Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Guest Post by Jason Pomerance, Author of Women Like Us

Doing guest posts and interviews with authors has quickly become one of my favorite kinds of posts to do here at A Literary Vacation (following closely behind reviews, which will always be my favorite!). Mr. Pomerance's post, however, includes a first for me: a recipe associated with the book (and might I add it sounds DELICIOUS)! Please enjoy the guest post below and continue on after for more information about Women Like Us and it's author. 
In my novel Women Like Us, Susan Jones is a chef who has logged many years on the line in hot, chaotic restaurant kitchens. Her former mother-in-law Edith Vale, another major character in the book, is not the world's best cook. Edie, an old-school Pasadena Matron, has usually either had someone cook for her or she dines out. However, there was one dish Edie was famous for, and although she was famous for it nearly forty years earlier there comes a time in the book when she's called on to make it again. What is this dish? It's Hobo Steak, which was a popular entree at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles.

Here's a little history on Chasen's, which sat at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Doheny Drive. In its heyday, Chasen's, founded by Dave Chasen and run with his wife Maude, was a busy celebrity haunt, popular with the likes of, among many others, Elizabeth Taylor and Ronald Reagan. In fact Taylor famously had Chasen's chili flown in to her on the Italian set of Cleopatra! Sadly, the restaurant, which had been in business for decades, finally folded in 1995. I was lucky enough to have dined at Chasen's once just before the closure -- it was a birthday dinner and there was a pretty big group, and while we had a reservation, the place was so packed once they announced the closure that we had to wait in the bar for a good long time before we got to the table. Naturally, copious amounts of cocktails were enjoyed, and so I barely even remember the food. But I do know that I ordered Hobo Steak!

So what is Hobo Steak? It's basically a New York Strip that's broiled in a salt crust, which seals in the juices. The steak is then sliced thinly, swirled in hot butter and served on toast. But the best part of Hobo Steak is the second part of the recipe, because it's traditionally done table-side in a chafing dish! This kind of table-side service is very rare these days (I know it still exists at Melvyn's, a great old-school haunt in Palm Springs, California, so if you're ever in Palm Springs, definitely hit up Melvyn's). Luckily you can make Hobo Steak at home. Here's how.
Hobo Steak
(recipe inspired by the late-Chasen's)
Serves 2

1 New York strip steak, about 1/1/2 inches thick and about 3/4 pound
3 slices good bacon (At Chasen's they'd use beef fat, but bacon's easier to find)
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup water (more if needed)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 or more thick slices sourdough bread, toasted

1) Preheat broiler. Set oven rack so it's about 4-5 inches below broiler. Wrap steak with slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Combine kosher salt and water to make a thick paste (add a little water of smaller amount if not enough).

2) Place steak on broiling pan. Mound salt paste over steak to cover it completely. Broil about 10 minutes. Remove from oven -- the salt topping will now be browned and crusty. Carefully lift it off, turn the steak and place the crust back on top. Return the steak to the oven. Broil another 10 minutes.

3) If you're using a chafing dish, light the flame underneath it. (You can also do the next steps in a skillet on the stove). Remove and discard salt crust. Remove and discard bacon and toothpicks. Cut steaks into thin slices.

4) In hot chafing dish or skillet melt butter. When sizzling, add steak slices. Swirl them in the hot butter. Toss in parsley. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place steak slices on toast, drizzle with hot butter and serve!
Publisher: Quill
Pub. Date: July 26th, 2016
Pages: 310
Genre: Women's Fiction/Chicklit/Contemporary Fiction

Susan Jones, a brash and ballsy chef who hopscotches from one demanding restaurant job to the next, was barely in her twenties when she married and had a son, Henry. But after her marriage to Andrew fell apart, she ceded most of the raising of the baby to her mother-in-law, the very opinionated Edith Vale, a woman as formidable and steely as her stiff blond bouffant, the veritable helmet that helps her soldier through life. Now, after letting Henry drift away, Susan is determined to make things right. But just as mother and son seem to make headway after embarking on a cross-country road trip, things take a dark turn. When the family reconvenes in California, everybody must fight to find courage and humor in the face of a situation that threatens to change them all forever.

About the Author


Jason Pomerance was born in New York City, raised in Westchester County and graduated from
Middlebury College. He lives in Los Angeles with his partner and their beagles. He has written film and television projects for numerous studios and production companies, including Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, Fremantle Media and Gold Circle Films. Women Like Us is his first novel.



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