The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Archive for the ‘2012’ Category

Pesto Rockfish with Rebecca

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Becca

For just over a year, I was in the Masters of Arts in Teaching program in secondary education. The experience was incredible. I loved student teaching at Floyd Dryden with my awesome host teacher, and peer learning community. It may sound cheesy, but I’ve missed my students this summer, and I know that they’ll all go on to do some great things with their lives.

The MAT program is only a year long, and so the course work is intense. The summer session has classes that span about three weeks long. One of my favorite people to work with in the MAT program has been my friend, Rebecca. I made a lot of friends in the program who are going all around the world, and state to teach. I’ll miss them all – especially old Jim-Bob, Chris, Nick, Mara, and Abe. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for Summer and Jennie as they go on into the next two quarters of the program, and finish up their student teaching.

A difficult thing for me during my Master’s program was not having enough time to prepare good food, and not getting enough sleep. I worked part-time during the program, an average of three evenings a week at two different local restaurants. It was difficult, but the reward of not having a student loan payment makes me feel like it was worth it. My friend Rebecca and I bonded the last couple of weeks of class. During our break we’d work on course work, and share our lunches. Often we had strangely constructed salads, made from random scraps we grabbed from our kitchens in the morning mad dash to school.

Last week we got together a couple of times to work on our Teacher Work Samples and portfolios, and ate decent food. Rebecca has a pretty good line of fresh local fish, and this fresh rockfish was fabulous.

We prepared the rockfish by baking it in an iron skillet with a simple rub of pesto, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Fresh fish doesn’t need much to be delicious, but it’s easily dried out if you bake it without a source of moisture. This iron skillet recipe could accommodate many kinds of fish.

rockfisher

Rebecca and I talked about how rockfish is often called a poor man’s version of halibut. We decided that this particular rockfish was actually just as flavorful, if not better than halibut that we’d both had this summer. Rockfish can be rad!

Ingredients:
– Three to four filets of fresh rockfish (or whatever fish you have available)
– Two tablespoons of olive oil
– Fresh ground pepper & sea salt to lightly coat the filets
– One to two tablespoons of pesto (freshly made, or store bought: Costco brand is good & affordable) to coat each filet

Instructions:
– Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
– Coat the pan in one to two tablespoons of olive oil
– Grind fresh pepper & sprinkle sea salt liberally on each side of your filets
– Rub a tablespoon or two of pesto into each side of your filets
– Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes (check on your filets at 20 minutes, or so to see if the fish is flaking – a good indication that it’s done)

Serving Suggestion:
We made an awesome fresh green salad with pine nuts and feta cheese to accompany our pesto rockfish filets. I’d suggest serving this fish with a Pinot Grigio, or an Alaskan Pale Ale.

Cilantro Nectarine Coleslaw

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Katie White is a coleslaw genius, and this is her recipe. Coleslaw is something that I normally think of as being kind of creamy, rasin-laden, delicious, and a little heavy. This is a new approach to coleslaw, and it makes a perfect side dish to any roasted hunk of meat or vegetarian concoction.

This coleslaw made February in Juneau feel a little more like July. The fresh crunch of the cabbage, sweetness of the nectarine, snap of the finely chopped red onion, cilantro-ness of the cilantro, and acidity of apple cider vinegar will have you eating seconds.

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Ingredients:
– 1 big old head of green cabbage, chopped up all coleslaw style
– 1 or two red or orange peppers, finely cut lengthwise
– 1 head of cilantro, washed, and finely chopped
– 1 or 2 nectarines, cut in half, pitted, and cut crosswise

Dressing
– 3 Tbsp. good-quality olive oil
– 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
– sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Ritter’s Own Homemade Frangelico Hazelnut Ice Cream

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My friends are food geniuses. Lucky for me, they love cooking and invite me over for dinner. Sarah and Mike recently bought a house in the flats, and are making it gorgeous/livable. The inaugural RitterBrown Town dinner last weekend had a delicious menu, ending with this knock your socks and shoes off home made ice cream. I asked Sarah to send me the recipe to share with all you folks that love to make your own home made ice cream. Thank you, Sarah!

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, worry not. Check out David Lebovitz’s machineless ice cream how-to. I’m sure you can adapt this delicious recipe for all kinds of ice cream making methods.

Ingredients:

– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1 cup whole milk
– 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
– 2 large eggs
– 2/3 cup of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
– liberal pinch of salt
– about 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Equipment: an ice cream maker

Instructions:

Bring cream, milk, and 1/2 cup brown sugar to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not boil).

Immediately strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Stir in Frangelico and nuts and chill custard at least 6 hours.

Freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, about 2 hours.

•Custard can be chilled up to 24 hours.
•Ice cream keeps 1 week.

Greek Smoked Salmon Dip

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salmon dip

Last weekend Matty and I were invited to the best dinner party, ever. It was celebrating the birthday of one of our favorite people in town, Katie White. Unfortunately, I got sick late in the afternoon, and was unable to attend the dinner party. I hear it was a beautiful dinner with fantastic people, and of course ridiculous food. Someone told me a rumor about lobster macaroni and cheese, can you believe that? Matt made this dip for the party and has been happily eating it all week.

This past fall, Matt went out fishing off the beaches here in Juneau. He caught a good number of cohos that we smoked up for all kinds of deliciousness. This winter we invested in a little smoker, which I’m sure we will put to all kinds of amazing uses when we start hunting and gathering again this coming summer/fall.

Oh, Feedbag: I almost forgot to tell you I got a food dehydrator for Christmas! Does anyone out there with a food dehydrator have any awesome ideas for me? I’m excited to buy a flat of mangoes at Costco and get started with a dried fruit project.

This is Matt’s own recipe with our wild caught salmon, it’s already a classic in our house.

Ingredients:

– 12 ounces of crumbled & deboned wild Alaskan smoked salmon
– 8 ounces of cream cheese, pre-softened to room temperature
– 1 cup of Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup of feta cheese (Mt. Vikos is my favorite)
– 1/2 red onion, finely diced
– 1/4 cup of fresh dill
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 1 bulb of roasted garlic
– salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

To roast garlic:
– Pre-heat oven 325 degrees
– Cut off the top 1/3 of the bulb, exposing the cloves, and drizzle in olive oil
– wrap bulb in tin foil and roast for one hour

To assemble dip:
– prepare all ingredients and process in a food processor

Serving suggestion: This is perfect as a dip for crackers, or as a spread for a sandwich or a bagel.