Beat the Texas heat with this themed wedding shower
The scenery on an Alaskan cruise is breath taking, the wildlife is amazing and the experience is unforgettable. Our first port of call is Ketchican. We watch from wooden bridges in the middle of this small town as salmon work their way up stream to spawn, then die; seals splash through picking up carcasses.
We dine at Annabelle’s Famous Keg and Chowder House. The place is packed; there are three cruise ships in town. As we wait in line customers leaving the restaurant assure us it’s worth the wait. And it is! We enjoy a spectacular boiled crab platter and their signature clam chowder.
In Hoonah I catch a halibut, actually I catch several but can only keep one. Fortunately, my last fish of the day is the biggest I hook; the guide cleans it and sends it to Houston in a box filled with dry ice. Now, it’s my job to turn it into a memorable meal. After a little research I find only the hardiest vegetables survive the long boat ride north, so I incorporate those into my dishes. Join us for a tasty trip through Alaska.
By Tom Flynn | Styling by Kathryn Paden | Linens by LBL Event
Rentals | Floral, décor, glassware and dishes by Rexberry Luxury
Weddings and Events | Photography Nicholas Nguyen
Memories and fresh Halibut from a recent cruise provide inspiration for a winter wedding shower
Dungeness Crab Boil
MEAL ONE | Crab Boil
Dungeness Crab Boil
one live dungeness crab (available at ranch market near I-10 and blalock) per person (two for the guys/gals who can eat their own weight in crab meat)
Crab boil one pouch per eight pounds of crab Corn one ear of corn per person
Petite potatoes three-four per person
¼ stick per person
Boil water in large pot with crab boil. Add potatoes and corn; boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove corn and potatoes with slotted spoon and place in warm oven. Drop live crabs into the same boiling water headfirst. Boil for 15 minutes. Place crabs, potatoes and corn lemon wedges on a platter and take pictures! After the Instagram moment, clean the crabs by popping off the big dome shell, washing out the insides and pulling off the lungs. Serve with melted butter. Little wooden mallets and cutting boards make great serving accessories and even create some fun as guests smash the shells to get to rich meat.
MEAL TWO |Clam Chowder and seared halibut over pan roasted fennel, topped with balsamic tomatoes and fried shallots.
6 slices bacon
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 small potatoes peeled and cut into half inch cubes
1 cup water
1 8oz bottle clam juice
1 tablespoon better than bouillon roasted chicken base
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
⅓ cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half divided into one cup portions
2 6.50 ounce cans chopped clams with liquid
Fry bacon in heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Place on paper towel and set aside. Add onions and celery to bacon grease and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Add potatoes, water, clam juice, Better than Bouillon, pepper and thyme. Increase heat until mixture boils, then reduce and simmer uncovered for twenty minutes.
Mix flour with one cup half and half and whisk until smooth. Add to the pot a little at a time. Bring back to boil, stirring constantly until soup thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Add clams and second cup of Half and Half. Stir to blend ingredients, turn off heat and cover. Let stand about 5 minutes.
Chop bacon and parsley. Place chowder in bowls, garnish with a pinch of bacon and some parsley.
2 large bulbs of fennel, sliced
2 large shallots sliced, rings separated
½ cup olive oil
6 6-ounce halibut fillets, skinned
1 pint red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
5 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 150 (just to keep things warm).
Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper, let stand at least 15 minutes.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide frying pan, add fennel in batches and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and pepper and place in oven. Toss shallots in oil and cook until golden brown and beginning to crisp. Drain on paper towel, season with salt, place in oven. Strain oil, now scented by the vegetables, to remove any remaining veggies and reserve. Wipe down pan with paper towels.
Put pan back on medium- medium high heat, add ¼ cup of the scented oil. When hot, place fish in pan and cook 5 minutes. Flip and cook other side until fish begins to flake, about 5 more minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer fish to a plate and place in oven.
If needed, add more oil to cover pan bottom. When hot, add tomatoes and garlic. Sautee until tomato skins begin to wrinkle, about 3-4 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 1 minute. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Place a mound of fennel in center of the plate. Top with fish fillet and spoon tomato mixture over the top of the fish. Garnish with a small amount of shallots. Place broccoli on plate and serve.
2 large broccoli crowns, cut into bite size pieces
½ stick butter
salt and pepper
Steam broccoli over boiling water until a fork can easily puncture, about 10 minutes. Melt butter in chefs pan. Add a couple pinches salt and pepper. Add steamed broccoli and toss.