The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

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

Posts Tagged ‘Appetizer

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.


– 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


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.


Skillet Roasted Cayenne Honey Cashews

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Cayenne Cashews

Cashews are glorious. Lately my salads have felt a little empty without the sweet comfort of feta cheese. Yes, I’m still on the feta wagon. It’s kind of a miracle, but honestly I feel so much better without the dairy overload. Plus, nuts are good for your heart health – seriously. Check out this article about good fats, omega 3 fatty acids, heart health, and cholesterol via The Mayo Clinic.

Even old Dr. Weil lauds the radness of nuts. Dude, eats a handful a day – the key being moderation in all things, including moderation.

So here’s the run down of these honey roasted nuggets of goodness ->

– 1 1/2 cups of raw cashews (or the nut of your choice)
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil
– 1 to 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– sea salt & pepper to taste

– heat olive oil & honey in an iron skillet (or whatever other pan you have) on medium heat
– add your nuts, sea salt, pepper & cayenne pepper
– stir well integrating all of the oil, honey, and spice
– cook for around 7-10 minutes stirring consistently, until nuts are covered and deliciously roasted

Serving Suggestion: Put these bad boys out for guests to snack on before dinner, add them to your salad, bring them to work for a healthy snack on the go. You cannot lose at life with these cashews, they’re delicious.

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Cate’s Fantastic Roasted Chickpeas

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Roasted Garbanzos

Cate is well-known in Juneau for her skill in the kitchen. I’d long heard about these roasted chickpeas and how delicious they are from more than one local. I’m so glad I ran into Cate and asked that she email me her highly revered recipe. Sure, I could google good old Mark Bittman, but I actually know Cate and have heard first-hand how awesome these bad boys are. I can say with true spring-cleanse conviction, that these roasted chickpeas are true perfection.

Roasted chickpeas are enjoyed all over the world as a snack or appetizer. In Spain, where tapas reign supreme, roasted chickpeas are a favorite. In Turkey, roasted chickpeas are often hulled and sugared for a sweet treat on the go.

I decided to mix up the spices a little bit adding 1/4 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper & 1/4 teaspoon of Greek oregano and omitting the cayenne. I sprinkled a little Aleppo pepper after the chickpeas were roasted. Each tiny bite is full of spice, heat, and flavor.

Cate’s Recipe ->

– 1 can garbanzo beans rinsed and dried (I use a bath towel)
– 2 tsp. olive oil

Then the fun begins — use whatever combination of spices you want.
I use:
– 1/4 tsp turmeric
– 1/4 tsp cumin
– 1/4 cayenne
– 1/4 salt
– 1/8 tsp pepper (actually I just grind some in to the mix until it feels right)

– I mix all the spices together and then mix into the beans so it’s more evenly distributed.
– Put on a cookie sheet and pop it into a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes.
– Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so.
– You want the chickpeas to be crunchy so, depending on the size of the beans, you may wind up leaving them in longer.

Enjoy this fabulous snack!

Serving Suggestion: Have a glass of spicy smooth Rioja wine and find a chunk of Sheep’s milk Gouda cheese for an elegant appetizer.

Soylent Green 2 !!!

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These peppers have been processed using our tried and true Soylent Green hot sauce recipe. We went through the last batch in record time, sent some to friends, and have 3 large jars brewing in our kitchen again. We have an experimental jar going where we integrated some mango habenero salsa that Matt really loves. Hot sauce is the hottest!

I only wish we lived in a place where we could really grow tons and tons of peppers. It would also be amazing if we could get organic peppers!

Written by Patrice Helmar

March 24, 2011 at 10:46 am

Chef Joël Chenet

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Chef Joel Chenet
Chef Chenet constructs a display for his dessert kebobs, which included a few of his speciality desserts.

A few memorable times in my life I’ve had the honor of meeting a person who has truly mastered their craft. There are people who devote their life’s work to creating beauty out of some facet of the human experience. I have had the good fortune to cross paths with incredible writers, poets, song writers, painters, sculptors, and photographers. Whatever title these artists may hold, they embody and dedicate themselves to their creative expression with a discipline and spark that others lack.


Chef Joël Chenet is the first person I’ve met in my limited life experience that I would call a true “chef”. Chenet is a classically trained and devoted culinary master who has cooked for a French president, hunted and shared wine with Chef Jacques Pépin, and now lives in Alaska. Talking with Chef Chenet and having the chance to watch him work, peeling a few potatoes for him, and taking photographs while he was in Juneau last week was an incredible experience.

Please visit Laurie Constantino’s article about Chef Joël Chenet and Bristol Bay that include a few of the photographs I shot from that day. The most delicious part of Laurie Constantino’s article has to be Chef Chenet’s recipe for Salmon Rumaki, which I had the good fortune to eat. It was one of the most incredible and delightfully crafted pieces of food I’ve held in my grubby little hands.

Bristol Bay Kids oogle dessert display
Student leaders from Alaska Youth for Environmental Action admire Chef Chenet’s artful display.

Zucchini Roulade with Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese, Lox, & Micro Greens

Chef Chenet and his wife Martine, who also has a strong culinary background, own Mill Bay Coffee & Pastries in Kodiak, Alaska. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Kodiak, be sure to make a special visit to their coffee shop, although I’ve never been – I’m sure it’s amazing.

Special thanks to Laurie Constantino, Trout Unlimited, Lindsey Bloom, fine folks from Bristol Bay, student leaders, and of course Chef Joël Chenet for organizing and making such an incredible event possible in Juneau.

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