2 February 2009

Looking for a recipe to modify?

Posted in books, food tagged at 10:37 pm by Tricia

Following in the vein of the last posting…

I recently read The State of the Onion. It’s a culinary mystery, with the obligatory genre-supporting recipes at the end. The main character is the assistant chef at the White House. It’s a nice story, the kind of mystery I like (not too gory or sleazy), providing some interesting insights into the working of a professional kitchen and the White House. A little more rah-rah patriotic than what I’ve read lately – I didn’t mind so much, but I imagine some people might be irritated by that.

Anyway, after finishing it, I noticed this on the copyright page:

Publishers Note: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medial supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

What? I’ve been reading culinary mysteries for over 15 years and never noticed such a disclaimer before. Bizarre!  [As an aside, while checking GoodReads listings for Diane Mott Davidson, I learned that her books were the first mysteries to include recipes. I hadn’t realized that before! I thoroughly enjoy her books, although after a while you do get that same sense as with Angela Lansbury: how can there be so many murders in such a small tight-knit community? (don’t hang out around Goldie, you’re likely to die!) Somehow, it’s not so surprising to have people dropping off in DC, especially if political intrigue is involved.]

So anyway, here is a recipe I was inspired to make after reading the book. it’s not theirs, because I could never follow a recipe that requires mayonnaise or dried dill (having neither on hand). But it goes well with spanakorizo:

Feta-Stuffed Cucumber Boats

1 long cucumber
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tab non-fat plain yogurt
Clancy’s Fancy hot sauce (or sub what you have on hand)
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped (oops, I forgot this!)
salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Toast pine nuts (I use the toaster oven at 350F).

Peel cucumber and turn into boats. (Slice in half, then slice each half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon.)

Combine cheese, yogurt, 2 drops to a dash of your hot sauce, pine nuts, garlic, and seasonings. Mix well.

Spoon into cucumber boats. Serve cold.

Like Berkeley Prime Crime, I expect you to be responsible for your specific health or allergy needs, but feel free to modify as you see fit!

State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery, Book 1) State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy

My review on GoodReads