Tag Archives | Book Club Recipe

Book Club Recipe for LOST LAKE

Today’s post by Ingrid of Edible Tapestry | @EdibleTapestry

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Cremini Mushroom & Toasted Pine Nut Risotto

I didn’t make it very far into Lost Lake, only to Page 2, as a matter of fact, before I knew what I wanted to make for my She Reads March post. This is what stopped me in my tracks.

Over dinner, a meal that had consisted wholly of mushrooms simply because they felt like it, they still couldn’t bring themselves to talk of home yet.

And isn’t that how a honeymoon in Paris should be?

Eby and George’s undying love was evident throughout the book, even when told in flashbacks. I kept reading beyond the second page because I just didn’t want to put this book down, but I couldn’t stop thinking about a dinner centered around mushrooms, even when author Sarah Addison Allen tempted me with fire-grilled steaks, French pastries, and a monstrous chocolate cake that was so large it had to be carried by two men to Eby’s farewell party table.

And then, of course, I was kicking myself for never cooking or consuming a meal of just mushroom dishes. Why didn’t I think of that? I adore mushrooms.

Though it isn’t a French dish, I started toasting pine nuts and slicing cremini mushrooms for a risotto. Here is my recipe, but I am including links to a few other mushroom dishes of mine for anyone who might like to use them for a meal consisting “wholly of mushrooms”.

Mushroom and Onion Tart

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Morel & Sautèed Spring Greens with Morel Crespelle

Cremini Mushroom & Toasted Pine Nut Risotto

Ingredients:

2 T salted butter

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 T minced garlic

1/4 c. pine nuts

1/2 c. sliced cremini mushrooms

1 1/2 c. brown rice

3 c. beef broth

3 c. water

2 T fresh minced parsley

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. grated romano cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

In a medium saucepan, combine the oil and butter and place over medium heat until the butter is melted.

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Sautè the garlic in the fats until it’s translucent.

Add the mushrooms and slowly brown them.

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Toss in the pine nuts to toast, stirring constantly.

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As soon as they begin to turn golden brown, add the rice.

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Toast the rice, while stirring, until golden.

Start pouring a little of the broth in at a time, while stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Add the parsley.

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Continue adding broth and water until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly, about 40 minutes.

Repeat the process with the cream.

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Stir in the cheese before serving. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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Though time consuming, this method makes a creamy risotto that is worth the wait. The end result is rich and beefy. If you prefer to save time and are willing to sacrifice quality but not lose any of the flavor, you could pour all the broth and water, along with the parsley, into the mixture after the rice is toasted to make a pilaf. Just cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and stir occasionally until the rice is tender.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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Book Club Recipe: The Wife the Maid and the Mistress

Today’s post by Ingrid of Edible Tapestry | @EdibleTapestry

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The Volstead Act and Prohibition, speakeasies, flapper girls, and bootleg operations held a fascination for me before I read Ariel Lawhon’s The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that her book was the She Reads February selection.

It was the ways in which Prohibition affected American cuisine that I was particularly interested in learning when I first began researching the era. As it turns out, the Constitutional amendment that brought about the banning of all alcoholic beverages changed our country’s cuisine dramatically. Some culinary experts believe that Prohibition and the Great Depression permanently altered, if not ended, fine dining in our country.

Alcohol was no longer readily available for cooking or serving, and money for purchasing exquisite ingredients by the average American was even more scarce once the Depression hit. Whole cookbooks were written with alcohol substitutes included so the ordinary cook could still be successful in the kitchen. Extracts became popular for flavoring cakes and pastries where spirits, such as rum, were previously used.

It was still legal during the years that the Volstead Act was in effect for citizens to produce their own home brews and fermented fruits, but wineries converted their vineyards to table grape and other common fruit production. Cooking sherry was a wine that was produced for use in cooking with excessive amounts of salt added to discourage consumers from drinking it. Alcohol laden medicines were still available by prescription, which led doctors and pharmacies to dole out much more to individuals than was necessary, until a limit was imposed on its distribution, as well.

Another adaptation that was made to beverages during Prohibition, though high alcoholic content brews and distillations were still being produced on the sly, was the proliferation of the non-alcoholic cocktail. Strong flavors and colors were added to ordinary ingredients, such as fruit juice, to give the drinker a simulation of the bold spirits they were previously accustomed to.

The non-alcoholic mint julep could have been one of them. Here is a simple recipe for making a legal Prohibition Era mint julep, but feel free to add whatever spirits you like, such as bourbon, peppermint schnapps, whiskey, or even gin…simply because you can, thanks to a repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933.

My favorite thing about this non-alcoholic mint julep? It’s absinthe green! Maybe Ritzi, my favorite character from Lawhon’s novel, would have preferred it to the abominably strong concoction she was pressured to drink at Club Abbey.

Prohibition Mint Julep

Ingredients:

3 cups ice

1 cup fresh mint leaves

The juice of 1 lime

Simple syrup made from 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of water, and added flavoring ingredients, if desired. Adjust the amount to suit your tastes.

1 to 2 cups seltzer water. Adjust this amount according to how thick you want your drink to be.

Method:

A simple syrup is made by combining one part sugar to one part water and simmering them until the sugar dissolves and a sticky liquid is produced, but not long enough so that the sugar caramelizes. Aromatics, such as citrus zest, vanilla pods, or spices, can be added for flavor. Here is a honeysuckle simple syrup that I made when honeysuckle flowers were in bloom this past summer. Fresh mint could be added to the mint julep simple syrup to enhance the mint flavor and deepen the intensity of the blended beverage, but these flavoring agents should be steeped in the syrup after it has cooled a bit, then strained out.

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Place all ingredients in a large blender and process until the ice is crushed and the mint is pureed throughout.

Pour or spoon into tall glasses and garnish each with a mint sprig.

Yield: 2 servings

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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Book Club Recipe – Love Water Memory

Today’s post by our resident chef and book-lover, Ingrid of Edible Tapestry | @EdibleTapetry

When Lucie is reluctantly befriended by her neighbor in Love Water Memory, the reclusive woman determines to teach the absent-minded girl how to cook. First Susan shows her how to make the perfect omelet, then promises that a lesson in pie making would be in their future. As a former resident of the Puget Sound area, I was looking forward to learning pie making methods from the Pacific Northwest native. I have fond memories from the years I lived there with my Navy enlisted husband of stopping at Kitsap Peninsula roadside fruit stands to buy fresh Washington cherries by the gallon. When the story veered in a more urgent direction so that the reader could learn how Lucie and Grady’s story concluded, I decided to fill in for Susan and make my January book review post all about pie making. I hope that fictitious Susan would approve of my methods.

Pie making is pretty simple. Ever hear the phrase easy as pie? It exists for a reason. As long as you begin with a tried and true recipe, such as the one I spent those years and bags of Washington cherries working hard to develop, Ultimate Flaky Pie Crust, you should end up with a light and tender homemade crust to enfold any filling you choose.

The most fun for me is in the decorative portion of pie making. A basket weave lattice is my favorite, but vent-slit, sugared tops and plain fluted edges are just as pretty. 3simplecrusts2For more ideas on making decorative pies, check out Rachel Sanders’ BuzzFeed article 23 Ways to Make Your Pies More Beautiful.

Here are a few pie making facts to make the process more easily understood:

  • Filling recipes are easy to come by. Poured fillings for pumpkin, custard, or cream pies have no pastry topping.
  • Pie pastry itself is primarily made from flour, fat — butter, lard, or oil–, and water. The addition of eggs and acid can make it more tender but are not necessary elements.
  • The key to a flaky crust is to avoid overworking the dough. Gluten in wheat flour is activated when dough is manipulated. That is why bread dough is kneaded to make it elastic, but pie pastry dough is only mixed until combined. To make a light crust you do not want to work the gluten until it gets rubbery.
  • Chilling the dough before rolling, or simply allowing it to rest at room temperature, allows gluten to settle down before the pastry is shaped.
  • A refrigerator pie, such as chocolate cream, is poured into a baked pie shell. To keep the shell from rising and bubbling up while it bakes, a layer of aluminum foil can be placed over the rolled crust in the bottom of a pie pan and covered with raw beans. The weight of the beans will hold the shell in place as it cooks.

Easy as Pie Mini Cherry Turnovers

Filling:

4 c. pitted fresh cherries

1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

3 T butter cut into small pieces

1/8 tsp. salt

Pastry:

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 beaten egg

1 T apple cider vinegar

Approximately 1/4 c. ice cold water (amount may vary)

Extra water for sealing the edges of the turnover dough.

Method:

To make the pastry, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. You can use a pastry cutter, your fingers, or even a couple of forks. And once you have the method down, you can take a shortcut and use a food processor.

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Stir in the vinegar and egg, then drizzle in a little water at a time while mixing, just until the dough holds together.

Chill until ready to use, half an hour or so, to allow the gluten to rest for easy rolling and the butter to firm up to prevent sticking.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make your filling by combining all the ingredients.

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Roll the pastry dough onto a generously floured surface to around an 1/8″ in thickness.

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Cut out circles any size you like. I used a plastic food storage container approximately 3″ in diameter.

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Place a heaping tablespoon of the cherry filling onto the center of each dough round.

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Lightly brush the edge of half the circle of filled dough with water. You can use a pastry brush or just your fingertip.

Fold the opposite edge of dough over the filling to meet the moistened edge. With dry hands, pinch the edges together to seal.

Use fork tines to make a decorative edge over the pinched dough, if you like.

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Place on a sheet pan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Note: Any flavor of commercially prepared pie filling can be substituted for the cherry filling. To make the pastry with a food processor, whir together the dry ingredients. Add the butter and cut in by pulsing the processor until it is all combined. Blend in the egg and vinegar. Drizzle in the water slowly while the machine is running. Turn it off the second the dough comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl, forming a ball.

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

read more

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