Tonight’s recipe is Poisson au Mais, or fish with corn. Here is the very basic recipe as my grandmother wrote it:
- 1 couche de poisson bien epicee
- 1 couche de bechamelle
- 1 couche de mais en boite
- Recommencer l’operation jusqu’a epuissement
- En dernier lieu, 1 couche de mayonnaise
- Passer au four
- 1 layer fish, very well spiced
- 1 layer bechamel sauce
- 1 layer corn in a box
- Restart until the baking dish is full
- And finally, one layer of mayonnaise
- Put the baking dish in the oven
I wasn’t quite sure what my grandmother meant by a few things, so I asked my mother to clarify. She said that, being on an impoverished island, home cooks often had to improvise with ingredients, and also:
- The corn in a box mostly likely means a can of corn
- Use shallots, parsley, scallions and garlic to season the dish
- To replace the mayonnaise with parmesan
List of ingredients:
- 2 lbs. tilapia filets, or 6 pieces
- 1 can of corn kernels, drained
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 large scallions, white part minced
- Dried parsley
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
This recipe was very easy and took about 20-25 minutes to make. Here’s how I did it:
- First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.
- Then I used this bechamel recipe from Mario Batali minus the nutmeg since that isn’t an ingredient used in Haitian cooking and I didn’t think it would work with this meal.
- In part while I was making the sauce and afterward, I chopped/minced the scallions, shallot and garlic and set them aside.
- I placed 3 filets in a baking pan, covered them with fresh-squeezed lemon, salt and pepper, and some of the shallot/garlic/scallion mix, and then with some dried parsley.
- I spooned the bechamel sauce over the filets, completely covering them.
- I shook out about half of the can of corn over the filets.
- Then I started that process over with a second layer of 3 filets.
- I powdered the finished top layer with grated parmesan and placed the baking dish in the oven for 25 minutes.
The finished meal included white rice and avocado and was delicious.