Showing posts with label Barbara Fradkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barbara Fradkin. Show all posts

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Perfect summer party fare from guest author Barbara Fradkin #mystery #recipe #giveaway

Amanda Doucette’s perfect summer party fare by guest author Barbara Fradkin

Please welcome our good friend, award-winning author Barbara Fradkin, back to Mystery Lovers Kitchen.  We love her books and Barbara never fails to deliver a delicious recipe. Plus she's offering an enticing giveaway.  Make sure you leave a comment AND your email address.

This recipe is from Barbara's awesome new protagonist, Amanda Doucette.  Amanda is a woman on the go, full of enthusiasm and purpose. Although she loves to get together with friends over dinner and wine – sometimes even a good Scotch – she is less fond of recipes that require a pantry full of ingredients or half a day’s prep. Fast, fresh, healthy foods are her favourite. Never one to follow all the rules, she likes to make things up as she goes along. Instead of tuna in the classic salade Niçoise, she switched it to fresh poached salmon.  Here’s her recipe, as accurately as she can remember it after the wine and Scotch. It’s both versatile and forgiving, so every chef can put their own twist on it.  

By the way, Linda /Erika and MJ /Victoria both enjoyed this recipe at our annual writers' retreat!  



1 fillet of wild sockeye salmon, about a pound
1-2 green onions
2-3 garlic cloves
juice of one lemon, plus about 1 tbsp. of grated rind (more or less depending on how lemony you like it!)
¼ cup white wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (or that secret ingredient, Mrs. Dash’s seasoned salt)
water as needed


      Chop garlic and green onions coarsely.  

2.      To prepare the salmon fillet, sprinkle the top lightly with salt, pepper, and the zest of half a lemon.  Spread the garlic and onions over it evenly.

3.      Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and fry the salmon briefly, dressed side up, to seal in the juices.
4.      Pour wine and lemon juice gently over it, cover with a tight lid, and poach gently until the pink flesh is just beginning to turn paler at the thickest part. Adjust heat and add water sparingly to avoid scorching.
5.      Towards the end, allow the liquid to evaporate so that the fish browns slightly.

6.      Remove the fish to a plate, spoon any remaining juices over it, and chill before slicing it into single portions. Place the fish in the centre of the prepared bed of lettuce, and encircle it with any salad ingredients you have on hand. Amanda uses seasonal fresh vegetables, in this case sliced tomatoes and peppers, baby new potatoes and green beans (cooked and chilled), and slivered hard boiled eggs. Drizzle with oil and vinegar or lemon garlic vinaigrette.

Voilà! The result is as pretty as it is delicious!

Meet our friend, Barbara Fradkin:

Barbara Fradkin is a retired child psychologist with a fascination for why we turn bad. Besides her short stories and easy-read short novels, she is best known for her gritty, psychological Inspector Green series, which has received two Arthur Ellis Best Novel Awards. However, she recently embarked on a new mystery suspense series featuring international aid worker Amanda Doucette, who battles her own traumatic past to help people in trouble.

The series debut, Fire in the Stars, was released in 2016, earning starred reviews, and the second, The Trickster’s Lullaby, will hit the shelves on September 2.  You can pre-order it now!  Barbara lives in Ottawa.  One lucky commenter will win a copy of Fire in the Stars!  Just leave a comment with your email address.  

Join Barbara on  FACEBOOK 
and check out her  WEBSITE

Don't forget your comments!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Welcome guest author Barbara Fradkin! #bookgiveaway

Barbara Fradkin is a retired child psychologist with a fascination for why we turn bad. Besides her short stories and easy-read short novels, she is best known for her gritty, psychological Inspector Green series, which has received two Arthur Ellis Best Novel Awards. She is now embarking on a new mystery suspense series featuring former international aid worker Amanda Doucette, who battles her own traumatic past to help people in trouble. Fire in the Stars is available in September through your favourite bookseller as well as online.

Amanda Doucette, the star of my new mystery suspense series, is a former international aid worker who has never settled down long enough or had the patience to learn to cook anything but the basics. In her travels, however, she has sampled cuisine from around the world and loves new experiences in food as much as in life. In FIRE IN THE STARS, the first book chronicling her adventures, she is in Newfoundland trying to help a fellow aid worker who has gone missing with his young son, and in one scene she finds herself in a spectacular lighthouse restaurant in Saint Anthony at the rugged northern tip of the island. She has teamed up with an off-duty RCMP corporal Chris Tymko who is also a friend of the missing man and equally worried about his state of mind.

Against the backdrop of soaring gray cliffs and crashing ocean surf, they share bowls of the Lightkeeper’s Restaurant’s famous seafood chowder. I myself, in the interests of research, sat at their very table by the window, looking out over those same roiling seas and sampling the same chowder. I can attest that it is delicious. Seafood chowder is a mainstay of Newfoundland and east coast cooking, and can be as variable as the ingredients the cook has on hand. It’s hearty, thick, and puts meat on the bones, and as long as you can lay your hands on some seafood – an easy feat in Newfoundland – and have some root vegetables in your pantry, you are good to go.

Below is the variation on the chowder that Amanda would make, if she ever stayed put near a kitchen long enough to prepare it. Maybe some day …

Classic Newfoundland Seafood Chowder

1 lb. cod
1 lb. medium shrimp
½ lb. scallops
Half dozen clams or mussels in the shell for garnish (optional)
1 cup each of carrots, onions, and celery, all diced
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
¾ cup butter
¾ cup flour
4 cups seafood or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
1-2 tsp. savory, finely chopped, fresh if possible
Small bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh sprigs of parsley for garnish

1.      Have all ingredients ready at hand, for you’ll be busy. In a LARGE pot, melt ¼ cup butter and sauté celery, carrots and onions together on medium heat for about 7 minutes.  Add pepper and salt.
2.      Add remaining ½ cup butter, melt, and stir in the ¾ cup flour to make a thick paste. Distribute well and cook briefly, stirring to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn or brown. 

3.     Gradually add the 4 cups of stock, stirring well throughout to ensure it blends and doesn’t lump. I used half chicken and half vegetable stock because prepared fish stock is hard to find. If you’re into making your own fish stock, you’re way ahead of Amanda and me.

4.      Bring the mixture to a soft boil, stirring often to prevent sticking. You will think it is much too thick, but it won’t be. Add diced potatoes and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of the potato and carrot chunks. They shouldn’t be completely cooked.

5.      Add cream and milk gradually, stirring gently, and bring to a very soft simmer. Do not boil, because that may curdle the milk. Add bay leaf and savory, cut or cumbled into small bits.
6.      Cut cod into one-inch chunks and scallops if they are large. Add cod, scallops, and shrimps to the pot and return to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally but carefully so the cod doesn’t break up. Test and add pepper and salt to taste.

7.      Meanwhile, steam clams in butter and ¼ cup of liquid – I used white wine and some of the broth.
8.      Serve chowder with garnish of parsley and clams, add a buttered roll and a glass of wine, and voila! A full meal!

This is a real meal in a bowl and can be made with whatever seafood and vegetables are at hand. A real Newfoundlander might add scrunchions, a delicacy of crisply fried, diced salt pork, as a garnish instead of clams and parsley, but if that’s hard to come by elsewhere than The Rock, you can substitute bacon for (almost) as good an effect. Newfoundlanders traditionally added scrunchion toppings to many of their meals, which were variants of bland white fish and bland white potatoes.

This recipe makes a large pot that probably would feed a dozen, and it’s great for leftovers. It can be halved or doubled without problems. It is adapted from The Wicked Scoff, a food blogger originally from Newfoundland and now living in New England.

Fire in the Stars, the first book in the Amanda Doucette mystery suspense series, will be out in Sept.!  To win a copy, please leave a comment. The winner will receive a copy of Fire in the Stars as soon as it's out!