And the winner of the Northwest Cruiser’s Cook-Off is…

When we started the Three Sheets Northwest/Fisheries Supply Northwest Cruiser’s Cook-Off last fall and put out the call for your favorite recipes to cook aboard, we didn’t realize two things: 1) That we’d have so many great submissions. And 2) That it would be so difficult to stage an actual cook-off.

The final cook-off event has hit some insurmountable hurdles and instead of delaying the first place prize longer, we’ve decided to award the top vote-getter from our judges a new set of Cristel Cookware. We’re happy to announce that Natalie Charette from SV Violet Hour has won the Northwest Cruiser’s Cook-Off with her dish, “Blackened Sockeye Tacos with Avocado Secret Sauce.” Congratulations Natalie! And thanks to everyone who submitted recipes.

Here’s the winning recipe:


1 lb of wild caught sockeye salmon filet, rinsed and patted dry
Tortillas (Preferably La Tortilla Factory corn with flour. They are super pliable and don’t break like all corn tortillas.)
Garnish with diced red onion, cilantro leaves and shredded lettuce.

Rub (makes enough for 3 batches):
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon brown sugar
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of salt

Avocado Secret Sauce:
½ cup plain greek yogurt (preferably fage)
1 ripe avocado, pitted and skinned
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
½ jalapeno, chopped and seeded (use a whole if you like spice)
Salt, to taste

1) In a small airtight container with lid, combine the rub ingredients. Secure the lid and shake until well combined. Rub liberally over your sockeye salmon filet.
2) Mash the avocado with lime juice and then combine with yogurt. Mix in the cilantro and jalapeno and add salt to taste.
3) Prepare your garnishes.
4) Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the salmon for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the outside is blackened and the fish flakes apart easily.
5) Place the tortillas in foil pocket and warm them on the grill until heated through, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
6) Break the fish into 2-3″ pieces. Smear the avocado secret sauce on the tortillas, place salmon and then top with red onion, cilantro leaves and shredded lettuce garnish. Enjoy!

Here’s why Natalie thinks this is such a great recipe:
We made this recipe while sailing with a pescatarian and it has hands down became one of our favorite dishes to make onboard. It looks and tastes impressive, but is super easy to make. One of the reasons we love it, is the rub’s versatility. We make the seasoning batch and then use it on other meats like chicken, steak etc. We have even been known to use it as a seasoning on our Sunday morning hashbrowns.

It’s also one of those dishes that we usually have most ingredients on hand and can use the same ingredients (and save on fridge space). There is always lettuce and onion for sandwiches (save a little for the tacos), greek yogurt for granola at breakfast doubles as a condiment, extra tortillas are great for a sandwich wraps under way, breakfast tacos or a quick quesadilla snack. And who doesn’t have a lime to spare from their gin and tonics or moscow mules? You can use whatever fish you like, white fish works really well too. If you catch your own fish – Bonus Points! Lastly, it’s easy to prepare and goes well with a side of grilled zucchini, rice and beans or simply salsa and tortilla chips.

We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Happy sailing and more importantly bon appetite!

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