Jared Allen tackles his own meat-heavy cookbook
Forget that clown Emeril and the effusive Guy Fieri; now when Minnesota dudes wants to make dinner, they can turn to the state's biggest man's man, Jared Allen. Yep, the same defensive end that the Vikings rely on to slay quarterbacks is offering his advice on how to make the perfect rattlesnake croquettes in his new cookbook, The Quarterback Killer's Cookbook: A bit of bull, plus bear, boar and buffalo.
While it sounds a little kooky at first, Allen is a well-known hunter -- be it with a spear, a gun or a bow and arrow -- and mixes the recipes with stories of some of his best takedowns. For just $16.69 you can make dinner like the mulleted one, who weighed in on how best to serve meat:
1. What made you decide to write a cookbook? The opportunity just presented itself. I think it's a great way to show people that you can substitute wild game into every day cooking in different styles. And I'm a big proponent of eating what you kill, and this is just another way of showing people how to do that.
2. Your cookbook tackles (ha!) a lot of different types of meat. If you were left on a deserted island and could only have one form of meat to eat for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why? I'd have to go with venison because it's DELICIOUS. No other reason.
3. What's your favorite animal to hunt and why? Honestly, I think whitetail deer is everyone's favorite hunt. That's the first hunt I ever went on. But really I like hunting predators. Predator hunting is fun; it just adds that little extra adrenaline rush in there. There's just something about spotting and stalking bears or calling for lions. I was out in Arizona and we were predator calling for mountain lions, and just knowing that they could actually be hunting you adds a little twist to the whole thing.
4. Your recipes range from swank (duck confit) to comfort food (buffalo meatloaf) to bizarre (rattlesnake croquettes). How did you pick which recipes made the cut? I took some of my favorite recipes and then asked for some input from my buddy who is a professional chef--Aaron May. We wanted to cover a wide range of people, so we have some easy quick-hitters. A lot of cookbooks have you "wrap your meat in bacon," so they're pretty dialed down. We wanted to show that you can really church this food up, but we also wanted to have some easy ones in there. Not everyone wants to spend two hours cooking. And then you have to throw some quirky ones in there--you have to throw some rattlesnake in there. I still haven't tried it, but it's in there.
5. So which recipe is your go-to favorite? My favorite is definitely the pheasant nuggets. That's one of the first wild game I learned to cook. When the weather is cold, chicken nuggets are delicious, and pheasant nuggets are even better. Have them with some country gravy and some mashed potatoes, and it just warms your soul.
6. In the Allen household, is there meat at every meal? Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely.
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