Recipes Inspired by America's Down-Home Eateries

When Dave Anderson was 6-years old, he had his first barbecue experience: slow-smoked ribs, slathered in a rich and sassy sauce. When he was 20, he started experimenting with his own barbecue, smoking meat in garbage cans and concocting seasoned sauces. Since then, he has spent 25 years traveling across America--down dusty backroads and sidestreets, and into jumpin' blues joints, backwoods smokehouses, huge mesquite pits, country kitchens, rowdy roadhouses, lakeside lodges, and rustic cabins--searching for great barbecue and authentic American comfort food. Inspired by the legendary meals he tasted along the way, Dave would return home to try his hand at recreating his own versions of his favorite road-trip recipes. 

Today, Dave's sense of taste has made him famous--literally. Dave is known as "Famous Dave," the founder of Famous Dave's of America, Inc., and creator of the authentic down-home, elbows-on-the-table, dig-in fare that has been grabbing the Midwest by its tastebuds. Many of his recipes are on the menus at his famous rib-shack restaurants (to date, there are 22 of them, spread out through Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota); many have received top awards across the country--"Best Sauce in America" at The American Royal Barbecue Contest in Kansas City, and "The Greatest Ribs in America" at The Great American Rib Cookoff in Cleveland. Now, for the first time, all of Dave's signature dishes and their mouth-watering accompaniments will be put on the table in FAMOUS DAVE'S BACKROADS & SIDESTREETS: Recipes Inspired by America's Down-Home Eateries (The Mino-Giizhig Fund/Favorite Recipes Press; May 1999;). This lip-smackin' collection of his personal favorites--barbecue, of course, but also seafood, soups, side-fixin's, sauces, and sinful desserts--reflects the best of the best from all-American kitchens across the country. 

Famous Dave's culinary tribute spotlights more than 100 recipes for comfort foods and authentic regional dishes. There's Voodoo Chicken and Mojo Salsa, Beale Street Shrimp and Corn Fritters, and Hot Jive Mashers, all dishes typical of the neighborhood storefront restaurants found in New Orleans and the blues joints in Chicago. Route 66 Truck Stop Chili, Creamy Sweet & Sour Coleslaw, and Caraway Cheddar Cheese Soup have their origins in small town roadhouses and cafes, the last bastions of home cooking. Front Porch Cheesy Grits, Real Honest Southern Fried Chicken, and County Fair Blue Ribbon Peach Pie are reminiscent of country kitchens, Southern hospitality, and all the comfort foods Grandma used to make. And, Log Cabin Chicken Pot Pie, Ketchickan Lodge Salmon Pate, and Drunken Peach Cobbler are common fare found on the tables at rustic cabins and lodges along the timber trail.

To capture the tastes, smells, and moods of this all-American comfort food, FAMOUS DAVE'S BACKROADS & SIDESTREETS boasts the colorful photojournalistic talents of Mike Rutherford, one of the country's premier photographers. Every vibrant page depicts the finished recipe in its authentic milieu, whether it be the live scene of a kitchen counter propped with classic memorabilia or a bustling BBQ storefront. As evocative images of Americana, they are all guaranteed to transport you to the same down-home eateries that inspired Famous Dave. 

Dave Anderson is as remarkably unique as his food and his award-winning restaurants. A man recognized for his extraordinary palate, devotion to detail, and dedication to perfection, he is also a silversmith, antiques expert, homespun philosopher, and philanthropist. (All profits from his book will be donated to The Mino-Giizhig Fund, a non-profit foundation that benefits disadvantaged youth. Mino-Giizhig is an Ojibway word for "Good Sky" or "Nice Day." It means there is hope for tomorrow, and today begins a start of life.) In 1997, Nation's Restaurant News honored Famous Dave's of America, Inc. with its coveted "Hot Concept Award" for being the most innovative and exciting new restaurant in the marketplace, and that same year, Famous Dave himself won the "Minnesota and the Dakota Entrepreneur of the Year Award" from Ernst & Young, NASDAQ, and USA Today. Famous Dave lives in Edina, Minnesota, with his wife and two sons. Color transparencies of the front cover are available upon request.

The Mino-Giizhig Fund
Favorite Recipes Press
Photographs by Mike Rutherford

110 full-color photographs throughout
Books available now
Publication date: May 1999
ISBN: 0-9668548-0-2

Route 66 Truck Stop Chili

3 pounds (80/20) coarse ground beef
2 teaspoons Famous Dave's Steak seasoning
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
2 (16-ounce) cans hot chili beans
1 (22-ounce) can tomato juice
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
1 (10-ounce) can beef broth
3 tablespoons Famous Dave's BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine ground beef, steak seasoning, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, Maggi, basil and garlic powder in a stockpot and mix well. Cook until the ground beef begins to turn a crusty brown, stirring frequently. Add celery, onion, green pepper and jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add undrained chili beans, tomato juice, undrained tomatoes, tomato puree, broth, BBQ sauce, Kahlua and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Simmer until of the desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Ladle into chili bowls. Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese, minced onion and plenty of crackers. Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Kahlua Fudge Brownies

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup espresso powder
4 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup Kahlua

Mix flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Heat the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat until blended, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Combine sugar, peanut oil, espresso and eggs in a mixer bowl. Beat for 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add chocolate mixture. Beat just until blended. Add flour mixture, beating just until blended. Stir in pecans. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the batter into a buttered 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges pull from the sides of the pan; do not overbake. Cool to lukewarm on wire rack or just enough to handle pan. Pour Kahl�a into a clean spray bottle. Spray the warm brownies with the Kahlua. Let stand until completely cool. To serve, cut into 3x4-inch brownies. Microwave just until warm. Split each bar into halves. Place the bottom half on a dessert plate and top with ice cream. Top with the remaining brownie half. Drizzle with warm fudge ice cream topping. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh strawberries and/or raspberries. Yield: 10 to 12 servings

These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:
Recipe(s) from FAMOUS DAVE'S BACKROADS & SIDESTREETS by Dave Anderson (The Mino-Giizhig Fund/Favorite Recipes Press; May 1999)