March 7, 2018

Nothing’s better than kicking back on the weekend and relaxing with a good book…except, of course, enjoying a delicious meal between chapters. Whether you’re hosting a book club gathering or in search of literary inspiration for your online culinary arts courses, you can find great ideas in The New York Times’ best-seller list. Here are some exceptional pairings that will provide ample food for thought:

Make flapjacks worthy of Jack Reacher

“Nothing says classic American diner food like a stack of pancakes.”

Former military police major Jack Reacher has starred in 22 novels by English writer Lee Child, including the recent thriller, “The Midnight Line.” Reacher is a big man who travels constantly, often sitting down to a hearty meal in a diner on his way through town. Nothing says classic American diner food like a big stack of buttermilk pancakes, and you can prepare the perfect breakfast for fighting crime by following the directions from the Food Network.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with  buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter. Mix the wet mixture into the dry until they are barely combined.

Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat, lightly coating with butter. Pour out a half cup of batter per pancake. After three minutes, the bottoms should begin to brown and bubbles should appear on the tops. Flip the pancakes and cook another minute. Serve with butter, syrup and a helping of bacon or sausages.

Enjoy the flavors of moon food without the gunk

“Artemis,” the second novel from “The Martian” author Andy Weir, is set in a city on the moon. With food imported from Earth an expensive commodity, most people get their nutrition from gunk, a substance made from algae. To make this diet more appealing, gunk is available in a variety of flavors, with tandoori chicken a notable example.

You may not want to serve your guests gunk, but they’re sure to enjoy a classic taste of Indian cuisine. The New York Times provided a recipe for a speedy version of tandoori chicken that starts with preparing a mixture of yogurt, garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, lime juice, salt and pepper. Dredge boneless, skinless chicken breasts, letting them marinate for up to an hour.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the breasts on the pan with their undersides facing up. Broil for three minutes, or until the chicken appears lightly browned. Flip, pouring on any leftover marinade, and cook another three or four minutes. Finish by adding lime juice and serving on basmati rice.

Pancakes with coffeeNovels provide gripping plot twists and delicious breakfast inspiration.

Have brunch with Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” tells the story of two families in Shaker Heights, Ohio, during the 1990s. On her blog, The Little Library Cafe, cookbook author Kate Young explained that the novel’s engagement with American suburbia and its depiction of a catered brunch inspired her to try her hand at a classic eggs Benedict.

Prepare the hollandaise sauce by whisking together egg yolks and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water in a saucepan. Gradually add butter to the eggs, whisking as you go. Once the sauce thickens, add salt and Dijon mustard.

Toast English muffins and top them with butter and sliced ham. Poach eggs by bringing a wide pan of water to a simmer and stirring before dropping in each egg. After about two minutes, the whites should be cooked, and you can remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. Place the eggs on the ham, topping with hollandaise, salt and pepper.