In my latest release, Desiring Lady Caro, there is a lot of food. After all, one must eat, and when you are confined to a coach while fleeing an insane marquis, food is a nice diversion. There is a lot of chocolate in this book, as well other regional specialties, most of them I’ve been fortunate enough to sample during my own travels.
Caro and Huntley begin in Venice. The whole Veneto region is famous for its rice, particularly risotto. If you hang a left at Verona, and head toward the Austrian border, the food gradually becomes more a bit heavier. There is wonderful ravioli, then the further north you go, and the food becomes a tasty mix of Austrian and Italian, you get knödels, a sort of dumpling that can be either savory or sweet depending on what’s in it and how it’s cooked. If you’re on any ski slope in Italy or Austria, you’ll find steamed knödels served with vanilla sauce.
Two of my favorite dishes, Tiroler Gröstle and kasnocken are also featured.
I’ll leave you with a recipe for kasnocken.
Ingredients (serves 2):
9 oz (250g) flour
5 eggs + 1 egg yolk
a good pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp water (if necessary)
2 tbsp butter
5 – 7 oz (150-200g) cheese, grated (Emmenthaler, Gruyere etc….)
To prepare the onions:
3 oz (75g) butter
2 mid-sized onions cut in rings
How to make it:
Start with combining flour, eggs and a good-sized pinch of salt. Blend well and add water if necessary, spoon by spoon. The dough should not be runny, but soft enough to gradually follow gravitation. Then set aside and allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the butter in a frying pan over low to medium heat, add onions, and let them slowly gain a golden brown color. Don’t let them get too dark, as they tend to become bitter. Drain on a paper towel and then set aside.
Bring a large pot of water briefly to a boil, add a pinch of salt and then reduce heat. The water should simmer throughout the whole process. You can either cut and shape the spaetzle by hand or use a spaetzle maker or a colander which makes things easier. Cook the spaetzle for about 2-3 minutes until they float back to the surface, then remove them.
When done, drain the water, melt 1-2 tbsp of butter and return the spaetzle to the pot. Shake the pot a few times to evenly distribute the butter, then add the grated cheese and mix well.
Now simply add the browned onions and chopped chives on top and serve.
What is the best dish you’ve discovered while traveling?
About the author:
Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them.
She is married to her wonderful husband of twenty-nine years. They have a son and granddaughter, Great Dane and a Chartreux. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make St. Thomas, VI home.
Ella is a member of the Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and Hearts Through History. She is represented by Elizabeth Pomada of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and published by Kensington. Her debut novel The Seduction of Lady Phoebe, released in September 2013.Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog