From Their Kitchen to Yours: Princess Chefs Share Favorite Alaska Seafood Recipes

11/11/2015
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You’ve completed a successful Alaska fishing charter, caught dozens of pounds of fresh halibut and king salmon, which is now vacuum-sealed, ready for your freezer back home. An ocean bounty is the perfect souvenir to enjoy for months. Now all you need is a serving of culinary inspiration to go with it. Thankfully, the chefs at Princess Lodges have shared three of their favorite ways to serve Alaska seafood. These are bound to impress your family and friends and leave you planning your next Alaska trip to restock your freezer.

 

Asiago Crusted Halibut

This recipe is one you’ll keep coming back to. The halibut is covered in a rich blend of Asiago and Parmesan cheeses, then pan-friend and topped with a light lemon sauce and fried capers. Philippe Janicka, food and beverage operations manager for Holland America/Princess Lodges in Alaska and the Yukon, says this recipe features the light flakiness of halibut with a dynamic richness. Looking for creative methods to prepare rockfish or cod? Although this recipe works best with halibut, you can substitute any kind of white fish.

Serves four people

1 ½ lbs. halibut filets, cut on the bias into 4 portions

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 c. Asiago cheese, shredded

½ c. Panko breadcrumbs

2 eggs, beaten

½ c. milk

½ c. olive/canola oil blend

1/8 c. capers

lemon slices

lemon sauce – see recipe below

In a food processor, combine Parmesan and Panko breadcrumbs, pulse briefly to combine. Place mixture in a bowl and combine with Asiago cheese, set aside. In a second bowl mix eggs and milk. Dip each filet in the egg mixture, then press into the Asiago cheese mixture firmly to coat. Place coated pieces in a pan and refrigerate.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and add capers to hot oil. Allow capers to fry briefly, place on paper towels and set aside. Carefully place halibut filets in hot oil and sauté until breading turns golden brown and crisp, approximately two to three minutes. Flip filets and continue to cook until second side is golden brown and crisp. Place on a plate with your choice of starch and vegetables, top with lemon sauce, garnish with lemon slices and fried capers.

Lemon Sauce

Zest and juice from 3 lemons

½ c. chicken or vegetable broth

½ c. white wine

3 tbs. butter

2 cloves garlic, minced fine

¼ c. cornstarch

Salt & pepper to taste

In a saucepan, melt butter and sauté garlic briefly until golden. Add white wine and simmer for one to two minutes. Add broth, lemon juice and zest, simmer for five minutes over medium-high heat. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper to taste. Mix cornstarch with three tablespoons of cold water to create a slurry. Whisk slowly into the lemon sauce and bring to a boil until it thickens. Keep warm.

 

Sea Salt-Crusted King Salmon with Mushroom Pea Risotto

Need we say more? While any species of salmon will work for this recipe, Janicka says the high oil content of king salmon, especially Copper River kings, are best (one more reason to plan a fishing excursion to the famous Copper River). Since the salmon is quick to prepare and the risotto can be made a day ahead, you can enjoy this five-star meal any day of the week.

Serves four people

1 ½ lbs. salmon filets, cut into four thick portions (may use salmon steaks if preferred)

1/8 c. olive oil

¼ c. Fleur de Sel, grey sea salt (or other course ground gourmet sea salt as desired)

mushroom pea risotto – see recipe below

beurre rouge sauce – see recipe below (optional)

Brush the salmon with olive oil and place equal amounts of sea salt on each portion. Sear, sea salt-side down, in a preheated sauté pan until cooked to a light golden brown. Place in a preheated 450 degree oven and cook for six to eight minutes until filets reach an internal temperature of 115-120 degrees.

While fish is in the oven, place risotto base in a saucepan over medium heat and cook with the remaining broth. As the mixture becomes creamy, add the mushrooms and peas. For a creamier texture, add half a cup of heavy cream and reduce. Mound the risotto high in the center of each plate. Top risotto with salmon fillet and a serving of beurre rouge sauce, if desired. Top with lemon zest or a sprig of your favorite herb.

Mushroom Pea Risotto (can be made a day ahead)

1/2 lb. Arborio rice

1 tbs. butter

2 tbs. canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbs. shallot, minced

¾ c. white wine

8-10 c. chicken or vegetable broth, heated

1 ½ lbs. cremini mushrooms, sliced and sautéed briefly in butter- season to taste

½ lb. frozen or fresh baby peas, blanched 15 seconds in boiling water

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-gauge saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots and rice, stirring to coat the rice and continue to sauté until the rice is warmed and garlic is fragrant but not darkened, approximately two minutes. Add the white wine and reduce until the liquid is almost gone. Add two cups of the warm broth to the rice mixture; bring to a simmer, stirring the ingredients with a rubber spatula until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Continue to add broth one cup at a time until the rice is cooked but still firm in the middle with a consistency of a thick soup. Remove from heat and cool, saving any remaining broth for the final stage of cooking.

Beurre Rouge Sauce

1 tbs. minced shallots

2 tbs. white wine vinegar

1 c. red wine

½ c. whipping cream

3/4 c. butter, cut into 2” chunks

Sea salt & white pepper to taste

Combine wine, vinegar and shallots in a saucepan. Reduce by 80 percent over medium heat; the liquid should look like light syrup. Add the cream and continue to reduce for another 10-15 minutes until reduced by half. Using a whisk, slowly add in butter, one piece at a time over low heat. Strain with a fine, mesh strainer. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm until needed.

 

Grilled Salmon with Lemon Sauce

There’s something about the perfect pairing of salmon and this lemon butter sauce. Salmon is prepped with a lemon spice fish baste (Janicka says he makes it in bulk servings and keeps it in the fridge to use with other meats), before it’s grilled and topped with the rich sauce. Or, leave out the sauce for a clean, fresh flavor with a slight kick.

Serves four people

1 ½ lbs. salmon filets, cut into four portions

lemon–spice fish baste – see recipe below

lemon sauce – see recipe below

lemon slices

fresh dill sprigs

Brush the filets with the lemon-spice fish baste mixture. Heat grill to 350 degrees or alternatively, an oven to same temperature. Place filets on the grill, basted side down and grill three to four minutes, continue basting and flip over. Cook until the salmon is just cooked through, approximately another three to four minutes. If using the oven, bake approximately eight to ten minutes basting halfway through. Place on plate with your choice of side dishes. Top with lemon sauce, lemon slices and fresh dill, then serve.

Lemon-Spice Fish Baste

2 tbs. butter, softened

2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. granulated onion

¼ c. fresh lemon juice

zest from 1 lemon, minced

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

Mix all spices and other ingredients, except butter, together to form a paste. Slowly incorporate softened butter.

Lemon Sauce

1 tbs. minced shallots

1 tbs. white wine vinegar

¼ c. white wine

½ c. whipping cream

1 c. butter, cut into 2” chunks

zest and juice from 4 lemons

sea salt & white pepper to taste

Combine wine, vinegar and shallots in a saucepan. Reduce by 80 percent over medium heat; the liquid should resemble light syrup. Add the cream and continue to reduce for another 10-15 minutes until reduced by half. Using a whisk, slowly add in butter, one piece at a time over low heat. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Strain, then add lemon juice and zest. Remove from heat and keep warm.

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