The hero of Too Hot to Touch has been wandering the world for the past ten years, searching for inspiration and picking up exotic culinary techniques. He’s made his living by winning culinary competitions—but until he comes home to help his family’s restaurant enter the RSC, he’s never had to work on a team before.
And he’s definitely never had to work with the major distraction of a smokin’ hot, tough-yet-vulnerable, utterly irresistible teammate like Jules Cavanaugh…
Nothing is more important to Jules than family—probably because she grew up wishing she had one, and envying the Lunden boys down the block. Over the course of the book, she reminds Max of what really matters in life, and helps him to overcome the issues with his father that drove him to leave home a decade ago.
And she also helps Max see that maybe what he was searching for all that time, all over the world, was right in his own backyard all along…
The following snippet is from a scene late in the book, where Max and the Lunden’s Tavern team are racing to complete their dishes before the timer rings.
It was down to the wire.
Of course it was; in every competition Max had ever entered, it always came down to those final few seconds and the ability to power through the panic and get his dish done.
The difference was that in every other competition, he’d been on his own.
In some ways, that had been a blessing. At least when he was alone, he only had to worry about disappointing himself with his own screw-ups.
But when a chef from another team crashed into Danny and made him drop his pan of melted chocolate, spattering everyone around him and wasting a good half hour of work, Max didn’t have time to decide if it was an ideal time to let his tenderloin rest and marinate—he ran to the rescue.
Luckily, the meat was fine when he got back to it after helping his brother crush what felt like seven hundred bars of bittersweet chocolate. In fact, the time away from his cutting board had brought the steak up closer to room temperature, which would help it cook more evenly, and had allowed the miso, soy, and sake marinade to sink in even further.
Standing over his cutting board, Max nearly swooned as he inhaled the clean, earthy scent. The complex sweetness of the miso and the delicate floral fragrance of the sake took him straight back to Japan, while the underlying smell of the beautifully butchered, bright red, high quality raw beef was the scent of his childhood.
He closed his eyes and took a moment to wish Gus Lunden could be there to see and taste this dish.
I think you’d actually like what I’ve done with your old recipe, Dad.
GIVEAWAY: If you want to find out whether Max’s tenderloin helps his team win the challenge, pick up a copy of Too Hot to Touch! Or comment below for a chance to win a free signed copy (ends 8-22-2011)
Here’s the recipe Max makes! You can find it, along with two others, in the back of Too Hot to Touch.
Max’s Miso-Glazed Tenderloin of Beef
For the beef:
2 ½ lb beef tenderloin
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola
For the glaze:
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon yuzu juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup black cherry jam
1 tablespoon miso paste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pat the tenderloin dry, then salt and pepper it all over.
Combine all the glaze ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and thick.
Melt the butter and grapeseed oil in a roasting pan over medium high heat. When the butter has stopped frothing, put the tenderloin in the pan. Brown it on all sides, about ten minutes, regulating the heat so that it doesn’t scorch or stick.
Brush the tenderloin with half of the glaze, then put the pan in the oven and roast for fifteen minutes. At that point, check the meat and apply the rest of the glaze. Roast to desired level of doneness, about fifteen to twenty more minutes for medium rare.
Allow the meat to rest for at least five minutes before slicing and serving.
Louise Edwards on the www
website | Facebook | Twitter