I'm happy to welcome Frankie Bow to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Frankie writes the Professor Molly Mystery series. The Influencer is the tenth book in the series and was released last week.
Professor Molly Barda, protagonist of the Professor Molly Mysteries, is at best an indifferent cook. These days she does her best to pretend she knows her way around her own kitchen. But before she married local restaurateur Donnie Gonsalves, Molly’s kitchen was just another room to put stuff. Her freezer contained vodka and pantyhose, and her fridge stored leftover takeout and coffee cream, and her oven was used for overflow shoe storage. She has set off the smoke alarm trying to make coffee.
But there is one recipe that is simple enough for Molly to handle, and so tasty that it’s actually worth the effort. When Molly misses Cal-Mex cuisine (and there’s not much of that in Mahina, Hawaii) she pulls out her treasured family recipe and makes El Dorado Casserole.
El Dorado Casserole
0a) 1/3 to 3/4 lbs cheese (monterey jack and cheddar, combined)
0b) Large bag unsalted tortilla chips
1a) 1.5 lbs chopped beef
1b) 1 onion
1c) 4 garlic cloves
1d) 1 can (16oz) black olives
1e) ground cumin (to taste)
2a) 1.5 lbs ripe roma tomatoes
(or 2 16oz cans whole stewed tomatoes).
2b) 4 6oz cans tomato paste
3a) 1 large sour cream (16oz)
3b) 1 large cottage cheese (16oz)
3c) 2 small cans chopped green ortega chiles
Take the cheese from (0a). Chop or shred if it’s not already shredded. Put aside.
Take ingredients (1a)-(1e) and saute everything until onions are soft and beef is browned.
Cook ingredients (2a)-(2b) until tomatoes are soft. Add the browned beef mixture from STEP 1 and bring up to a simmer.
Take ingredients (3a)-(3c). Mix sour cream, cottage cheese, and chiles in a large bowl.
Grease the inside of a big Dutch oven or casserole.
Layer all the prepared ingredients in the Dutch oven or casserole as follows:
¥ 1 layer crumbled tortilla chips (about 1/3 of bag)
¥ 1/2 the tomato/meat sauce mixture
¥ All of the sour cream/cottage cheese mixture
¥ 1 layer of whole tortilla chips (about 1/3 of bag)
¥ 1/2 the chopped-up cheese
¥ The rest of the tomato/meat sauce mixture
¥ The rest of the chopped-up cheese on top
Place Casserole into 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese on top is browned.
Remove Casserole when done, and top with chips for decoration. Serve hot.
The Influencer (Professor Molly Mysteries) by Frankie Bow
About The Influencer
Cozy Mystery 10th in Series
Publisher: Hawaiian Heritage Press (March 17, 2021)
Print length : 205 pages
In Which Professor Molly Learns There Is, In Fact, Such a Thing as Bad Publicity
It's spring break. Donnie's taken the baby to visit relatives on the mainland, and Professor Molly finally has time to catch up on the assessment paperwork she owes the Student Retention Office.
Molly's new renter is a social media star seeking privacy in remote Mahina. The arrangement seems to be working out--until her celebrity renter disappears. Molly and her best friend Emma dutifully call in the Mahina PD and try to stay out of the way. But when fame creates its own reality distortion field, everyone has an angle and nothing is as it seems.
About Frankie Bow
Like Professor Molly, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.