between the clumps for steam to escape as the cobbler bakes.

Bake the cobbler until the top is lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes.

Adapted from Big Sky Cooking by Meredith Auld and Ellen Wright. Copyright © 2006, Meredith Auld and Ellen Wright. Reprinted by permission of Artisan Books, a division of Workman Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Books Featured In This Story

Big Sky Cooking
Big Sky Cooking

by Meredith Brokaw, Ellen Wright, Tom Eckerle and Tom Murphy

Hardcover, 224 pages | purchase

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