I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.Grilling the Subject on August 2, 2016
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Things heat up for bookstore owner Jenna Hart in the latest Cookbook Nook mystery from the Agatha Award-winning author of Fudging the Books.
As the Wild West Extravaganza rides into Crystal Cove, California, Cookbook Nook store owner Jenna Hart is ready to indulge her appetite for grilled and barbecued treats and maybe even try the Texas skip. But when the body of one of her father’s neighbors is found the next morning smoldering in a bonfire, the rodeo revelry is extinguished.
Sylvia Gump had acquired plenty of enemies with her practice of illegally encroaching on her neighbors’ properties—including Jenna’s dad, who was off fishing by himself and has no alibi for the murder. Now it’s up to Cary Hart’s dutiful daughter to clear his name before the real killer turns up the heat and rakes someone else over the coals...
In Grilling the Subject, the Wild West Extravaganza is coming to town. For research, I not only studied Wild West events, like pole bending and the Texas skip (where a person starts twirling a long rope and creates a human-size vertical loop she can jump through), but I also researched grilling recipes and barbecue sauce recipes. As you can imagine, it was fun and tasty!
I also browsed tons of cookbooks, which I do for every Cookbook Nook mystery. Now, I don’t always purchase these books because that could rack up the $$—I research and review the books as I can online and in bookstores—but occasionally, I do purchase.
One I bought is Grill Every Day: 125 Fast-track Recipes for Weeknights at the Grill by Diane Morgan. In it, there is a divine recipe for salmon: Alder-Planked Salmon with Lemon-Vodka-Dill Marinade.
Now, I don’t have an alder-plank, and I remember–years ago–using a cedar plank to cook a salmon, and my husband wasn’t happy. He didn’t like the smoky flavor.
So…I simply used this recipe as a marinade, and it was fabulous!!!
From Grill Every Day: 125 Fast-track Recipes for Weeknights at the Grill by Diane Morgan:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vodka
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon Juice (whole lemon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 whole side of salmon, about 3 pounds
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vodka, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Place the whole salmon fillet, flesh side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet (if you use a cutting board, the oil WILL spill over, so be careful). Pour the marinade evenly over the top. Set aside while the grill or oven heats.
When ready to grill, baste the grill with olive oil, then heat the grill to medium (about 300 degrees). Set the fish on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 5-8 minutes. Using two spatulas (very important), flip the fish.
Grill another 4-6 minutes until the salmon is almost opaque (light pink), yet still moist when tested with a knife.
On a charcoal fire, this all might take longer by 2-4 minutes a side. I have a gas grill.
**In the oven, I’d cook the fish at about 300 degrees, as per above, but I would broil the fish at the end, flesh side up, for about 4 minutes for color.
Grilling the Subject by Daryl Wood Gerber is the 5th book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series featuring Jenna Hart and a fun cast of characters in Crystal Cove, California. When Jenna’s father is under suspicion for murdering a neighbor, Jenna can’t help but try to figure out what happened and get her dad off the hook.
I love the setting in this series so much. Crystal Cove sounds like the perfect town that’s small enough to know everyone, but big enough to have all the things you need and lots of fun things to do. In this installment in the series, the Wild West Extravaganza is in town, so there are lots of fun Western themed activities, shows and food events happening throughout the town. I really like how the author paints the setting for this story. I was quickly drawn in, and Crystal Cove feels like a real place, not fictional.
The characters are really what makes this book (and this series) stand out for me. Ms. Gerber has a talent for creating believable characters who are easy to like…and believable characters who are easy to dislike (so you don’t mind finding them at the wrong end of a murder). This series is on my must-read list, and I hope to follow Jenna and the other wonderful characters of Crystal Cove for a long time to come.
To celebrate the release of Grilling the Subject, Daryl is offering a special giveaway just for readers of Brooke Blogs. Enter below for your chance to win any book in the Cookbook Nook mystery series in paperback. Woohoo! See Giveaway Tools widget for complete giveaway details. Good luck!