Fish Alaska is proud to announce Teri Robl from Homer as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2009 Reader Recipe Contest with her original recipe named Redoubt Rumbler that almost literally will blow your mind. Not only was Teri’s recipe phenomenal tasting, it was a visual masterpiece that had me nodding vigorously as she set the plate down in front of me.
This year’s contest was another huge success. It was fitting to have Teri come out on top as the big winner because I sadly announced it as the last in the five-year span of the contest and Teri, having been a finalist in three of the five contests now, was the winner of the very first cook-off as well. Since she is a true joy to the people that she meets, it was rewarding to end it on this note.
The cook-off this past September brought back two previous Fish Alaska reader recipe contest winners including Loren Hollers who won in 2008 and Teri. We also met Kim Andrews from Juneau and Karen Bernards from McMinnville, OR. They each stood out in the month they submitted as being the most delicious, so as finalists they were each rewarded a package and invited to cook-off at the Kincaid Grill for our judges to select a winner. This year’s judges included Chef Al Levinsohn, Marcus and myself, and Alaska’s Lt. Gov. Craig Campbell.
What They Won
Our Grand Prize winner received a package worth over $11,000, including a trip for two to McDougall Lodge on Lake Creek for 4 days/3 nights with flights from Rust’s Flying Service; a $1000 shopping spree from Allen and Peterson’s Cooking and Appliance Center; a trip to Valdez with airfare from ERA, hotel, fishing charter, derby tickets and gift certificate from The Prospector; a day trip for two to Kodiak including airfare from ERA and fishing with Memory Makers Tour and Guide Service; a framed Fish Alaska annual print by artist Scott Thompson; four hour facility rental, family membership and aviation print from the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum; gift certificate from Custom Seafood Processors and an assorted fishing tackle package from Fish Alaska magazine.
Finalists received a prize package worth over $1300. Prizes included gifts from Allen and Peterson’s Cooking and Appliance Center, a day of fishing out of Homer with Bob’s Trophy Charters, a Custom Seafood Processors gift certificate, an Allure Day Spa and Hair Design gift certificate, and a full day of Kenai River fishing.
The 2009 winning recipe and finalist recipes:
Grand Prize Winner
By Teri Robl, Homer, AK
Makes 6 Seafood Martini Cocktails
Lemon Crème Fraiche
The day before you plan to prepare your cocktails, make the crème fraiche. Mix 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream in a bowl. Cover loosely with wax paper and leave it out on the counter 24 hours.To make lemon crème fraiche, combine 1 cup of crème fraiche, 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of salt. Refrigerate remaining crème fraiche to dollop on strawberries.
1 cup cooked, shelled and cooled Alaskan king crab meat
1 cup cooked, shelled and cooled Alaskan spot prawns
1 cup cooked and cooled Alaskan halibut in bite size pieces (sautéed or steamed)
Mix seafood and season with salt, white pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Chinese Cabbage Slaw
2 cups finely shredded won bok (Chinese cabbage)
1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup water chestnut sliced in thin slivers
1 tbsp. finely diced green onion, green part only
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. fresh chives if available
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
In a bowl, toss above listed ingredients with 1 cup of lemon crème fraiche.
Sriracha-Ginger Cocktail Sauce
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp. pickled ginger
2 tsp. Sriracha (Thai garlic chile paste)
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a bowl, combine above ingredients and blend well.
To assemble each seafood martini, place one sixth of the slaw in the bottom of a chilled martini glass. Place 1/2 cup mixed seafood over the slaw. Top the seafood with one heaping tbsp. of the cocktail sauce. Garnish with lemon slices and green onion. Serve immediately.
Crab Towers with
Mango & Avocado Salsa
By Karen Bernards, McMinville, OR
3 ripe avocados, diced
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/3 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
12 oz. king crab meat, broken into smaller pieces
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
18 sprigs of fresh cilantro, garnish
2 limes cut into wedges, garnish
Mix the avocados, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, set aside.
Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, add the crab, stir gently, place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Mix the mango, red onion, red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. Using an empty soup can that has both ends cut out (this will help make the tower), place can on plate and place 1/6th of the avocado salsa in the can, top with 1/6th of the crab salad, then 1/6 th of the mango salsa, press slightly to keep tower shape. Remove can, garnish with 3 sprigs of cilantro and lime wedges. Squeeze a little lime on top and serve.
Asian Inspired Octopus Salad
By Kim Andrews, Juneau, AK
Makes 10-12 small servings
4 lbs. baby octopus
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp. sugar (more if you like it a little sweeter, taste it first)
1-2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger (to taste)
3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 English cucumber cut into ¼ inch pieces
6 scallions, sliced on the bias
2 red chili or jalapenos, stem and seeds removed and thinly sliced
4 tbsp. native dried seaweed or nori
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Brush 1 tbsp. of the oil on the octopus (reserving the rest), season with salt and pepper, and add to a pot with enough water to cover. Simmer until the octopus is cooked through, about 20 minutes. In a medium bowl whisk liquids and spices, add remaining ingredients. Remove octopus to a plate to drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the octopus head and legs, split in half, then slice and dice to whatever size you like. Fold octopus into dressing/cucumber/scallion mixture. Serve at room temperature as a salad. This salad is very forgiving, add or omit any ingredients to your taste.
Sweet Red Chili Salmon
with Asian Rice Noodles
By Loren Hollers, Soldotna, AK
4 salmon filets 6 to 8 oz.,
remove all pin bones
1 large red sweet pepper
1 medium red chili pepper
1/4 cup of crystallized ginger
4 drops chili oil
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 package rice sticks noodles, use directions on package for prep and drain well and set aside
In a food processor, combine 2 tbsp. olive oil, the peppers, ginger, two drops chili oil and puree until smooth. In a glass dish, coat the salmon filets with chili mixture, pour all remaining chili mixture into dish, cover and refrigerate a minimum two hours. Over high heat, heat remaining olive oil and chili oil in a high quality non-stick oven-proof skillet. Sear the marinated filets in hot oil 1 to 2 minutes and turn. Brush seared side with marinade mixture while searing other side 1 to 2 minutes and then place fish and pan into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove filets from oven and set aside. De-glaze hot skillet with the red wine and add noodles. Stir-fry rice noodles and plate with the salmon. Garnish with slices of pickled sushi ginger.
I have thoroughly enjoyed creating the Fish Alaska Reader Recipe Contest, meeting seafood-loving-cooks from all over, tasting some amazing recipes, showcasing my food and having a fun party at the Kincaid Grill each year. It has been a dream-come-true for me as I have a huge interest in Alaskan seafood cuisine.
Speaking for Marcus and myself, it has been an honor to judge the recipes alongside folks like Chef Al, Larry Csonka, Governor Parnell and Kikkan Randall. I am grateful to the people who continually made the contest possible including Chef Al, Wayne Norris, Marcus Weiner, Cristy Bishop, Linda Norris, Taleen Lundale and the Fish Alaska staff. Several sponsors have been part of the contest for all five years whom without this would not be a contest, so thank you to my friends at Allen & Petersen’s, Kincaid Grill, Kenai River Brewing Co., Allure Day Spa, Bob’s Trophy Charters, The Valdez Fish Derbies, Coast International Inn and Scott Thompson, Alaskan outdoor artist.
A lot of people expressed enjoyment for the event and sadness to see it come to an end, but not to worry, we are ending it now to go out on top, but as usual, we have a sly idea up our sleeves, so stay tuned. We will continue to showcase Alaska seafood recipes and remain faithful to promoting fresh Alaska fish as cuisine.
Melissa Norris is publisher of Fish Alaska magazine.