Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, William V.M. McAllister III, and his recipe for Classic Thai Chicken Noodle Soup along with an introduction to his multicultural romance, Malee: A Tear in the Ocean. Please join me in welcoming William and savor his recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup as you read about his new book!
Hello Jennifer, I am very excited to be here. Thank you for hosting!
As I started thinking about Romance Recipes the first thing that came to mind is the way that food defines Thai culture. This is something that I tried to capture in Malee: A Tear in the Ocean, of course set initially in Bangkok then Koh Samui, and then on to other locations from there. In Malee there are so many instances where the food becomes another character in the book, like the time when the main character Michael meets the love of his life, and he and she enjoy this amazing starlit oceanside feast with all of the fresh fish and tropical fruit and vegetables one could imagine. Malee, our heroine, as is custom, feeds Michael before she will eat anything from the table. It is a sensuous and tender gesture that demonstrates deep love and connection, allowing for the couple to open to one another in ways that had previously been unavailable to Michael. This connection over food is repeated: the romantic gesture when Malee goes and gets Thai noodle soup in the pouring rain for the two of them, bringing it back to the hotel room where they share their meal picnic style and then after lunch, more romantic fare; a shared meal with friends to celebrate the much-looked for success of a multi-million dollar business deal; a heartbreaking moment later in the story, after a long separation, when the sharing of a meal brings the couple closer together at a traditional Thai restaurant, this meal with its familiar delicate and slow pace reminding one another of all they had shared before, their love, romance, and future dreams. In Malee, food becomes and remains integral throughout this tale of love and loss—it is an unavoidable character, that, pardon my pun, gives the reader the flavor of Thailand throughout this romantic story.
CLASSIC THAI CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
1 cup water
Rice noodles (about 6-8 ounces) pre-cook and set aside in separate serving bowls
Shredded or thinly sliced (lightly-cooked) chicken breast, 6-8 ounces
1 cup sliced straw or shiitaki mushrooms (crimini are fine)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh spinach or baby bok choi
2 tablespoons fish sauce (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red chili sauce (Sriracha or like, to taste)
4 tablespoons sliced fresh cilantro
Fresh beansprouts for service
Bring 4 cups chicken stock and 1 cup water to boil. Add lightly-cooked chicken and mushrooms, turn heat down to medium and cook about 4-5 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through and mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat, add green onion, spinach (or bok choi), fish sauce, chili sauce and 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Spoon over prepared rice noodles. Serve with sliced fresh cilantro, lime wedges and bean sprouts on the side.
When business entrepreneur Michael flew to Bangkok to launch his newest company (and to recover from his broken marriage), he had no idea how his life would transform. Yielding to Thailand’s exhilarating allure, he and his business partner, Drake, jet off to the unspoiled island of Koh Samui to enjoy its intoxicating escapes. There, Michael met the woman of his dreams—and nothing could stop their sweeping relationship from redefining their lives.
Malee, a beautiful young factory worker, was stuck in the monotony of routine until fate played its hand—an innocent touch that sparked a passionate love affair. Inseparable, Michael and Malee spent their days together exploring the riches of Thailand and their nights embracing the magnitude of one another’s desires. Everything seemed perfect—until Michael was forced to fly to New York, an extended separation, the first of several to come, that challenged their love and resolve.
Masterfully crafted and seamlessly transitioned across the globe, Michael and Malee’s story navigates through cultural separation, misunderstanding, and captivating desire. Wrenching the reader from passion to anguish and back again, Malee: A Tear in the Ocean beckons us to experience the thrill of their journey.
That evening, Drake had arranged for dinner on the beach with table and chairs surrounded by a hexagon of kerosene lanterns. The land breeze was gentle, and there was nothing flying around that wanted to bite you. Twenty feet from the table was an assortment of food on a large well lit-up table. Fish and shellfish from the day’s catch were laid out on ice, along with fruit and vegetables of all description. There was also a large bowl of salad greens. You picked out what you wanted, and the attendant went off to cook the things that needed cooking.
When the main course arrived, Malee removed the skin and deboned Michael’s fish. Then she insisted on feeding him. Dawn did likewise for Drake. Neither girl would begin her meal until both Michael and Drake were satisfied. Malee and Dawn demurred on dessert. Dawn pointed to her waist and laughed. A third bottle of wine was opened. Dawn was far enough along that she spilled half her drink. Malee was only drinking water.
Drake leaned back in his chair. “Does it get any better than this?” ….
By ten o’clock that night, the four of them repaired to their respective bungalows, and Joy headed off with her Englishman.
Michael and Malee sat on the bed. Michael stroked her hair. She gazed into his eyes, not boldly, and not in a way that made him uncomfortable. No, she looked at him in a way that any man would wish a woman would gaze at him. He undressed her slowly, and he neatly folded each article of clothing, set- ting them on the chair, then they took the customary shower. He would have liked to shower with her, but the shower was, at best, sized for one person. In bed, Michael turned the light on again. Malee protested politely. “No,” he said, “from now on, the light stays on. So I can admire you all the time.”
They took things slowly. He could not help touching her, gently. Her breathing gradually deepened. They made love. It was of a kind that he had never experienced before. As they crescendoed together, her body became rigid, her skin temperature went to sizzle, her breathing froze for maybe fifteen seconds, and then she just exploded into an out-of-control orgasm so physical that he had to hold on as he came with her. Her abdomen contracted again and again and again. He held her tight, and he just wanted to hold her tighter still and become as one together. Afterwards, she went completely limp. Her breathing was shallow, silent panting, and her eyes were half-closed.
Meals for Michael and Malee were a multi-tiered affair. Breakfast was part of the hotel price, and so was dinner, that is if you did not mind finger-food and drinks for your fare. For lunch Malee mostly wanted to dine at one or another of the street vendors’ makeshift cafes. Some streets had five or more eating “establishments” in a row. Almost all offered rice, a multitude of vegetables from which to choose, and chicken or beef, the latter cooked to order on a charcoal grill. The dishes were served piping-hot and eaten at one of the several rickety tables where uncomfortable chairs were set up occupying a whole section of the sidewalk. Malee always ordered for them both. She usually had a Coke and Michael two small bottles of fresh squeezed orange juice. More elaborate dinners were usually reserved for nights with Drake and Dawn.
Twice a week Malee and Michael ate at Robinson—a department store with a restaurant on the top floor. Malee always ordered two extra-large bowls of noodles, one spicy for her and one medium spicy for Michael, both with everything you could possibly want floating on the top or resting at the bottom. The department store part of Robinson was a puzzle—the number of sales girls was at least twice the number of customers, at times approaching three times as many. Their main function seemed to be smiling and cleaning the glass display cases.
…Once, at lunchtime, it was raining so hard, that street eating was most certainly ruled out by both Michael and Malee. “I go bring lunch back.”
“What about the rain?” She picked up his raincoat. “Me wear.” “You’re not going out like that?!” She was wearing only her bra and panties. She buttoned up the raincoat. She had come a long way from the shy girl he had met in Samui.
Buy the Book:
William V.M. McAllister III began his career working for one of the major newspapers in the United States, but soon was recognized by his peers as a brilliant business mind. Leaving the newspaper industry to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, Mr. McAllister has subsequently traveled to five continents working as a consultant, starting new companies in retail, international trade, and professional services.
Educated in England where he studied the Classics and Literature, then securing his MBA, Mr. McAllister now resides on his East Coast estate with two Irish Wolfhounds, Geri and Freki. Malee: A Tear in the Ocean is his first novel.
As New Book Journal has said, “William V.M. McAllister III is an author shrouded in mystery: Writing under a pseudonym and partially disguised background, his novel unmistakably heralds him as one of the boldest new voices in modern fiction. With Malee: A Tear in the Ocean, McAllister has penned a masterful tale of passion and adventure in Thailand that takes readers from the heights of euphoria to the depths of loss. An East meets West tale of star-crossed love and intertwining cultures, Malee takes the reader across three continents en route to a heart-rending climax.”
Connect with William:
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!