Novelist Diane Mott Davidson Swaps Mystery For Recipes In New Book

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<p>(Courtesy&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 20.0063px;">Richard Haber</span>)</p>
<p>Best-selling mystery novelist Diane Mott Davidson</p>
Photo: Mystery novelist Diane Mott Davidson in Colorado
Best-selling mystery novelist Diane Mott Davidson

Mystery novels by best-selling author Diane Mott Davidson include recipes. That's because her protagonist, Goldy Schulz, is a caterer -- in addition to being a sleuth. Schulz has appeared in 17 books since 1990. Now, "Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook" brings together recipes from the series along with the real-life stories behind them. Davidson splits her time between Evergreen, Colorado and Florida. She spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

Try recipes from the book:

Bacon-Wrapped Artichokes
From "The Main Corpse"

One learns quickly in catering that any appetizer including bacon is going to disappear quickly. Artichoke hearts can be difficult to deal with, since the chokes are hairy. So using the artichoke bottoms can make life easier. But if your grocery store does not sell artichoke bottoms, you can substitute canned artichoke hearts or the frozen variety that you steam until just tender. Always drain the artichokes and pat them dry.

6 artichoke bottoms 
    (contents of one 14-ounce can; see Note), 
    drained and patted dry, or 14 ounces artichoke 
    hearts, drained and patted dry
9 slices center-cut bacon
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup half-and-half or heavy (whipping) cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. Cut each artichoke bottom into 6 equal wedges. (If you are using artichoke hearts, cut large ones in half, or use whole small ones. You need 36 pieces.) Cut each bacon slice into fourths. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of artichoke (it will not completely surround the piece of artichoke), secure with a toothpick, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and cream and serve as a dipping sauce.

Makes 36

Note: Occasionally cans of artichoke bottoms will contain 5, rather than 6 pieces. In that case, use 7½ slices of bacon to make 30 appetizers.

Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie
From "Sweet Revenge"

This recipe has “unorthodox” in the title because it is not made with lamb.But in this country, most of what we call “shepherd’s pie” is made with ground beef. Our Denver Costco used to sell a version of this dish (made with ground beef), and the family loved it. There were many groans from the family when Costco stopped carrying the dish. Jim asked if I could try to duplicate it, and this rec- ipe is the result. This dish is made truly amazing if you use homemade chicken stock. The pie goes well with a fruit salad.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped celery
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all- purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (page 30)
2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the potatoes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the potatoes
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 cup frozen baby corn kernals
4 1/2 pounds russet (baking) potatoes
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted spring water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and lower them into the water. Cook until tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
2. In a very large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the ground beef, onions, and celery and cook until the beef is browned and the vegetables are limp. Add the flour and stir until the mixture begins to bubble,2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock. Stir until completely combined, then stir in the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the mixture is bubbling and thickened. Stir in the peas and corn and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half until it is steaming, but not boiling.
4. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter two 9-inch deep-dish pie plates. Grease a large baking sheet or line it with a silicone baking mat. (This makes for easier clean-ups.)
5. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat the potatoes on low speed, slowly adding the hot half-and-half, the cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste, until the ingredients are well mixed.
6. Place half the beef mixture in each of the two pie plates. Dividing evenly, top the beef mixture with the mashed potatoes. Scatter the butter bits on top of each potato mixture. Sprinkle generously with paprika.
7. place the pies on the baking sheet and put them in the oven. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned and the pieces are completely heated through.

Makes 8 large servings

Reprinted from GOLDY'S KITCHEN COOKBOOK by Diane Mott Davidson, with permission of William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Copyright (c) 2015 by Diane Mott Davidson.