Guest Chick Monday: Louisa Edwards is Too Hot To Touch

It’s Louisa Edwards!

Yay Guest Chick Monday!  I love learning little tidbits about my friends and guests and today I learned that there just might be a recipe out there for a non-Brussel sprouts eater like me.  Louisa Edwards grew up in Virginia before moving to Manhattan to work with some of the biggest names in book publishing. She also worked as a restaurant reviewer for a small-town newspaper, a waitress at a retirement home, and behind the counter at an organic bakery before she decided to bring her love of romance and cooking together by writing contemporary romances with hot chefs for heroes! She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, who, sadly, doesn’t love to cook…but makes up for it in other ways.

Look for her new Rising Star Chef trilogy, starting with Too Hot to Touch on August 2, 2011. It will be followed by Some Like it Hot on November 29th, and Hot Under Pressure in April 2012.  Visit Louisa’s website, connect with her on Facebook , or follow her on Twitter @LouisaEdwards!

Plus… you guessed it!  A chance to win if you comment.  Start sprouting, Louisa!

I love farmer’s markets. I love cooking what’s in season—the freshest, most beautiful ingredients, corresponding perfectly to the weather and the vibe and the…oh, who am I kidding?

True confession time: sometimes I crave raspberries in winter. Apple pie in the spring! Or roasted Brussels sprouts in the summer. And even though I believe in farmer’s markets, try to do my shopping there whenever I can, and marvel every single time over the extra oomph that freshness and care gives to produce…I also believe that sometimes it’s okay to indulge your cravings. Even if they happen to be out of season.

That’s why I’m sharing this particular recipe for Brussels sprouts from my newest contemporary romance release, Too Hot to Touch. It’s a perennial favorite at Lunden’s Tavern, the Greenwich Village family restaurant that’s hoping to field a team in the biggest culinary competition in the nation. The heroine, Executive Chef of Lunden’s Tavern, makes the dish every night at dinner service, and the very familiarity of it calms her when everything else in her life—like the return of her first crush, Max Lunden—is driving her bonkers.

The Famous Lunden’s Tavern Brussels Sprouts

3 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces pancetta, diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the trimmed, halved Brussels sprouts with the vegetable oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer across two baking sheets. Don’t crowd them too much, or they’ll steam instead of roasting. Roast in the oven until tender, with crisp, browned edges, about thirty minutes. Check them at twenty—roasting times can vary depending on the size of the sprouts.

OMG How good do these look???

While the sprouts are in the oven, heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Brown the pancetta until its fat begins to render and coat the pan, about ten minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

Combine the vinegar, mustard, parsley, and honey in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously until all the elements are combined into a vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the sprouts quickly in the pan coated with the rendered pancetta fat, then add them to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the crisp pancetta and drizzle the vinaigrette over all, then toss and serve.

Dayum! He can cook for me any day!

And the giveaway…

Is there a recipe you love to make? One that makes you feel better just to pull out of the recipe box or flip to in your favorite cookbook…even if it’s a little bit out of season? Share the name of that recipe in the comments, and one commenter will be chosen to receive a signed copy of Too Hot to Touch, along with a set of my romance trading cards introducing the characters from my Rising Star Chef trilogy!  Bonus points (but not bonus chances) if you post a link so the Chicklets can check it out!


46 thoughts on “Guest Chick Monday: Louisa Edwards is Too Hot To Touch

  1. I love brussel sprouts and this recipe looks yummy! My favorite out of season recipe is one for roasted courgettes (aka zucchini) but I don’t have a link (sorry).

  2. Louisa! You know you captured my non-Brussels-sprouts eating heart with this one! I will make this just for the try-factor 😉

    I made a peach cobbler a couple of weeks ago that ended up being great summer comfort food. I invented it as I went, but it was something like this:

    Filling/fruit layer:
    3-4 very ripe peaches, sliced into 1-inch crescents (I leave the skin on, but some ppl like to remove it– up to you!)
    5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 Tablespoons brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon AP flour
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract

    Mix everything in a bowl and let it sit for about 30 minutes to let everything get good and juicy Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 and prepare the topping.

    3/4 c AP flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    Heavy pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon granualted sugar plus 2 teaspoons sanding/coarse sugar
    2 Tablespoons *cold* unsalted butter, cut into pieces (must be cold!)
    Scant half-cup buttermilk

    Sift together dry ingedients through 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Cut in butter until mix resembles coarse meal. Incorporate buttermilk until just blended (mixture is very sticky, so feel free to play with your hands!). Place filling in a pie plate, top with rounded Tablespoons of dough, but leave space for the dough to expand while baking (it gets oozy). Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of the whole shebang. Bake for 25 minutes– fruit will be tender and topping golden-brown. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes, and serve warm with a dollop of creme-fraiche, or better yet, a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    And ladies, for the record…Max *is* as hot as the book cover. Go get a copy! 🙂

  3. Abigail – Thanks for having me here!

    Charlie – I loooove roasted zucchini, especially with olive oil, garlic, and thyme.

    Kimberly – That cobbler looks fantastic. The Chicklets should have you do a guest post!

    • For my zucchini recipe you split them lengthwise then top with a mustardy spice mix and a bit of mozzarella. The thyme sounds great! I’ll have to try that.

  4. Those brussels sprouts look delicious. My favorite out of season recipe is a tomato and bread salad. I know it’s perfectly in season now, but I crave it year round. I don’t have a real recipe for it, but here’s the gist.

    A couple of tomatoes cut into bite size chunks
    Day old bread cubed
    Fresh basil chopped
    For the dressing either balsamic or red wine vinegar, a little olive oil, salt and pepper and some garlic.
    It’s great just like this, but if you have it add some crumbled blue cheese.

    I LOVED the Recipe for Love series, and I’m looking forward to these hot chefs in the new series. There’s just something about a man who can could, isn’t there?

    • Julie, how much bread crumbs? Like, enough to cover the tomatoes or drown them or just a bit? I’m always trying to get my Things to eat veggies, and they do like bread, so this might work. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      • I usually do equal parts tomatoes and bread so there’s a bite of bread for every bite of tomato, but you could go with more bread cubes if those in your household don’t love tomatoes as much as I do. 🙂

  5. So when my family is needing some comfort food, we go with old fashioned beef&noodles. It is not difficult or healthy, but it is home! Louisa, I just started reading your backlist after CAN’T STAND THE HEAT went on such a great sale! I loved it and I can’t wait to get caught up on your cooking series!

  6. That recipe looks fantastic. I’m going to have to try it tonight. 🙂

    There are a couple of recipes I always turn to when I’m in need of comfort food. One is a wonderful baked Mac & Cheese and I usually add Gruyere to the cheddar for a different flavor.

    Then there is the no fail Garlic Lime chicken. Fabulous!

  7. I’m not a fan of Brussels sprouts either but my wife is so I might have to make this tonight. I love to cook and one of my favorites is a dish I created that’s very easy.

    Season, cube, and pan fry 2-4 chicken breasts (depends on how much you want to make)
    Boil your favorite pasta as you normally would
    Brown in a pan about 12-16 oz of pancetta until its fat begins to render and coat the pan
    Add to the pancetta 4 oz cream cheese (half a brick), 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (you can adjust these proportions)
    When the cheeses have melted together add the browned chicken and stir
    Now, in a large bowl combine the chicken and cheese sauce with the pasta, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and serve.

    My other favorite is even easier. It’s for beer bread which makes really good sandwich bread.
    Combine 3 cups of self rising flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 bottle of beer in a bowl (I’ve used many different beers and they all provide a little different flavor). Mix until a dough forms and put the dough into a prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour at 325 and brush with melted butter.

    No need to enter me in the contest as I have a signed book and the trading cards already.

  8. I love all veggies, but brussels sprouts are my least favorite. They always seem to taste bitter. I’m willing to give this recipe a try – it sounds delicious! My favorite comfort food is escarole & beans soup. I always feel better after a bowl!

    I have read Can’t Stand the Heat and I look forward to reading more of your books. I especially love that recipes are included.

    • The roasting process really tames the bitterness of the sprouts, and brings out their nutty flavor. You might like it!

      And I hope if you try any of my other books, you’ll let me know how you like them. Good luck in the drawing…

  9. I’m sure I could get my hubby to eat brussels sprouts with this recipe! For me there’s nothing like blueberry muffins to bring some comfort into my kitchen. Which reminds me, I need to go blueberry picking this week so I can freeze some to use when the snow is blowing around.

  10. Thanks for sharing your new release and recipe, Louisa! I definitely want both! 🙂
    And boy, do these Brussels sprouts look awesome! I make a similar version, but without the dijon mustard and honey. I cook up some bacon in a saute pan, remove and crumble, then cook sliced shallots in the bacon grease. Toss in fresh, halved sprouts and add the bacon back to the pan and cook until fork tender. At the end I throw in a splash or two of balsamic or red wine vinegar. I think yours with the mustard and honey would really brighten the taste and be much easier to roast in the oven.

    I love hitting the farmer’s market with Abigail and can’t wait to find Brussels sprouts at one. I might have to break down and pick them up at Publix, though, because I want to try this recipe RIGHT NOW!!! 🙂

    • Lis, your recipe sounds great, too! But whenever I try to sauté sprouts, I end up steaming them because the pan gets too crowded. I like the way roasting them means they can be spread out and get all their edges brown and crispy!

  11. Yummy in every respect! Now to see if I can get these past my Brussel-sprout-hating husband. If not, his loss is my gain. 🙂 The book looks delicious too! Congrats!

  12. I must confess that I’ve never really been able to get into Brussels sprouts…however, anything tastes amazing with pancetta, so I’m willing to give your recipe a shot! Extra pancetta sounds even better – one of my favorite recipes was from Gourmet a few years ago – Pork & Pancetta Ravioli with a Vegetable Bolognese. It’s time-consuming, but so worth it.

    As for this moment, I bought a Moroccan spice blend last week at a specialty shop, so right now I have lentil soup simmering on the stove and it smells simply scrumptious (ooh – alliteration!). I want it to be ready now! 😉

    I can’t wait to read Too Hot to Touch, Louisa – I loved all your other books, especially Wes & Rosemary’s story, so I’m expecting great things!!

    • Kelly,
      You might be my perfect reader! I hope if you give the series a try, you’ll let me know how you like it.

      I bought a crock pot when we lived in Ohio, and then I never really knew what to do with it. But this recipe makes me want to dig it out and try again! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh, goodness, don’t tell me I might have to try brussel sprouts now! My last experience was more than ten years ago and it was, um, inspiring. As in, I was inspired to avoid brussel sprouts. And now…? I just may have to give them another go.

    I don’t really have a seasonal recipe. And I don’t cook much. But I can tell you there’s not much I love more than a real vine-ripened tomato. (Yes, I may have asked the Hubs to build a little hothouse for us to grow tomatoes this fall/winter. Why do you ask?)

    For comfort food, I’m a chicken-and-rice or pot-roast-with-potatoes fan. But not both, at least not at the same time, ’cause that would be wrong. Right? Right.

  14. Thank you so much to everyone who commented! I had a blast with you Chicklets. And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the giveaway! And the winner is….


    Congrats, Naomi! Email your mailing address to louisa @ louisaedwards . com (no spaces) and I’ll send out your signed copy of Too Hot to Touch and a set of romance trading cards. Happy reading!

    And thank you again to everyone who commented. We’re getting some rave reviews of the Brussels sprouts already…

  15. Pingback: Brussel Sprout Review | Chicklets in the Kitchen

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