When A Novel Compels you to Cook…

It’s no surprise to many of my friends how much I love to cook. It goes along nicely with “how much I also love to eat.” Eating is one of my favorite things to do. Not an easy hobby for someone always trying to watch their weight, but the fact is, I love food. I love everything about it. The smells, the textures, the chewing. I’ll eat snails, beef tartare, sushi, kimchi, anything weird or smelly is not off-limits. I’ll be honest, I’m not partial to bugs, but besides that, bring it on!

ingredients listed in the novel to use

ingredients listed in the novel to use

That said, I was compelled to make a dish for my family after I read Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s novel, Crimson Shore. There’s this great scene where the main character, Aloysius Pendergast, is really upset about the food choices for dinner in The Chart Room Restaurant. (I don’t blame him – everything is deep-fried) He goes storming back into the kitchen and proceeds to teach the cook how to make a version of Filets de Poisson Bercy aux Champignons, which he calls Filets de Sole Pendergast. It’s this great sole dish with mushrooms and wine and cream and all this good stuff. I put my kindle up and simply made the dish along with Pendergast teaching the cook. There were no measurements for me to use, but I’ve been cooking long enough that I had an idea of how much of each ingredient I needed.

Filets de Sole Pendergast

Filets de Sole Pendergast

Result? The family thought it was delicious. The authors unfortunately did not specify any side dishes in the novel for this dish, so I put it over a mix of basmati and wild rice and served buttered broccoli on the side. I felt that this was in line with what the character would enjoy eating. The family ate it all up!

Have you ever been compelled to make a dish you read in a novel? I’d love to hear!

15 thoughts on “When A Novel Compels you to Cook…

    • I wish I could! All the ingredients are on the photo. He had the cook compile these ingredients and then he just started cooking. Fish first in butter, the remove from heat. Then wine, mushrooms and let that cook down, then garlic, cream and rest of ingredients letting it thicken. Spoon sauce over fish! Add parsley and season to taste. That’s all I’ve got!

    • There is a cookbook created by Chris Royal that mentioned EVERY recipe in all the books in the series and he actually does the actual recipes for the. It’s called Beyond Riverside Drive and it’s great!

  1. I have read books that I’m sure influenced me to cook this or that. I remember reading one where the guy was suffering through a chicken pot pie and I thought – Wow, that sounds good – and drooled over the thought of the pot pie oozing over my plate. I made the filling and decided not to wait any longer and ate just it. YUM!

    • That’s such a cool idea to include the recipe in the back of the book. I have a pinterest page per book where I’ll post photos and/or a little video of me eating the food in a book I’ve written. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Lol, thanks for doing this. I just finished the book and thought that it sounded delicious. Now I don’t have to go back through the book to find it.

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