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Welcome to The Cozy Cookbook! If you’re looking for a side of mystery with a heaping helping of some truly delectable recipes, you’ve come to the right place. Within these pages you’ll find scrumptious offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as delicious desserts, appetizers, sides, and drinks. You’ll also get to spend a little time with your favorite cozy mystery characters and meet some new ones as you peruse over a hundred mouthwatering recipes from our bestselling authors.
We are delighted to be able to bring this collection to you and hope that you enjoy every page. Be sure to check out the series lists from the featured authors and devour the titles you haven’t yet sampled.
We wish you happy reading and, of course, bon appétit!
Delilah’s Grilled Breakfast Sandwich
From Clobbered by Camembert by Avery Aames
MAKES 1 SANDWICH
Dash of Tabasco
3 grinds of the pepper mill
2 tablespoons butter
1 green onion, green ends only
2 slices white bread
2 slices (at least 1 ounce each) Tomme Crayeuse cheese (may substitute cream cheese or Brie)
First prepare the eggs. Crack the eggs into a bowl; whisk to blend. Add a dash of Tabasco and three grinds of the pepper mill.
Heat sauté pan on medium-high heat. Grease the pan with ½ tablespoon butter. Chop the green onion ends. Drop the onion ends into the heated butter. Cook for 1 minute. Add the whisked eggs. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir the eggs until cooked through.
Heat griddle to 400º F. Butter the outsides of each slice of bread using the remaining butter.
Set the bread, butter side down, on the griddle. Top each side with half of the cheese. Mound the cooked eggs on one side of the bread with cheese. Set the other side of bread with cheese on top. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is a medium brown. Using a spatula, flip the sandwich and cook another 2 to 3 minutes.
Note: More cheese may be added, to your liking. After all, it is a grilled cheese sandwich.
State of the Onion
by Julie Hyzy
“Ollie, are you okay? What’s happening?” Henry walked in moments later, talking up a storm. “I just passed the president in the corridor. Was he in here with you?”
I opened my mouth to speak, but stopped myself as Cyan and Marcel appeared behind Henry. Not thirty seconds before, the president of the United States of America had asked me not to discuss this with anyone, and here I was about to spill the spaghetti with my coworkers.
“Yeah,” I said, “he’d like scrambled eggs for breakfast.”
Henry glanced in the direction the president had exited and gave me a thoughtful look. “He came down here to tell you that in person?”
Although he was set to retire on his sixty-seventh birthday, Henry was still one of the most vibrant and quick-witted people I knew. He was also the most talented chef I’d ever worked under. It was just in the past couple of years that I’d noticed him taste-testing more often, as evidenced by his expanding waistline, and delegating the more physically demanding tasks to us. His light brown hair had started to thin and go gray at the temples, but his voice was just as resonant as it had been when I’d joined his staff during the administration immediately prior to this one.
Cyan’s eyes widened. “That’s all he said? Why did he have to talk with you in person, then? Alone? I bet it had something to do with all the commotion outside this morning. Did it? Hey, you must have been outside when it happened, weren’t you?”
Henry picked up on Cyan’s comment, but she didn’t seem to notice her gaffe. “What commotion? You were outside, Ollie?”
I shook my head, “I forgot my keys down by the staff entrance.” I hated lying to Henry, but between the president’s words and the need to keep my errand secret if we were to pull off our surprise, I didn’t think I had much choice.
He smiled. “Maybe you should tie those keys around your neck.” He let out a satisfied sigh. “As for the commotion, I’m sure we’ll hear more about it later.”
Cyan moved closer. “So, what did the president really say?”
“Not much.” I pointed to the computer monitor. “President Campbell said he was looking forward to the big dinner tonight. And that he hadn’t had breakfast and he’s hungry. We should probably get those scrambled eggs started.”
“Oh, come on. He must have wanted something. What was it?” Cyan took a deep breath, which, I knew, heralded another slew of questions.
Henry raised his hand, silencing her. “Less talk, more work.” To me, he said, “Say no more, Ollie. The president’s meals are our first responsibility. Scrambled eggs it is.”
We set to work on a second breakfast. The timing was tough because of the official dinner tonight, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.
In addition to the scrambled eggs, we prepared bacon—crisp—wheat and rye toast, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and Henry’s Famous Hash Browns. More than just pan-fried potatoes, Henry used his own combination of seasonings that made my mouth water every time he prepared the dish. The president and First Lady were so impressed with the recipe that they insisted we serve them at every official breakfast function.
Henry wielded the frying pan with authority, flipping his special ingredients so they danced like popcorn, sizzling as bits landed back in the searing hot oil. “Work fast, my friends. A hungry president is bad for the country!”
After the meal was plated and sent to the family quarters, we cleaned up the kitchen and began preparations for lunch. Then it was time to pull out the stops as we got the official dinner together for India’s prime minister. This wasn’t as significant an event as a state dinner, where guest lists often topped one hundred, and we were required to pull in a couple dozen temporary assistants to help. This was a more sedate affair; it required a great deal of effort, but it was certainly manageable for a staff of five.
I’d designed a flavorful menu, and the First Lady, after tasting the samples we provided, had approved. We’d feature some of the best we had to offer: chilled asparagus soup; halibut and basmati rice with pistachio nuts and currants; bibb lettuce and citrus vinaigrette; and one of Marcel’s show-stopping desserts. We’d done as much as we could in advance without sacrificing freshness or quality, but the time had come to marshal the troops and get everything in the pipeline for the big dinner.
From Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cream
Juice of ½ lemon (around 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Pinch cayenne pepper or paprika (optional)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and still hot
4 English muffins, fork-split, buttered, and toasted
8 slices warm Virginia ham (or Canadian bacon, if you prefer) cut to fit the muffins
Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Bring a medium saucepan full of salted water to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, taking care not to break the yolk. Gently slip the egg into the saucepan, and repeat with 3 more eggs. (You can usually fit 4 eggs at a time in the hot water. Too many, and the eggs won’t poach correctly.) Gently coddle to doneness, about 3 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks remain runny. Remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon. Set on warmed plate to hold. Repeat with remaining 4 eggs.
MAKE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE:
This blender recipe takes a lot of the angst out of the process of making the sauce the traditional way, which is over a double boiler with a wire whisk. I find it’s a lot easier for home cooks to get perfect hollandaise sauce this way. Place egg yolks in a blender container. Add cream, lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of cayenne or paprika (optional, but it adds a nice bite). Cover and pulse on low until blended. Remove the middle insert from the lid, and while continuing to blend on low, slowly and gently add the hot butter to the egg mixture, in a gradual stream. The sauce should thicken and smooth about the time the last of the butter goes in. (The hot butter cooks the egg yolks and the blender emulsifies the lemon juice and melted butter with the yolks.)
On warmed serving dish, top each toasted English muffin half with a warm slice of Virginia ham. Place a poached egg gently on top of the ham. Pour Hollandaise sauce over eggs. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley to garnish. Serve warm.
Note: This recipe sounds a lot more complicated than it is, and it’s a restaurant favorite because it used to be a lot harder to make at home. In fact, eggs Benedict used to be a bear to make—especially getting the sauce right. Doing it on the stove, the sauce had a tendency to curdle in inexperienced hands. Thanks to the wonder of modern blenders and a good stove, you should be able to have this on the table in less than 20 minutes.