Book clubs have gained in popularity over the past few years, and while some people take their clubs quite seriously, others prefer a more social environment. Whether members meet for thought-provoking conversation or simply a reason to mingle, most will agree that the food served at each gathering is just as important as the book discussion itself.
To truly appreciate what you've read, we recommend spicing up book club night by preparing dishes that are inspired by the featured book. Some suggested books and recipe pairings include:
|"Under the Tuscan Sun" by Frances May |
Dive into this bestselling novel that celebrates the life, traditions and cuisine of the Tuscan countryside. Savor a taste of Italy by preparing Mama's Secret Spaghetti Sauce for your guests. Kikkoman Soy Sauce enriches the savory qualities ofthe ground beef and onions while cutting the acid of the tomatoes. The soy sauce also helps brighten the flavors of the other ingredients in the sauce, including the garlic and oregano. Spoon Mama's Secret Spaghetti Sauce over cooked spaghetti and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve this dish family style to encourage discussion around the dinner table.
|"The Kitchen God's Wife" by Amy Tan |
Unravel the compelling tale of a mother's secret past, and learn how it affects her present relationships with her daughters, Pearl and Helen. Enjoy this book with Quick Chicken Stir-Fry.Thin strips of boneless, skinless chicken breasts are marinated in Kikkoman Soy Sauce, garlic and ginger. The chicken is then stir-fried and combined with slices of red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms and snowpeas. An easy recipe that cooks up quickly in one skillet or wok, QuickChicken Stir-Fry is a great Chinese dish that's a perfect complement to this story of a traditional Chinese family.
|"The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon |
Laugh and cry along with two comic cousins as they struggle to make it big in New York with their graphic adventure novel "The Escapist." There's no better way to relish "The Big Apple" than with our French Onion Steak made with thick, juicy New York strip steaks. Like French onion soup, this recipe begins by caramelizing onions and garlic to bring out their natural sweetness. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is then added to the onion mixture to make its flavor bolder in both color and taste. The cooked steak is topped with the onions and Gruyere cheese, and broiled and served with a beef broth, which acts like a gravy. Make sure you have plenty of French bread on hand for your guests to wipe their plates clean.
|"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel |
Follow the physical and emotional journey of a 16-year-old boy who finds himself trapped on a raft adrift in the Pacific Ocean with a zebra, orangutan and Bengal tiger. Set aside extra time for discussion ,and you won't be sorry. California Temaki-Zushi (Hand Rolled Sushi)is a fun, interactive dish to pair with this book - your guests will have fun wrapping their own sushi while participating in a lively conversation. Serve the components for this recipe (iceberg lettuce, rice, avocado and imitation crab) on a large platter, and place several small dishes of Kikkoman Soy Sauce around the table for all to dip and enjoy.
|"Empire Falls" by Richard Russo |
Get absorbed in this magnified look into the life and times of grill manager, Miles Robey, and his struggle for something more. Richard Russo does a superb job of breathing life into his characters, making this book well worth reading. Slinging burgers for more than 20 years at the Empire Grill, it's only fitting to pay homage to character Miles Robey by serving East-West Burgers made with beef, onions, bread and an egg. Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce are incorporated into the burger mixture, adding a little bit of Asian flair. The burger patties can be prepared ahead of time and broiled in the oven. Put out a variety of toppings and condiments (including extra hoisin sauce) for your guests to build their own creations. For fun, serve the burgers with milk shakes and oven fries.
Select a corresponding recipe to go along with your next book club meeting — just search our recipe database!