Showing posts with label Key West mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Key West mysteries. Show all posts

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Chipotle Pepper, Corn, and Chicken Chowder #recipe @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: With December upon us, the search for a delicious low-sodium soup continues! In this case, I wanted to make a chicken, corn, chipotle combination, as John has been yearning for a corn, potato, and sausage chowder that I used to make but can't eat right now. (Most sausage is laced with sodium.)
The secret, I'm finding, is lots of other flavor...

Then I realized that I'd finished up my chipotles, so I substituted Penzey's Arizona Dreamin' spice mix, which has no salt but lots of yummy peppers among other spices. I also found no-salt added versions of corn and creamed corn--a score! We liked the cilantro garnish a lot, and also used hot pepper sauce at the table (and John, some salt!)

1 tsp Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming, or 1 or 2 dried chipotle chiles, soaked in 2 tbsp olive oil and chopped, or 1 tsp cumin
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch scallions, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large box chicken stock, low sodium
5-6 small red potatoes, peeled and diced small
3-4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 

2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 can sweet corn, drained (no salt added)
1 can cream-style corn (no salt added)
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to a soup pan and saute the chopped red peppers, the scallions, the chipotle peppers, and the spices until the vegetables are soft. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick.Slowly stir in the box of chicken stock, stir until thick and bubbly. Add the potatoes and simmer about ten minutes. Add the chicken and both kinds of corn and heat through. (You can thin this down with some milk or a little more broth if it seems too thick.) Stir in the cheese and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with Tabasco or other hot sauce on the side.

 Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Mystery Lovers' Kitchen!

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  Thank you all, dear readers, for letting us share our love of good food and good mysteries with you all through the year. You allow us to do what we do best: tell stories, whether on the page, on the screen, in pictures, or on the dining room table. When we count our blessings, I know each of us includes you.

Here's a recipe from a year ago for Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle, a treat I know you'll enjoy this busy weekend -- and beyond!

LUCY BURDETTE: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your day has turned out just as you imagined...friends? family? food? We are so grateful for all of our readers, who are friends too after all these years. And I am thankful for my blog sisters, for their warm hearts and great food and entertaining books! You all deserve a day out of the kitchen so I'm sending you flowers instead of more recipes:)

Peg CochranToday we give thanks for all of you, our readers! And for the privilege of writing books for you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I hope you are celebrating with friends, family and plenty of good food!  If you want to change things up, here is a recipe for pumpkin roll that is so delicious!

Krista Davis: Happy Thanksgiving to all our wonderful readers. I have gotten to know so many of you through this blog, and I'm so appreciative of your friendship. I always look forward to reading your comments and hearing about your lives. May you all be surrounded by family, good friends, and good food today, celebrating the many joys in our lives. I just took my favorite pie out of the oven. I hope you'll be eating some of your favorites, too!

Sheila Connolly (who is hiding out in Ireland rather than facing a turkey!). Thank you to all our readers who allow us to share our recipes, spicy and sweet, simple and complicated. Cooking and in particular sharing food at events like Thanksgiving is at the heart of any community, and we feel that all of you are part of our family. Have a wonderful day.

Cleo Coyle: Cheers to our readers for helping to make this Kitchen a warm and cozy source of good food, good times, and good community. May you eat with joy today and always and may your Thanksgiving tables be blessed!

Linda Wiken:  Such a wonderful time of the year to be sharing with family and friends. I certainly hope you are.  Thank you for being a part of our food lives and for your many comments over the months and years. I'd like to share a look at some of my most recent cookbook buys as my Thanksgiving gift to you. Maybe you'll find one to help inspire your menus, too. 

Mary Jane Maffini aka Victoria Abbott As Canadians, Victoria and I get to celebrate Thanksgiving more than once. How lucky is that? We have much to be thankful for, especially the wonderful community of readers and writers who live in our mysterious world. We have made friends for life here and we treasure all of you! We hope your Thanksgiving is full of wonderful food, friends and family. At the end, we hope you can put your feet up and catch up on your reading. Or watch the turkeys on the lawn as we did last year! Whatever you do, have fun.

Gobble gobble!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thai Curry Shrimp and Bonus Smoothie! #recipe @lucyburdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Though I love Thai food, generally Thai curry is high in sodium and certainly soy sauce is. But this stir-fry accomplishes the goal of tasting like Thai food-- and tasting delicious! Vegetables can be interchanged according to the season and your taste.


Unflavored cooking oil such as canola
1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder, to taste
One half can organic coconut milk
One red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
One bunch broccolini
Snow or sugar snap peas
One large clove garlic chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped
Eight fresh basil leaves

Chop the broccolini, peas, and scallions into bite-sized pieces and saute until soft. Scrape these onto a plate and set aside. Sauté the shrimp very briefly, and add them to the plate with the vegetables.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the frying pan and sauté the garlic, ginger and curry powder on lower heat for a minute or two. Add the coconut milk and stir well. 


Mix the vegetables and shrimp into the sauce, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce if you choose. Bring everything to a simmer and cook a few minutes until the shrimp are pink. Stir in the basil leaves and serve over rice.

Now, lucky you, you have half a can of coconut milk to use in a smoothie the next morning. Add the coconut milk, 1/2 cup unflavored and unsweetened almond milk, one half banana, and 1/2 cup frozen strawberries to a blender. (Blueberries or other various berries maybe substituted to suit your taste.) Whir everything together until smooth. And enjoy!

The seventh Key West mystery, KILLER TAKEOUT, is on bookshelves everywhere. What about yours?

You can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Oven-Fried Zucchini Fingers @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: It's zucchini time in our garden, which means we better get eating! In my pre-low-sodium days, I would have sauteed rounds in olive oil and then added soy sauce to taste. Because soy sauce (even the low-sodium kind) is loaded with sodium, I had to find another tasty way. When I saw a recipe on "The Girl Who Ate Everything"'s Pinterest page, I knew I could tweak to suit us and enjoy. We both loved the results--not one spear was left.

Ingredients (for 2)

Two medium zucchini
1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon homemade Cajun spice mix 

one egg white

Cut the zucchini into shapes to your taste. I went for easy--cut them in half horizontally and the into spears. 

Separate the white from the egg yolk and whip the white in a shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan and the spice mix. (I had some homemade mix leftover from my Key West boiled dinner so I used that.) The ingredients were white pepper, red pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, dried mustard. But you can pick and choose the flavors you and your family will enjoy. Preheat the oven to 425.

Dip each finger into the egg white then roll it in the breadcrumb mixture. Place them on a cookie tray covered in parchment paper. Bake at 4:25 for about 25 minutes until the crust is crunchy. 

I served these with barbecued chicken and fresh corn on the cob--a perfect and easy summer supper! 

The seventh Key West mystery, KILLER TAKEOUT, is on bookshelves everywhere. What about yours?

You can follow Lucy on Facebook,
and Instagram!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eric's Coconut Cake (Almost) @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: My friend Eric (the model for the psychologist character in the Key West mysteries) is famous for his coconut cake. 

Below is the one he made for last Easter--how cute is that?

And I've been looking for a recipe for coconut cake for forever, so I begged for his. Of course, never able to quite leave a recipe alone, I did change things up a little from what he sent me. I used less of the cream of coconut and one block of cream cheese in the icing, instead of two. Oh, and unsweetened coconut instead of sweetened. It was delicious, if I say so myself.:) I think I will try this as a sheetcake next time I have to bring something to a party...

Ingredients for the Coconut Cake

1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2-3 oz Coco Lopez from an 8 oz can (save the rest for icing)
1 cup milk 
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by buttering them well, lining with parchment, and then buttering the parchment too.


    Mix all the dry cake ingredients in bowl of electric mixer or stand mixer at slow speed. Add cool cubes of butter, a few at a time, along with the Coco Lopez, and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well but minimally after each.

 Mix the milk with the extracts.

    Add 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat until combined. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.

    Pour batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans.

    Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake springs back when touched, in the neighborhood of 25 minutes. (Watch this because you don't want to overcook...)

    Cool the pans  for ten minutes, then remove the cakes, one to a plate and the other to waxed paper, and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Ingredients for the coconut icing:
1 8 oz block cream cheese  
1 stick unsalted butter
Coco Lopez --the rest of the can 

1 tsp vanilla
About 1 and 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
6 oz unsweetened flaked coconut 

Beat everything together except for the coconut, then taste to see if it's sweet enough for your audience. Ice the top of the first layer, then sprinkle with coconut. Add the second layer, ice the whole cake, sprinkle the coconut all over, patting as needed.

And then watch your people swoon...

And this is what the real Eric looks like when he's all spiffed up, and here he is with Bill, Barclay, and Toby...all characters in the books!

Don't forget: July will be here before we know it, bringing the sixth Key West food critic mystery, FINAL RESERVATIONS. You can pre-order it here.

Follow Lucy on Pinterest.

Or Twitter.

Or Facebook.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Farmer's Market Summer Supper @LucyBurdette #recipe

LUCY BURDETTE: Do you ever make supper according to what you see in refrigerator or at the market? I do! My hub calls it my French market method. 

Last week I saw some darling new potatoes at the market in town. And the most beautiful red onion. And the green beans were swarming our garden, along with some lovely cucumbers. Add a couple of eggs, some well done bacon crumbles, and a vinaigrette, and voilà, an easy summer dinner.


Two handfuls of fresh green beans, snipped in half
Six or so new potatoes

One small fresh red onion, peeled and sliced

4 ounces good bacon, cut into one inch pieces

Two large eggs, boiled, peeled, and sliced

  (Olive oil, vinegar, good mustard, pinch of salt)
Fresh dill, washed and snipped

Lettuce for display purposes

Sliced cucumber
Corn on the cob, if desired


Cook the eggs 10 minutes and let them cool in the pot. In another pan, simmer the potatoes until almost soft. Then add the green beans for the last three minutes of simmering. Drain the vegetables, slice the potatoes into chunks, and place in a glass bowl. Add the snipped dill and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinaigrette, depending on how much dressing you like.

In a frying pan, sauté the bacon pieces until they are crisp and move them onto a plate covered with paper towels to drain. For the onions, you may either leave a tablespoon or so of bacon fat in the pan or start fresh with olive oil. Sauté the sliced onion until it's brown and soft. Reserve the bacon, but mix the onions in with the other vegetables.

To assemble the salad, lay out some clean pieces of lettuce. Mound the veggies on the lettuce, then layer on sliced eggs and sprinkle the crispy bacon bits on the top. Serve at room temperature with fresh corn on the cob.

MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

 Follow Lucy on Facebook

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And lest you forget, DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easy Stir-Fried Beef and Broccolini from @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: As usual, it's been a busy week re-entering real life after vacation. Cooking was not my first priority. But I'd snagged a handsome bunch of broccolini at the farmer's market that I wanted to use. (Broccolini is a relative to broccoli, with long thin stalks and smaller florets.)

Lucy to her husband: How does cheesy polenta with steamed broccolini sound?

John (face falling): It sounds fine. I'm glad I'm not cooking so it's fine.

But I could see it wasn't really fine, and he is a good sport about eating about anything I serve and then cleaning up. (Besides that, we have an anniversary coming up tomorrow!) So I made a quick trip to the grocery story and added...meat!

And, I wanted an excuse to use our Japanese souvenirs--new chopsticks and chopstick holders. Aren't they adorable?


1/2 lb beef (I used a small steak), sliced
1 bunch broccolini
1 bunch scallions, cut into inch-long pieces
1-inch chunk ginger, peeled and chopped
1 heaping tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
 1-2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp sherry
1 cup or more beef broth

Slice the steak and marinate it in the cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry, and sesame oil.

Prepare the scallions, broccolini, and ginger (you could add chopped garlic if you like)

Stir fry the scallions and ginger in hot oil until brown and fragrant. Set that aside.

Add the broccolini to the hot skillet along with 1/3 cup or so of the beef broth and steam until almost tender. Set that aside.

Drain and reserve the marinade, and then add the beef to the skillet (more hot oil first). 

To the reserved marinade, add the other 2/3 cup beef broth. When the beef is almost cooked, add the vegetables back into the pan with the marinade. 

Cook several minutes until bubbly. Serve over brown rice.

Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, including DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS--coming in December! Follow her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter 
Lucy (aka Roberta) and John 22 years ago