Sunday, 20 November 2016

Guest Post from Jason Pomerance

Last month I spotlighted Women Like Us and today we have a guest post from the author, Jason Pomerance.

Over to you, Jason!

In my novel Women Like Us, a great deal of time is spent on the subjects of food and drink. One reason for this is that one of the principal characters, Susan Jones, is a chef. Another major character, Susan's mother-in-law Edith Vale, is fond of the nightly cocktail hour, and she's especially partial to a well-made Manhattan. Or two! The novel is also set in Pasadena, California. Here's something you might not know about Pasadena -- it's the birthplace of Julia Child, who also grew up in the town. In fact Julia makes a brief appearance in the book. Well, not Julia herself, of course, but mention of her in relation to another character.

Anyway, so lots of cooking and eating in Women Like Us. It's a theme of the book, that gathering at the table for a meal can bring people together. At one point in the story, many of the characters are in need of some comfort food. I bet you know what I'm talking about -- you've had a bad day, or you're not feeling great, and you crave something delicious that's not complicated or fancy. Well, that dish, at that point in the novel is creamed chicken and peas, which is served on toast points. It's a great old-fashioned dish that's fallen out of favor, a sort of open-faced chicken pot pie, and who doesn't love those? Anyway, if you find yourself in need of something comforting for dinner, check this recipe out. And don't forget to check out the book!

Creamed Chicken And Peas On Toast

Serves 4

2 tbsps. butter
1/4 cup finely diced shallot or onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
2 tbsps. flour
1 cup chicken stock, home made or canned low-sodium
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and Fresh ground pepper
2 cups poached chicken, white or dark meat, or a combination, cut into cubes
1 cup petite peas, defrosted
8 slices firm white bread, crusts removed
Chopped Italian Parsley

1) In a 10 inch skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add diced onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 5-7 minutes.

2) Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes more. Add chicken stock and stir to blend, then add heavy cream. Bring to slow simmer, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer slowly, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, toast the bread, then cut into triangles.

4) Add chicken and peas to sauce. Simmer a few minutes more until heated through, then spoon the mixture over the toast points. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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