Showing posts with label Leslie Budewitz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie Budewitz. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper #recipe @LeslieBudewitz


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I can hear you from here. "Plums, with black pepper?” you’re asking, that note of incredulity in your voice.

Yep. Black pepper. You’ll barely taste it or the sea salt, unless you badly overdo them. So why use them? The seasonings pair beautifully to accentuate the tart-sweet flavor of the plums.

About the amount of sugar: The original recipe, which came from Bon Appetit, called for 1/4 cup sugar. Wildly too much! I used about two teaspoons—we like our baked fruit a little on the tart side, and I knew from the bite I’d snitched while cutting the plums that these were a little on the sweeter side. I used Italian prune plums, because that’s what we had. Red plums would also be lovely, as would apricots. If you like your fruit a little sweeter, or your plums are quite tart, you could toss them with the sugar in a bowl until you get the taste just right.

The original recipe also didn’t say anything about rolling out the pastry. Now, I’m no math whiz, but even I know you can’t get 6-4" squares out of a 9X10" sheet of pastry. It’s easy to roll out a bit lengthwise; you won’t need to roll much.

This is a super yummy addition to brunch, though it could also be a dessert. Your choice! Puff pastry is quite easy to work with---don't be daunted! Just remember to let it thaw at room temperature 30-40 minutes before you try to use it.

The Pepperidge Farm puff pastry packages have been coming with a 75 cent coupon in them, so I’ve been buying up the stuff when I spot a decent price. Expect more puff pastry recipes in the next few months!

Plum Tarts With Honey And Black Pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 pound plums, pitted, cut into ½" wedges (If you’re using Italian plums, cut in quarters)
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Roll the thawed pastry into a sheet roughly 9" X 12". Cut in half from the short side, then in thirds along the long side, so you have six squares, roughly 4" X 4". Place the squares on your baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½" border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper. (I used 3-4 on each tart.)

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

Makes 6.











From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.


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 past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Grilled Chicken and Tarragon #recipe @LeslieBudewitz


LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  A few weeks ago, I shared a favorite recipe, Julia Child’s Tarragon Chicken, known in our house as “Chicken Julia.”

This dish uses some of the same flavors. (I found the original in Good Housekeeping, but surprise, surprise! I changed it!) Instead of making a sauce in a pan, the roasted tomatoes and their juices create the sauce. The first time we made this, Mr. Right’s last patient ran late – his acupuncture clinic is in our home – and the tomatoes were done before we threw the chicken on the grill. They were still warm and wonderful, but I realized that better timing would make for a better flavor, and our second try proved the theory. The tomatoes lose their juice as they cool, but when hot, the juices seep into the chicken and gives it an extra punch.

So don’t be like us. Timing matters.

We were super-proud of ourselves for growing the tomatoes, garlic, and tarragon. Not the chicken, though—too many hungry foxes and grizzlies in our neighborhood. A mix of sizes and colors makes the tomatoes extra yummy. We served this with a green salad and grilled naan -- mmm!

And yes, I did kill someone once with a meat mallet. On the page, but still. Be careful.

Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Grilled Chicken and Tarragon

1 pound grape or cherry tomatoes, mixed
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
3/4 to 1 pound chicken breasts
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Heat oven to 500 degrees and pre-heat your grill to medium.

Cut about one cup of the tomatoes in half. Mix in a bowl or on your baking sheet with the garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pepper flakes, and ½ to 1 teaspoon salt. Roast on the middle rack, stirring once or twice, about 18-20 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to burst and soften. (You might even hear them!) Some charring is great. If your tomatoes aren’t very juicy, you can add a tablespoon or two of water, but be careful—it will instantly steam up, so keep your hands and face out of the way.




Meanwhile, lay the chicken breasts in plastic wrap, fold, and pound to about ½" thick. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly marked and cooked through, 3-4 minutes a side.



Place grilled chicken on serving plate. Toss the tomato mixture and its juices with the tarragon, and spoon on top of the chicken.


Serves 2-4.

Bon appetit!


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



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 past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Around the Kitchen Table -- Comfort Food


LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  The seasons are changing, and with it, what we eat. No more fresh peaches or berries. Up here in the north, the pots of herbs are coming inside, there's a colander filled with the last tomatoes on the counter, and the deer and bears have left a few apples on our ancient Red Delicious tree. It's the season for comfort food.

A few years ago, a friend went into rapture, fantasizing about a fresh ragu -- an herby tomato sauce -- simmering on her stove, and called it the ultimate comfort food. I laughed -- to me, the ultimate comfort food is mac 'n cheese, smooth, creamy, maybe with a few herbs and toasted breadcrumbs for crunch, but none of the spicy bursts of flavor of a rich tomato sauce. I gave that conversation to my girl Erin in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, but she plays the part of the surprised Italian girl who goes to college and discovers that to others, comfort food was grilled cheese, custard, or bread pudding. Pumpkin muffins. Breakfast for dinner. (I swear, I was probably 40 when it occurred to me that my mother made pancakes and sausage for dinner occasionally not as a treat for the kids, but because she needed a little mothering herself!)

What says comfort food to you, dear readers? Include your email address in your comment for a chance to win a terrific Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag! (US and Canada addresses only, please.)



🍁

Daryl: I've made it very clear, Leslie, in post after post that grilled cheese and mac and cheese say comfort to me.  I love adding all sorts of goodies to both. To grilled cheese? Avocado, bacon, shrimp. To mac and cheese, bacon. When is bacon not a comfort food?  I adore meatloaf packed with herbs and onions. This simply reminds me of my mother. She made a dynamite meatloaf, and her recipe (tweaked) is still what I use. My husband loved my meatloaf. And last but not least, ice cream! Any time of the day and night. I don't care how cold it is outside. I love ice cream. Which is probably why I like to make it. I love the sound of the churn. I love the aroma of vanilla and whatever else I add to the ice cream. And I like the way ice cream "chills" my stomach. It's like a
natural "anti-inflammatory."  LOL  Ah, comfort food. Do we need autumn and winter to enjoy it? Nope. Year-round comfort food is definitely a necessity.


🍎

Sheila: When I started thinking about my go-to comfort foods, I realized I had a few semi-scientific pieces of evidence. I've been collecting recipes and cookbooks for a long time, and the first clue is to look at my well-used cookbooks and find the pages with the most grease stains. My first copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking has quite a few pages like that, mainly for beef and chicken dishes. (I could use the same test on the cookbooks I inherited from my mother: the recipe for chocolate sauce in her 1948 edition of Fanny Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cook Book may lead the pack.)

But a more important clue is how often I've made a particular dish over the years, no matter what the source. For that one, I think Apple Goody stands out. It's a recipe that comes from the mother of one of my long-ago roommates, back in the 1970s. I knew her mother for years, and I still get together regularly with my friend. The recipe is simple: apples, cinnamon, flour, sugar (brown and white) and butter. Bake and enjoy. I can't begin to count the number of times I've made that, both for guests or to take to a pot-luck, or just to eat myself. I even included it in one of my Orchard Mysteries.

So while the collected works of Julia Child are dear to my heart, Apple Goody is the all-time winner.


🍴

Linda:  When I think of something comforting, I think of my Mom. I may have mentioned that she wasn't a great cook but what she made was all we needed, or thought we needed, at the time. So I'd say my comfort food is applesauce. She'd make it from scratch and I can still remember the wonderful aroma that filled the kitchen. She'd team it up with pork chops or baked beans. Often, when I wasn't feeling well, it would be an entire meal in itself. On toast, was also a good choice.
 It makes me think of being tucked up in a soft bed under a warm comforter or sitting on the couch while a storm rages outside. Of course, I'm always eating in these thoughts -- applesauce, it would seem.

I have to admit, I've never made applesauce but obviously, with such good memories attached, I should make the effort real soon. Maybe you can supply me with a tasty recipe, Sheila! 



🍒

Krista: Linda, I remember my mom grating apples as a home remedy when I was a kid. She made applesauce, too, but it's the raw grated apples that I recall because I never could figure out why they were supposed cure anything.

Mac and cheese is a favorite comfort food for me. We never had it growing up. Never!  I don't often make it now, but I do love that creaminess.

Like Daryl, I'm a complete fool for ice cream, but mostly in the summer. As the weather cools, my consumption drops off until the special flavors come around for the holidays. Peppermint anyone?

But I'll go out on a limb here and suggest something that I have been known to whip up very late on cold nights-warm chocolate pudding. Pudding is fine when it's cold, but there's nothing quite as soothing as warm pudding, eaten straight from the pot.  


🍇

Peg: Like Krista, we never had mac and cheese growing up! I don't really remember any comfort foods from my childhood--the association is really with things I make now like shepherd's pie and sauce bolognese and pretty much any kind of soup except tomato (which I don't care for!).  I could eat a whole bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner--that's comfort to me.  And pair them with roast chicken, and I'm in heaven!  

Lucy: I love love macaroni and cheese, but eating salty stuff is a no-no for me right now. On Sundays as a kid, we had cheese toast, baked beans, and potato salad on TV trays in front of whatever program was on--that's comfort food to me. All those carbs! These days, how about a nice peach or cherry cobbler, right out of the oven, with whipped cream?? Or a chicken pot pie?

 🍞

Victoria:  I find this whole discussion very comforting.  Food in general offers comfort to me, but there's something special about the smell of fresh bread or biscuits, warm from the oven and served up with butter. I love it when they area bit savory, like these with chives. There should be a pot of tea nearby and someone to chat with, over the warm biscuits.





Cleo: All of your comfort foods sound good to me! I'll add homemade cookies to that list...
Angel Wings (aka) Italian Bow Tie Cookies
For the recipe, click here.




As a little girl, I loved helping my Italian-born Aunt Mary make what she called "Italian Bow Tie" cookies. Some of you may remember them as "Angel Wings" or Chrusciki (the Polish version). In Hungary, they are called Csöröge. In France, Bugnes Lyonnaises. In the Ukraine, Verhuny. In any language, they are delicious and sweet comfort for those of us who remember eating them as children.

May you, too, eat with comfort and joy!






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🍒  🍞  🍇  🍕 


What says comfort food to you, dear readers? 





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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: I’m sneaking this in before the last peaches disappear from the grocer’s shelves. I found this recipe in Country Living; my only additions are the splash of red wine vinegar and the bed of greens, although I did rewrite the instructions—magazine style and space considerations aren’t always conducive to clarity!

The original recipe also called for a Fresno chile; lacking same, I subbed an Anaheim, which are readily available.

The only problem with this recipe was that Mercury was not only retrograde, but spinning like a drunken dreidel. Plans called for grilled chicken. Mr. Right discovered that we'd forgotten to refill the propane tank, which forced a change to stovetop chicken---tastier but messier. And grilling the naan directly on the stove burner tastes great, unless you leave it on a tad too long, but hey, carbon is good for us, right? Then I forgot to hold the bowl while I turned on the whizzy-uppy thing, aka the immersion blender. Dinner prep does take longer when you have to stop and wash the olive oil off the floor, change your clothes, and start the laundry.

On the upside, I can assure you this salad pairs well with grilled chicken and naan and a healthy dose of Chardonnay.

Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad

Dressing:
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Anaheim or Fresno chile, thinly sliced
dash of red wine vinegar

Salad:
1/4 cup pistachios, roasted
3 ripe but firm peaches, cut into wedges
2 avocados, cut into wedges
½ cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
mixed greens


Roast the pistachios at 350 degrees, about 10 minutes. (Remember that all nuts will continue baking after being removed from the oven, so don’t overbake!)



Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or an immersion blender. Add the sliced peaches, toss to coat, and marinade at least 15 minutes, up to an hour.


Just before serving, add the avocado and about half the mint to the peaches and toss to combine. Season to taste.


 Arrange the greens in your serving dish. Gently add the peach and avocado mixture, and garnish with the pistachios and remaining mint leaves.



Serves 6-8. Enjoy!


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



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 past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chocolate Espresso Almond Shortbread Cookies -- #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ; One of the delights of
traveling to meet readers and talk about my books is eating the food. It’s research. After my signing at Seattle Mystery Bookshop in June, my BFF Lita and I dashed through the rain to the Grand Central building in Pioneer Square. In the Grand Central Arcade, we shared a delicious sandwich and salad from the Grand Central Bakery, but restrained ourselves from the Chocolate Almond Shortbread.

The regret kicked in almost immediately.

So like any good cookie monster, I went searching online. This recipe comes from The Kitchen Paper, and I haven’t varied it much – just clarified what chocolate to use and revised the instructions – although my yield was about double what the posted recipe predicted. Go figure that. I don’t think the version we spotted in the bakery included espresso, but darn, that was a yummy addition. Mr. Right thought it made these breakfast cookies, and I’m certainly not going to disagree.

These froze well, even with the chocolate drizzle. There is no substitute for picking up each cookie and using a teaspoon to spread chocolate on one corner of the cookie – trying to drizzle the chocolate on a plate of cookies just creates a mess and wastes chocolate. Avoid that sin!

Think of them as a little trip to a city well known for its love of coffee and its chocolate makers.

When we gathered Around the Kitchen Table last month, Krista said she combats kitchen messes by setting out a clean plate, knife, and spoon when she bakes. I tried it. You see what happened.

Genius.



Chocolate Almond Espresso Cookies

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate


Pour the coffee powder into a small bowl or measuring cup, add the hot water, and stir until dissolved. Set aside.


Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor. Pulse until fully combined.




Add the butter, cubed, the roughly chopped almonds, and the espresso mixture, and pulse until the dough comes together.


Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (I use a bamboo cutting board) and shape it with your hands. Cut the ball in half. Place one half on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap, and form into a log about 2" in diameter. Roll, twist the ends to seal, and repeat with the other log. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.




Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the log ¼” thick, and bake 16-18 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies begin to turn golden, but not the tops.


Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.


When cooled, melt the chocolate and drizzle over the cookies with a teaspoon.


Makes about 4 dozen. The cookies freeze well, drizzled or naked. 

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 8, 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.



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 past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.