Read an Excerpt
Orvis Guide to Great Sporting Lodge Cuisine
By Jim Lepage, Paul Fersen, Bruce Richard Curtis
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2008 Band-f Ltd.
All rights reserved.
ALASKA'S BOARDWALK LODGE
Prince of Wales Island, Alaska
Until you actually set foot in Alaska it is impossible to understand the difference between the lower forty-eight states and this immense and varied frontier. The diversity of wildlife, the magnificence of the scenery, and the sheer majesty of a place so big are often overwhelming and add to Alaska's allure.
Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge lies on the shore of Prince of Wales Island, the third largest island in the United States after the big island of Hawaii and Alaska's own Kodiak. The island is one of the sliver of islands that run along the coast of Canada in Alaska's panhandle. What makes this area unique is that it is a temperate rainforest with extraordinary biodiversity and a climate that is hospitable for a great part of the year. That biodiversity combined with the five-star mentality of Boardwalk's staff makes for one of the finest sporting and naturalist destinations in the world.
Prince of Wales Island is a remarkable environment. Nearly all of the island is part of the Tongass National Forest, which encompasses nearly 2,600 square miles. What sets this island apart from other areas of Alaska is the accessibility to streams and small river systems, all teeming with steelhead trout and Pacific salmon. Rather than having to fly to destinations, a four-wheel-drive vehicle and a good guide can put an angler on water that may not have seen another angler that year and fish that have never seen a fly. The stories of steelhead attacking flies are reminiscent of some of the great stories of Maine's landlock salmon at the end of the nineteenth century. This is fishing that is unavailable anywhere in the lower forty-eight states.
Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge was built in 1990 on the eastern shore of Prince of Wales Island, nestled inside the cove of Thorne Bay. Each log was felled and towed across Thorne Bay where it was notched and peeled by hand, and over the course of seven years, the three-story lodge was completed. Today it is a showplace with rustically elegant rooms and unmatched cuisine. Arrival at the lodge is a ceremony, as the entire staff comes to the dock to greet guests, take their luggage, and then determine their guests' desires. Whatever is available, the staff will arrange.
Executive Chef Eric Shultz creates an Alaskan menu using local ingredients, from Dungeness crab to a variety of salmon, down to fresh blueberries. One of the notable touches when entering the dining room is the hand-lettered menu at each table. On each menu are the various courses for the meal, often with a personal note of congratulations to the day's most successful angler, or a welcome to the lodge's new guests. Alaska is magic, of that there is no question. Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge simply offers one of the best places to be astounded and amazed.
4 6- to 8-ounce halibut fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350º. Rub the halibut fillets with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large ovenproof sauté pan heat the vegetable oil on high heat. Add the halibut to the pan. When the bottom is a golden brown flip over and brown the other side.
Remove the sauté pan from the heat and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. The halibut should flake with a fork when done.
Remove from the oven and serve with Lemon Risotto (recipe follows).
To serve, spoon the risotto on each plate and top with a halibut fillet.
Makes 4 servings.
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons minced shallots
Zest of one lemon
1 quart chicken broth
In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook the shallots until just translucent. Add the rice and lemon zest. Add enough chicken broth to cover the rice and continue to stir. Add more chicken broth as it is absorbed by the rice and continue to stir for about 15 to 20 minutes. Continue to add chicken broth until all the broth has been absorbed or until the rice is done.
Makes 4 servings.
BREASTS STUFFED WITH
SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE
8 ounces fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup olive oil
8 5- to 7-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces softened goat cheese
3 shallots, minced
8 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 quart heavy cream
8 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into
2 pounds button mushrooms, stems removed and
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup basmati rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound fresh snow peas, blanched
For the chicken, combine the fresh basil, garlic cloves, and olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Put the chicken breasts in a large bowl and pour the olive oil mixture over them. Toss the chicken, making sure that it is thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Combine the goat cheese, minced shallots, and spinach in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-low speed of a mixer. Add the heavy cream a little at a time until the mixture is loose enough to pipe through a bag.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. With a boning knife make a small incision in the chicken breast on the thick end, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Insert the knife about 3 inches and make a cavity for the stuffing, being sure not to puncture the meat. Place the spinach and goat cheese mixture in a piping bag. Insert the piping bag into the cavity and squeeze the filling into each breast. Secure the opening with a toothpick.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Over high heat cook the chicken in a small amount of vegetable oil in an ovenproof sauté pan (nonstick pans work best). Place the chicken in the pan and cook until brown. Flip the chicken over and brown the other side. Place in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
For the sauce, in a large saucepot melt the butter. Add the heavy cream and Brie and cook over low heat. Reduce the sauce by one-fourth. Pour the sauce into a blender container. Add the mushrooms. Purée the sauce, covering it with a towel to prevent burning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the rice, thoroughly rinse the rice. In a large saucepan add the rice, water, saffron, butter, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Cover and turn off the heat; let it stand for 15 minutes.
To serve, place a spoonful of the rice on one side of a plate. Put the snow peas on the opposite side of the plate. Offset the chicken on the plate so it is slightly on top of the rice. Ladle the cheese sauce over the chicken.
Makes 4 servings.
SWEET DUNGENESS CRAB
2 cups heavy cream
1 leek, cleaned, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
12 4x4-inch puff pastry squares
1/2 pound Dungeness crabmeat (claw meat)
1/2 pound scallops (any size)
3 eggs, beaten
Cook the cream over medium-high heat and until reduced by half, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
Blanch the leek in salted water. Immediately soak in ice water, drain, and set aside.
Cut the puff pastry squares in half diagonally. Combine the crab, scallops, chilled cream, and blanched leeks in a food processor and purée until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place one half of a pastry square on a surface so that it looks like an upside-down triangle. Place about 1 teaspoon of the crab mixture in the middle of the triangle. Take the bottom point of the triangle and fold it over the mixture to the top edge of the triangle. With the remaining two points, fold them downward and close together so there is a seam down the middle. Turn the pastry over and fold the two points downward again so that the pastry forms a triangle.
Place the pastry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and brush with the beaten eggs. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. If the pastries aren't golden brown, leave them in for two more minutes or until brown.
Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings.
ALASKA'S VALHALLA LODGE
Ward Gay first arrived in Alaska in 1935 on a steamship in steerage class. By 1939 he had earned his pilot certificate and Alaska Guide License, and over the next forty years he built an extensive aviation business and guide service, flying throughout Alaska and hunting and fishing from the Alaska Peninsula, 400 miles south of Anchorage, to the Wrangell Mountains in the east, and above the Artic Circle in the north.
In 1955, Gay purchased a small parcel of lakefront land at the headwaters of the trout and salmon streams that feed Bristol Bay where millions of sockeye, silver, king, pink, and chum salmon return each year to spawn, feeding and nourishing an entire ecosystem. It is arguably the greatest fishing destination in the world for sheer magnitude of fishing area and variety of species to be caught. Gay's son Kirk was just eleven years old when his father bought the property. He spent his summers working there, and by the time he was fifteen he was flying and guiding clients on his own. In 1980 he took over the fish camp at Six Mile Lake and built his lodge, naming it after the legendary paradise for Viking warriors. All the logs and supplies for the new lodge were flown in by a World War II-era cargo plane, which landed on the ice during the winter, as this was the only way to access the property with large loads.
Today Valhalla is one of the finest and most renowned of Alaskan lodges. Floatplane fly-outs are available to remote destinations, where strategically placed jet boats take anglers even further into the bush to fish in magnificent untouched spots teeming with trout and salmon. Kirk's son Chris now carries on the tradition as chief guide for the lodge, pushing the family's expertise in this wilderness experience to the third generation.
June is a great month for rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling, lake trout, and northern pike. By the middle of June chinook (king salmon) begin their migration into freshwater streams. This is a classic "dry fly" month for trout and grayling.
July offers rainbow trout, Arctic char, lake trout, grayling, and northern pike. The king salmon, sockeye salmon, and chum salmon are also entering the rivers by the millions. August provides rainbow trout, Arctic char, Dolly Varden, and grayling. Sockeye salmon fish well through the early part of the month. Coho (silver salmon), pink salmon, and chum salmon are plentiful. By September, Arctic char and Dolly Varden have their beautiful fall spawning colors and big rainbow and silver trout are everywhere.
This is a true wilderness experience in the most majestic of settings. One cannot grasp the magnificence of Alaska from books. It is only from the seat of a floatplane, dancing between the peaks in search of remote waters that one truly understands the spectacular nature of this place, unlike anything the lower forty-eight states can offer. Valhalla sits amid the lakes and mountains, a secluded refuge from a busy world, with fishing that is unchanged from the time man first set foot on these rivers.
CAPTAIN KIRK'S SMOKED SALMON
1 small fresh tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped white onion
Roasted jalapeño pepper to taste
Cilantro to taste
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup salsa (see previous above)
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
4 cups water
3 cups chopped peeled potatoes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of dried thyme and basil
1 cup deboned chunked smoked salmon
2 cups medium peeled cooked shrimp
2 cups small scallops
1 cup cooked chunked king crab leg meat
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk (add more as needed--chowder
best if not too thick)
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Sprig of parsley for garnish
For the salsa, mix the tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
For the chowder, in a 2-gallon pot with a lid slowly boil the onion, celery, salsa, and pepper over medium heat.
In a separate large pot, combine the water and potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then rinse and drain twice. Add the potatoes to the vegetable stock and cook uncovered until soft. (Some of the potatoes can be mashed to yield a thicker stock to the chowder base.)Add the thyme, basil, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and crab. Slowly boil for 5 minutes.
Add evaporated milk and cook on low heat. Do not boil milk.
Add the whole milk, half-and-half, butter, and parsley. Cook on low heat being careful not to boil.
Flavor with sea salt as desired, and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.
Makes 16 appetizer or 8 entrée servings.
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon orange oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cooked small bay shrimp
1/2 cup cooked chopped crab leg meat
1 salmon fillet, deboned and skinned
Clarified butter for brushing
1/4 cup toasted chopped pine nuts
Orange and lemon slices for garnish
Preheat the oven to broil. Sauté the shallots and celery in the butter and orange oil. Stir in the honey and add the basil, pepper, white wine, shrimp, and crab. Mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit to cool.
Slice the salmon fillet down the back (lay the fillet on a cutting board and slice down the back toward the belly) and stuff with the shrimp and crab mixture.
Place the fillet on a broiling pan and brush with clarified butter. Place on the top oven rack and broil for about 8 minutes. The salmon should be moist and flaky.
Place the fillet on a platter, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. After the presentation on the platter, cut fillet into 4 serving-size pieces. Garnish with orange and lemon slices. Serve with dill sauce and/or tartar sauce on the side.
Makes 4 servings.
WITH HUNTER SAUCE
1 veal loin
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 white onion, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons demi-glace powder
2 cups water
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup minced white onions
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon ground green peppercorns
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Parsley sprigs for garnish
For the veal, slice the veal loin into 1/4-inch-thick medallions. Pound lightly with a meat hammer. In a shallow dish, mix 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the wine and marinate the veal for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Remove the medallions from the refrigerator and dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
Heat the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Dust the veal medallions with flour. In a skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook the medallions, flipping just once. Remove the medallions from the pan and keep them warm in the oven.
For the sauce, add the flour and demi-glace powder to the skillet used to cook the veal, mixing well with the remaining olive oil and veal drippings in the warm pan. Add the water, white wine, onions, mushrooms, green peppercorns, butter, parsley, thyme, and salt. Heat to a slow boil, stirring to reduce the liquid to make a medium-thick gravy.
Ladle the sauce onto the individual serving plates and place the medallions on top of the sauce. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Makes 8 appetizer servings.
Excerpted from Orvis Guide to Great Sporting Lodge Cuisine by Jim Lepage, Paul Fersen, Bruce Richard Curtis. Copyright © 2008 Band-f Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.