I received free product from Pickled Willy’s for review purposes. All opinions expressed are based on my own personal experience.
Living in landlocked Nebraska, good fish can be hard to come by. A few years ago, we heard of an underground seafood circuit. Fresh fish arrived weekly by plane, but only those in the know had access. Once a week you’d text your order to a specified phone number and then a few days later, an unmarked box of seafood would arrive on your doorstep. There always seemed something just a little illicit about it. That’s why I was thrilled to discover Pickled Willy’s gourmet pickled seafood from Kodiak, Alaska. I sampled four Pickled Willy’s products and used them to create two quick appetizers—Pickled Halibut Ceviche and Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs—perfect for your holiday celebrations.
Pickled Willy’s products are hand-packed without preservatives just days after being caught by fishing vessels in Kodiak Island and other Alaskan ports in Alaska’s first seafood pickling plant. All of Pickled Willy’s seafood is 100 percent sustainable and full of Omega 3 fatty acids.
On the day I was expecting to receive my shipment, I received a message from Pickled Willy’s that they’d delayed shipment so they could send me a jar of fresh Alaskan King Crab that had just come in off the boat. The four jars came packed in a styrofoam box with ice packs to keep them cold on their journey from Alaska to Nebraska. I received one jar each of Pickled Halibut, King Crab, Ling Cod and Sockeye Salmon.
Pickled seafood has a long legacy, with pickled herring standing out as one of the earliest examples. Salted and pickled fish was a staple food for Northern European Catholics, who observed long meatless periods in observation of Lent and other religious holidays.
But don’t confuse Pickled Willy’s products with preserved seafoods you remember from the past. The company’s products are pickled using organic vinegar, cane sugar and salt, for a fresh, vibrant flavor that works well on its own or in simple recipes like my Pickled Halibut Ceviche and Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs.
Ceviche is a popular Latin American dish in which raw seafood is “cooked” in fresh citrus juices and spiced with chiles. My version is a variation of the one on Pickled Willy’s website and couldn’t be easier. I poured the entire jar of snow white halibut, fish and all, into a bowl and add diced cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, chiles, cilantro and the juice of a lime. The tangy, sweet pickling liquid, mustard seeds and pickled onion, along with the lime juice, created a lovely contrast to the sweet fish and crunchy vegetables.
Pickled Halibut Ceviche can be made 30 minutes prior to eating or up to a day before you plan to serve it. Overnight the flavors will continue to meld and intensify. Serve Pickled Halibut Ceviche with tortilla chips, fried plantains, tostadas or fresh vegetables.
Deviled eggs are always a crowd-pleaser at any holiday gathering, and they’re trendier than ever these days as they continue to pop up on menus across the country in various guises. Their history may go as far back as Ancient Rome, when boiled eggs were seasoned with spices and vinegar. The term “deviled” became popular in the late 18th century as a reference for zesty foods. The tangy egg appetizers have been popular ever since.
Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs are an easy way to dress up the traditional deviled egg. I used my favorite unitasker, the egg cooker, to boil my eggs until hard and then cut them in half and removed the yolks. After mashing the yolks, I added greek yogurt and a touch of mayonnaise, as well fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard and diced chile. The standout ingredient was Pickled Willy’s Alaskan King Crab. Its delicate flavor and tenderness bring a punch of brininess and hint of smoke to the yolk mixture. Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs will be a perfect addition to your holiday appetizer spread and can be made up to a day ahead.
In addition to being used in recipes such as these, Pickled Willy’s seafood tastes great on salads, crackers or straight from the jar! Pair it with a Rosemary White Lady, Autumn Glow Sour or your favorite seasonal cocktail or sparkling wine.
If you try Pickled Willy’s products, or these recipes, be sure to share your creations by tagging #lexibites.
- Pickled Halibut Ceviche
- 1 (16 ounce) jar Pickled Willy's Pickled Halibut
- ⅓ cup cucumber, diced
- ⅓ cup red or green bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno or hot pepper, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs
- 6 eggs, hardboiled
- ½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon (about ½) jalapeno or hot pepper, diced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup Pickled Willy's Pickled Alaskan King Crab, diced
- Chives or green onions, for garnish (optional)
- To make Pickled Halibut Ceviche: Pour entire jar of Pickled Halibut into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
- Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least minutes, up to 1 day.
- Serve with tostadas, tortilla chips or fresh vegetables.
- To make the Spicy Crab Deviled Eggs, hardboil six eggs. Cut in half, remove yolks and reserve whites. Place yolks in bowl and mash until smooth.
- Fold in greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, jalapeno, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently fold in crab.
- Stuff filling into reserved egg whites and refrigerate until ready to serve. Deviled eggs can be prepared 1 day ahead. Try serving on a chilled salt block for added flavor.