Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For ed by Kate White + a Giveaway

Happy book birthday to the Mystery Writers of America! Today marks the release of their brand-spanking-new cookbook.

I'm an admitted cookbook fiend as well as a book junkie, so marrying the two worlds is always wonderfully welcome in my house. Given that, the new Mystery Writers of America Cookbook was a must have as soon as I heard about its release. Not only have a ton of my own favorite authors taken part, submitting family recipes or dishes connected to their famous lead characters - Alafair Burke offers up "Ellie Hatcher's Rum-Soaked Nutella French Toast" and Harlan Coben shares "Myron's Crabmeat Dip" - , there are a bunch of new-to-me authors who have now tempted me to try their dishes and books as well - Leslie Budewitz's "Farfalle with Fennel and Pine Nuts" got flagged for dinner plans as soon as the book arrived as did S. J. Rozan's "Rancho Obsesso Lavender Beets." Both of their books are on the "must read" list now too.

The book also prompted me to do a little reading/cooking pairing. Frankie Y. Bailey's Red Queen Dies is at the top of my TBR and I feel I absolutely must bake her "Whole Wheat Wild Blueberry Lemon Pecan Muffins" to go with it! I also mentioned recently that while reading Laura Lippman's latest, post vacation, I tried her "Aunt Effie's Salmon Ball." I have that recipe here to share with you, just to give you a taste of what's inside:


Aunt Effie’s Salmon Ball 

My Aunt Effie—actually my great aunt—was a Capital-C Character, an old-fashioned steel magnolia with a hearty laugh and the first person who ever assured me I was funny. Also, maybe the last. Aunt Effie was the middle of three girls, brought up in an all-female household in Smalltown, Georgia, my great-grandmother having been widowed at a relatively young age. Aunt Effie herself was widowed twice and she learned to take care of herself, ending up in another all-female household with her daughter and granddaughter. Well, there was a poodle name John, but they painted his toenails, poor thing. 

On top of everything else, she was a terrific hostess, and two of my favorite recipes come from her: cheese straws and a so-called Salmon Ball, although I despaired years ago of ever learning how to roll this concoction in slivered almonds, so I just mix it up and put it in a small dish. In fact, it makes a great hostess gift. It’s really simple and everyone loves it. Not quite a health food, but you can substitute low- fat cream cheese for the hardcore stuff. 

Because my household is peripatetic, I often find myself in a different city than the one where I keep all my family recipes. But my Aunt Effie’s salmon ball is very forgiving, which is one reason I like to make it. 

Image courtesy of Steve Legato

1 teaspoon dried minced onions (available in the spice aisle) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1 large can salmon, around 15 ounces 
8 ounces cream cheese 
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish 
1 teaspoon liquid smoke— if you can find it 
Slivered almonds (optional) 
Chopped parsley (optional) 

1. Soak dried minced onions in lemon juice for 5 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, drain salmon and mix thoroughly with cream cheese. 

3. Add lemon juice and onions to salmon mixture, along with Worcester- shire, horseradish, and liquid smoke. You can add more or less according to your taste. 

4. If you are nimble and wildly ambitious, you can form the mixture into a ball and roll it in slivered almonds and parsley. Frankly, I started omitting that step years ago because I could never get it to look right, although I suspect it might work better if you slightly chill the salmon mixture first. Me, I just put it in a nice piece of crockery and refrigerate for several hours. Serve with crackers; it also pairs well with a dry martini or the cocktail of your choice. Eat the leftovers on bagels. 

Laura Lippman is an award-winning crime writer who has written ninenteen books, the most recent of which is the New York Times best seller After I’m Gone. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans. 

Excerpted from The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook edited by Kate White. Reprinted with permission from Quirk Books. 

And now for the giveaway! Thanks to the publisher I have not one but TWO copies of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook to give away today. To enter simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, April 6. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kay said...

OK, this book sounds like a win-win situation. Mystery authors - check. Recipes - check. And that salmon ball also sounds good. Thanks for offering the giveaway. :-)

traveler said...

What a delightful and special giveaway which interests me greatly. A treasure. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

rhonda said...

Sounds perfect for me!

Dan K said...

I love to cook, this should be fun

Terry said...

Tried and loved the recipe in your blog post. Would love to get my hands on the whole book! What a fun concept.

cyn209 said...

my stomach's growling for some new recipes!!!

bn100 said...

sounds tasty