Food: Who took the challenge?

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dennis Adams' 'Stuffed Plum Tomatoes'

Dennis Adams, the owner of Adams Vacuum Sales and Service, takes care of about 90 percent of the cooking at his home in west Juneau. His "Stuffed Plum Tomatoes" are based on an old stuffed tomato recipe that has been circulating through his family for years

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Cathie Allen's 'Asian Swimming King'

Cathie Allen was initially disgusted when she saw the ingredients for the Food Challenge, but overcame her fears after discussing dish options with a co-worker at Alaska Airlines. Her recipe is a spin on the popular Thai dish, "Swimming Angel," minus spinach and shrimp.

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Ernesta Ballard's 'Salmon Satay Sandwich'

Ernesta Ballard, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, was looking for a dish that went beyond using tomatoes and cucumbers in a side salad. She constructed a focaccia dough with a light satay. "I didn't want it to taste Asian," she said. "I wanted it to taste sort of like a brisk morning on a hot summer day."

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Peggy Barnhill's 'Pumpkin Salmon'

Peggy Barnhill was inspired by a Zambian recipe - combining pumpkin, peanuts, onion and tomatoes - that she found in "The More-with-Less Cookbook." Served on angel hair pasta or rice, her dish uses canned pumpkin and reserves cucumbers as a garnish.

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Sharon Briggs' 'Peanut Sauced Lox'

Sharon Briggs riffed off her love for lox, and created a breaded concoction that takes full advantage of Panko - a crumb ingredient often found in the Oriental food section. The hard part was the sauce - a seemingly incongruous combination of peanut butter, soy sauce, wasabi and whipping cream.

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Charlotte Carroll's 'Cajun Salmon Peanut Butter Pizza'

Charlotte Carroll thought of a pizza - with peanut butter as a substitute for the tomato sauce. She stacked smoked salmon, Cajun seasoning and cucumber on top, layered with pizza cheese, tomato and more cheese. Her finished product is melted, bubbly and delicious.

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Margaret Clement's 'Peanut Salmon Ceviche'

Margaret Clement thought about the Food Challenge for a couple of days, and then she remembered the halibut ceviche she had at DocWater's. She realized she could (1) easily substitute salmon for halibut and (2) add peanuts and jalapeños to create a Thai-like sauce and counter the overwhelming limey-ness of a purely lime-based ceviche.

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Monika Cornejo's 'Peanut Butter Jalapeño Marinade'

As soon as Monika Cornejo saw the Food Challenge, she knew she could come up with something. And as soon as she began her dressing-marinade with half a cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar, she was certain she couldn't go wrong by adding peanut butter. Cornejo poured her marinade over her salmon and let it sit overnight.

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Melissa Morgan's 'Spicy Thai Warm Salmon Salad'

Years ago, one of Melissa Morgan's friends, a woman named Jill, made her a Chinese vegetable dressing from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine. When it came time to take the Food Challenge, Morgan assumed the dressing would go well with salmon.

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Connie Munro's 'Juneau Mud Slide Rice Salad'

Connie Munro makes salads every week for the exercise group at the Tlingit-Haida Central Council, and she loves to combine fish with rice. Her creation was a natural extension of that and her guilty pleasure - peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

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Kieran O'Farrell, Sue Scriber and Fred Kaiser's 'Jammin' Salmon Ho Snacks'

Who knew? A favorite dish for state ferry employees, according to steward Sue Scriber, is bacon and peanut butter sandwiches. That inspired the "Jammin' Salmon Ho Snacks," a stuffed tomato tour de force that starts with spreading peanut butter on both sides of double-smoked bacon and waiting for the mixture to caramelize.

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Blue Riley's 'Broiled Salmon with Peanut Sauce and Thai Salsa'

Blue Riley immediately thought of Thai food when she read the ingredients. A week before, she had made a Thai-styled salsa and served it with wonton chips for a potluck. She assumed it would be good on salmon. And it was.

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Dixie Weiss' 'La Olimpiada Moderna (A Mexican-Asian fusion version)'

Dixie Weiss grew up in various parts of Mexico, as her dad moved around the country on government business. Her dish, "La Olimpiada Moderna," is a Spanish peanut dipping sauce for salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples and jicama - a greenish-white potato-shaped Mexican vine often found in your local produce section.

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