My try at Haitian Poisson en sauce, gros sel, Creole....Let's just call it the Haitian Fish Dish!
My husband and I are not planning a trek back to the Key's until I finish my second book. Florida itself is another story, but since I am not going any time soon; my quest to learn more of Haitian culture and recipes thrives. Now I know there has to be Caribbean restaurants, grocery stores in the Bay Area (Northern California). I just have not found any of the grocery stores yet. The restaurants seem to be more Jamaican rooted but hey, I'll figure it out.
When my husband and I eloped in the Key's, we left the courthouse to tour Ernest Hemmingway's home and then off to Mo's for my first meal as a married woman and my first ever Haitian meal. I admit other than a few things heard on the news, I knew NOTHING about Haiti. Hence being my first trek to Florida, I was told Haitians were a large population of people there. Being the foodie and culture seeker I am, you bet I was going to have me some Haitian food. I combed the internet and YELP for weeks before I even landed in Florida. Mo's was it. Hence it is one afternoon, for one meal. So many things on the menu that made no sense to me. I went with a Oxtail, with rice, black beans, veggies. That I understood and it was on point delicious with his mastery of spices. A Haitian beer of course and Mo gave us a complimentary/celebratory piece of the best darn pumpkin pie you will ever have in life. I mean I will compare all others to that slice for the rest of my life it was so good! However the fact that the Haitian pop tunes really did not sound like guess what assumed Island tunes were and Mo was speaking French to some French tourists, I was really confused. No time to dig, we had to get on with the rest of one of the happiest days of our life together.
Was not until we returned to California that vowed to learn more about Haitian culture and try to make some of those killer looking and sounding dishes I see from not only Mo's YELP page, but others see on the internet and Pinterest. So I have taken a stab at a couple of dishes successfully, but this one was worried about. Hence I guess there cannot be no right nor wrong. It's base Haitian commonly used ingredients with a French cooking technique.
My try at a Haitian Poisson En Sauce
- Olive Oil 1/2 cup
- Vinegar (I used a balsamic) 1/8 cup
- Scallions or onion, one small.
- Garlic 3 cloves.
- Mustard. I assume since French influenced I was to use a Sharp Dijon Mutard. I put a few heaping spoonful's.
- Thyme sprig, leaves skimmed off.
- Red pepper 1/2.
- Half a chopped Habanero. Sorry folks I know if I was on the East Coast I would have access to Scotch Bonnets, but the closest I have here in California is the Habanero.
- Juice of one lime.
- Teaspoon of Salt.
- One pound to a pound and a half of fish. I utilized some fresh Pacific Snapper. About 1.23 pounds was the smallest I could find at Sigona's that day. I ran the fish fillet under cold water and scored it .
Let's get your poaching broth going.
- Half a bell pepper or more if you like. Up to you.
- One small onion or 5 or so scallions chopped.
- One stick of butter.
- Juice of one lime.
- One Habanero or Scotch Bonnet. WHOLE. You are throwing it into the broth whole to kind of season up the broth. If you really want the full hot kick of the pepper, chop it up into your broth, with gloves on please:)
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped.
- Water, about 2-3 cups. Access the point where it will cover your fish when you put it in or vegetable stock.
- Sprig of thyme.
Place all the ingredients into your poaching pan and sauté to wake up the flavors. When cooked down a bit and fragrant, add your water or broth starting with about 2 cups of liquid. Add your fish and it should just be covered 'enough' with the liquid. Cook about a total of 8-10 minutes depending on the type and meat thickness of your fish. For Pacific Snapper I did about 4-5 minutes on each side then turned off to set.
I was really not sure what you might serve this with. I am learning folks, but just made some rice. Must say this one came out very nice. Poached perfectly with flavor,with the right amount of heat. It was really good.
It's a keeper! Remember, Life is Too Short To Eat Badly!!