Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Deadline Recipes: Fresh Figs with Prosciutto and Blue Cheese

Longtime Harlequin Author and four time Rita finalist Lilian Darcy shares a recipe from one of her books.
If you’re a Betty Neels fan, you’ll probably have noticed that in all her books, the hero and heroine have at least one slow, leisurely lunch together, usually to break up a drive that most of us – especially Australians – would consider worthy of a stop for coffee at most.  But those huge Dutch doctors of Betty’s need their fuel, so they can’t drive forty-five minutes without pausing for two hours in some fine establishment featuring snowy linen cloths and sparkling crystal.  Needless to say, the heroine doesn’t often get to choose her own fare.  The hero sizes her up across the table and orders for her.  A dover sole or a juicy steak, perhaps strawberries and cream for dessert. 
I love that Betty realizes we need to know these things.  What’s with those authors that send their characters out for a fabulous meal and we don’t ever find out what they eat?
For modern women such as ourselves, there is something sinfully relaxing in reading about a girl who is cosseted and swept along by her man as Betty’s heroes do.  In real life, if a man tried to order for me like that, after refusing to let me drive, I would probably clobber him on the head with my designer handbag, but reading about it is oddly nourishing.
Here’s a recipe that I’ve talked about on my blog.  I don’t think any of my characters have ever eaten it, but Susie, the heroine of my novel Café du Jour has prepared it and it has brought her some serious fans.  It’s very simple, and one of her specialities.

Fresh Figs with Prosciutto and Blue Cheese

For six people, as an appetiser

6 fresh, ripe figs

6 thin slices of prosciutto

1 piece of blue cheese – a soft, creamy one like Castello works best.

Salad greens

Halve the figs lengthwise.  Press a small knob of blue cheese into the centre of each one, then wrap in half a slice of prosciutto.  Place under a hot griller (broiler, if you’re American) until the cheese melts and the prosciutto sizzles.  If you’re a huge prosciutto fan, you could use a whole slice instead of a half.

Serve on a bed of salad greens, and with some crackers or bread if desired.

Lilian Darcy has written nearly eighty romances for Harlequin, Silhouette and Mills & Boon.  Her upcoming release is “The Mommy Miracle” from Harlequin Special Edition, in August.  And if you like warm, witty women’s fiction with a chick lit coffee flavor, try “Café du Jour” on Amazon Kindle. You can learn more about Lilian Darcy's books on her website http://www.liliandarcy.com/ 

1 comment:

  1. I so agree with you. I am so glad Harlequin continues to re-release the Bettys. I don't know how often I've read them all--plus every now and then I find one I've missed--but they never fail to comfort. I wouldn't want to live there, I guess, but it's a great, great place to visit.