Showing posts with label Food Lovers' Village Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Lovers' Village Mysteries. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Erin’s Two Bean and Pesto Salad


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: This recipe appeared in CRIME RIB, the second Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, set in high summer in the village of Jewel Bay, Montana. It’s perfect for this time of year because everything is in season, it’s easy to prepare, and only one ingredient—the green beans—require any cooking. I’ve also made it in winter—the red and green color combination makes it a holiday fave—and taken it to numerous potlucks. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit since then—as all honest cooks do.

I like wandering out to my garden and picking fresh green beans. In the off season, we use the thin French style, also called haricots vert.  Since then, I’ve migrated from steaming green beans to cooking them briefly in boiling water; steaming occasionally leaves tough skins.

Although I’ve included an easy pesto recipe, I will confess we often use jarred pesto from Costco—it’s thin and pourable, unlike Mr. Right’s heartier version.

On the onion: we prefer a small white onion; sweet, red, or even green onions also work well, but the one time I used a yellow onion, I found it too strong.

We served the salad with Mr. Right's Famous Stuffed Burgers---I'll save that recipe for another time. It's wonderful with pretty much any meat, fish, or chicken, especially grilled!

So, with no further ado —

Erin’s Two Bean and Pesto Salad

one pound of fresh green beans, stemmed and cut in bite-sized pieces
1-14 oz can white beans
about a cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
a small white onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh pesto (recipe below) or more, to taste
kosher salt and fresh ground black or white pepper







Bring 2-3 quarts water to a boil. Stir in the beans and cook until tender-crunchy, 2-3 minutes. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking; drain and cool, and place in your serving bowl.

Rinse and drain the white beans and add to your bowl, along with the tomatoes and onions. Toss with the pesto. Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled, by itself or on a bed of greens.

Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 or 2 cloves garlic, to taste
½ cup olive oil, more or less, to taste
½ cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts (optional)

Toast the nuts in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or toss in a dry saute pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until they begin to darken and become fragrant. (Don’t overcook; they will continue to cook as they cool.)

In a small (2 cup) food processor, loosely chop about fresh basil leaves. Toss in the garlic—the pesto will blend more easily if you slice or chop the cloves first. Drizzle in olive oil and pulse. Add oil and pulse until you get a good consistency for mixing with other ingredients. Add grated Parmesan and nuts, and pulse to mix well.







From the cover of KILLING THYME. coming October 4 and available for pre-order now: 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. When Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But when Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Grilled Cod with Parsley-Caper Pesto


LESLIE BUDEWITZ; I just turned in the manuscript that will become the fourth Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, to be published next spring by Midnight Ink. Part of the fun of writing “foodie fiction” is finding or creating the recipes, but not every recipe is successful, so out they go! Others are yummy, but the scene they were part of gets deleted, or as with this one, they get cut because the recipe section was getting to be longer than the mystery!

I found this Parsley-Caper Pesto in a copy of Eating Well magazine that a friend gave me, and thought it and the Roasted Tomato Pesto and Pesto Trapanese (cherry tomatoes, basil, almonds, garlic, and chiles) would be great additions to Fresca’s line of fresh sauces and pestos, sold only at the Merc in Jewel Bay. Alas, I ended up leaving it out of the book, but that’s no reason for you to suffer!


A small food processor – ours holds 2 cups – is perfect for making pesto. We served this with grilled cod, but it would be just as lovely with tilapia, halibut, or any firm white fish. Be sure to toast the nuts for extra flavor.

And congratulations to Peg Cochran on today's release of BERRY THE HATCHET, the 2d Cranberry Cove Mystery!



Grilled Cod with Parsley-Caper Pesto

2 cups fresh, flat leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see below)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor, and pulse to chop and combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the olive oil, and process until well-combined, again scraping down the sides.

Makes about 1 cup. This will keep in the fridge 3-4 days.

Grill your fish and serve with a dollop of pesto, and a wedge of fresh lemon, if you like.













From the cover of GUILTY AS CINNAMON: 

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…




Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wild Rice and Cantaloupe #Salad


by Leslie Budewitz

HAPPY RELEASE DAY  to Victoria Abbott---THE MARSH MADNESS, and Cleo Coyle---ONCE UPON A GRIND! 

I scribbled this recipe while skimming a Family Circle magazine in my mother’s hospital room in late July. Though the combination of ingredients seems odd, we had a bumper crop of cucumbers, and my hunny loves cantaloupe, so it had potential. Turned out to be quite a winner, actually. And I remembered to take photos. But then I lost the recipe—turned out I had already tucked it in my recipe binder, under salads. The downside of being organized! Or rather, what happens when you’re sometimes organized, and sometimes not, and can’t always tell the difference.

We remodeled a few years ago and bought a dual fuel GE range (gas top, electric oven) that we love. The only downside: Even the smallest burner is quite hot, and it’s hard to keep the heat low enough under a small, covered pan to cook rice without boiling over. But in his bachelor days, Mr. Right was a sushi fiend, so we have a rice cooker. Just the ticket for the absent-minded cook—especially if you’re making this salad on a hot day.


I made a few changes, using a blend of wild and brown rice, using plain rather than Greek yogurt, which I find too thick for dressings. The recipe calls for white balsamic vinegar, which is a great find—it’s not as fruity or rich as the dark variety, but adds a little of that characteristic tang. If you don’t have a bottle, a good white wine vinegar will do nicely. Nearly any recipe with raisins can also be made with craisins, and they go beautifully with wild rice.

I added the parsley because our back porch herb garden is about the only thing thriving in this summer of extremes—heat, cold, heat, wild fire smoke. Mint would be a great substitute.

This is a terrific side dish with chicken or salmon, and makes a great lunch the next day.

(And my mother? Just turned 90. The hospital stay was rehab after a spine fracture. Thank God for physical therapists and occupational therapists who know how to work with the elderly. And for bright red walkers that always look stylish.)

Wild Rice and Cantaloupe Salad

1-1/2 cups uncooked wild rice or wild rice blend
2/3 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is too thick for this recipe; use a standard variety)
½ cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups diced cantaloupe
2 cups diced cucumber
1 cup diced celery
1 cup raisins or craisins
½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted, or ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds (if salted, adjust the salt in the dressing to taste)
1/4 cup diced shallots
1/4 cup chopped parsley or mint

Cook the rice. If you’re using raw sunflower seeds, toast them in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. (They will not change color much; that’s okay—they’ll continue to cook as they cool.)



In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, vinegar, salt, and pepper.


In a large bowl, stir together the cantaloupe, cucumber, celery, raisins, sunflower seeds, and shallots.




Stir in the cooked rice.



Pour the dressing over the fruit and rice mixture and stir to coat.



Serves 6 and keeps well for several days, depending on the ripeness of your melons.

From the cover of BUTTER OFF DEAD (July 2015): As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …



Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website or on Facebook.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Classic Tabbouleh -- summer's bounty

by Leslie Budewitz

I used to be a good gardener. Then I signed two three-book mystery contracts, the garden flooded two years in a row, and my strawberry bed began to resemble a central Montana hayfield after fifty-mile winds and hail the size of golf balls.

Sigh. 

But this year, I built a new bed and bought two itty bitty cucumber plants. Stuck three tomato starts in pots on the back porch. Bought parsley and thyme, and started basil in egg cartons.

And of course, neglect aside, there is mint. Three varieties. If you’ve ever grown mint, you’re wondering whatever possessed me. In my defense, only one is a planned plant—a lovely, bright green mint called Mojito. (And why, yes, it does make a fine cocktail.) The two unnamed varieties were gifts. (Gardeners are generous with starts. Some have a wicked glint in their eye. In climates like mine, in NW Montana, where herbs won’t survive the winter outside in pots, mint is best planted in large plastic buckets with the bottoms cut out and sunk into the herb bed.)

So, tomatoes, mint, and cukes gave me a craving for tabbouleh. This is basically Ina Garten’s recipe, with a few minor variations. She does a fabulous job with the classics, and this is an easy, yummy example. It’s terrific served on its own or on a bed of sturdy greens, and is a great side dish for kabobs, chicken, or salmon.


Classic Tabbouleh 

1 cup bulghur wheat (we used red bulghur because we had it; red or white will do)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), scant
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup green onions, white and green parts (1 bunch), chopped
1 cup fresh mint leaves (1 bunch, in the grocery store), chopped
1 cup Italian (flat leaf) parsley (1 bunch, in the grocery store), chopped
1 English cucumber or two green slicing cucumbers, unpeeled, diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




 Place the bulghur in a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and add the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir. Let sit at room temperature about 1 hour.



Add the onions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper; mix well. Season, to taste, and serve or cover and refrigerate. The flavor will improve if the tabbouleh sits for a few hours.


Serves eight. This recipe keeps nicely in the fridge for 2-3 days, although the salt will draw some liquid off the cucumbers. If it seems like too much to stir in, spoon out as much liquid as you can and stir the rest into the salad.

From the cover of BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries: As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce #recipes

By Leslie Budewitz

We're continuing the celebration of BUTTER OFF DEAD, the third in my Food Lovers' Village mysteries, which came out July 7. 

Way back before I joined the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen crew, the killer cooks invited me to share a recipe as a Sunday guest. I shared this one. But it’s such a classic, and so perfect for summer, that I thought it only fitting to share again.

Plus, it’s in my new book, BUTTER OFF DEAD.

A few years ago, a friend gave my husband and me a bottle of Chocolate Cabernet Sauce. It came in a tall skinny bottle, and I suspect it had been a gift the recipient didn’t know how to use, but when it comes to weird food, we’re easy marks. We dumped it over ice cream, cheesecake, and strawberries. We polished it off and went back for more, only to discover that it was no longer available.

So I went on the hunt. And while the version we created is thicker than the original syrupy concoction, it’s just as flexible, and even yummier.

Erin first discovered this at the annual Jewel Bay Summer Food and Art Festival. Jewel Bay loves festivals—everything is tastier on a sunny summer day, amid a crowd of folks who love good food, music, and art. But not until the dark of winter, in the depths of despair over an unsolved murder, an old secret, and a romance on the rocks does Erin discover its truest value: Chocolate tastes like everything we love and long for.

Chocolate-Cabernet Sauce 

Perfect on top of ice cream or cheesecake, after a hard night of sleuthing.

Here in the Northwest, Tillamook Ice Cream—made from the offerings of the happy cows in the Tillamook Valley of western Oregon—is extremely popular. We dumped this sauce on their vanilla ice cream—they make three varieties, old-fashioned, French, and vanilla bean. And then we discovered their Oregon Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Ooh-la-lah!



1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon
½ pound semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces for easier melting (Erin likes Scharffen Berger’s baking bars)

Heat the cream, butter, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate and wine, and stir until smooth.





Makes about one pint. Store the sauce in a pint jar in the fridge. To serve, scoop out what you need into a small bowl and microwave for just a few seconds.


From the cover:

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.
 
But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. 

Connect with her on her website, onFacebook, or on Twitter.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cocktails with the Murphy Girls #cocktails #bookgiveaway

by Leslie Budewitz

Raise a glass with me to celebrate the launch today of BUTTER OFF DEAD, the third Food Lovers' Village Mystery!

Summertime and the living is easy...

Well, it’s summer, glorious summer where I live, but it’s February in Jewel Bay, Montana, and Erin and her pals are excited about the new Food Lovers’ Film Festival they’ve created to warm up the chilly midwinter. It’s a celebration meant for the locals, but hey, no one in Jewel Bay ever minds if a few tourists show up as well.

But you can’t serve food and drink that you haven’t thoroughly tested, right? Certainly Fresca and Erin never would. (I confess, over the years, I’ve gotten less concerned about that and my guests may be guinea pigs now and again.) So Erin, her sister Chiara, and Fresca test some cocktails one evening in Fresca’s living room, with surprising results.

The recipes in my Montana mysteries often feature huckleberries, a tart, wild berry much like a blueberry. Other mountain states, east and west, claim them, but of course, out here we tend to think that the real thing grows only in Montana. As Erin likes to say, “If it’s made in Montana, it must be good.” (Frozen berries can be mail-ordered for the mountain-challenged.)

Cheers!

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD, out July 7. OH MY GOSH -- that's TODAY!!!  

And it's also release day for Lucy Burdette's FATAL RESERVATIONS! Food critic Hayley Snow sets aside her knife and fork when her dear friend Lorenzo the tarot card reader is accused of murdering his flaming-fork-juggling nemesis. If Lorenzo could read his own cards, he might draw The Hanged Man. He can only hope that Hayley draws Justice as she tries to clear him of murder.

Huckleberry Martinis


  

Commercial huckleberry-flavored vodkas are available, but Erin prefers to make her own. This drink is similar to a Cosmopolitan.

To make the huckleberry vodka:

3 ounces vodka
3 ounces huckleberries, fresh or frozen

Pour vodka over berries in a mason jar or mortar; mash the berries with a fork or a pestle and let sit at least one hour. (The berries can be steeped up to a week.) Strain before using. Makes 3 ounces huckleberry vodka.


To make the drink: 

3 ounces huckleberry vodka
2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce lime juice
1 cup ice cubes


Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty or your hands are cold. Strain into two chilled martini glasses.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, add ½ teaspoon simple syrup to each drink.

Serves 2

Huckleberry Margaritas

Serve on the rocks or blended, with salt or without.



To make the huckleberry tequila:

3 ounces tequila
3 ounces huckleberries, fresh or frozen

Pour tequila over berries in a mason jar or mortar; mash the berries with a fork or a pestle and let sit at least one hour. (The berries can be steeped up to a week.) Strain before using. Makes 3 ounces huckleberry tequila.

To make the drink: 

3 ounces huckleberry tequila
2 ounces triple sec
1 ounce lime juice
1 cup ice cubes for on the rocks, two ice cubes for blended
lime wedges

On the rocks: Combine ingredients, except lime wedge, in a cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty or your hands are cold. Strain into two glasses. Serve with a lime wedge.

Blended: Add first three ingredients to blender with two ice cubes. Pulse and pour into glasses. Serve with a lime wedge.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, add ½ teaspoon simple syrup to each drink. For salted rims, shake salt onto a saucer. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass and dip the glass into the salt.

Serves 2

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries, out July 7.  (Open till noon, Thursday, July 9; please include your email address.)


From the cover:

As the national bestselling Food Lovers’ Village mysteries continue, the merchants of Jewel Bay, Montana try to heat up chilly winter business with a new film festival. But their plans are sent reeling when a dangerous killer dims the lights on a local mover and shaker …

In an attempt to woo tourists to Jewel Bay and cheer up the townies, Erin Murphy, manager of the specialty local foods market known as the Merc, is organizing the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, popping with classic foodie flicks and local twists on favorite movie treats. But when her partner in planning, painter Christine Vandeberg, is found dead only days before the curtain rises, Erin suspects someone is attempting to stop the films from rolling.

To make matters worse, Nick—Erin’s brother and Christine’s beau—has top billing on the suspect list. Convinced her brother is innocent and determined that the show must go on, Erin must find who’s really to blame before Nick gets arrested or the festival gets shut down. And as the anniversary of Erin’s father’s death in a still-unsolved hit-and-run approaches, her own beau isn’t so keen on her leading role.

But the closer Erin gets to shining a spotlight on the killer, the more likely it becomes that she’ll be the next person cut from the program…


Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. 

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.