Story last updated at 12/17/2008 - 3:46 pm
This fall, Capital City Celebrations sponsored a recipe contest to find the best local recipes to include in a special Alaskan recipe book in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood. On Dec. 5 a panel of judges selected the winning recipes from the finalists in the categories of main dish, side dish and dessert.
For those who can't wait for the cookbook, the Capital City Weekly will be publishing some of the winning recipes from the contest in the Arts & Entertainment section over the coming weeks.
We'll begin with a dish featuring local seafood and an Alaskan Brewing Company beer.
Tom West of Juneau won first place in the main dish category for the following recipe, his Crustacean Pepper Pot.
¼ lb bacon, diced
2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup russet potato, diced
1 tbsp. jalapeño, seeded and fine diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup Alaskan Brewing Co. Summer Ale
1 cup canned coconut milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb King crab lump meat
1 lb cooked Petersburg shrimp or cocktail shrimp
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
fresh lime juice to taste
1. Saute bacon in an 8 qt. soup pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. drippings.
2. Stir in tomatoes, onion, potato, jalapeño, garlic and seasonings. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add broth and beer and bring to boil. Simmer soup for 10 minutes.
4. Gently stir in coconut milk, heavy cream, seafood and spinach. Simmer 3-4 minutes to heat through.
5. Dish into serving bowls, finish with fresh lime juice, scallions and reserved bacon.
Serves 4-6. Rustic bread is suggested as an accompaniment.