Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday & a Teaser ~ William Maltese

Every Tuesday we'll welcome an Author who will share a foodie type post
with a recipe or two and some book promo !
Today please help me welcome William Maltese...

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a blog on food in my books


My name is William Maltese. I’m a full-time author and have been for most of my life. When in university, I began writing professionally with my article “Ransom of the Inca” for “Argosy” men’s magazine, detailing a treasure-hunting adventure I experienced in South America between my Junior and Senior years; that story reached the stands while I was attending Basic Training at Ford Ord, California. My enlisted-Army stint lasted three years, culminating with an honorable discharge as an E5 (sergeant-equivalent).

     After my military service, I had all intentions of advantaging my university degree in Advertising/Marketing, but I was detoured, during a summer hiatus, by reading an m/m book in a friend’s apartment that had me thinking, if merely as a lark, I could write one “just as good”. I did write one, even better, and it was immediately grabbed up by Greenleaf Press with a request for more of the same; from which, there was no turning back. My having now reached the point where I have over 200 traditional-press published books to my credit; so many of my old m/m and f/m erotic novels having become collectable classics, from “The Golden Age of Pulp-Fiction”, that traditional publisher Wildside/Borgo Press has released a 303-page reference book, DRAQUALIAN SILK: A COLLECTOR’S AND BIBLIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE BOOKS OF WILLIAM MALTESE 1969-2010,  http://www.amazon.com/Draqualian-Silk-Collectors-Bibliographical-1969-2010/dp/1434411729/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393372689&sr=1-1&keywords=draqualian+silk
entirely devoted to my work, just to help interested people keep track of my pseudonyms (over 36) and my titles.

     Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, with its mighty cold winters, I, along with my whole family, spent a lot of time in the kitchen, warmest room of the house, gleaning wonderful memories of my mother’s expertise at the stove, along with the resulting comforting tastes and smells of her cooking. After my mother’s death, it was my sister and I going through her recipe box that resulted in the seventh of my seven cook books, MOM’S HOME COOKING (AND OTHER THINGS), due for release some time in the summer of 2014.

     From the outset, though, food has played an important part in more than a few of my novels, in which my protagonist, in a chapter called “Through the Garden,” has intimate relationships with a cantaloupe, a cucumber, and a watermelon.
beginning with my first one, the m/m sci-fi epic, FIVE ROADS TO TLEN.

     Later on, I found there was no better way to give readers a real "sense of place" whether local or international than by mentioning indigenous foods (most of which I’d tasted in their countries of origin).

     Writing as Willa Lambert, my first SuperRomance for Harlequin, LOVE’S EMERALD FLAME (reissued and now available from Wildside/Borgo Press), 
I opened with its now famous food scene:


Diana Green didn’t know the man. If her expression didn’t sufficiently denote that fact, she quickly reinforced it verbally.

     “I beg your pardon?”!” she said, her forkful of cebiche de corvine interrupted halfway to her attractively pouted mouth.

     “I’m sorry I’m late, darling,” he said casually, as if he had known her for her full twenty-five years.

     Diana felt suddenly as if she were a character in a low-budget film. The locale was certainly exotic enough.

     “I see you’ve gone ahead and ordered the salmon trout,” he observed, flashing a wide smile. He had sensuously full lips that now revealed a wide expanse of large white teeth. Not only did the locale suggest some B-grade movie, but the man seemed to fit the bill, too. He had the rugged good looks that one would possibly attribute to an actor still quite handsome but past the attractiveness of youth.

     Diana looked curiously around the room, wondering if she was unknowingly appearing on that popular old show called “Candid Camera,” but doubting that its crew would have been sent all the way to Lima, Peru.

     I think maybe I’ll have the conchitas made with tiny scallops and anticuchos of chicken livers, shish-kebab style,” he decided. “What do you think?”

     “Is this some kind of a joke?” That was what she thought!


Writing as Willa Lambert, in my second SuperRomance for Harlequin, FROM THIS BELOVED HOUR (since reissued and available from Wildside/Borgo Press):


The menu was printed on disposable place mats, and Jenny found herself automatically searching for hamama, although she had no intention whatsoever of ordering pigeon. What she finally did decide upon was molokhhia—an exclusively Egyptian dish she had tried several times previously and liked. She had never been able to find out what name was given to the strange flat leaves that, cut up, were laced in the light meat broth to make the dish. They vaguely resembled grape leaves, but she had been told they were related to the mint family. The thick soup that resulted, however, had not a trace of mint in its strong flavor.

     After making sure that it came from the sea instead of the river, Peter ordered samak—the fish of the day—which turned out to be sole. Although the restaurant had made its name with the tourist trade and could likely be trusted, Peter, like Jenny, had learned that fish from the Nile, especially if caught as far downriver as Cairo, could very well be contaminated. For side dishes Peter ordered torshi, which while translating vaguely as “pickle,” included a diversity of vegetables that had been soaked in a very spicy brine; wara einab, which were grape leaves stuffed with small quantities of rice; and khalta, a rice dish made with raisins, nuts and chunks of meat and liver. The bread, aish-baladi was unleavened, made of coarse whole-wheat flour and baked into wedges; it was like crisp crackers. Jenny and Peter both ordered shai bi-na’na—a mint tea whose deliciousness had to be tasted to be believed. Unlike the hotel that served tea in a small pot with an accompanying selection of milk, lemon and sugar, the Filfila offered small glasses of tea already saturated with sugar.


And, of course, in my third SuperRomance for Harlequin, LOVES GOLDEN SPELL (since reissued by Wildside/Borgo Press): 


They were served hotchpotch of curly kale, a hearty Dutch stew of cabbage, potatoes, sausage, salt, butter, pepper and chicken stock. The stew was anything but pedestrian, served as it was from a large delft soup tureen into matching soup bowls and accompanied by a 1947 South African Cabernet Sauvignon from the country’s Groot Constantia vineyards outside Cape Town. The wineglasses were Baccarat...

     Koeksisters,” he identified their dessert. “It translates ‘cake sisters,’” he said, no doubt encouraged by the focusing of her eyes. “Braided dough, deep fried and then chilled in a syrup of water, sugar, cream of tartar, ginger, cinnamon and glycerin.”


In my m/m adventure novel SS MANN HUNT for Green Candy Press (since reissued and available from ManLoveRomance Press), all about a possible Nazi war criminal’s disappearance in the South American jungle and accompanying smuggling of archeological artifacts:


Jim points out the selection: scrambled eggs (of the powdered variety), bread (with a golden and flaky crust), peaches (from a can), honey (from a jar), jam (from a tin), and bananas (from a plant less than six yards from where we sit in the Brazilian Matto Grosso); wild pig (baked all day in a pit lined with plantain leaves and red-hot rocks); rodent capybara (basted in its own thick juices; bite-size pieces of succulent monkey (on small wooden skewers).

     I don’t say so, because it’s my own particular hang-up, but the very idea of eating monkey conjures macabre visions of cannibalism reminiscent of those conjectured by one of the few journalists who hadn’t jumped on the bandwagon to smear Sebastian Mann’s name and reputation. The reporter had put Sebastian Mann, with the rest of the lost Kenner-Mann-Lexly expedition (my father included), into the communal cooking pot of hostile natives.


Certainly, I took the advantage of food in my best-selling SLOVAKIAN BOY for Green Candy Press (since reissued in Kindle format from ManLoveRomance Press),
about a young Slovakian innocent’s rise to movie-stardom in the world of international porn.:




Pavel has this thing for my cheese-flavored halusky—can’t get enough of it. He’ll eat himself sick if given the chance.

     I tell this to all the local girls who are interested in Pavel. And what local girl isn’t interested in Pavel? Pavel is such a charming boy. Such blue eyes, so polite, such a gentleman.

     If I were younger and unmarried, I’d kept the secret of my holusky to myself. I’d take full advantage of knowing how to use it to get to Pavel through his stomach. He’s such a great catch.

     These days, girls don’t realize just how important food is to any man. Girls should forget all they’ve ever heard about sex being so all-important. Men tire of sex, at least as far as having it with their wives. I tell you for a fact, my Zlatko doesn’t have sex with me nearly as often, or nearly as passionately, as he once did. But does he still get exuberant over my holusky? Oh yes! Does he still approach my francusky pagac with unbridled lust? Oh yes!

     Will Pavel always come back to a wife who can give him his favorite Liptov-region goat-cheese halusky? You bet! He’ll keep on coming back to her, too, long after he’s grown tired of having sex with her. He’ll keep on coming back to her even after he’s unable to get his sausage up for anyone or anything.

     I’m making my halusky right this minute. I do so as much for Pavel as for the busload of Danes who are scheduled to stop by for wine tasting and a good Slovak meal. I look forward to that glazed look of pure pleasure Pavel gets on his face whenever he sees me set my halusky down in front of him. Such an expression of joy! Such excitement in his eyes. Such passion in the way he licks his lips and makes little—decidedly sexual—sucking sounds.

     Oh, if only I were younger! If only I were single. If only Pavel could be persuaded to look at me with the same ardor with which he eyes my halusky!


Remembering, too, that exotic locations aren’t the only ones to benefit from the ability of food to provide a sense of place, I, in the first novel in my Stud Draqual Mystery series, taking place in New York City, A SLIP TO DIE FOR, published by  Prowler Books, London, (since reissued by Wildside/Borgo Press)


We were interrupted by a waiter wheeling in six serving trays. My time and patience were both getting pretty short, and I realized I might have to excuse myself before Stan had finished eating. I was wrong. He was not only voracious but fast. He had cut through a duck pâté, oysters on the half shell, cream-sautéed mushrooms, three veal cutlets, and a medallion of beef before I had speared my last lettuce leaf.

     Stan talked with his mouth full but managed to enunciate perfectly around the grind of his teeth and the pop of his jaw. I perked up considerably when he began to tell me how Dan had recorded highly incriminating smut about Clem Rollins which he, Stan, had no intentions of ever making public by publishing or otherwise, no sirree! He was only anxious to turn over the tape to Clem—anytime, anywhere. No need for hired hit men, for Christ’s sake!

     “I wish I’d never heard it,” he said after inhaling some cheesecake which he decided to order after all. Then he started on a serving of chocolate mousse.

     I checked my watch.

     “Just ten more minutes while I have my pie,” Stan promised.


[Just by way of aside, Book #2 of my Stud Draqual Mystery Series, THAI DIED, published by Green Candy Press (since reissued as a Kindle by ManLoveMan Press),
http://www.amazon.com/Thai-Died-William-Maltese-ebook/dp/B004I1KSIQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393373421&sr=1-2&keywords=thai+died+by+william+maltese has references to Thai food].


Anyway, you get the idea. It was, in fact, because of my incorporation of food and cooking in so many of my novels, and my penchant for eating “local” whenever abroad, which was a good deal of the time when I was first starting out, that had Wildside/Borgo Press initially approach me about doing my series of wine books (WINE TASTER’S DIARY)

Wine Taster’s Diary (series Book 1 & 2)
     William Maltese's Wine Taster's Diary: Spokane and Pullman, Washington

     In Search of the Perfect Pinot G! Australia's Mornington Peninsula (William Maltese's Wine Taster's Diary #2)

and cookbooks for them. The latter presently comprise: THE GLUTEN FREE-WAY: MY WAY (with Adrienne Z. Hoffman)
… EVEN GOURMANDS HAVE TO DIET (with Bonnie Clark)    http://www.amazon.com/Even-Gourmands-Have-Bonnie-Clark/dp/1434435563/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393373883&sr=1-1&keywords=even+gourmands+have+to+diet

… GET-REAL VEGAN DESSERTS (with Christina-Marie Wright)
http://www.amazon.com/Get-Real-Vegan-Desserts-Recipes-Rest/dp/1434445992/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393373933&sr=1-1&keywords=get-real+vegan+desserts … DINNER WITH CECILE AND WILLIAM (with Cecile Charles)
Dinner with Cecile and William

…Last but not least, my cookbook published just this last year, EVERYDAY GOURMET: A MEMOIR,
http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Gourmet-Memoir-William-Maltese/dp/1479400556/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393374085&sr=1-1&keywords=everyday+gourmet%3A+a+memoir is one of my favorites, detailing the very first times, and wheres, I happened to taste a few of my favorite dishes. From which, in closing, I’ve chosen to share with you the following excerpt, as well as the recipe that goes with it:



 On 13 November 1985, after 69 years of dormancy, the volcano known as Nevado del Ruiz erupted in the country of Colombia, South America, melting its mountaintop glaciers, and proceeding to bury several towns beneath the resulting onrushes of pyroclastic flows and lahars (volcanically induced mudslides), that came barreling down the mountainside.


The following chocolate mud-cake recipe comes to you via my South American host who served it up to me one evening over coffee at his home outside of Lérida, Colombia, not all that far (as the crow flies) from the resulting tragedy of Nevado del Ruiz; the dessert having resulted by way of culinary in memoriam.


A second point of interest is how Colombia ranks as the third South American country, after Brazil and Ecuador, by way of cacao bean production, but since its demand exceeds its locally produced supply, it ends up importing 30% of its yearly cocoa consumption. Therefore, any chocolate served up to you in Colombia has a one in three chance of not being indigenous to the country in which you’re eating it.


That brings us to how this dessert ideally doesn’t end up being made from South American cacao beans at all but from those originating in Africa’s “Gold Coast” and packaged as the Xoçai Healthy Chocolate Nuggets® with which I’d gifted my host before he turned them over to his cook for incorporation in the resulting final recipe.


As a hearty advocate of Xoçai Healthy Chocolate®, which is cold-pressed, rather than heat-processed, thereby retaining far more of its vital nutrients than ordinary chocolate (candy), I’m always gifting my friends and relatives with the product as well as making conscious efforts to pass on whatever recipes can successfully be adapted for it.


[For more information on Xoçai chocolate, and for purchasing it, for cooking and/or eating purposes, go on-line to—-

  —and click on SHOP NOW].



Nevado del Ruiz Barro Pastel 

10 Xoçai Healthy Chocolate Nuggets®
½ c butter
1 TBS red wine (Merlot a good choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 c confectioner's sugar (plus some additional for “dusting”)
2 eggs, plus 1 additional yolk
6 TBS flour
1 tsp cinnamon 

Preheat oven 425°F.   Butter 4 six-oz custard soufflé cups.  Melt the Nuggets and the butter in a microwavable bowl on high until butter is melted (about 1 minute).

Whisk until chocolate is completely melted.   Stir in wine, vanilla, and 1 cup confectioner's sugar until blended.    Add the eggs, plus one additional yolk.    
Blend in the flour and cinnamon.    Divide mixture evenly between the buttered cups.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until edges are firm but center is still soft.    Let stand for 1 minute.     Loosen edges with a knife.    Invert on to a dessert plate.    Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.    Serve immediately.    Serves 4  

NOTE: This is a great dessert to serve with coffee. That said … I recently experimented eating it with a red wine (7 Deadly Sins Zinfandel), a white wine (St. Chapelle Soft White), and Champagne (Veuve Clicquot), all three of which paired quite nicely with it.


P.S. If you’d be interested in trying the William Maltese Vegan Spice Cake, named after me, go to:


P.P.S. And wherever you shop, ask for “William Maltese Hottie Spice” mix. 





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