Category Archives: Food From Fiction


Potato Chips & Candied Walnuts from The Lion and the Rose by Kate Quinn

“Pass me the pepper,” said Bartolomeo,  releasing my wrist. “If you please, signorina. And a block of the good Parmesan, and a grater.”

“Yes, maestro,” I said with just a bit of a sniff, so he’d see the concession I was making, and I fetched both. Bartolomeo tossed the crisp golden discs with pepper and just a little fine-grated cheese, and popped one into his mouth. He chewed. I waited. “Well?”

“Needs more salt,” he decided. Another sprinkle, another taste, as I shifted from foot to foot. My mouth was watering again, and Bartolomeo’s cheeks creased in a smile as he proffered a fried golden coin of tuber. “Here.”

Taste exploded in my mouth — the crunch of salt flakes and faint burn of fresh pepper, the crisp fried skin on the outside giving way to something mealy, mild…and quite wonderful.

Kate Quinn, The Lion and the Rose (Chapter 4)

It’s time again for more Food from Fiction! I pleased to introduce you to Kate Quinn’s newest novel, The Lion and the Rose, sequel to The Serpent and the Pearl.  Here’s the Fresh Cheese and Onion Tourte I featured from the first book a few months back.

I’ve selected a couple of snacks from the second story. Quick and easy to prepare, these Fried Tubers (Potato Chips) and Candied Walnuts will keep you happy on the couch, whether you’re curled up with a good book, or a vegging out in front of the tube.

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Fresh Cheese & Onion Tourte

Fresh Cheese & Onion Tourte from The Serpent & the Pearl by Kate Quinn & A GIVEAWAY

Despite my flying thoughts, I couldn’t help smiling as my fingers sealed a crumble of fresh cheese and sweet olive oil and Genovese onions into a pastry crust. The cramped little kitchens were humming like a beehive, the apprentices were working like hired mules, and I imagined I could hear the murmur of guests upstairs: the whisper of expensive silks, the peal of laughter from a happy bride. The clink of fine glasses, the crunch as salted nuts and honeyed dates and morsels of Ligurian cheese disappeared into the mouths of cardinals and wedding guests and bridegroom alike. The oohs and aahs that went up as the roast peacock, my roast peacock, came swaying in at last on the backs of two serving men, proud and feathered and sweet-cooked and not at all looking like it had been whipped together in a quarter of the time it needed (at least if you didn’t look too close).

Kate Quinn, The Serpent and the Pearl (Chapter One – Carmelina)

Fresh Cheese and Onion Tart Continue reading

Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

The Ambassador (Chicken & Sausage Gumbo)

Welcome to installment three of my short snippets of fiction here on Island Vittles!  This one takes us in a bit of a different direction today, but rest assured it will all come together…I just haven’t quite figured out how yet.

This one introduces us to René. You’ll discover he’s not in the same time or place as Faith at this point…any ideas when or where he is?

I hope you enjoy it, as well as the Gumbo & Andouille recipes.  Constructive feedback is always welcome.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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At the Pass (Braised Short Ribs and Lemon-Olive Oil Mash)

You were all so kind and had such nice things to say the last time that I’m back to post another installment in my tale about a chef, her life and her food.  This little story actually takes place before Stinging Nettle Saag Paneer Pizza, and gives you an insight into what Faith is like in her element:  a small, steamy restaurant kitchen.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Leave a comment if you like…

Please note this story contains coarse language…as does every story to ever come out of a professional kitchen. ;)

short-ribs Continue reading

Stinging Nettle Saag Paneer Pizza

It’s the start of something new here on IV!  This is the first of a number (I hope) of short stories/vignettes that I have been writing about a chef, her life and her food.  I’m not sure where these are going, but I’ve been driven to try my hand at fiction for several months now, and this is my first effort.  I hope you like it, and I hope you take the chance to try making this delicious fusion pizza.

Leave a comment if you like!


One more casserole and she was going to hurl.  Nanna had been gone for three weeks, but Faith had barely made a dent in the cache of tuna noodle, turkey tetrazzini and veggie lasagna, stocked, by well-meaning islanders, in the ancient deep freeze out on the back porch. Continue reading