1. Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods (i.e.
cheese or chocolate)?
Too difficult to choose. I have a sweet tooth, but if you told me I could never eat cheese again, I would be in floods of tears. One of the things I am missing because of being pregnant is being able to eat Dolcelatte, Cambazola (my favourite) and generally blue cheeses, which I love.
2. Red wine or white? (Wine obviously) - like both, but in recent years have developed a taste particularly for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. I can’t see past it!
3. Do you have a favourite food memory? - Not really just one. I have a least-favourite - which is my foolishly telling my mum I liked Findus Crispy Pancakes and her basically giving them every other meal for 2 years, despite my protests!
I suppose eating pumpkin ravioli in this amazing restaurant in Verona, chosen by my distributor (I worked for Digital Equipment back then) is very high up the list, as is eating farinata, a precursor to pizza, in Turin are a few of the best ones. My best food memories I suppose are mainly linked to Italian food in Italy!
4. Does food feature in your novel(s)?
Oh yes! In Sign of the Times, the novel starts in Italy and I have had many reviews saying the reader loved the description of the food, it was mouth-watering and they were starving after reading it! The Dating Game, by its very nature, sees Gill go on a series of dates, many involving fine dining restaurants. Plus she jets off to Barcelona with her friends, so tapas is covered as well a Catalan food in quite a lot of detail. In, fact, in my new
novel, What If, it’s the first time there won’t be so much food detail.
5. What recipe are you sharing with us and why?
Chorizo and butifarra negra in a spicy tomato sauce. Rarely do I find that tapas restaurants in the UK equal or are even close to those in Spain, but one of my favourite tapas restaurants, a small chain, does the most amazing version of this. It’s hearty and ideal for a winter’s day. Butifarra negra is the Spanish equivalent of the Scottish black pudding. Not a good idea to have to many of these, as it’s tantamount to a heart attack on a plate, but every so often!
Chorizo and butifarra negra in a spicy tomato sauce
100g black pudding (doesn’t really matter whether sliced or not, but probably the non-sliced one works better for this)
100g good chorizo ( you can buy cheap stuff, but it will taste cheap, nasty and grizzly - pay the extra!)
tin of tomatoes (chopped or sliced, or even a passata carton)
1/2-1 red chilli depending on how hot you like it. Don’t slice it, just put it in, as you will be removing it at the
Mince the black pudding and chorizo up by chopping really finely or passing through a mincer (should you have one - I don’t!) Then fry it in a little olive oil until cooked through. Shouldn’t take long as minced.
In a separate pan prepare the tomato and chilli- pour your tomatoes in, cutting up any large pieces, add the chilli, bring to the boil and then simmer for around 25 minutes.
Add the chorizo and black pudding to the sauce and heat through for a further five mnutes.
Remove the intact chilli.
Serve with good crusty bread and enjoy
NB: if you leave any of this, there is something seriously wrong with you (unless of course you know in advance you don’t like black pudding!)
The Dating Game
Workaholic recruitment consultant, Gill McFadden, is sick of her friends trying to match-make for her. Up until now her love life has been a disaster and she’s going through a drier spell than the Sahara desert.
She realises she has to act, as work keeps piling up and at this rate she will have retired before she has time for a relationship.
Seeing an ad on a bus one day, she decides to visit Happy Ever After dating agency. She quickly discovers men are like buses. They all come along at once. Unsure what her type is, Gill decides to keep her options open. Soon she has problems juggling her social life as well as her work diary. Will she ever strike the right balance?
Before long she is experiencing laughs, lust and… could it be love? But like everything in Gill’s life, nothing is straightforward and she ends up wondering exactly who she can trust.
As they headed back towards the car park, he kissed behind Gill’s ear and said, ‘We don’t have to go back, you know.’
Gill stared at him. Being outside had made the alcohol she had drunk treble in effect. Her head was starting to spin, whether from the booze or the company, she couldn’t quite make up her mind.
‘How do you mean?’
‘I booked a suite, just in case you wanted to stay.’
‘You what?’ Gill tried for indignant, but it didn’t quite come out that way, as she was privately a little impressed.
‘No pressure. I just took the precaution in case we were having so nice a time, we didn’t want to drive back tonight.
What do you think?’
What did she think? She wasn’t sure - although a lie down sounded like a great idea at the moment.
She really shouldn’t have drunk so much wine.
You can find Susan and her books at the following places:
Twitter - @susan_buchanan
- The Dating Game Amazon UK
- The Dating Game Amazon US and other .com sites
Amazon author page
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4216164.Susan_Buchanan
I am a writer of light-hearted contemporary women's fiction.
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