My latest read in the Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery series by Christopher Fowler, is Bryant & May: Strange Tide. I'm caught up now and will just have to wait (impatiently) for the next in line. Anyway, being as the I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) theme this week is Pub Grub, it fits right in with my fiction book selection. The two elderly detectives spend a goodly amount of time in London pubs. So, we're serving them up a digital lunch of Chicken and Leek pasties. Though that term is a bit cringe-worthy, harkening as it does to naughty night club strippers. I would prefer turnovers, empanadas, meat pies, hand pies, take your pick. Good, tasty finger food at any rate - the recipe from our IHCC featured chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's scrumptious cookbook, River Cottage Every Day.
Arthur Bryant, the oldest of the detective duo, by 3 1/2 years, is also the funny, wildly eccentric, totally intuitive, odd man out to his straight man, John May, who tries, unsuccessfully, to keep his partner in line with Metropolitan Police standards of operation. Let's just say that Mr. Bryant operates out of the box.
Christopher Fowler has got to be one of the most inventive, witty, and hilariously funny writers on the scene today. Mystery or otherwise. As The Guardian says, he "takes delight in stuffing his books with esoteric facts, together with a cast of splendidly eccentric characters (and) corkscrew plots, wit, verve and some apposite social commentary, they make for unbeatable fun." Totally on spot. Of course I've raved on previously about his novels, The Memory of Blood, and The Water Room. Terrific reads.
So, Pub Grub. I've had some in my day, not a whole lot as I don't really frequent pubs, since my husband doesn't drink. In London I did enjoy fish and chips with a side of mushy peas in a nice pub near the Tower bridge, in Honolulu there are a couple of Irish pubs we've gone to, where the music was great, and in Ireland we popped into one or two. That's about it. Still, you don't need to be in a pub to serve up some typical pub grub.
I especially liked the way Hugh's recipe separates the slices of chicken from the lightly caramelized onion and cream filling. When you bite in it's not all smushed together, and the taste is sublime. I used a thick kefir cream and previously prepared chicken. (you notice how I'm not using the L-O's term anymore?) My pastries didn't get crimped too beautifully though. Still they were yummy.
These little meat pies are great to take on picnics, as your lunch to go, or just for dinner with a bit of salad. You'll notice I'm also having mine with a glass of Guinness for more pub authenticity.
And, now a slight diversion on a little known pathway, about that particular sort of Guinness, the Draught, black label with the harp, it gets rid of tape or heart worms in your cat or dog. I kid you not. Just 1 oz. per 20 lbs. of critter, due to the particular type of hops, and that Dublin water, which renders worms sterile. You can do your own research, but here's a link.. I was looking for something more natural, to replace the rather toxic meds from the vet, for our elderly kitty and came upon this info. And, yes the cat is fine now. End of rave.
I'm linking this post to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event and to IHCC (I Heart Cooking Clubs), so be sure to drop in and link up yourself or get some good book suggestions and or cooking ideas.