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Family Farming Specialty Peppers in the San Francisco Bay Area Since 1980

Blaff

Blaff is a popular way to prepare fish in the Caribbean, especially on Martinique. Fish is marinated in lime juice, garlic, and hot peppers then poached in the marinade.

Some say the name comes from the sound the fish makes as you plop it in the simmering broth. Others say it comes from a mispronunciation of the word "broth" itself.


(Serves 4)

2 lemons
1 1/2 pounds fresh mackerel fillet cut into 4 pieces
1 small bunch fresh thyme, sprigs broken into small pieces
4 sprigs parsley, broken into small pieces
1 bunch chives, finely chopped   
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 
2 Scotch Bonnet chilies (also known as Habañero chilies)
1 bouquet garni
Salt and fresh pepper
2 tablespoons aromatic olive oil (olive oil flavored with herbs)

Cut one lemon in half, rub over the fish and discard lemon halves.  Cut remaining lemon in half, reserving one half for garnish.  Place the fish in a bowl.  Marinate by adding juice from half a lemon and half the thyme, parsley, chives, onion and garlic.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

In a large stockpot, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Add the bouquet garni, the chili, the remaining thyme, parsley, chives, onion and garlic, plus a little salt and freshly ground pepper.  Boil vigorously for about 5 minutes.  Remove the chili.  Carefully add the marinade (not the fish) and return to a boil for 5 to 10 minutes, so the flavors of the herbs can infuse the water.  Add the fish (and listen for the sound of "blaffing").  Lower the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the fish is tender and cooked.


To serve, place a piece of fish in a warmed soup bowl and ladle broth over the fish.  Drizzle a little oil and lemon juice over each dish and serve hot.