Showing posts with label Inspector Green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspector Green. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Inspector Green’s Foolproof Rosh Hashanah Chicken

Barbara Fradkin is a retired psychologist and the author of the terrific Inspector Green series, featuring a quixotic, exasperating Ottawa Police inspector with a passion for justice and a love of the hunt. Her novels have twice won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis award for Best Novel. Please join us in welcoming Barbara back to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen with one of Inspector Green’s recipes for a warm family celebration. 

 Rosh Hashanah with Inspector Green

On top of all the back-to-work and school activities, September is a busy month for Jewish holidays. Some are solemn, others lively, but food is always centre stage.  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts the ten-day period of penitence and self-appraisal with a feast of sweet festive foods reflecting the wish for abundance, good health, and a sweet year to come.

Because crime doesn’t take time off, Inspector Michael Green, head of Major Case Investigations for the Ottawa Police, faces a constant fight to juggle work and family life, holidays and obligations. But now that he finds himself the unlikely father of two (soon to be three), he is trying to foster family traditions and values that will carry them into the future. As the only child of fearful Holocaust survivors, he had very little heritage to build on, but he has taken the traditional foods – roast chicken, honey, raisins and almonds – to create his own version of the sweet festive dish. His busy wife Sharon is happy that it makes minimal mess, is almost impossible to ruin, and can be mastered by a husband with little culinary talent or time.

The recipe below feeds his family of four, but can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled… You get the idea. Like any good hand-me-down recipe, the amounts are approximate; you can substitute a “pinch” or “handful” if you prefer!

Inspector Green’s more-or-less foolproof Honey Orange Chicken

Four to six chicken breasts, bone and skin on
1 to 1 ½ cups orange juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. ginger
½ cup raisins
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ cup thin slices of orange or mandarin orange
garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts skin side up on a flat cooking sheet or shallow pan. Lining it with aluminum foil will save clean-up aggravation. Rub the skin with raw garlic, half the ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, honey, cornstarch and 1 tsp. ginger (plus salt and pepper if desired). Microwave until mixture just thickens, stirring frequently.

Remove chicken, baste with drippings, and sprinkle with raisins, almonds, and orange slices. Pour the sauce evenly over top and return to oven for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown. 

To maintain the traditional touch, serve this with potato or noodle kugel, carrot tsimmis, and greens


 Enjoy!   But make sure you save some time to read.

Barbara’s latest (and ninth) book, The Whisper of Legends, finds the very urban detective searching the northern wilderness for his missing daughter.  

The tenth in the series, None So Blind, is in the works. Find out more about Barbara and her terrific books at  You can order The Whisper of Legends through your favorite bookstore or by clicking here.

Check out the whole series!  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Killer Kugel - to die for!

Please welcome guest blogger Barbara Fradkin, author of the award-winning Inspector Green mysteries, set in Canada's capital, Ottawa. Barbara will be giving us a taste treat from her Inspector Green's own traditions.

Green's many fans know him to be a bit hard to manage (maybe that's what we love about him) and we all have sympathy for his lovely and strong-minded wife, Sharon. He does care about his family, even if he's often home late. So what a thrill to find the renegade in the kitchen!

A new take on a traditional dish

Ottawa police Inspector Michael Green had a lonely childhood. His parents were Holocaust survivors who lost their entire families in the camps, and while he was growing up, Passover Seders were low-key, secretive affairs haunted by the presence of unacknowledged ghosts. Eastern European Jewish food is peasant food under the best circumstances – cheap, unflavored cuts of meat boiled forever and supplemented by mounds of potatoes. In the Green household, food was a survival tool, not a joy, and his mother’s traditional potato kugel was a heavy potato pie salvaged from glue only by the hint of onion

With Passover just around the corner, Green’s wife Sharon is determined to inject new life and flavor into the old Passover mainstays. Zucchini and parsnip promise to add zest and lightness to the kugel, and because the recipe is so easy, Green himself is entrusted to make it while Sharon works on the more difficult dishes. All he needs is a food processor, a colander, a big bowl and a baking dish. What could go wrong?

Where Green and the kitchen stove are concerned, a lot. But here, under Sharon’s careful eye, is the kugel he will attempt.


5 Yukon potatoes, peeled

1 medium carrot, peeled

2 parsnips, peeled

2 zucchini

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped parsley

4 eggs

½ cup oil

3 tbsp. matzoh meal (if used for Passover; otherwise flour works too)

1 tsp. Kosher (or sea) salt

½ tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. In the food processor, grate the potatoes, parsnips, carrot and zucchini, then transfer to the colander and squeeze out the excess liquid.

In a big mixing bowl, mix eggs and oil until frothy. Add the grated vegetables, onions, parsley, salt and pepper and sprinkle the matzoh meal on top. Fold into the egg mixture until well combined.

Spread into the baking dish and bake for 30 min. Remove and brush the top with vegetable oil. Bake until the top is golden, about 30 min. more. Only under-cooking (soggy) or over-cooking (dry) can ruin this dish, and Sharon will nip these disasters in the bud.

The Greens will serve this with brisket, carrots, and salad, with perhaps a side order of smoked turkey in the tradition of Sharon's family. But it can liven up just about any meal.

And now a bit more about our guest!

Barbara Fradkin is an award-winning author and retired psychologist with a fascination for how we turn bad. She's also a former Crime Writers of Canada President. Beautiful Lie the Dead is the latest in her gritty detective series featuring the quixotic, exasperating Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, which has won two Arthur Ellis Best Novel Awards. In a new venture, her first Rapid Reads novel, The Fall Guy, has just been released.

Learn more about Barbara and both her series at or find her on Facebook where you can also check out the pix of her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.