Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Penne with Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce ala Jordan from FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE.

From Daryl aka Avery

I fear that many of my readers don't really "get" the man that Charlotte is in love with: Jordan. Because he has a secretive past (revealed in the later books), readers don't initially ADORE him from the start. They want Charlotte to wind up with another guy (also revealed in later books - no spoiler alerts in this post) except...

I need you all to understand that Jordan is one of my all-time favorite characters!!! Why? Because he is strong, loving, hardworking and protective of those he loves. He moved his sister to be closer to him. [There's a reason for that.] He has a darling dog. He is a fabulous cook. He likes to read. He likes long walks and cross-country skiing. And those eyes!! Does it sound like I'm putting his profile on match dot com? Yeah, he'd pretty much fit the bill for a super guy to date, except he has this secretive past. Darn it. Secrets just don't seem to make readers comfortable, do they?  (Heh-heh)

Well, for all of you just starting the series, please don't despair. He's a GOOD man. (Okay, that's a spoiler alert! Sue me.)  Charlotte knows he is. She is instinctive when it comes to people and crime. So she's making the right choice. When you read FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, you'll see how good he is.  Okay? Promise!

In the meantime, enjoy Jordan's penne recipe. In FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, a group of friends gather at Jordan's new restaurant, and they have an evening cooking lesson. There is some pretty silly (fun) chatter between them. The recipe they are cooking is this one. Tasty, zesty. Enjoy!

ála Jordan
(serves 6)

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can mini-diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons vodka (*I use Grey Goose)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (10 grinds of peppermill)
12 ounces penne, raw (about 4 cups cooked)
Extra Parmesan for garnish
Extra parsley for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic and paprika in the extra-virgin olive oil until the garlic sizzles, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes (including the juices) and the vodka. Bring to a boil.

Steam makes these kinds of photos blurry. Sorry.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid tilted slightly, or use a screen top so extra moisture escapes, and cook to reduce the sauce about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the grated Parmigiano, parsley, cream, salt, and pepper.  Simmer to integrate the cream, and reduce the sauce a bit more, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

Even blurrier - so much steam! Drat!
Meanwhile, make the pasta according to package directions. Rinse in a colander with warm water.

To serve, divide pasta among four to six bowls. Top with sauce and extra Parmigiano, plus a spring of parsley.

Serve warm.

[Note from Jordan:  This is my mom’s recipe. She wasn’t Italian, but when she was a girl, she fell in love with Italian food. As a teenager, she apprenticed in an authentic Italian restaurant. Later, she taught me everything she learned. At The White Horse, I want to share these flavors with my customers. I’ll still give them what they expected from Timothy O’Shea and his terrific pub menu, but I hope to open their eyes and hearts to new food experiences.]

Note from Daryl / Avery - who doesn't love a man who loves his mother!!


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Hint: there's a SURPRISE coming in April. Something brand new. Can you stand the SUSPENSE?  

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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  1. Thank you for the recipe! I love the pictures of the dish for it looks so good....

  2. Sigh....this looks incredible. My husband just got the you are now diabetic diagnosis last night. Pasta may be a thing of the past

    Anyhow I am one of those lukewarm on Jordan. But I adore this series so much. This morning reading I finally connected Charlotte's nieces gluten issues with yours. I am not very quick!!! Thank you for this series!!! I have savored every book in it

    1. Jody, I'm so sorry you're lukewarm on Jordan. How far are you in the series? I hope you grow to love him as I do. Yes, one of the nieces gets her gluten allergy from me. :) Re: diabetic. I could give Chuck pasta but all the sauces had to be sugar-free and there had to be a GOOD BALANCE of protein in the meal. WISHING YOU LUCK. But if your husband gets on a good checking and eating properly rhythm, he should do just fine with the new diet. Check out SWERVE, a sugar-free substitute. It bakes great. ~ Daryl / Avery

  3. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe, Daryl! I've only read book 6 (for the book discussion - loved it, btw!!!), and am about to start The Long Quiche Goodbye so that I can read the entire series, but I'm going to go into it knowing how well things will work out with Charlotte and Jordan, no matter how secretive he is in the beginning. What's not to love about a good looking, athletic, dog loving family man who cooks?!? :-)
    p.s. I'm looking forward to your April surprise - I wonder what it could be...!?!? :-)

    1. Heh,heh, Nicole, I think you know what it's going to be :) Enjoy the rest of the series from the beginning. I'm glad to hear you're going into it with eyes "open."

      ~ Daryl / Avery

  4. It amazing the depth that the vodka adds to the tomato sauce. Quite magical (and delicious).

    1. Yes, I'm amazed, too, Libby. I'm not a vodka drinker, but that bit of alcohol seems to enhance the other flavors. Sort of like wine for a chicken recipe. ~ Daryl / Avery

  5. I see you served this as a side dish? That's a relief because you said it serves six and this looks so delicious that I'm quite certain hubby and I could polish the whole thing off ourselves!

    1. Peg, yes, it can be an entire meal, but also a side dish. I could probably polish off the whole thing myself. I would use GF pasta, by the way. :)

      ~Daryl / Avery

  6. Pat ( 24, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    That sauce looks delicious. Since I'm on a no sugar/no flour diet for Lent (and maybe afterwards) any suggestion what I could put it on other than pasta?

    1. Pat, you could use this sauce over chicken or veal. It would be delicious!

      ~Daryl / Avery

  7. This sounds so good! Yum. But I can't stand the suspense! What could be coming?

    1. Oh, something fun. Something DIFFERENT FOR ME. I think my fans will be happy. We'll see. :)

      ~Daryl / Avery

  8. I love vodka cream sauce! Thanks! And I am looking forward to reading this series.