Showing posts with label fish tacos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish tacos. Show all posts

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Guest Barbara Ross serves up True Love, Fish Tacos, and a #bookgiveaway

True Love Fish Tacos for Valentines
by Barbara Ross

When I found out my Mystery Lovers Kitchen guest post would run on Valentine’s Day, I spent a lot of time consternating about which recipe from my new Maine Clambake Mystery, Fogged Inn, I would offer up. I needed something romantic. Nothing seemed to suit.

But then I realized one of my recipes had a very romantic backstory. On the day before Valentine’s last year, my daughter Kate called us to announce her engagement. Her fiancé, Luke, is a wonderful young man, a research scientist Kate was introduced to by one of her high school friends, who had married one of his high school friends. And so a match was made.

Kate’s not much of a cook. During her years in Manhattan and London I used to joke that she stored her sweaters in her oven. But a return to Boston and a grad student’s budget finally got her into her kitchen. Meanwhile, across the country, Luke was also in grad school and using his limited spare time to perfect this fish taco recipe among others. He generously shared it with me for Fogged Inn.

They’ll be married in May.

(Leslie says: And aren't they just as cute as they can be?)


To celebrate true love and Valentine’s Day, two lucky readers will win an autographed copies of Fogged Inn (to be released on February 23rd). Leave a comment below by midnight, Monday, February 15th, to be entered.   

Luke’s Fish Tacos

½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
1 medium jalapeño, diced
Juice of one medium lime
 Salt and pepper to taste
2 cilantro sprigs

Taco and Toppings
8 corn tortillas, warmed
2 jalapeños, chopped
1/2 shallot, finely chopped 
2 tomatoes, chopped
Chopped cilantro sprigs
1 lime cut into wedges for squeezing
1 small head radicchio, chopped

1 pound any seasonal white fish
2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

To make the sauce
Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix. Prepare at least 1 hour in advance and let sit in the refrigerator. (If you have leftover sauce, it makes for a great chip dip!)

To make the fish
Cook fish in butter and ½ teaspoon of the seasoning until the fish  is opaque. Squeeze lime juice from one wedge on the fish, then break up the fillet.

To serve
Serve fish on warmed corn tortillas with toppings and sauce.

Serves: 4

About Fogged Inn: An autumn chill has settled over Busman's Harbor, Maine, but Julia Snowden is warming up the town by offering lobster stew at the local diner. When her landlord discovers a dead body in the walk-in refrigerator, Julia must figure out who ordered up a side of murder.

Nothing's colder than a corpse--especially one stashed inside a sub-zero fridge. The victim spent his last night on earth dining at the restaurant bar, so naturally Julia finds herself at the center of the ensuing investigation. Lost in the November fog, however, is who'd want to kill the unidentified stranger--and why. It might have something to do with a suspicious group of retirees and a decades-old tragedy to which they're all connected. One thing's for sure: Julia's going to make solving this mystery her early bird special…

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out and Fogged Inn. Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Barbara blogs with a wonderful group of Maine mystery authors at Maine Crime Writers and with a group of writers of New England-based cozy mysteries at Wicked Cozy Authors.

She loves to hear from readers. You can find her at her website at , or on Facebook at , on Twitter @barbross, or on Pinterest at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cooking Class

My husband and I participated in a cooking class at a local restaurant last week. Our good friends, Bob and Diane, came up with the idea as a Christmas gift and invited a bunch of us to participate at Tin Fish. We love new experiences and this one sounded like fun, so we signed up. Little did I know what a surprise was in store for me late in the evening.

I guess I expected a chef to entertain and instruct the six of us, plus whoever else might have signed up. Would there be two more participants? Four?

Whoa, was I wrong! When we arrived we discovered a good-sized room set up with rows and rows of chairs. The woman who ushered us in told us that 64 people had made reservations. Wow! I had no idea this was such a popular event!

Luckily, four of us had gotten there early enough to snag seats in the third row and we saved seats for our two other friends who were running a little late. We were right behind a bunch of women who were clearly "regulars" and who greeted the restaurant staff like old friends. Okay, we were the newbies. But that didn't stop us from having a blast.

These photos are from before the event began. To the far left, looking at the camera is my husband, Curt, then Diane and her husband, Bob.

Our chef was Colin, and he was great... funny, and willing to interact with the audience throughout. The night we chose was Mexican Coastal Seafood night and Colin prepared Battered Halibut Fish Tacos with red chili slaw and tequila cream, Black Bean and Crab Enchiladas with goat cheese and fire roasted tomato salsa, and Caldo de Pacific Dorado, a sun-dried chili broth with fresh tomato, cilantro, radish and avocado.

Here's the beauty of this class. Not only do you watch Colin as he prepares each of these dishes, you listen to his hints and suggestions and learn from his substitutions (for instance, shallots weren't looking good so he substituted regular white onions at one point), and --best of all -- you enjoy each course as it's completed. Just like on TV, while Colin is working in real time, the kitchen is preparing/warming/serving finished courses. And then, as the food is being served, the wine comes out and an expert tells you about the choices he's paired with each course. We had a Gewurztraminer with the tacos, a white Sangria with the enchiladas, and a red Sangria with the soup.

I'm not the biggest fan of fish tacos but let me tell you, these were great. Paired with the Gewurztraminer (a California vintage) they were perfect! I wasn't crazy about the white Sangria (too sweet) but the red was not bad.

As much as I would love to include recipes for all the food we enjoyed that night, I have to admit, I didn't take comprehensive enough notes. The restaurant provides an ingredient list and I probably could have recorded each step, but I was enjoying the experience too much to do so.

So instead of providing a recipe here today, let me use today's post to suggest that you take advantage of new opportunities around you. Tin Fish has been offering these cooking classes for some time, but it wasn't until our friends Bob and Diane decided to make it a Christmas gift to themselves that we jumped in to try it. In the spirit of the seafood we enjoyed, I'd have to say we're "hooked!"

Not only are we planning to head back to Tin Fish as soon as our schedules allow, we're looking into other local restaurant cooking classes as well. I was surprised to find out how many places offer these events. I'm excited!

The big surprise of the evening came at the very end. We all put our names in for a door prize and Colin pulled four names. I hardly ever win these kinds of things, but he pulled my name and I did. Guess what the prize is? I get to be "chef for the day" at Tin Fish on the evening of my choice. That means I come in early and stay through the evening, watching, learning, and -- I assume -- helping out a little. I can't wait. I'll be sure to report back after my "Big Night."

Almost every day we have the chance to try something new ... My vote: Go for it!


You may have noticed that I've been running a pre-order contest. Well, guess what? The books are starting to be available *already* - got them into readers' hands last week and friends have spotted them at Borders brick-and-mortar stores.

So the contest below is not only a pre-order, it's a current-order contest! Hope you take a moment to check it out:

Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series,
Grace Under Pressure (starred review in Publishers Weekly!), debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Purchase Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and thename of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
Independent Bookstore List: here
- Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!)
- Centuries & Sleuths (Julie's local mystery bookstore)

And don't forget to check out Avery's website: Avery Aames for fun stuff, tidbits, and upcoming contests. Only six weeks to the launch of The Long Quiche Goodbye.