“North to Alaska”
I can hear the 1960’s movie theme song setting the background for this iconic western. Sam McCord along with George and Billy Pratt hear the call to adventure and cross the Yukon river in 1892 in search of gold below a mountain southeast of Nome.
In true romantic western fashion, George falls in love with a girl named Jenny and declares he would trade all the gold for a ring to place on sweet little Jenny’s hand and build for her a honeymoon cabin below that same mountain.
What does this have to do with Texas?
A newly married 5th generation Texan along with her Texan husband, Sommer (Seidel) and Brent Adcox heard the call to Homer, Alaska 12 years ago. Brent, an Orthopedic Surgeon was recruited after medical school to practice in this beautiful town located on the Kenai Peninsula.
Sommer says of her time in Alaska as a Texan, “As a fifth generation Texas who is living in Alaska, our Texas heritage remains important to our family. In an effort to keep our heritage alive, we often use food as a connection to our roots. Brent takes every opportunity to smoke a brisket while I put on a pot of beans to share with our local friends. He enjoys teaching many of our Alaskan friends how to properly smoke a good brisket (which he makes with seasoning we import from Cooper’s BBQ). I often invite others over for enchiladas or a good German Schnitzel and hot potato salad. We still enjoy food that has been provided by the land and we spend time as a family in the process of making sausage, chorizo and memories. While we may live 4,000 miles from home, our hearts remain in Texas”
Known as the Halibut fishing capital of the world, Homer carries the motto “Where the land ends and the sea begins”.
Making a conscious decision to fully enjoy all the experiences Alaska has to offer, the Adcox family bought a fishing boat and learned the secrets of halibut fishing in Kachemak Bay.
My husband and I had the absolute pleasure of joining “Captain Sommer” on her boat for a day of Halibut fishing on the Kachemak Bay. We cruised the bay searching for the perfect fishing spot. Majestic glaciers framed our view while we watched otters swim and play on their backs.
I’d have to say that although I’m not really a fisherman, reeling in one of these large flat fish is a highlight of my life. Sommer skillfully pulled the halibut into the boat, talking to it the whole time like a mom soothing her child.
Back at the Adcox kitchen, Sommer and Brent donned Oktoberfest aprons representative of their home towns – New Braunfels and Fredericksburg. We prepared halibut with the simple, yummy recipe Sommer and Brent have found to be tested and true. You can also apply this recipe to Texas gulf or river fish. After all, a Texas fish fry has been at the center of many a family and friend gathering.
So, here’s the secret straight from a transplanted Texan:
Beer Batter Halibut
- Fresh halibut, diced into approximately 3 - 4 inch pieces
- 1 package McCormick's Fish Beer Batter
- Garlic salt to taste
- Peanut oil
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp grated horseradish (add more for zing)
- Mix a packet of dry batter with enough water until slightly thinner than pancake batter.
- Dust Fish liberally with garlic salt before placing in the batter. Add fish to batter and coat.
- Place small batches in a pan of oil heated to 350 degrees and cook until light golden brown. Lean to the side of undercooking halibut as it will continue to cook after removing from oil. Over-cooking will lead to dryness. Keep an eye on the temp of oil while adding fish – if drops below 350 degrees, fish could end up soggy.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Serve immediately with Cocktail sauce.
- Mix all ingredients together and serve in a bowl.