Thursday, October 04, 2007

Recipe and Creativity Opportunity from Tosca Lee

I am hosting a contest for Christian speculative fiction on my website. For
complete novel proposals, the prize is that my agent has promised to give it
serious consideration. For 15 page novel excerpts for not-quite-finished
works, Jeff Gerke is going to critique it. It's really an excellent contest
for that reason.

In chapter 14, Clay meets the demon in an Italian restaurant in Boston’s North End and orders Mussels Fra Diavolo.

(Yes, I did mostly rip it off from Global Gourmet. So if you want a more complete one, go to: If you must know the truth, I don’t get to cook much. I employ a chef service three days a week to keep me from living off pans of brownies, Taco Bell and the kindness of culinary friends.

To get you in the mood, here's the snippet from the book:-)

“It was nearly seven o’clock. I hurried down Hanover, the smell of the ocean briny in my nose. In summer the restaurants—barely more than little open-kitchen joints boasting no more than eight tables apiece—threw open their doors, spilling tables onto the sidewsalk to catch the influx of tourists and saints’ feasts celebratns. Tonight they were closed up against the coastal chill, menus peering out from the windows, the flames of tiny candles dancing on the tabletops inside.

On the second floor entrance of Vittorio’s, I experienced a brief moment of déjà vu when the host informed me my party was already waiting, and again when he led me to a candle-lit booth where a woman in her thirties waved at me…”

Clay’s Mussels Fra Diavolo

1 lb. any pasta
¼ c. olive oil
chopped garlic, to taste
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. (or more) red pepper flakes
3 hot Italian cherry peppers, chopped
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 cans tomato purée
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup basil
6 lbs. mussels, soaked and scrubbed, beards removed
2 cups white wine
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Cook pasta according to destructions. Drain, set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion. Sauté. Add red pepper flakes and cherry peppers. Sauté for 10 minutes more. Add tomatoes, purée and wine. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add herbs. Simmer 20 minutes more.

Place mussels in a large pot over high heat. Add white wine and enough water to halfway cover mussels. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until all mussels are open, (about 15 minutes). Discard any that do not open. Drain. Combine with pasta. Cover with sauce, cheese, and serve.

Tosca, thank you so much for this fun day with you! We get one more day on the mini-series. Everybody stay right here because tomorrow, I'm posting the first chapter for you from, Demon-A Memoir. You HAVE to read it.

Thanks for visiting,
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