Are you back? Got your copy in hand? Good.
Because now it’s time to cook.
Friends, in case you haven’t heard yet, I like to eat. And I think of books as an excellent excuse for eating. Lots of novels lend themselves to particular menus, like Proust and 50 Shades of Gray (well, that’s more of a diet plan). And when you dig into Deb Dana’s novel–available soon!–you’ll probably find yourself wishing you lived with a private chef to keep up with all the cravings that book will induce.
BETWEEN, though, does not feature food overmuch. In fact at one point I think the heroine is actually starving to death. Things are far too dangerous and high-stakes for characters to be sitting around digging into a good nosh all the time. And yet, somehow, I managed to focus all my attention on a small passage midway through the book when Vivian, our Dreamshifter heroine, is forced to sup with her enemies, and they feed her some sort of suspicious seafood stew.
Deb Kerry does not, in this passage, describe the unctuous soft creamy deliciousness of a scallop chowder or the rich buttery meatiness of a lobster bisque. Nay, because Deb Kerry takes the “torture your characters” concept of writing quite seriously, she writes about what to me sounds like a Dream version of overcooked squid floating in a puddle of hot potato water. The sort of thing you only attempt to consume when you know that if you don’t play nice you might be immolated by a dragon. The sort of thing you feel perfectly comfortable feeding to your pet penguin but don’t really want to eat yourself. That kind of suspicious seafood stew.
But today I want to serve up a menu suitable for book clubs and launch parties, not for entertaining your penguin. (But did I just come up with the title for a capricious Poe Spin-off series, Deb Kerry?)
And THIS is what I think you should cook for those purposes:
Vivian Maylor’s Famous “Get The Taste of Fear out of my Mouth” Salmon Chowder
Serve with Dragon’s Breath Smoothies
- 3/4 lb fresh salmon or one of those space-aged vacuum packages of cooked salmon. Two, if you have a very hungry penguin.
- a few slices of bacon.
- 1 small white onion, diced. If you don’t have time to dice it, ask the extremely sexy and pleasantly tortured Warlord to run over it with his giant sword a couple of times.
- 2 stalks celery, also diced (see above)
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed under the tread of your extremely uncomfortable shoes. Or just use a mincer, it’s so much more sanitary.
- 1 big bag of frozen corn (like, 16 oz or so). If you don’t have this on hand, try shifting into the Dream of someone who shops at Trader Joe’s a lot.
- Two cups of broth. Lobster broth is great but chicken broth will work as long as your penguin’s not offended.
- a generous splash of half and half (or plain yogurt if you’re worried about fitting into your slinky sorceress dress).
- and salt and pepper to taste
Broil the salmon for 8 minutes or so, or open the vacuum pouches. At this point your penguin may become agitated.
Cook bacon in a big pot and remove it from the pan. Or just hold it in front of a dragon with very long tongs. Then, simmer onion, celery, and garlic in that yummy bacon fat. When they’re soft, add the corn and broth to the pot and season a little bit and let it all get nice and warm.
After 10 minutes or so, take your immersion blender and whir it around in there until you’ve got chowder consistency, and then add the cooked salmon, all flaked with a fork, and the bacon, chopped up. Stir in the half and half and serve with…
Dragon’s Breath Smoothie:
In a blender, whir:
- 1 banana
- 1 can of pineapple in juice or a quarter pineapple
- 1/4 c. coconut cream
- juice of half a lime
- 1/2 seeded jalapeno (really! or use less if you are squeamish about these things, you can always go back and add more.)
- a small handful of ice cubes
You should absolutely double this recipe because it’s the sort of thing that is so surprisingly tasty that you will keep exclaiming about it and making other people want some. It’s also dynamite for you, unless you add rum.
Happy reading and eating!