Dead Politician Society, was released on September 1, by ECW Press.
My thanks to Robin for writing today's guest post. We're all in for a treat.
Aloha from Rob
"As I was Rollerblading home with my groceries the other day, I realized why fiction writers are so often creative cooks. Writing is just like cooking; you throw a bunch of ingredients (or characters) together, turn up the heat, and see what happens. Sometimes you're rewarded with a great dinner or a story that works. Other times, you toss it out and start again."So I think it makes sense that my favorite recipe is not a recipe at all, but a creation that's slightly different every time I make it. Even though I can't tell you exactly how to reproduce mine, I can tell you all the steps that go into preparing it, so you can create your own original masterpiece at home.
Some writers avoid potential calamity by plotting their book out before they begin writing. Not me--I dive in and see what happens. I want to get right to the action"
Bouillabaisse. (Also known as zuppa di pesce, cioppino, or fish soup).
It starts with Italian tomatoes. I am not snooty or pretentious about food being upscale or gourmet, but Italian tomatoes are worth the slight cost premium. They're sweeter and have a beautiful flavour. You can go super premium and buy San Marzano or organic--and if your taste buds are sensitive, you will notice the difference. But for everyday cooking, the keyword is Italian. I buy crushed; whole taste equally good.
Fish Stock: Optional. I'm lucky; I live in a fishing village where one of the fishmongers makes a fresh stock from halibut bones. If you can find an excellent fresh fish stock, throw it in. If not, leave it out (I've used canned before and it's not the same). Just use an extra jar of tomatoes for volume, and the flavors from the fish you add will be simple.
Herbs and spices. This won't make or break you, because most of the flavor is from the tomatoes and fish. Play around to your heart's content. I add: garlic, onions, bay leaves, salt, basil, oregano, celery salt. At the table, I add black pepper and tons of chili peppers. (I'd cook with them, but my husband hates hot spice).
I simmer this for a few minutes while I'm preparing the fish. I usually start boiling the pasta water around this time.
Fish. I choose three or four different kinds of fish and seafood and switch up the combination. My favorites to include: sockeye salmon, halibut, scallops, spot prawns, mussels, calamari, ling cod, snapper. (A lot of this is local to where I live in British Columbia; if you have other local seafood, use that). You could also add lobster tail or crab legs (I find them too fussy, but their flavors are great). The only fish I haven't liked in bouillabaisse is black cod---it took over the sauce and I did not enjoy the flavor. But play around; your taste is as good as mine.
Cook the fish for as little time as possible. Prawns are 1 minute (they go in when I turn the pasta off). Mussels are 6 minutes or so. Everything else depends on size, but 3-4 minutes is generally perfect.
Red Wine: Optional. If I have a bottle open (okay, that's usually), I throw some in the sauce near the end.
Pasta: Optional. I like to eat this dish as a giant bowl of soup with a bit of pasta in it. Others prefer to eat it alone, or with bread. Still others prefer to have pasta fill their bowl, and use the bouillabaisse as sauce. Again, it's all about you.
For more information on Dead Politician Society, visit Robin on Facebook, Twitter and her website. I also recommend watching Robin's book trailer on YouTube.