Saturday, November 24, 2012

Haitian Seafood

A very warm welcome today to Edith Maxwell. Remember her name, because you'll soon be adding her to your cozy reading list!

Speaking of Murder, a mystery featuring Quaker Linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau, was published under Edith Maxwell’s pen name of Tace Baker in September, 2012, by Barking Rain Press. You can find Tace at www.tacebaker.com, and @tacebaker.

Edith Maxwell also writes the Local Foods Mystery series, featuring organic farmer Cam Flaherty a Locavore Club, and murder in the fields. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die will be published by Kensington Publishing in May, 2013. She has also had short stories in two Level Best anthologies and elsewhere, and has one forthcoming in the Fish Nets anthology. Edith blogs at, posts at, and is at @edithmaxwell.

 And now, Edith!

For a change of pace this weekend from turkey sandwiches and creative reuse of mashed potatoes, here's a scene from my recently released traditional mystery, Speaking of Murder. Lauren Rousseau twisted her ankle badly while out running and her Haitian-American boyfriend Zac invited her to dinner.

“Okay, lady. Á table,” Zac announced with a bow and a flourish. “Soup’s on.”
He helped me move to a chair at the table. A tie-dyed West African tablecloth I had given him covered the round table, centered with a cluster of so many red carnations they threatened to spill out of the pewter pot that held them. Zac positioned my injured foot on a pillow-topped chair. He served me a plate of aromatic seafood and vegetables in sauce on a bed of rice, kissing me on the forehead after delivering it to my place. He set a wooden bowl on the table. It held salad greens glistening with olive oil topped with morsels of cherry tomatoes, pears, and pecans.
“Here’s to us,” Zac proposed, lifting his glass. “And to no more accidents.”
I lifted my glass in return, nodded, and sipped. We ate in silence for a few minutes. The food was hot, delicious, and spicy. Perfect for a night like this.

But what happens next changes the mood drastically!

For the next time you want a delicious seafood meal from warmer climes, here's Zac's Haitian recipe.
Pwason Nan Sòs

2 lbs fresh firm fish (sea bass, snapper, swordfish, or other)
2 limes
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 habanero pepper – carefully remove membrane and seeds and then slice thinly (and don't rub your eyes...)
1 Tbsp minced scallions
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ T apple cider vinegar
¼ c white onion shavings
¼ sliced shallot
2 sprigs thyme

¼ c olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 T tomato paste dissolved in 1 c water
2 c kale, washed and sliced thinly
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1/2”-squares

1.    Rinse fish and pat dry. Using a sharp knife score fish twice diagonally on each side, ¼ inch deep.
2.    Put in a shallow dish, coat with juice of one lime, pepper, salt, habanero, scallion, mustard, vinegar, onion, shallots, and thyme. Turn a couple of times to coat evenly then cover with plastic wrap and marinate in a cool place for at least an hour.
3.    Heat oil in a large non-stick pan on medium-high setting. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add kale and red pepper and saute for another 4 minutes.
4.    Add the diluted tomato paste and boil until no liquid remains, 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
5.    Wipe the fish marinade off the fish and add the marinade (but not the fish). Strip the thyme leaves from their sticks, discarding the sticks.
6.    Continue to cook for several minutes.
7.    Mix in ½ c water and reduce heat to medium.
8.    Add fish and cook covered until fish is cooked through, about 7 minutes per inch of thickness.
9.    Squeeze all the juice from another lime over the fish and remove it carefully from the pan to a plate.
10. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has cooked off, then add the fish back in and heat until warmed through.
11. Serve hot over rice and wait for the rave reviews. Fried plantains or bananas on the side adds a nice Caribbean touch.


  1. This looks wonderfully exotic, Edith! And congratulations on your new series (plural)!

  2. This is such a lovely, light and health recipe. I think it may go on our "seven fishes" menu for Christmas Eve! Thank you for sharing it with us, Edith, and I must join Wendy with warm congratulations on your (three!) new mystery series. Enjoy the weekend and the coming holidays! ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks, Cleo! I think it would be a great addition to a Christmas Eve menu.

  3. This is a great healthy recipe. I am going to have to try this next week.
    Babs Book Bistro

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Babs Book Bistro, and the book, too!

  4. Thanks for joining us today, Edith. This dish sounds wonderful. Healthy, light, and undoubtedly full of flavor. It's on my list to try!

    ~ Krista

    1. Appreciate it, Krista. It is, in fact, full of flavor. And healthy, too, although it tastes very rich.

  5. Edith, congrats on your new series. Food, glorious food! Love the ingredients in this dish, even though I can't pronounce the title. LOL Definitely will delight in this one. Thanks for coming to MLK!

    ~Avery aka Daryl

  6. Merci, Avery/Daryl. The words in Kriol are pretty much phonetic: pwa-sohn nahn sohce (think French: poisson en sauce).