Red Hot Smokin' Fiction & Seafood Soup

Woot! Today is a special #Letslunch date because all my #Letslunch twitter buddies are helping me celebrate my fiction debut and the release of my paranormal romance novella, THE DJINN’S DILEMMA, by Harlequin by coming with recipes and blog posts that somehow involve Seduction…. Mmmm. :D

So, how does a newspaper girl, a foodie writer, end up writing romance?

The simple answer is: for the fun factor. When I was covering business and City government, I used to write food stories for a fun break from the serious stuff. Now my day job is food writing and while I enjoy it, I wanted to write something for the pure fun of it. Ta-da! Romance.  J
But a more complete answer would be: I write romances because I believe in happy endings.  I believe strong, intelligent, complex women can find men who are worthy of them, who love them without trying to change them.  And while I believe in happy endings, I also believe they must be earned like anything worthwhile in life. Most of all, I believe true love can overcome everything else life throws at us.
No it’s not an idealistic, fairy-tale view, I have actually seen it play out. Both my parents and my in-laws have been married 50-plus years and not all of them have been all fun and sunshine, but the love has always been there.  I want the same timeless romance in my life, and in the life of my heroes and heroines.
So for #Letslunch, I tried to pick a dish Sarah Jasmine White, the heroine of The Djinn’s Dilemma, would make for the hero, Rukh. Now, she likes things hot and sexy, but is also she is also loyal and nurturing when it comes to people she loves.

She’d go with this red hot smoky soup full of flavor and good-for-you ingredients, like salmon, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado and more.
Its rich broth is complex gains complexity with a base of crab and spices like fennel, cumin, turmeric and Spanish smoked paprika. She’d let it simmer on the stove, light some candles and put on some smooth jazz.
And what would Rukh give her? Dark chocolate kisses, of course! :) And no I don't mean the kind Hershey makes....
Recipe (inspired by a Smoky Salmon Chowder recipe from BHG):
3 4-oz skinless salmon fillets
2 teaspoon chili powder, divided
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon of salt and pepper
2 medium red sweet peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 medium poblano pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 medium sweet onion, cut in ½-inch slices
1 head of garlic – cut off top 1/3, place on a foil square, drizzle with olive oil and fold up into a foil packet for roasting.
For the Soup:
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
2 large Bay leaves
Six green onions, white parts only, minced (reserve the tops)
½ teaspoon turmeric
Reserved chili powder and smoked paprika
1 medium Blue Crab (optional)
32-ounce box low sodium chicken broth
1 14.05-ouncecan fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 14.05-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops (the green part)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: sliced avocados, chunks of salmon
1.       Pat dry Salmon fillet with paper towels. Sprinkle with spices on both sides. Cover and refrigerate while you work with vegetables.
2.       Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place peppers and onions on a foil-covered baking sheet. Place the foil-wrapped garlic on one side. Roast for 20 minutes.  When done, turn off the oven and let the veggies stay inside for another 15 minutes.
3.       Place salmon in a shallow greased/sprayed baking dish, fold under the thin edges. Bake at 400 degrees (about 4 to 6 minutes per ½-inch thickness) until salmon is done and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Keep warm.
4.       Meanwhile, remove the skins from the peppers, squeeze out the garlic from their peels, and chop up all the roasted veggies coarsely.
5.       Heat butter in the pan, add whole spices and minced green onion (white part), the crab and other spices. Cook for about 2 minutes.
6.       Add the roasted veggies and cook for additional 2 minutes. Add broth and undrained fire-roasted tomatoes and bring to a boil.
7.       Add corn and lower heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8.       Add fresh tomatoes and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
9.       Fold in chopped fresh herbs and lemon juice.
10.   Serve over white rice in shallow bowls. After ladling out the soup, break salmon into pieces and divide among the bowls. Garnish with avocado slices and additional greens.

#Letslunch brings together a diverse group of food-loving bloggers from around the world for lunch once a month. Check out the other seductive reads and eats :
Joe Yonan, the Food & Travel Editor at the Washington Post, shares A Stew for Seduction, a Lol account of his past and current seduction through food experience.
Leighnannini's Seduce Me Donuts & heartwarming lovestory :)
Spicebox Travels shows you how to get your man with an adventurous spirit & recipe


  1. Wonderful -- the dish looks fantastic. I may have to try that the next time I cook for the new guy...

  2. Gorgeous and sexy and drool-worthy post! Congrats on the book!

  3. Thanks you both! So glad you visited :)

    @Joe Good luck with the new guy :D

  4. Mina, congratulations again on your debut! What a great intro and tie-in with this sizzlin', smokin', spicy recipe! I am sure it earned you many dark chocolate kisses...

  5. Lol, Linda, yes the DH was happy with all that cooking :D Thanks for visiting!

  6. Sounds delicious! Congratulations on the book :) Cheers!