featuring guest mystery authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

COOKING WITH CLORIS--GUEST AUTHOR SUSAN SANTANGELO & STUFFED MUSHROOMS


An early member of the Baby Boomer generation, Susan Santangelo has been a feature writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan magazine. A portion of the sales from the Baby Boomer Mysteries is donated to the Breast Cancer Survival Center, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut which Susan founded in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer herself. Learn more about Susan and her books at her website. -- AP
  
It’s been said that the secret to a long life is to go to bed early, eat healthy, and drink in moderation. Now, I ask you what kind of fun is that?

More than you’d think. No kidding.

My fourth Baby Boomer mystery, scheduled for a July 2013 release, is Class Reunions Can Be Murder. Here’s the back cover blurb: Baby Boomer Carol Andrews has no interest in her upcoming fortieth high school reunion. Her memories of days at Mount Saint Francis Academy are mixed, to put it mildly. But BFF Nancy convinces her to join the reunion planning committee, so she’ll have some say in how the event is organized. All is going smoothly until the dead body of one of their classmates is found the night before the reunion – in Carol and Nancy’s room.

Since this is the class’s fortieth reunion, committee chairman Nancy insists on calling the event the Ruby Reunion, since ruby is the stone which represents a 40-year anniversary. And also because Nancy doesn’t want to admit how old they all really are. (Any resemblance between Nancy’s vanity and the author’s is purely coincidental.)

Of course, the Ruby Reunion in this mystery is a lunch (none of these chicks drive at night if they can help it,) and the food is served buffet style. I wanted to include recipes in the back of the book, and since I’m not that familiar with my kitchen any more (just ask my family,) I turned to chef Paulette DiAngi, whose television show,  Love On A Plate, airs weekly on Cape Cod Community Media.

Paulette came up with an ingenious idea. She prepared a menu for the book two ways –first, the way the dish would have been prepared back in the 70’s, then the way the dish would be prepared today – low fat and healthy.       

Here’s an example:

Veal and Mascarpone Stuffed Mushrooms (the old, high cholesterol way)

Serving size: 2 stuffed mushrooms



















Ingredients:
16 extra-large white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
3 scallions (white and green parts)
1/2 lb. veal sausage, casings removed and crumbled
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano or Asiago cheese
salt and pepper

Clean and remove stems of mushrooms. Mince stems with garlic and scallions. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, scallions, and veal sausage for 5-7 minutes. Add Panko crumbs and mascarpone cheese, stirring until creamy. Remove from heat. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Fill each mushroom cap with mixture. Arrange on baking sheet in single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8-12.
  
Chicken Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (healthier version)

Serving size: 2 stuffed mushroom

           


















Ingredients:
16 extra-large white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
3 scallions (white and green parts)
1/2 lb. Italian style chicken sausage, casings removed and crumbled
cooking spray
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
2 oz. lt. cream cheese
1/2 cup lite four cheese Italian mix
salt and pepper

Clean and remove stems of mushrooms. Mince stems with garlic and scallions. Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray. Heat. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, scallions, and chicken sausage for 5 minutes. Add Panko crumbs and cream cheese, stirring until creamy. Remove from heat. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Fill each mushroom cap with mixture. Arrange on baking sheet in single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8-12.

As you can see, there’s quite a difference in fat content, cholesterol, and calories between the two versions. And both are delicious. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I never lie when it comes to food.

There’s also a recipe for a Pink Squirrel cocktail that plays a key role in Class Reunions Can Be Murder, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy so I can’t tell you any more than that. Suffice it to say that squirrels can pack quite a punch in their cute little pink claws. Who knew? Everyone can find out the secret by buying the book from indie booksellers, or in e-book format, in just a few more weeks.

And, yes, I tested that recipe, too.      

Thanks for letting me blog today. Hope you had as much fun reading this as I did writing it.

3 comments:

Rechelle Owens, Romance Author said...

Is it wrong of me to want to read any book with food in it? Stuffed mushrooms is one of my all time favorite appetizers to make. We have them at my house at least twice a month. The recipe I use is similar but being a bit of a picky eater, I use organic cream cheese, all natural turkey bacon (no hormones, additives or preservatives)instead of sausage, organic onions, and organic or no antibiotics/hormones raw sharp cheddar cheese. These treats are one of my family's favorite things that I make.

DirtyMartini said...

Call me "old school" but that first recipe sounds good...somehow chicken sausage and cooking spray just don't cut it for me...

Cheers,
Alan.

Angela Adams said...

I see everyone is talking recipes, but I love the cover on your book!