Showing posts with label An Appetite for Murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label An Appetite for Murder. Show all posts

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Broiled Yellowtail Snapper, a la Melissa Clark #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: Coming from the "fish stick generation," fish is something I don't have complete confidence in cooking. Shrimp I can do. Crab cakes sure. But fish? Not so much. Especially when Key West restaurants do it so well. 

But when our neighbor gave us fresh yellowtail  snapper (caught by his son that very morning,) and when Melissa Clark offered a tasty sounding recipe in the New York Times that also looked easy, how could I resist? This is a flexible recipe so ingredients can be adjusted according to your taste.







Ingredients

 1 pound or so white fish
4 ounces unsalted butter
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
2 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 to 1 inch fresh ginger, grated 
 Grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste





Melt the butter in a small pan, add the curry powder, fresh garlic, and ginger, and heat for a minute or two until the flavors are combined. Stir in the zest. 

Place the fish fillets on a small, rimmed baking sheet. (I covered mine with foil first.) Heat the oven to broil. 

Spread the sauce and its butter over the fish, and broil until done, or just flaky. Probably not much more than five minutes. 


Serve with lemon wedges, rice, and a vegetable or salad. I still say Seven Fish restaurant in Key West does fish better than I could imagine cooking myself, but this was pretty darn tasty. 

And  just for fun, here's a snippet from AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, when Hayley is writing her first-ever review, of Seven Fish restaurant. Funnily enough, she doesn't even mention the dish I order almost every time (yellowtail snapper in a light Thai curry sauce):

“The best starter isn’t on the regular menu, though it’s almost always offered: Sautéed grouper roll. (Or mahi mahi if the ban on fishing grouper holds.) Prepare your taste buds for a mélange of sweet, fresh fish, buttery avocado, and sauce-absorbing rice, all wrapped in a crispy tissue of seaweed. Incredible! The fish tacos are almost as good—under no circumstances neglect the spicy cole slaw that comes on the side. If you need to eliminate some choices, the crab cake has a larger ratio of cake to crab than this reviewer prefers, and salads are above average but skippable if you’re saving room for dessert.
Above all, do save room for dessert! Like the strawberry whipped cream pie, a tangle of sweet berries sunken into a bed of rich whipped cream complemented by the exquisite surprise of a chocolate graham cracker crust. If bananas flambé isn’t a choice you’d usually make, make an exception. The key lime cheesecake is rich and creamy, but a little short on lime.
As for main courses—“

Then I went on to describe Seven Fish’s main dishes in the twenty-five words I had left. I recommended the sea scallops over mashed potatoes, issued a richness alert on the gnocchi dressed with mellow blue cheese and sautéed fish, and began to tackle my mixed feelings about ordering meatloaf or chicken in a restaurant featuring “fish” in the name.

LUCY BURDETTE WRITES THE KEY WEST FOOD CRITIC MYSTERIES. YOU CAN FIND THEM WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Key West-themed Dinner for #bookclub week #recipe @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE: Today I have the honor of kicking off Book Club Week in our kitchen. I do so love introducing readers and book groups to my Key West series. As I was mulling over what book to choose and food to suggest, I received an email from a Connecticut acquaintance. She told me that her book group was reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER and wondered if I could "visit" by Face Time? Of course I could! I was blown away by the enthusiasm of the group, and the Key West decorations, and the hostess's menu. I thought it would be fun to show you what they did. Luckily, Cindy Cartier, the hostess, agreed!

It makes sense to choose the first book in a series if many of the members aren't familiar with the series, which is what Cindy did. I asked her a few questions about the evening--you will really enjoy reading what she cooked up--she's amazing!


Lucy: How did you choose AN APPETITE FOR MURDER?  

The book club (Cindy is 3rd from left)

CINDY: I LOVE culinary mysteries because I LOVE food!! Growing up in an Italian household, I truly benefited from standing at the apron strings of my mother who excelled at both cooking and baking.  There was always something cooking on the stove and baking in the oven. I also love to read murder mysteries.  Having a demanding career (I am an attorney/partner at my own law firm) and juggling children 14, 5 and 2 (yes, I am changing diapers at 50 - more later,) when I can escape with a good book, it is truly a treat.  So, when I started looking up books for our meeting, I came across your books and loved the character and location. It being summer, I thought this would be a nice escape for everyone as well.  I had no idea that you lived so close to us - a real bonus!!
 

LUCY: Tell us about the fabulous menu and decorations that you cooked up!

Lucy's Leaning Tower of Eggplant
CINDY: As I love food (did I say that), I also enjoy watching Giada on the cooking channel - in fact, I have her on in the background as I am chasing my little ones - she reminds me so much of my mom (who I lost too young - she was 43 when she passed) and it makes me feel a little connection to her.  So, Giada had an episode where she cooked a meal for her book club around the theme of the book.  So, me channeling Giada, I wanted to do the same.  I did go a little overboard with the food, decorations and drink - but I also love to entertain and share my love of food (I do so love food).   I had the members bring some appetizers (fruit platter including pineapples and coconut; various dips with a Caribbean theme), drinks (Mojitos, Hemingway Cocktails - apparently he loved to drink these and Smore Martinis), and dessert including a key lime pie of course and a key lime dip with fruit.   

Decorations included a hot pink/lime green theme. I haven't been to Key West yet, but from the description in your book and others who have described the area, I imagined bright colors.  I included plates, napkins, etc. keeping with this theme.  I also had jelly beans (pink/green) in large glasses on the table, drink glasses with straws in the same color theme, flowers, etc. In addition to appetizers, drinks and dessert, menu was as follows:

1. Key West Chicken - I combined a few recipes
2. Caribbean Rice
3. Eggplant Towers from your book, but I grilled eggplant instead of frying. (I had a health moment.)
4. Watermelon/Arugula salad
5. Tossed salad
 

Recipe - Caribbean Rice:

•    2 cups long-grain rice
•    14 ozs unsweetened coconut milk
•    2 garlic cloves (minced)
•    11/2 tsps sea salt
•    1/2 tsp allspice
•    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
•    1 tbsp butter
•    1 1/2 cups yellow, orange, red and purple bell peppers (diced)
•    1/2 cup diced red onions
•    15 ozs pineapple (canned, tidbits, drained and juice reserved)
•    41/2 ozs Old El Paso™ chopped green chiles
•    1/4 cup jalapeno chilies (Old El Paso Sliced, diced)
•    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
1.    Add the rice, coconut milk, garlic cloves, salt, allspice, cayenne, and reserved pineapple juice to a medium sauce pot. Use the coconut milk can to add 14 ounces water to the rice. Stir well. Set over medium heat and cover. Bring to a boil, then stir and lower the heat. Cover and allow the rice to cook until the liquid is absorbed and air holes form in the surface of the rice, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat.


2.    Meanwhile, add the butter to a large deep skillet and set over medium heat. Add the diced bell peppers and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, to just barely soften. Then remove from heat and add the pineapple tidbits, Old El Paso Green Chiles and Sliced Jalapeños to the skillet.


3.    Once the rice is tender and fluffy, dump it into the skillet and toss well to combine. Toss in the fresh chopped cilantro. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm as a side dish, or serve with shrimp of chicken on top!


Yoda recommends the book too
LUCY: Thanks again to all of your book club members for reading AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. And thanks to Cindy for her fabulous celebration suggestions!

If your group would like to discuss AN APPETITE FOR MURDER at one of your meetings, here are some questions to get you started. Also feel free to contact me about "appearing" at one of your book club events. LucyBurdette at gmail dot come 

(Note to self: Review the book before you talk to the ladies so you know the answers to their questions LOL!)

And here are a few other book club posts to consider if you've already done AN APPETITE FOR MURDER:

DEATH IN FOUR COURSES plus chocolate fudge pie

MURDER WITH GANACHE plus nocciolato fudge

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Peach Pie #recipe for #BookClubWeek @LucyBurdette #giveaway

Aren't my friends good sports?


This is a pie for peach season--I think any book club would be happy to devour it while discussing a Key West mystery! More on the discussion in a bit, but first the recipe... 

I wait every year for the peaches in Connecticut. I buy mine at Bishops farm markets, a bushel at a time. You can also slice the peaches and add the sugar, and then freeze them in a 6 cup quantity. When you are ready to make the pie (when you're feeling sad that peach season is over,) warm the peach mixture over a low flame and then add the rest of the ingredients and proceed as written. 

This recipe is based on one I found in the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. I always use my father's pie crust because it's so easy. And I adjusted some of the flavorings, deleting the nutmeg and increasing cinnamon. I also added a quarter cup slivered almonds to the topping.


Ingredients for the filling

Six cups ripe peaches, sliced
Three-quarter cup sugar +1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon salt
One half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon melted, unsalted butter
1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup cornstarch

Peel and slice the peaches. Stir the sugar and salt into the bowl. Let this sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch with the almond extract, lemon juice, melted butter, and cold water. Stir until smooth. Stir this mixture into the peaches.



While the peaches marinate, make your crust. 


I recommend this easy version of my father's crust.
 
 Then on to the topping!

 
Topping ingredients

2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, ground in food processor
1/2 cup rolled oats, whole
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
One half stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup slivered almonds
 

 Pulse together all the topping ingredients in the food processor until crumbly.

Spread the topping over the pie. Place the pie on a baking sheet. Lay one sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top. Bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes. Bake until the crust and topping are golden. I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes, going for that extra crunch

Let the pie sit for four hours at room temperature before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. (Everyone did, even the chocoholics.)


Now, hmmm, which book to choose for the discussion? My friends and I had a very interesting chat about tarot card reading over pieces of this pie. Did we believe in tarot or horoscopes? How far should a friend go to protect another friend's confidence? (You'll remember that Hayley Snow's dear friend Lorenzo is a tarot card reader. Only he seems to have lost the ability to see his own future in FATAL RESERVATIONS.) Here's more on that book, a blog about the evolution of Lorenzo, and some of the recent reviews.

But if your book club meets around the holidays, DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS would be a perfect choice--Christmas in Key West!

Near Valentine's Day? Try MURDER WITH GANACHE.

And here are book discussion questions for TOPPED CHEF, DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, and AN APPETITE FOR MURDER, which would be good choices for any time of year!

Leave a comment about which book you'd choose--I'll be giving away a signed copy to one lucky commenter!

And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,

Twitter,

Pinterest,

and Instagram!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Molasses Sugar Cookies from Lucy Burdette's An Appetite for Murder


Lucy Burdette: When an author is invited to a book talk, we never quite know what we'll find. Big crowd? Little crowd? Books flying off the shelves? No sales? Most of us have had all those experiences...I've found the best approach is to keep expectations on the low side and bring a cheerful attitude. Because as my pal Hank Ryan always says, you never know what might lead to what...

So when the Goshen Library up in northwestern Connecticut invited me to judge a cookie-tasting and then talk about the food critic series, I gladly went. And happy to report, I had a blast! Three hardy souls had used the molasses cookie recipe from AN APPETITE FOR MURDER to make cookies. Two lovely ladies who frequent the library helped me judge--things like, color, texture, crumbles in your mouth...and we needed more than one bite of each to be sure we were being accurate! This was not as easy as it looked, because all three versions were delicious.

Here's Suzanne with her winning cookie--which by the way had the most intense molasses flavor.

After the judging, we all enjoyed cookies and coffee and talked about the Key West mysteries. Honestly there's nothing more fun than chatting with readers who've read your books! For your sampling pleasure, here is the recipe:




Molasses Sugar Cookies


3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Sugar for rolling


Melt butter over low heat. Cool, add sugar, molasses, and egg. Beat well. Sift together flour, soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt, add to first mixture. Mix well and chill. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in sugar. Place on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart and bake at 375 for eight to ten minutes. Cool on a wire rack.


And on the way home, one of my new friends led me to Milk House Chocolates at Thorncrest Farm. All the chocolates are made from milk from the cows right on the farm. My favorite was the milk chocolate with caramel inside and sea salt on top.  To Die For....


LUCY BURDETTE is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. You are invited to follow her on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans for a Summer Party


 LUCY BURDETTE:  A couple of weeks ago we had some wonderful Key West pals visiting. We wanted to invite some local friends to meet them and to celebrate summer--what better excuse to throw a party? 

I had the urge to cook, but it had to be dishes that could be mostly made ahead so I would stay calm and enjoy the party. I chose a few that I knew well and a couple new dishes.

 Here's the menu I came up with:

Hummus with crackers and crudites
Curried Chicken Salad
Asian Cucumber Salad
Tossed Salad (made by my friend Jane)
Assorted grilled sausages
Leek biscuits (courtesy of the amazing Guilford, CT bakery 4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Sesame noodle salad
Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes
Orange-glazed angel food cake (4 and 20 Blackbirds)
Italian cookies (made by my friend Annette)


 


The house guests were wonderful choppers and helped me keep the dishes washed. 

Meanwhile, these guys were keeping a close eye on the chicken salad. You all know Tonka by now, my Aussie.... If you think the red dog looks a little chagrined, this photo was taken after he snatched a stick of butter off the counter and devoured it while Tonka watched.:) His name is Henry, as in Henri Stentzel of AN APPETITE FOR MURDER fame.


CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD WITH GRAPES AND PECANS

One roasted chicken, skinned, boned
One bunch red grapes, washed and halved
3 Sprigs of dill, washed and chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise, to taste
1 tsp curry powder
2-3 ribs celery, washed and chopped

I used purchased roast chicken from the supermarket, but you could also use leftovers from your own roast chicken. Debone the chicken, strip off skin and any chewy bits, break into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Wash and chop 2-3 sticks of celery. Wash the red grapes, halve them and add to the bowl. Wash dill and snip into the bowl. Toast 1/2 cup pecan pieces and add them. 


 




Mix the mayonnaise with the curry powder and adjust seasoning. Fold this into the chicken mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dessert! The Scarlet O'Hara cupcakes for the chocolate people and the angel food cake for the rest...or some of each, which is what most chose:)


It was a wonderful night!















Here's a bit of happy book news: AN APPETITE FOR MURDER has gone back for a third printing--thanks to every one of you readers! And the edits on MURDER WITH GANACHE have been turned in to the publisher. Phew and yay!

Don't forget to Follow Lucy on Pinterest, or Facebook, or Twitter. The Key West food critic mysteries can be found wherever books are sold! MURDER WITH GANACHE, will be out in February--though you can pre-order it now!




Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Mother's Day Stuffed Peppers





I know I've been on a sausage run here lately, and I said I'd get away from that--but I can't resist one more recipe. It's Mother's Day tomorrow and you're probably thinking "why is Lucy talking sausage-stuffed peppers to celebrate mothers?"

Here's why: this post is in honor of my mother-in-law, Dorothy, who loves this recipe as much as I do! And she's moving from Florida to Maine, so she'll need some dinners that will warm her from the inside out...

This is an "early" photo of Dorothy and me--I think it was taken about fifteen years ago at the first golf member-guest we played in. I wasn't much of a golfer and we were plenty nervous! We had a good time though--she's a good sport, in addition to having produced my wonderful husband...


So back to the peppers... This is an old-fashioned supper that had its genesis in a recipe from THE BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS COOKBOOK. Many tweaks later, here's my version. If you don't like the idea of sausage, you can substitute ground beef or turkey. For the vegetarian, I think you'd be fine substituting black beans or garbanzos or a mixture, for the meat. I prefer to make this in the summer when I can pluck the peppers right from the garden, but it sure tastes good when the weather's cold. I recommend organic peppers if you can find them, as these vegetables do tend to absorb pesticides…Other recipes suggest you parboil the peppers, but I haven't found this step to be necessary.

Ingredients:

1 16 oz roll sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar Classico spicy red pepper pasta sauce (or your choice)
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 uncooked green peppers

Saute the sausage or beef until brown, then drain on paper towels. Saute the chopped onions in the same pan. Return the meat to the pan once the onions are soft. Add the uncooked rice, the water, the Worcestershire sauce, and half the jarred sauce. Simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked. This might take a half hour, depending on your rice--and you might need to add a little water along the way. Then stir in the cheese.

While the meat mixture is simmering, cut the peppers lengthwise. Cut out the stems and seeds and membranes. Pour the remaining half of the sauce into a greased baking dish, and set the peppers into the pan. When the meat mixture is ready, stuff it into the peppers, cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes at 350 until peppers are soft and sauce is bubbling. Even your mother-in-law will find them irresistible!

And to celebrate all mothers and stepmothers and mothers-in-law and women who have acted like mothers in our lives, please enjoy this video of former US poet laureate Billy Collins reading his poem, The Lanyard. It's one of my absolute favorites and a perfect accompaniment to the day!




Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. Please "like" her on facebook and follow her on Twitter. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be out in September, but you can order it now!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Favorite Sesame Noodles by Lucy Burdette


I'm a sucker for sesame noodles--all kinds. I love the gloppy, viscous ones they serve in Chinese restaurants, and my sister-in-law's standby with noodles and a separate sauce. But the ones I serve over and over when company's coming and the barbeque is humming have no peanut-ty sauce at all. They are spicy and salty with a tang that comes from the balsamic vinegar and they can be paired with just about anything at all. I found the original recipe in Bon Appetite magazine and have tweaked it over the years.


Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoons minced, peeled ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon hot chili oil or chili paste with garlic--to taste!
1 pound linguine
12 scallions, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, cilantro if desired

Heat the peanut and saute the garlic and ginger on medium heat for about a minute. Scrape this into a large bowl and add the sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, hot oil or chili paste, scallions, and sugar, and whisk these ingredients until well combined. Cook the noodles as directed, drain, and rinse. Add them to the bowl and mix well. Leave them at room temperature, tossing occasionally until the sauce is absorbed. Before serving, sprinkle with nuts, basil, and cilantro, if desired, and serve at room temperature.For this dinner, I also added some leftover pork tenderloin that had been marinated and grilled the night before, and then cut into matchsticks. Add some flash stir-fried snow peas or bok choy and dinner is served. Warning: I don't make these if just the hub and I are at the table--the temptation is to finish off the entire bowl! (The dish would also be delicious with grilled shrimp or chicken or crunchy cubes of tofu for the vegetarians.)

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries featuring aspiring food critic and accomplished home cook Hayley Snow. AN APPETITE FOR MURDER is in stores now, and DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be published in September.

To keep up on all the latest news, please feel free to "like" Lucy's page on Facebook or follow her on twitter!



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Aunt Adeline’s Texas Sheet Cake by Lucy Burdette

I'm pretty sure the last recipe I posted contained uber-healthy ingredients like kale and lentils. So I figured I was due up for something decadent. Something loaded with butter and sugar and chocolate...

My friend Peggy Antenucci is very, very popular at potlucks because she always brings this amazing chocolate cake. So I've reproduced it here, though I couldn't find the pan she called for so I used a regular rectangular glass pan. The only drawback with the smaller pan is thicker icing--and some folks wouldn't consider this a drawback at all. Peggy reports that she substituted yogurt and applesauce for another stick of butter--believe me it's plenty rich as is.

For the Cake:

1 stick of butter
1 cup water
4 heaping TBSP cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup applesauce
½ cup plain no-fat yogurt (or sour cream if feeling decadent)
1 tsp vanilla

To make the cake, melt the stick of butter in a saucepan & add the water and cocoa powder.
Bring to a boil on stove and remove from heat.


Sift dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the applesauce, the yogurt or sour cream, the vanilla, and the eggs in a second bowl. Then blend with dry ingredients. And finally, add in the cooled chocolate liquid from saucepan and mix thoroughly


Pour into a greased & floured 15 x 10 x 2 “jelly roll” pan or a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The smaller pan will take longer to cook, as the cake batter is thicker--add 5 minutes and check with toothpick. Bake another five minutes if needed.
Make frosting five minutes before cake is done and spread on cake while still hot and then let cool.

For the frosting:

1 stick of butter
4 TBSP (or more for darker chocolate) cocoa powder (though I found 4 was plenty!)
6 TBSP milk

1 pound box powdered sugar (I used about 2/3 of the box as it tasted pretty darn sweet)
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter in saucepan with cocoa & milk but do not boil.  Remove from heat and beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Spread on hot cake, taking care that the hot frosting doesn't pool in the corners. That will mean the cook has to smooth off the overly-thick parts and eat them herself.

Then cut yourself a large square, pour a glass of milk, and settle in with a cozy culinary mystery.


Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries including AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. She is very excited to be nominated for an Agatha Award for best short story along with fellow blogmates Krista Davis and Avery Aames. "The Itinerary", written as Roberta Isleib, can be found here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Split pea soup and cornbread by Lucy Burdette




LUCY BURDETTE: I'm sure no one's going to feel too sorry for me, but sometimes the research for the food critic mysteries is hard work. And Hayley Snow tells me that those rich meals and decadent desserts can wreak havoc on your digestion and your shape. Here for example is the yellowtail snapper and shrimp dish from Pisces in Key West--you can't tell from the photo, but they are both swimming in butter.

And here's another rich shrimp dish from El Siboney, a well-know Cuban restaurant. And then blueberry bread pudding from the tapas restaurant, Santiago's Bodega, which is absolutely to die for.

So after a run of these kind of nights, I'm dying for something plain and hearty. One of my go-to meals (and something that Hayley Snow would make too) is split pea soup with cornbread and a big salad. Plain but utterly satisfying and delicious!

LUCY'S SPLIT PEA SOUP

1 bag dried split peas, washed and sorted
3-4 carrots, chopped by hand or in food processor
1 large onion, chopped as above
3 stalks celery, minced
cilantro, washed and chopped
1 32 oz box organic chicken broth

Saute the vegetables in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, until soft. Add the peas and the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the peas are soft and starting to lose their shape, adding water or more broth as needed. Stir in chopped cilantro just before serving, and add a spritz of sesame oil to each bowl.



BUTTERMILK CRACKLING CORN BREAD (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)

(The J of C calls for fatty salt pork, I substitute butter.)

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425. Put the butter in a square baking pan and place in the oven until the butter melts. Tilt the bottom so melted butter covers all.

Whisk dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs, add the buttermilk and whisk, then add wet ingredients to dry. Mix and pour in pan containing the hot butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Err on the side of undercooking, so the edges of the bread look crispy and buttery but the center isn't dry.

Oh boy, making my own mouth water looking at these!

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including AN APPETITE FOR MURDER. You can follow her on facebook or twitter. She eats and writes in Connecticut and Key West.