Hello everyone! Today, I am interviewing several characters from Maledicus, The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 1 and Gallows Hill, The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 by Charles F. French.
Annette: We are all gathered around a table for this chat, enjoying hot cups of coffee and tea. Thank you all for agreeing to talk with me and sharing some of your recipes!
Roosevelt: You are very welcome.
Helen: I am delighted to talk with you.
Sam: I always love to talk about and eat food!
Jeremy: It is my pleasure. Thank you for having us.
Annette: You’re very welcome. It isn’t every day that I have the opportunity to interview characters, so I’m delighted with the chance. I would love to hear about the kinds of food you love to cook and eat. Would you be willing to share recipes with me and the readers? And Sam, would you mind beginning, since Gallows Hill is focused on you?
Sam: Sure, I’d be happy to, ma’am. I love basic and traditional foods, and one of my favorite foods as a kid was my mom’s Chicken Paprikash, an Hungarian chicken stew.
(Photo By Liz French, 2016)
2 pounds chicken, either breast or thighs
2 green bell peppers
2 large onions
1 pound button mushrooms
1 can crushed tomatoes
paprika — regular or hot depending on the level of desired heat
fresh ground black pepper
pinch of salt (optional)
either dumplings or wide noodles
Use a large dutch oven, preferably of cast iron.
Boil the chicken for a few minutes to begin the cooking process, then transfer to the dutch oven that has a hot layer of cooking oil in it that has been heavily coated with paprika, so that the oil looks red. Be sure to pat the chicken dry first with a paper towel to avoid oil splattering.
While the chicken is searing, on both sides, chop the peppers and onions. Clean the mushrooms with cold water and a paper towel.
After the chicken is seared, turn the heat to low or simmer.
Add the peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
Add the seasoning.
Add the crushed tomatoes.
Add two-four tablespoons sour cream, and mix completely.
Let simmer in the dutch oven for 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours.
Cook the noodles or dumplings.
Serve over noodles or dumplings in a large bowl.
Slick thick pieces of good bread to place on the side.
Annette: That sounds wonderful!
Sam: Thanks. My mom made it the best, but mine is pretty good. I recommend serving it with Hungarian red wine: egri bikaver, which translates loosely as “bull’s blood”.
Annette: Would anyone like to add another recipe?
Jeremy: I’d like to offer a simple omelet recipe that works either for breakfast or lunch, if I may.
Ingredients: (For one person; if more are eating, make each omelet separately.)
3 large eggs
2-3 slices of good ham (may be cut into small pieces)
2-3 slice of good Swiss cheese
Two tablespoons milk
2 oz. unsweetened butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat a well-seasoned cast iron frying pan. Melt the butter into the pan, and swirl to distribute it evenly. Be sure to melt the butter, but do not burn it.
In a bowl, break the eggs, season with pepper, salt, a touch of cayenne, and add the milk. As the pan melts the butter, using a large whisk, beat the eggs until whipped, and then pour into the pan. Tilt the frying pan to distribute the eggs evenly.
Add the ham slices and then the cheese slices evenly in the middle of the eggs.
As the egg mixture begins to solidify, gently fold one side with a spatula and wooden spoon over the middle. Then do the same with the other, creating a three sided envelope.
When nearly done, gently flip the omelette onto the other side to finish it.
Then place on plate, and serve with rye toast and either coffee or tea.
Helen: I love your omelets, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Thank you, Helen.
Annette: Would you like to offer a recipe, Helen?
Helen: Certainly, I would. One of my favorite cookies to make for my niece, Helena, is the peanut butter cookie. They are simple to make, and she loves them, which makes me very happy!
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 cup butter–softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (or 1 vanilla bean if adventurous)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1&1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Put peanut butter and butter into mixing bowl. Use medium speed, and beat until the mixture is smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Add sugar, egg and vanilla. Use medium speed, and beat about another minute. Scrape bowl and combine together.
Add all the other ingredients for about 1 more minute of beating. Roll the dough into one inch balls. Press flat with a fork into a criss-cross pattern.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown. In Helen’s oven, that takes about 10 minutes. It could vary by a few minutes. Remove from baking sheets and let cool. This recipe will make about 33-37 cookies.
Helen: As an extra treat, I sometimes will dip half the cookie in melted chocolate and add rainbow sprinkles and let them cool.
Helena always loves these!
Annette: Mmmm. They sound wonderful! Roosevelt, do you have a recipe for us?
Roosevelt: Yes, I do, and thank you for this opportunity. I would like to offer one of my late wife’s dishes, Quiche Lorraine. It was one of my favorites. Sarah was an extraordinary cook, and she could have been a chef had she wanted to.
Ingredients for crust:
*Use either a premade 9 inch pastry dough, or make it from scratch.
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/3 cup shortening
– pinch of salt
– 3 tablespoons cold water
Directions for crust:
Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Add the shortening, using a pastry blender, until the pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss with a fork until all flour is moistened
Shape the flour into a single ball. Then, form it into a flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until the dough is firm and cold but still malleable.
Preheat oven to 425° F. With floured rolling pin, roll the pastry into a round form 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch quiche dish or glass pie plate. Fold the pastry into fourths; place into dish. Press against bottom and side.
Line the pastry with a double thickness of foil. Press the foil gently onto the side and bottom of the pastry. Let the foil extend over edge of pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil, and bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until pastry just begins to brown and has become set. If the crust bubbles, gently push bubbles down with back of spoon.
After the piecrust has been made,
Ingredients for the Quiche:
– 12 slices of bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
– 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
– 1/3 cup chopped scallions
– 1 and 3/4 cups light cream
– ¼ teaspoon cayenne or crushed red pepper
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon sugar
– 4 eggs
– Preheat oven to 425°
– Whisk eggs slightly, then add remaining ingredients, and whisk a bit more.
– pour mixture into pie pan
– bake for 15 minutes at 425°
– reduce oven heat to 300°
– bake additional 30 minutes
– the Quiche is ready when a butter knife is inserted into the center and comes out clean
– let the Quiche stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Roosevelt: I hope you enjoy it! My wife loved making this dish, and I loved eating it with her. I feel her with me when I make this meal.
Annette: Thank you all very much for agreeing to this interview and for sharing your recipes!