It may not feel like it just yet, but fall will be here before we know it. What better way to celebrate the transition between summer and fall than a dish that highlights summer berries and fall apples together with the iconic protein of the Pacific Northwest? The Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport has a fantastic executive chef at their fabulous Reflections Bar & Grill, Jonah McKay, who works tirelessly to highlight the best that our bountiful region has to offer, with a delicious menu that truly celebrates local cuisine. But don't be too intimidated - even though these dishes are out-of-this-world tasty, Chef Jonah has put together an incredible recipe that you can recreate at home.

 

Chef Jonah’s Apple Berry Baked Salmon

Berry Butter

Yield: 8-10 portions

  • ½lb. unsalted butter (softened)
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 fresh strawberries, diced small
  • ¼ pint fresh blueberries (Crowne Plaza sources theirs from Tree House Produce in Mt. Vernon WA)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 cloves roasted garlic

Cook both berries with sugar over medium heat until berries are soft and sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then mix well with remaining ingredients. This butter is also delicious on fresh-baked biscuits or scones.

 

Risotto

Yield: 3 8-oz servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Unsalted butter
  • ½ cup baby arugula, fresh
  • ½ cup baby spinach, fresh
  • Lemon pepper seasoning (to taste)
  • Romano cheese (to taste)

In a saucepan, sauté onions and garlic with oil. Add rice and stir well. Once the rice is lightly toasted (about two minutes), deglaze the pan with the white wine. After the alcohol has cooked off, add vegetable stock. Bring to a medium simmer, stirring frequently. Add vegetable stock as needed. Cook until rice is almost cooked to center, about 20 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat cream and butter until warmed, then put into a blender. Add the spinach and arugula and blend well. Add cream and spinach mixture to rice and simmer until rice is fully cooked. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well.

 

Apple Berry Baked Salmon

Yield: Two servings

  • Two 5-7 oz fresh salmon filets, skinless and boneless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt, heavy pinch
  • Lemon pepper, heavy pinch
  • White pepper, pinch
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons berry butter (recipe above)
  • ½ Fuji apple, peeled, sliced and roasted (Crowne Plaza sources theirs from Evans Fruit, Cowiche, WA)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub salmon with oil, garlic, salt and both the white and lemon peppers. Sear fish in hot oven-safe pan with oil. Add juice, wine and berry butter. Cover with lid or foil and bake 8-10 minutes. Add apples to pan just before done. If you wish to make more than two servings, be sure to use separate pans and sear/bake no more than two filets per pan to avoid overcrowding. Plate with the risotto and seasonal vegetables with the sauce from the pan and enjoy!

Chef Jonah McKay at the Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport

About Chef Jonah

Chef Jonah McKay was passionate about food from a very young age. It all began watching his Grandmother making fresh tortillas at the age of four. This passion grew over the years and led to a successful career. His culinary journey began at the Seattle Renaissance (Madison) and later at the Seattle Hilton. In 2012, Chef Jonah joined the Crowne Plaza Seattle Airport team as the Executive Chef. 

Chef Jonah finds great inspiration in nature and uses fresh, local Pacific Northwest ingredients whenever possible. He loves blending various cuisines and bringing flavors together. In fact, his spices have become so popular with guests that they are now available for purchase.