Showing posts with label cilantro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cilantro. Show all posts

Friday, November 14, 2014

Guest Blogger Edith Maxwell's Haitian Meatballs

Since Edith Maxwell (also known as Tace Baker) has a new book out this month, I am happy to turn over my blog slot to her. If the new book is anywhere near as good as the last ones, you're going to want to read Bluffing is Murder! Plus you get a delicious and unusual recipe.

I, wearing my Tace Baker author hat, am delighted to be a guest on one of my favorite web sites again!

In Bluffing is Murder, Lauren’s boyfriend Zac is temporarily taking care of his twelve-year old Haitian niece. He invites Lauren over for dinner one night and makes the following recipe, which he learned from his grandmother in Haiti. But after Zac and Marie-Fleur head to Port-au-Prince for the summer and Lauren discovers the body of a local man whom she’d argued with earlier that day, her peaceful summer becomes a lot more complicated.

Boulett ak Espageti (Zac’s Haitian Meatballs and Spaghetti)


1/2 onion, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 T salt
1 T ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour

2 T olive oil
1 large can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 habanero pepper, minced very small after discarding seeds and white membrane (use fork and sharp knife to avoid touching with your fingertips). Adjust more or less depending on your tolerance for capsaicin (the heat in peppers).
1/2 bouillon cube or 1/2 tsp concentrated bouillon
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Careful with the habanero!
1 lb spaghetti

Meatballs: Saute onions and green pepper in 2 T oil until onions are clear. Add garlic and fresh herbs and saute another minute. Don’t let the garlic brown. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, and vegetable mixture and squish together. Form meatballs and roll in flour. 

Heat 2 T oil over medium heat until hot, then saute meatballs, turning gently until brown all over and cooked. Remove from heat.

Sauce: In a medium sized sauce pan, saute onions in 2 T oil until soft. Add tomato sauce, habanero pepper, bouillon, and cilantro, and salt to taste. Heat until warm. Add meatballs and more fresh herbs if you’d like, and to cook together for 5-6 minutes or until warm.

Boil spaghetti until al dente, drain, toss with oil, and serve meatballs and sauce over it. Serve with optional bottle of habanero sauce on the side.

Serves four or more.

About Edith:

Edith Maxwell writes the Lauren Rousseau mysteries under the pseudonym Tace Baker, in which Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau solves small-town murders (Barking Rain Press). The second book in the series, Bluffing is Murder,  was released in November, 2014. Edith holds a doctorate in linguistics and is a long-time member of Amesbury Friends Meeting.

‘Til Dirt Do Us Part is the latest in Maxwell's Local Foods Mysteries series (Kensington Publishing, 2014). Her new Country Store Mysteries, written as Maddie Day (also from Kensington), will debut with Flipped for Murder in fall, 2015.

Maxwell’s Carriagetown Mysteries series features Quaker midwife Rose Carroll solving mysteries in 1888 with John Greenleaf Whittier’s help, as portrayed in “A Questionable Death.” The series is in search of a publisher.

Maxwell’s most recent short story of murderous revenge, “Breaking the Silence,” appeared in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold (Level Best Books), also featuring characters from the Carriagetown Mysteries.

A former tech writer and doula, Maxwell lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors (, and you can find her at, @edithmaxwell, on Pinterest, and at

About Bluffing is Murder:

Summer promises to be anything but easy for Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau in Bluffing is Murder. Still reeling from an attack by her student’s murderer, Lauren decides to brush up on her karate and finds herself drawn to handsome sensei Dan Talbot. During a run near the sea bluffs, she discovers the corpse of her insurance agent, Charles Heard, who is also a Trustee for one of the oldest land trusts in the country. Earlier that day, Lauren had a public argument with Heard over her policy—and is now a suspect in the case.

Determined to clear her name, Lauren sets out to discover the real story behind the mismanaged land trust, the dead man’s volatile sister—and a possible link to her own father’s mysterious death more than a decade ago. But a near miss with a car, snippets of strange conversations in French and Farsi, slashed tires, and finding yet another attack victim on the beach make it clear that Lauren is also a target—and the killer is closing in. Can Lauren discover the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

LUCY BURDETTE: Don't you love it when you can (sort of) make two meals at once, for 2/3 the work? Deadline panic plus guests for the weekend = need something easy! 

So I roasted a chicken with a couple of sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side for John and me one night, and made chicken tortilla soup for the visitors the next. This can be even easier if you buy a chicken already roasted or have cleverly frozen some leftovers!



4-5 corn tortillas
1/2 roasted chicken, shredded
1 box chicken broth
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1 bay leaf
2 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, chopped, or 1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or to taste
1/2 lime

Cut the tortillas into strips and place them on a baking pan. Pour a little olive oil over and mix so most of the strips have been oiled. Bake in a 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until beginning to brown. Set these aside.

In a large pot, saute onions, scallions and cumin in 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add the broth and tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer for ten minutes. Then add the chicken and corn and black beans and simmer until the corn is tender. (You can do ahead up to this point and put the soup away for the next day.)

When the soup is hot, squeeze in the lime and stir in the cilantro. Serve garnished with crispy tortilla strips and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Ole!


Lucy (that's me!) is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries, most recently TOPPED CHEF. You can find the books online or anyplace where books are sold! Please follow me on Twitter or "like" me on Facebook for all the latest news.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve - Celebrate with Salsa!


What an amazing year this has been. Can you believe 2010 is almost over? I can't. It's been whirlwind - and I know that as I look back on the year I am very, very grateful for the community we have here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. You make it a joy to cook, to blog, to read, to comment. I love getting to know all of you, and I look forward to our daily conversations. So let me take this moment to thank all of you for sharing your recipes, your stories, and your lives with us!

I chose today's recipe because I'd like to end the year with a feature from the Chicago Tribune's Best Recipes of 2010.

Why the Chicago Tribune? Because 2011 will begin with a feature in the Printers Row book section I'm particularly excited about.

Editor Julia Keller interviewed me about my White House Chef Mysteries and my Manor House Mysteries!

They sent a photographer out here and everything. The piece runs tomorrow and I can't think of a better way to start out the New Year!

To thank the Trib, I'd like to return the favor and feature one of the items from their fabulous "Best of 2010 Recipes" where you'll find sauteed scallops with chermoula, chocolate peanut butter pots de creme, and sweet potato and coconut custard with toasted coconut, among other mouthwatering dishes.

Today, the last day of 2010, I suggest we all
Celebrate with Salsa!

I love salsa. All kinds. Our favorite local restaurant serves a tomatillo salsa I haven't been able to recreate at home (yet), but I keep trying.

This one is a spicy new addition to my repertoire. Delicious and easy! I used only 2 serrano chilies. If you prefer yours less hot, you may want to drop it down to one.

Salsa Verde

2 - 3 serrano chilies, stemmed and seeded (I used 2)
2 green onions, trimmed, roughly chopped (I used three because they were small)
1 or 2 cloves garlic (I used 3)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (I used cilantro and didn't exactly measure. I think it might have been a bit more than a 1/2 cup.... but I really love cilantro)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp salt

Drop chilies, onions and garlic into a food processor with the machine running to mince finely. (Very excited to use my food processor - got it for Christmas *last* year and I've been trying out new recipes all year.) Add remaining ingredients. Process, scraping container once or twice, until smooth. Adjust with a little more water if needed for a smooth, slightly thick sauce. (I didn't need to add any water.)

This is so easy and so delicious. I know that the Trib's food editors combed through hundreds of recipes to come up with these "Best" choices. I can't wait to try out another!


A little news here:

Buffalo West Wing received an amazing and wonderful review on Season for Romance here. I hope you stop by to read it (you have to click on the little brown bar beneath the cover to find the review).

Buffalo West Wing got ten out of ten stars! I am so excited. Not only that, but from what I understand this is the first time the reviewer "Kat" gave out ten stars. Am I excited? You bet!! Thank you, Season for Romance!

And a big thank you to Lori a/k/a Dollycas! She reviewed BWW yesterday on her blog here. Lori has a fabulous spot filled with great reviews and giveaways. Thank you, Lori!

I'm looking forward to another fabulous year here on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Thank you, Avery (Daryl), Cleo, Elizabeth (Riley), Jenn, Krista, and all our wonderful friends here. You are the best!

Happy New Year's Eve.
Celebrate, enjoy, and be safe!

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

White House Worthy Rice

Like Avery, I attempt to recreate restaurant treasures at home when I discover something particularly special. Not long ago, I took my daughter and her boyfriend to lunch at Bandera, a club-like restaurant in Chicago that can be easily missed if you don’t know it’s there. On the second floor of its north Michigan Avenue location, it is accessed via escalator immediately inside the street-level doors, and boasts great views of the bustling street below.

The menu had changed since I’d last been there. Lots of new and exciting offerings. But that day I decided to have the restaurant’s specialty—broasted chicken. Not a particularly exciting choice, but it smelled divine. The waitress informed me that they were testing out a new rice, and that the side dish on the menu was no longer available. I’m not usually much of a rice girl, but because my chicken choice was safe, I decided to be adventurous with my side. “Sounds great,” I told her. Am I glad I did. The chicken was fabulous, but the rice was superb.

I couldn’t wait to try making this at home, but I had no idea where to start. Then I remembered something from my White House research. One of the early menus prepared by our current White House chef, Cristeta Comerford (the real chef, not my fictional Ollie), included Basmati rice. At the time I had no idea what that was, but the name stuck with me.

Grown in India and Pakistan, Basmati’s name translates to “fragrant one,” or “the soft rice.” I chose baby Basmati which I found at my local grocery store, and went to work, trying my best to recreate the combination of flavors I had so thoroughly enjoyed. I'd like to think this side dish is similar to the one served in the White House.

Like Avery and her artichokes (yum!), I think I’ve gotten pretty close.

(But the White House has much fancier serving bowls!)

Cilantro Rice

2 cups water
1 T olive oil
1 cup baby basmati rice

1 pinch cumin seeds, crushed
1 t parsley
1 T chives, chopped
1 ½ T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 egg
2 tsp salt
3 T butter

Bring water and olive oil to a boil. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Set timer for 8 minutes. While rice is simmering, combine cumin, parsley, chives, and cilantro in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg, like you’re making scrambled eggs. When the timer goes off, stir the egg into the rice, making sure it’s well combined. Add herb mixture, stir well, and cover. Set timer for 5 minutes. When time’s up add salt and butter, stir, and cook for an additional minute or two. Transfer to bowl and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Thanks! Hope you enjoy!

Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef series features State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime. Check out Julie’s website at