This week we have The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer, a sharp, interesting spy novel about Milo Weaver, a beleaguered CIA operative (called a Tourist) who finds himself accused of several murders, including the murders of his old friend, his boss, and of the assassin he has been hunting down for years. Of course Milo is iannocent of these charges and the novel follows with a frenzied pace his attempt to clear his name. This book was born to be made into a film, so I was unsurprised when I learned that George Clooney had optioned it. The book has nothing to do with food, the only things the characters imbibe are cigarettes and vodka, and that wouldn't have made anything too tasty. So in honor of the 4of the July and the book's tale of the patriotic CIA with a serious dark underbelly of manipulation and deceit, I decided to make a patriotic red white and blue tart with a dark underside of bittersweet chocolate.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
For Pat Conroy’s South of Broad, a novel that is as much about Charleston, South Carolina as it is about its main character, Leo King, I made two dishes – one sweet and one savory. I will present these in two posts – first, a basic Shrimp and Grits, the recipe adapted from Pat Conroy’s cookbook (I believe it is called Recipes of My Life) . The second will be Benne Wafers, a sesame cookie that was created in Charleston cookie. This recipe comes from The Lee Brothers, also from Charleston. The cookies have special significance in the Conroy book - Leo King, bakes the cookies as a teenager for his new neighbors, the twins Sheba and Trevor Poe. Leo loves Charleston with a passion and thinks of these cookies as the quintessential Charleston welcome gift. I have never been to Charleston, and before this book I was dying to go – after the book I am even more anxious to get down there. I have mixed feelings about the book, but Conroy certainly depicts a vivid, charming and fascinating portrait of Charleston. And these Shrimp and Grits are rich and indulgent, just like Conroy's writing.
Posted by Wendy at 7:38 AM
Saturday, June 5, 2010
So this is the first "Just for Fun" post - stuff that isn't related to a book, stuff I made and looked pretty or stuff inspired by things other than books, and usually stuff I want to post when I haven't finished the book for the week yet! This dish I made last weekend, inspired by all the beautiful spring green veggies at Whole Foods. Boston lettuce, peapods and fresh peas. Let me tell you, it is totally worth it to buy fresh shelling peas and take the time to shell them rather than buying frozen. They are only available for a short time every year and are like a different veggie than the frozen variety. So with the lettuce and peas I seared some sea scallops and made buttermilk dressing (exra buttermilk from the scones) from one of my favorite cookbooks "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" by Martha Hall Foose. Although I am a born and bred Yankee (though of course NOT a Yankees fan), I am obsessed with southern food and southern food cookbooks. This one is amazing and I am sure I will be featuring more recipes from it in this summer. The recipe for the dressing after the jump.
Posted by Wendy at 10:41 AM