Sunday, December 1, 2019

North Carolina Fish Stew & Biscuits with "Where the Crawdads Zing" Compound Butter for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & #BlendsBash

I can't tell you how excited I was to be approached by the wonderful Judy of The Book Club Cookbook to take part in their #BlendsBash featuring their creative and delicious spice blends. I had the opportunity to choose two spice blends from their selection of cleverly-named Bookish Blends, TV Blends and Song Blends to try and to write a fair review on. I was tempted by many of them but ended up going with two Bookish Blends.

I'll post my second blend later this week and I chose Where the Crawdads Zing based on my love of seafood and the book, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. (Coincidentally, I won a copy of the book months ago from The Book Club Cookbook's Instagram account.) The story of Kya, known as the "Marsh Girl" of Barkely Cove on the North Carolina Coast is gorgeous and won my heart this year. It turns out that the spice blend inspired by it is equally as good. It is a blend of celery seed. sea salt, cayenne pepper, yellow mustard powder, thyme, paprika, black pepper, ginger and bay leaves--so many of my favorite spices! I have been quietly using the blend on my eggs, potatoes, some baked salmon and I'm loving it.

For my recipe(s) inspired by it, I first wanted to incorporate it into a soup. I found an Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew online--several recipes in fact and thought the blend of fish, red potatoes, spices, tomato, beer and eggs to be interesting and North Carolina is the setting of the book. I decided to take out the bacon and sausage (I don't eat meat) and replace the Cajun spices with Where the Crawdads Zing. To get double the zing, I baked (canned) biscuits and stirred the spice mix into butter for a Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter to accompany the soup.

Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew
Adapted from Timber2Table via
(Serves 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
1 tsp Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, quartered (unpeeled)4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups beer
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of liquid smoke
1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
1 1/2 lbs thick fish white fillets, sliced
6 large eggs
salt and pepper

Add the olive oil to a large soup pot and warm over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions with a little salt  and sauté about 7 to 10 minutes until softened. Add the pepper, seasoning blend and tomato paste and stir together, cooking for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the potatoes and stir until well blended. Cover the pot and cook over medium about 10 minutes until potatoes start to soften.

Add the vegetable broth, beer, bay leaves and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook about 15-20 minutes. Add the fish and more broth or water if needed and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Crack the eggs one at a time into a small cup, gently pouring each egg into the simmering broth so that it poaches. Continue until all the eggs are spread over the surface of the soup. Cover the pot and simmer another 10-12 minutes until eggs are poached and yolks just firm. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Ladle into bowls, ensuring each bowl gets a poached egg and plenty of fish and potatoes. Serve with biscuits and compound butter and extra hot sauce. Enjoy. 


Where the Crawdads Zing Compound Butter
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen

1 stick good salted butter
2 tsp Where the Crawdads Zing Seasoning Blend

Soften butter to room temperature and stir in seasoning blend until thoroughly mixed together. Place butter in serving dish and refrigerate about 30 minutes until slightly firm. Use on toast, biscuits, bread, vegetable and fish. 

Butter will keep about 2 weeks in fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for easier spreading.

Notes/Results: In no way is my soup authentic as I left out the sausage and bacon among other things, but it is zesty and full of flavor and very good. I like the smokiness--in part from the liquid smoke and also from the Where the Crawdads Zing spice blend. Even better than the soup is the compound butter--the way the spices sing when mixed into the rich butter make even canned biscuits (no time, lazy, not a baker...) delicious. Dipped into the soup made for an extra zingy meal. I am looking forward to using my butter and the rest of my spice blend in a variety of dishes. Although is certainly works well on fish and seafood, don't shy away fro this blend if you don't eat it--this blend would be just as good on chicken, corn-on-the-cob, French fries or tater tots and I can tell you it is fantastic on eggs.

Thanks to The book Club Cookbook for providing me with this fun seasoning blend. I received no compensation for taking part in the #BlendsBash and my thoughts and experience using the blends are my own.

I'll be sharing my second Bookish Blend soon!

You can check out all the bloggers participating in the #BlendsBash here

Now let's look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here.

Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog brought a bright and tasty Thanksgiving Salad to share and said, "The inspiration for this salad comes from a local Italian restaurant that we frequent in South Miami. This type of salad is one their best sellers. It is a colorful salad with chopped romaine lettuce, walnuts, roasted red peppers, diced red onion, blue cheese, diced tomatoes, black and green olives, diced yellow peppers."

Simona of briciole shared book-inspired Eggplant and Yellow Split Pea Stew saying, "The stew is excellent! The original dish is served with basmati rice (the preparation of which features prominently in Persian cuisine). I don't like white rice (long story), so I ate it accompanied by other dishes, like sautéed radicchio di Castelfranco (the variety on the bottom of the photo below). Containing both vegetables and proteins, this stew is a complete and versatile dish."

Thanks to Judee and Simona for joining in this week!

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


  1. We both went with stew this week :) Your fish stew looks nice! I was curious about the blends and read with interest your enthusiastic review. I've also read great reviews of the book: I am looking forward to reading it.

  2. That seasoning is too fun! And good job on the stew and the compound butter. Yummm.

  3. Fish stew is traditional in so many cuisines... everything is authentic!

    best..... mae at


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