Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, PATRICIA BATES, and her favorite recipe for BOUILLABAISSE!
From the Shadows of Rome Book 2
BY PATRICIA BATES
Condemned and sold to former Gladiator, Celer Marcus, Arria is torn. Once before she’d put her heart in his hands only to have it broken.
His whispers of freedom are an elusive and deadly treasure she has no hope of claiming. There are no illusions. Failing Celer, Arria will return to her former mistress – and certain death.
Rudus in hand, Celer no longer spends his days training for the sands and his nights dreaming of freedom. Seeing Arria again awakens an old flame he thought long dead. Determined to win Arria’s heart, Celer must find the strength and the patience to prove his promise of freedom can be trusted.
Can Arria trust her heart to her Gladiator’s Promise or will their love fall beneath the shadows of their pasts?
Publisher: PB Publications (November 17, 2021)
Publication date: November 17, 2021
Editor’s Note: Dark. Edgy. May trigger sensitive readers.
Arria stared at the ceiling, the echo of clattering hooves on stone filling the early morning air. The commands in Dominus’ raised voice drifted through the villa walls, and Arria shifted on her pallet. His departure could only mean one thing.
She shuddered and rolled over her stomach, twisting into a hard, painful knot. Domina would summon her just as she did every morning. Today, however, would be long and difficult; Domina’s mood had not improved. No, it was likely she was in the foulest of moods over her husband’s demands.
“Arria.” A guard pounded on the door. “You’re to attend Domina.”
Arria inhaled a breath, her heart raging against her ribs. She licked her dry lips and pushed the thin covering aside. Scrambling to her feet, Arria pulled her tunica over her head, secured her hair behind her head, and scurried to the entrance.
The wooden door swung inward, and Arria stepped out into the hall, the guard’s body pressing closer to her. She shuddered and forced herself not to move. Why must he stand so close?
He leaned down, his lips brushing against her ear. “She is in a mood. Words were spoken last night with Salaria and Domina has not slept. Take care, Arria. I can offer no protection.” His words struck like a hot brand against her and she gulped.
Words after she’d been dismissed? Salaria had slept in the ludus – hadn’t she?
Arria offered a weak smile and nodded. The guard would not risk his position for a slave, even one who held his secrets close to heart. It would fall to her to save herself.
Straightening her shoulders, Arria hurried down the corridor and across the atrium to Icilia’s bedchamber.
Gods, show favor, she needed it. Wiping her sweaty palms against her tunica, Arria stepped into the room.
Icilia whirled, her golden hair hanging around her face like a mad woman’s.
Arria gasped and froze.
Dark bruises covered one side of her domina’s face, and she had scratch marks along one arm. Icilia snarled at Arria and whirled away, reaching up, her fingers tangling in her hair. “What excuse do you have, Arria? Hmm? You were summoned an age ago and only now do you waltz in here as if you are the domina of the house.” Icilia’s rapid pacing around the room stirred the icy tendrils weaving their way through Arria’s heart.
“F-forgive me, Domina.” Her voice quivered. “I, I only now heard of your summons.”
Icilia darted toward her, and Arria stumbled back. Icilia lashed out, her nails biting into Arria’s face. Sharp, sweeping agony ripped along her burning face and Arria stood, her shoulders hunched, head down. She blinked back tears, her heart plummeted into her twisting stomach. There would be no mercy or care from Icilia, her words with Salaria the night before had left her too enraged.
Dominus’ departure in the early morning light only added fuel to Domina’s temper. The thunder of hooves on cobblestones barely faded before Icilia summoned Arria from her bed. If only by some favor of the gods Icilia had not.
“There is no loyalty,” Icilia snapped. “Indeed, you are as greedy and selfish as that…that thing Lucius has sent back to the sands. She belongs to me and yet I have no say.” Icilia spun and stalked across the room.
The whisper of leather gliding over the table top filled Arria’s ears, and she stiffened, a dull phantom ache pulsing through her body, readying for what was to come. She clenched her hands together and bit her lip. Please, Gods, be merciful. Please.
Canadian author Patricia Bates writes dark and edgy historical and contemporary suspense romances. Because to bleed is to survive, but it’s by loving that we truly live.
She has two Best Sellers under her belt for Champagne Book Group and Beachwalk Press.
Links to Patricia’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Love the Shadow’s of Rome Series and want to stay up to date on Patricia Bates’ latest releases? Follow Patricia on Amazon here: author.to/PatriciaBates or sign up for her newsletter here: https://patriciabates.com/welcome-to-the-authors-den/
I hope you enjoy the recipe Patricia is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 556 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Note From Patricia: I switched out some of the seafood for what I was able to get locally but it is an amazing dish and I can assure you there will not be leftovers.
How does this recipe fit with The Vicomte’s Prize? Well, let me give you a little backstory on our feisty heroine.
Helene’s family is influential – or at least was at one time. Until hard times and their father’s love of being in court saw to their massive debt. When she was just a little girl, around 11, the family had a massive estate near the sea and the dish would be something that would have been served. It’s one of her favorites.
- Active Time
- 1 1/4 hr
- Total Time
- 1 1/2 hr
We won’t dispute that Guillaume Sorrieu’s bouillabaisse, from L’Épuisette, in Marseille, is the best of the best, but where does that leave the home cook with no access to fresh seafood from the Mediterranean? The trick is to look for the freshest local fish you can find and not to be afraid of improvising. That’s what we’ve done here (forget serving the dish in two courses). The fish remains firm, the broth clear, the flavor sublime.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
12 to 16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved
1 (1- to 1 1/4 -lb) live lobster (You can use precooked lobster or frozen lobster tails)
2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb boiling potatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped fennel fronds (sometimes called anise)
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
9 cups white fish stock (or store-bought)
3 pounds white fish fillets (such as monkfish, turbot, red snapper, striped bass, porgy, grouper, and/or cod), cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound cockles or small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
1/2 pound cultivated mussels, scrubbed and any beards removed
1/2 pound large shrimp in shells
½ pound Scallops
Tuna – fresh
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 250°F.
Arrange bread slices in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and brush both sides with oil. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes. Rub 1 side of each toast with a cut side of garlic.
Plunge lobster headfirst into a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling water, then cook, covered, 2 minutes from time lobster enters water. Transfer lobster with tongs to a colander and let stand until cool enough to handle. Discard hot water in pot. Put lobster in a shallow baking pan. Twist off claws with knuckles from body, then crack claws with a mallet or rolling pin and separate claws from knuckles. Halve body and tail lengthwise through shell with kitchen shears, then cut crosswise through shell into 2-inch pieces. Reserve lobster juices that accumulate in baking pan.
Cook tomatoes, onion, and garlic in oil in cleaned 6- to 8-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Stir potatoes into tomatoes with fennel fronds, bay leaf, saffron, sea salt, and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add thicker pieces of fish and cockles to soup and simmer, covered, 2 minutes. Stir in mussels, shrimp, lobster, including juices, and remaining fish and simmer, covered, until they are just cooked through and mussels open wide, about 5 minutes.
Stir 3 tablespoons broth from soup into rouille until blended.
Arrange 2 croutons in each of 6 to 8 deep soup bowls. Carefully transfer fish and shellfish from soup to croutons with a slotted spoon, then ladle some broth with vegetables over seafood.
Top each serving with 1 teaspoon rouille and serve remainder on the side.
Thanks, Patricia, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!