Eating Authors: David Mack

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David Mack

Welcome to another installment of asking authors about their favorite meals. This feature was inspired by my protagonist, the Amazing Conroy, who in addition to being a stage hypnotist is also very much a foodie.

This week, we hear from David Mack. Although he’s probably best known for his Star Trek novels, David has also written for television, film, magazines, newspapers, comic books, computer games, radio, and the Internet. His first work of original fiction, The Calling came out in 2009. His newest offering, Star Trek: Rise Like Lions comes out this week.

LMS: Okay, so, not counting anything you’ve eaten in the Mirror Universe, what’s your best, most memorable meal?

DM: My wife and I have prepared many amazing meals together; I still swoon when I think of her coq au vin prepared with Louis Jadot Beaujolais, and we make a milk-braised pork loin that is simply out of this world. Her sage chicken is simplicity itself, and also a perennial favorite. But challenged to name one of our culinary creations as a favorite, I know which one I’d choose.

Forgive me if this sounds a bit cliché, but I have to say it was the absolutely amazing, Julia Child-inspired dinner that my wife, Kara, prepared for me on Valentine’s Day in 2010.

Rise Like Lions
The Calling

I had been away that weekend at a convention called Farpoint, down in the Baltimore area, but I had promised Kara that I would be home Sunday night in time for dinner. Fortunately for me, good driving by my pal Glenn Hauman made it possible for me to keep that promise, and I arrived home that evening to a feast worthy of a king.

Kara had been working all day, and her copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was appropriately splattered and stained from her labors. After I put away my luggage, changed out of my travel clothes, and washed my hands, I set to work as her sous chef, and helped her pull together one of the finest meals of my life. (This was one of those occasions on which my youthful training as short-order cook and assistant chef proved most useful.)

The appetizer was jumbo shrimp cocktail with a tangy homemade cocktail sauce that was strong on horseradish. We accompanied the starter course with glasses of Italian prosecco, a lightly carbonated white wine similar to Champagne.

Then came the main course: thick-cut filets mignon wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon and broiled to medium-rare perfection; a remarkably rich and decadent potatoes au gratin; sauteed asparagus with made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce; and roasted tomatoes stuffed with seasoned bread crumbs and lump crab.

Every bite of steak with bacon was a succulent delight; the asparagus was perfectly al dente and blanketed in the most delightfully lemony hollandaise, at once rich but also light. The savory, creamy potatoes au gratin were the perfect complement to the acidity and sweetness of the roasted stuffed tomatoes.

Our wine of choice that evening was the 2007 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, an exceptionally good vintage from a very good wine producer. To help the wine open up, we decanted it into a special container whose shape gently enhances aeration.

After helping ourselves to seconds, we lingered over our candlelit dinner table and gradually finished our wine.

Then we cleared the plates to make way for dessert: made-from-scratch chocolate mousse with home-made fresh whipped cream garnished with dark-chocolate shavings. I enjoyed this decadent treat with a snifter of Balvenie 21 Port Wood single-malt scotch.

We’ve not yet figured out how to top this particular repast, but rest assured: we’re definitely working on it.

Thanks, David, and pardon me for salivating while I say so. That’s not just an amazing meal, it’s a pretty incredible homecoming too!

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

 

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