Showing posts with label Death In Four Courses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death In Four Courses. Show all posts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Stepmom's Meatloaf #recipe @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE: I know I offered you a fancy western meatloaf last month, but this is the recipe I make most often. I like to call it Stepmom's Meatloaf--you'll see why...

One of the things I most enjoy writing in the food critic mysteries are the scenes where Hayley is cooking up something delicious for her family and friends. She uses that time to take care of the people she loves, burn off nervous energy, and sift through clues, of course. In this scene, her mom, Janet Snow, is cooking dinner on the houseboat. She's been in Key West on what seems like a very loooong visit and everyone's relieved that "the case" has been solved. Hayley's friend Connie is newly engaged and looking for cooking tips.

From DEATH IN FOUR COURSES:

Mom was kneading meat loaf in a red pottery bowl in Miss Gloria's galley kitchen. She dumped a sleeve of Ritz crackers into my food processor, whirred them into crumbs, and added them to the mix.

"There's no point in trying to make this dish low-fat or otherwise too healthy," she explained to Connie as she worked the crumbs into the meat. "You serve it once in a while, it makes your man happy, end of story. So skip the ground turkey and the quinoa. You need ground beef, some pork if you want to be fancy, plus chopped onion, carrots, and green pepper, cracker crumbs, a few tablespoons of Lipton's Onion Soup mix, half a jar of Bone Suckin' barbecue sauce. And an egg to bind it all together." 


She shaped the red mass into an oval, tucked it into an oblong glass pan, slathered more sauce on top, and shunted it into the oven. 


"If you girls could get started on the mashed potatoes, I'll go freshen up."

Connie looked up from the notes she was taking at the kitchen table. "From Janet Snow's Kitchen" was written across the top of the note card. 


"This is an old family recipe, right?" Connie asked.

"Hayley discovered this one," my mother said. "I never did much care for my own mother's meat loaf." She winked and left the kitchen.


"Don't you dare tell her," I whispered. "It's my stepmother's recipe. One of the few edible things she can make."


Connie snickered; crossed out Janet and penciled in "Stepmom's Meat Loaf."

Stepmom’s Meat Loaf 


1.5 lb ground beef (or beef and pork, organic preferred)
½ sleeve Ritz crackers, ground to crumbs
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped fine in food processor
1 egg
½ jar Bone-sucking barbeque sauce, more for glaze 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat well with all the other ingredients, reserving some sauce for topping. Shape the mixture into a loaf in a 9 x 13 glass baking pan. Bake for 1 and ¼ to ½ hours until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease halfway through baking; douse loaf with BBQ sauce, return to oven.

Serve meatloaf with mashed potatoes or oven-roasted potatoes and carrots and a green vegetable or salad.

What about you, Mystery Lovers Kitchen readers? Do you have a special meat loaf recipe?

When she is not blogging and cooking, Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries! 
 
Fatal Reservations, the sixth book in the series, will be in bookstores on July 7, but you can certainly order it now!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Club Week: Death in Four Courses by Lucy Burdette #BookClub



LUCY BURDETTE: I hope you all are enjoying book club week in our kitchen--I sure am! Though my hometown book club is on hiatus temporarily, we’ve had a lot of wonderful discussions over the years. 

For a while, we decided that the hostess would choose the book and also provide dinner to other members. My turn came when we discussed Carlos Eire’s WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA. I made an elaborate Cuban meal, including pork roast with black beans and baked bananas. Funny how I remember the details of the food better than the details of the book (although it was an excellent memoir.)


But you shouldn’t have to work that hard as a book club host, so I'm making an easy suggestion for refreshments. I’ve chosen DEATH IN FOUR COURSES for discussion (the second Key West mystery) and Hayley's hot fudge pie to go along with it. If you serve this pie, you will be plied with compliments without spending much time slaving in the kitchen. (And it goes with any beverage--coffee, tea, champagne, wine...)

Now, let me tell you a little about the book...

Not too long after I signed the contract to write the Key West food critic mystery series, I learned that the Key West Literary Seminar would be focusing on food writing in January 2011. The event was called THE HUNGRY MUSE, and it featured foodie luminaries such as Frank Bruni, Madhur Jaffrey, Jonathan Gold, Diana Abu-Jaber, and many more.

I pictured my food critic character, Hayley Snow, covering a similar conference for her online magazine, Key Zest. She would be so thrilled to hear and meet her writing idols. But she would have mixed feelings too, as she tried to land interviews with bigwigs, write snappy but thoughtful articles, all while comparing her abilities and her fledgling career to theirs. And maybe Hayley had invited her well-meaning, foodie mother for the weekend, not realizing quite how vulnerable she’d feel working on this important assignment?

With that background in place, I looked for more ways to ratchet up the tension. Suppose the keynote speaker threatened to divulge some of the other writers’ potentially career-threatening secrets over the weekend? And suppose someone would kill to hide one of those secrets? And then what if a dear friend was implicated in this murder?

And then mix in a ton of food, including a multi-course dinner at Louie’s Backyard, dinner at Santiago’s Bodega, and lunch at La Creperie.

All in all (though I’m biased as the author:), I think DEATH IN FOUR COURSES would provide a book club with lots to chew on. (Sorry couldn’t help myself!) Here are a couple of questions you could use to get discussion going:

1.  The role of food in the families of the conference speakers varies widely. How was food seen in your family? Who cooked the meals and what were they like? How has that history affected your relationship with food today?

2.  Which of the fictional speakers’ books would you be interested in reading? Which might you want to have at your book group meeting–and why?


The entire list of book club discussion questions can be found here.

My friend Linda Juliani gave me this recipe for hot fudge pie and I’ve made it many times. It’s perfectly fast and easy and yet has all the advantages of a homemade dessert, hot out of the oven.

Ingredients

1 stick butter
3 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
4 Tbsp flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
 dash salt

Melt one stick of butter and 3 squares of unsweetened chocolate together. (Linda uses the microwave–just be sure to cover the bowl as it will splatter. I use the old-fashioned pan on a stove method.) 

Add to the bowl 1 and 1/4 cups sugar and 4 tablespoons flour and a dash of salt. Mix. Then add 3 beaten eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch pie plate and bake at 350 degrees fro 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream.

And I'll leave you with my favorite review of DEATH IN FOUR COURSES from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: 

“Near the start of Burdette’s yummy sequel to An Appetite for Murder, Key West food critic Hayley Snow brings her mother down from New Jersey for a visit… Outspoken Mom provides tart commentary as Hayley once again turns sleuth. Anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy.”

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. You can follow her on twitter, facebook, and Pinterest. If you'd like to invite her to appear at your book club via skype, email her at LucyBurdette at gmail dot com.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spanakopita




LUCY BURDETTE:  Do you have dishes you almost always order when you see them on a menu? One of my favorites is Spanakopita, otherwise known as Greek spinach-cheese pie.


 We love a little tapas restaurant in Key West called Santiago's Bodega. You eat by ordering a selection of little plates for the table--I always hold out for their spanakopita as one of my choices. Hayley Snow and her mother ate here in DEATH IN FOUR COURSES--naturally one of the dishes they ordered was my favorite.

This recipe is a tiny bit of a hassle to make because of the filo pastry, but by no means impossible. And then when you're done, you have an entire casserole of the stuff, instead of one little triangle! Can you spell leftovers? 

Ingredients

2 frozen packages chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
14 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
4 oz cottage cheese
1 bunch scallions, washed, chopped and sauteed in olive oil
1-2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
4 or 5 twists freshly-ground black pepper
4 eggs, beaten
1 package filo pastry, thawed in refrigerator
8 Tbsp butter, melted (1 stick)
3 Tbsp olive oil

The filo pastry can be found in a box in the frozen foods department. A day or two ahead of time, take one of the rolls of filo out of the freezer and move to the refrigerator to thaw. Also thaw your two packages of frozen spinach. When thawed, squeeze them completely dry (I use my hands for this.) Crumble your feta cheese into a big bowl and mix in the dry spinach and the cottage cheese. Next, chop and saute your scallions and add them, along with chopped dill and pepper to taste. Beat the eggs, add them to the bowl and mix everything well.

Now you are ready for assembly. Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, lay out the first sheet of filo, being careful not to tear it. With a clean pastry brush, paint the filo with butter/oil mixture. Repeat until you have 10 layers. (Patience is a virtue here as it's very easy to tear the sheets. But don't panic, pat the pieces back in--no one will notice a few tears among all that flaky buttery goodness.) It's smart to cover the unused filo with a damp cloth while you work.

Once you have ten painted sheets, dump the spinach and cheese mixture into the pan and spread it evenly to the edges. Then repeat the process of buttering the next ten layers. You may cover this with plastic wrap and store in the fridge a day ahead. Preheat the oven to 350, then bake until risen and golden, about 45" to an hour. Cut into squares and serve with Greek salad.  My husband proclaimed this the best spanakopita he's ever eaten:). 


TOPPED CHEF will be on bookshelves on May 7 with more Key West adventures and food...In the meanwhile, you can preorder the book here.  

And click here to follow Lucy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest .


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Cornmeal Halloween Cake by Lucy Burdette


LUCY BURDETTE: It's the week for Halloween recipes and I know my other cooking pals will come up with adorable dishes that kids will love like brains, and worms, and poisoned apples. So I thought it might be nice to serve up a recipe for adults--something you can enjoy while the kids are bobbing for apples or have passed out from trick or treating. I have to mention that my husband is such a good sport. When I told him I needed help with photography and would he prefer to wear the Kermit costume and hold the cake or take the picture, he didn't blink an eye! (He chose to take the picture...)

Of course Halloween cake has to contain pumpkin, and I love the texture and flavor of cornmeal, so I went for that too. This is based on a recipe from Epicurious, but as I found out when in a hurry, I was able to make it less fussy. The cake shouldn't take you more than a half hour to put together--and then forty minutes to bake, twenty minutes to cool, and whatever you need for decorating!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 eggs
2/3 of a 15 oz can solid-pack pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)

Preheat the oven to 350 and use a tablespoon of butter to grease the bundt pan. (You can take it from the two sticks above.)

Grate the skin of an orange to make a tablespoon of zest. (I used my long cheese grater.) Combine the zest, the butter, and the sugar and beat well, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Then beat in the pumpkin and the vanilla. 

Stir together flour, baking powder, and cornmeal, and beat this into the wet mixture in three parts. Go easy on the beating--just until ingredients are combined.

Scrape the batter into the buttered bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake about 40 minutes, until top springs back when touched and the cake is beginning to pull away from the pan. Cool for twenty minutes, then invert onto a plate. And decorate!
 
It could, of course, be served with ice cream but we didn't find that we needed it.






Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including AN APPETITE FOR MURDER and DEATH IN FOUR COURSES.


You can follow her on Twitter @lucyburdette, or like her on Facebook, or check out her website! You can also find her on Pinterest as her alter-ego, Roberta Isleib.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Apple Pie a la Dad


LUCY BURDETTE: Apples are the perfect fruit for a mystery writer. After all, wasn't Snow White poisoned with an apple? And what about the apple Eve supposedly gave to Adam? You can cause a lot of trouble with an innocent looking apple...

One thing I discovered when we were chatting about "apple week" is that I don't cook with apples very often, poisoned or otherwise. I like a good crisp Macoun or Macintosh, but I cannot bear a mealy Delicious apple. And I certainly wouldn't put it in my crockpot or skillet. And yet they are Peg's favorite variety and Cleo used them yesterday in her amazing mini-caramel tartlets--so to each her own!

I'm going to stick with a classic apple pie, the one my dad used to make when his wife would let him in the kitchen. But be sure to check out the other recipes this week, where the other writers fill in with the fancy stuff. I've given you this crust before with other recipes, but it's so easy, I'll keep repeating until you agree to try it!


THE CRUST

2 cups unbleached flour (can be partly whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use organic canola)



Sift the flour with the salt. Measure the milk and oil, pour it into the flour, mix. Now comes the only tricky part. Divide the dough into two parts, 3/5 for the bottom crust, the remainder for the top. Place the dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll it to the correct size. Carefully peel off the top sheet of waxed paper, flip the crust into a pie pan, carefully remove the other sheet of waxed paper. Since you are filling the crust with something delicious anyway, it's perfectly acceptable to patch as needed and then crimp the edges. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

FOR THE FILLING:

6 cups sliced apples
2 or 3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbsp butter

Peel, core and slice the apples. Mix in a bowl with the flour, cinnamon and salt. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes, then place it into the bottom crust. Dot with butter.

Roll the top crust over the apples and pinch the two parts together, trimming as needed. Working around the crust, press a fork into the dough to make shapely crimped edges. Make vents on the top crust, with design of your choice. You may sprinkle a little sugar over the top if you like sparkles.


Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 30 plus minutes until the crust is brown and the filling bubbling. (Put a cookie sheet on the rack underneath to catch the drips.) Let the pie cool on a rack. Serve with ice cream!


While you're waiting for the pie to cool, I invite you to enjoy the Key West food critic mysteries, full of food, friendship, and murder--all set in Paradise! PW said about DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: "Anyone who's overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."

And please follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, or "like" her on facebook, or check out her boards on Pinterest for all the latest updates.



Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Grandmother's Recipe Box by Lucy Burdette


 LUCY BURDETTE: I don't think we've officially told you this, but I'll be writing and sharing recipes on Thursdays from now on, except for the first Thursday of each month when Annie Knox aka Wendy Watson will be posting. (So glad you'll continue to be a part of us Wendy!)

Anyway, the idea of posting more often got me a little panicky. What if I run out of recipes? Or interesting stories about food? For inspiration, I went to my messy recipe drawer, where I found a pile of handwritten recipes in my paternal grandmother's handwriting--what a treasure! 

I can't help sharing the one that was on the top--for Roach Poison. It was written on a piece of a brown paper bag. Is this not perfect for a mystery writer???

In case you can't read it:

Roach poison

1 tsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. boric acid

Shake well and put in bottle caps

Here's another one of grandma's notecard gems:

 The best cough syrup for a hacking cough is one teaspoon each of gin, lemon juice, and honey. 

Grandma Alice adds that she found this in Life Magazine, and they got it from Dr. Lendon Smith, a Portland, OR pediatrician who had a 5 minute television program "The Children's Hour."

But I can't leave you with only roach poison and cough syrup, so here's my recipe for the best friend okra ever! Living in Tennessee for four years, I learned the joy of this dish.

Do not make this with frozen okra or brown pods. Save it for the time you come across okra at the farmer's market or come by and I'll cut you some pods from our garden! (Possibly the only okra grown north of the Mason-Dixon line...)

Pan Fried Okra

about 20 pods of fresh okra, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 smallish green pepper, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup yellow corn meal

Slice the okra, discarding the stems and ends. If you notice a woody feeling as you cut, that pod has gotten too big. It will taste like eating straw and your family will say "We knew we hated okra!" so do yourself a favor and throw it out.

Saute the onions and peppers a few minutes in a large frying pan until soft. Meanwhile, beat the egg in a small bowl, then add the sliced okra and stir. Dump the cornmeal over that and stir again.  





Add this mixture to the pan and fry until it looks brown and the egg is cooked. Serve as a side veggie with Tobasco sauce to taste. Or here I had it for supper with sliced tomatoes and my favorite cottage-oat biscuits, which I'll tell you about another time.

And meanwhile, I invite you to enjoy the Key West food critic mysteries, full of food, friendship, and murder--all set in Paradise! PW said about DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: "Anyone who's overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."

And please follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, or "like" her on facebook for all the latest updates.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Screw the Roux Stew from Lucy Burdette





LUCY BURDETTE: Hayley Snow, the food critic character in DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, eats a lot of meals out in restaurants. So when she's at home on her houseboat, I imagine she prefers to cook home-style food that's not too fancy but still delicious. She cooks when she's hungry, she cooks when she's anxious, and she cooks when she wants to connect with friends. Or, for that matter, squeeze information from potential sources!

So far, most of the recipes in the back of my mysteries have come from my own kitchen. But I'm always on the look-out for something delicious that Hayley could borrow. Two years ago at a get-together with friends in Key West, we ate a fabulous meal--a sort of Creole stew crossed with a jambalaya. I just had to have the recipe and I've made it many times since. It feeds a crowd, especially when served over rice. All you might need on the side is a salad. The recipe is courtesy of Mary K Hyde, who did not like the concept of having to make an old-fashioned roux, but relished the results.

MK’s Screw the Roux Stew


*1 large onion, chopped
*2–3 garlic cloves, minced
*1 large green pepper, chopped (in this case I used several colors of pepper!)
*2 stalks celery, chopped
*½ cup flour
*1–1½ Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
*28-oz. can chopped tomatoes, with juice, or crushed tomatoes
*28-oz. box organic chicken broth
*Shredded meat from 1 rotisserie chicken or baked chicken
*10–14 oz. smoked chicken or turkey sausage, sliced
*12 oz. frozen chopped okra
*¾ lb. Key West pink shrimp if desired
*Brown rice, cooked

Sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft. (In the pictures above, I chopped fresh okra--but that's only because we grow it in our garden. A package of frozen okra works just fine. And don't get weirded out by the concept of okra--it's not the least bit slimy in this recipe, and it thickens the stew. And it's really really delicious...)

In a separate frying pan, toast the dry flour over medium-low heat until browned. Stir this almost constantly so it doesn’t burn. (This is the only tricky part of the recipe--you need to be a little patient. This step might take 15 minutes.)

When the flour is nicely brown, add the Creole seasoning. (Tony Chachere's is spicy--don't omit it, but cut back a little if you don't want that much "zip.")

Mix well and add this mixture to the sautéed vegetables in a large pot. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chicken, sausage, and okra. Bring to boiling and reduce to a simmer. The longer it simmers, the better. If you make it the day before and let sit in the fridge overnight, it will be just that much more delicious. Add shrimp just before serving, if desired, and cook a few minutes until pink. Serve the stew over rice. (My son-in-law said this was the best dish of mine he's eaten, and he likes everything!)

"Anyone who's ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy." Publishers Weekly on DEATH IN FOUR COURSES

While you're waiting for your happy guests to arrive, you can follow Lucy on twitter, "like" her on facebook, or order the books anywhere books are sold. For example, an independent bookstore, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble!

For lovers of both food and books, check out Novel Food--a marriage of two of my favorite things!



Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Back to School Hot Dog Casserole

LUCY BURDETTEWe writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen decided we should have a "Back to school" week and it fell to me to kick things off. I should say first that I loved going back to school as a kid. I loved picking out the new clothes and the school supplies and finding out who my teachers would be and seeing my friends...I loved school, period.

    The only time I remember dreading going back was the year our school was renovated. The administration decided the only way to juggle all the middle school classes was holding split sessions. Which meant my sister and I had to get on the bus by six am. My mom, who hated mornings and didn't love cooking, could not face getting up at five to make us breakfast. But she did prepare sloppy Joes the night before (I'll spare you that recipe-think ground beef and tomato soup) so we could heat them up before heading out in the morning.


Over the years, between school days and becoming an adult, I learned to bake bread and cakes from scratch and canned my garden veggies and prepared elaborate soups and stews. But a lot of this flew out the window when I married my husband, who came equipped with two young school-aged kids. I was working, he was working, everyone was stressed; and the kids couldn't have been less interested in fancy food. So I punted in favor of anything they might eat. In fact my husband points out that my stepchildren will always remember me for my hot dog casserole recipe. Sigh. 

With some regret, I share it here:

LUCY BURDETTE'S BACK TO SCHOOL HOT DOG CASSEROLE


1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped
6-8 best quality hot dogs, sliced into rounds*
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
1 very large can B&M baked beans
Worcestershire sauce


 
 
   Saute onions and peppers in small amount of olive oil. Set aside. Sauté hot dog slices until brown. Mix these ingredients with the baked beans, pork fat removed and discarded. Add mustard, barbeque sauce, molasses or brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Mix and pour into a greased 9x11 casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

 You should probably serve this with something green:)

*Use your judgment on "best quality hot dogs"
 



 Here's hoping that back to school for your kids and grandkids means more time to read! Because I happen to have a brand new book out this week-the second in the Key West food critic mystery series, called DEATH IN FOUR COURSES. It's the perfect thing to pick up when the kids aren't home yet and the hot dog casserole is ready to pop in the oven...

Here are some ways to order:

An Independent Bookstore 

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Books-a-Million

And for a signed copy, call RJ Julia Booksellers 203-245-3959


You can follow Lucy on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Chocolate Cake




LUCY BURDETTE: When it came time to pick a pen name for my new Key West food critic series, I didn't hesitate. I chose my maternal grandmother's name, Lucille Burdette, AKA Lucy.

Actually, I don't know if she was ever called Lucy as she died when I was only five or six. Sadly, I don't know much about her--I have a few oil paintings that she did and a few memories of her as a sweet, warm grandmother. This is a photo of her with husband, Frank, a grandfather who I never met as he died even younger. All that tragedy makes the paintings she left more precious.

I could imagine that she might have been a good cook, as my mother and both of her sisters loved to get together for dinners and holiday meals. And recently, when sorting madly through my messy (ulp!) drawer of recipes, I found a recipe for chocolate cake from Nana, AKA Lucille Burdette. Now I do already have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that is in much demand in my family. But I definitely wanted to try Lucy's version. Here's how it went...

Ingredients

1/2 cup Crisco (I am not a fan, so I used a stick of butter:)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 egg
 1/2 cup sour milk (or sweet, with one TBSP vinegar added)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water

The instructions were as follows: Put all ingredients into bowl and mix. Bake as usual. Hmmmm...not much detail there.


So I added my interpretation:). Beat softened butter and sugar until well combined. Then add the other ingredients one at a time, mixing after each. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan, add the batter, and bake for about 30 minutes until cake springs back when touched. Cool for ten minutes and then invert onto a cake plate.

Sift powdered sugar over the top when completely cool and serve with ice cream!

I tried the cake out on two confirmed chocoholics. They both had seconds. So for an easy, tasty cake that uses ingredients you are likely to have on hand, we recommend it!









And while you are snacking, I will remind you that DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, the second Key West food critic mystery, will be out on September 4! You can find pre-order links right here. And stay tuned for all book and food news by following Lucy on Twitter or facebook.

And since my wordpress website is driving me bonkers lately, here are some direct links for ordering:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Indiebound

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Good Neighbor Marinade

LUCY BURDETTE: Isn't it the luckiest thing in the world when you move near neighbors whom you really enjoy? I must admit that my father took this to its extreme by marrying my childhood next-door-neighbor, after both of their spouses had died.

It was actually lovely to have a stepmother that I'd known for most of my life. In this photo, my mother is at the far left, with her good pal and neighbor and my future stepmother, Mary Jane, right beside her. Don't you love the Easter hats? (I'm right behind the little dude with the chapeau. That's my neighbor's son, Bob, who's now a chef.)

But I have veered way off my subject:). I had a very good neighbor who moved away a couple of years ago. Linda happened to be an excellent  cook. She and her husband loved big barbeques and their grilled meat was always delicious. Like a good neighbor, she shared her recipe for Korean marinade, which could not be easier!

Ingredients
 
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
6 Tablespoons soy sauce

You may also add as you please: coarse black pepper, sliced scallions, fresh garlic, toasted sesame seeds. I usually stick with the basic recipe. 

Measure the ingredients into a large Ziplock bag. Then add the meat of your choice. In this case I chose a pork loin, but it could be pork chops, or chicken breasts, or even a steak. Then refrigerate the meat for two hours or overnight. I've even frozen the loin right in the bag with the marinade and it came out absolutely delicious once thawed and grilled. (We also grilled some chicken sausage for the diners who don't eat red meat.)



Discard marinade prior to cooking. You may wish to make a new batch to serve with the meal.

I would also recommend serving the meat with Perfect Potato Salad, which comes from the Park Avenue Potluck cookbook. You can find that recipe here.

And alongside those dishes, I'd offer a big bowl of lightly steamed green beans with a little melted butter--we have a bumper crop in the garden this year!



And not that I'm counting, but DEATH IN FOUR COURSES will be published in 23 days! The book takes place at the Key West Loves Literature conference, which several years ago focused on food writing. Heaven for food critic Hayley Snow, until she stumbles on a body....

From Publishers Weekly: "Anyone who’s ever overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."

To keep up on all the news, please like the Lucy Burdette Facebook fan page, or follow me on Twitter, or best of all, pre-order the book!