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The best-selling author breaks from fiction with a cookbook full of surprises.

Jackie Collins cooks with Lucky Santangelo

Published: Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 - 11:37 am

Best-selling novelist Jackie Collins, whose 30 sex ‘n’ glitz novels have sold 500 million copies worldwide, is also an accomplished cook. Sort of.

Her new “Lucky Santangelo Cookbook” is a spinoff from her eight-title fictional series starring her most popular character, Lucky Santangelo, daughter of a Las Vegas hotelier and former mob boss. Lucky is a determined and talented woman who has a way of always getting her way. Sort of like her creator.

“(The cookbook) has a lot of my recipes, but I did work with a chef on some of them,” she told me. “I must have been Italian in another life.”

Included is the recipe for the Jackie Collins cocktail, created “as a toast” to the author seven years ago by celebrity chef and “good friend” Wolfgang Puck. It’s heavy on the fresh raspberries and vodka.

“I made some for a video coming to my website (,” she said. “We kept saying, ‘Let’s make another one!’ I was drunk by the end of it.”

The cookbook looks good (St. Martin’s, $27.99, 176 pages). Included are recipes for appetizers (chorizo-chocolate tapas, smoked salmon pizza), pasta (fettucine with crab and cream, lemon linguine), entrees (pork chops Milanese, duck burgers), sides (crab-stuffed portobello mushrooms, green beans with cumin), sauces (plum glaze, cranberry-orange chutney) and desserts (baked peaches with Cointreau, molten chocolate tarts). Oh, and 10 cocktails, of course.

One dish that looks particularly tasty is sweet ‘n’ spicy spareribs, which calls for a basting glaze of sherry, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, ketchup, ginger, garlic, hot sauce and lemon. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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