Grand Prize Winner of $2,500
First Prize Winner: "Cumin Crusted Salmon with Sun Dried Tomato Chutney and Yogurt Cream"
1. How did you feel when you found out you won the contest?
I was so excited when I found out I took 1st place in this prestigious contest!!! Some times you create something that you feel is so spot on that you can't think of a single thing you'd change and this was one of them so it made it extra special for me that Bella Sun Luci felt the same way. I am both honored and proud at the same time!
2. How did you come up with the idea for the winning recipe?
When I used to live in Los Angeles I would come up with recipe ideas to pass the time when I was stuck in traffic commuting to and from work. Now that I've retired and have moved to Florida I like to come up with recipes while doing water aerobics in my pool. In the case of this recipe I wanted to focus on one that made the sun dried tomatoes the special ingredient that made it pop as well as keeping a healthy profile that just seemed decadent.
3. How long have you been using Bella Sun Luci products? And what is your favorite?
I've been using Bella Sun Luci products for several years now – ever since I discovered them with your 2017 contest. Prior to that sun dried tomatoes in my opinion were just okay. Once I sampled Bella Sun Luci products I was a convert – so much so that when I had trouble finding your products and substituted another brand I ended up throwing them away. No comparison!
4. Where do you shop for Bella Sun Luci products?
Unfortunately the #one market in Florida (Publix) doesn't carry your products, and even Walmart which does is hit or miss. I'm probably going to need to start ordering more on line, but I'm also considering staging a peaceful protest in front of Publix to urge them to get with the program.
5. Other hobbies, passions, pastimes?
I learned to cook at 10 years old when my mother's health started to fail and she spent 6 weeks in the hospital. She taught me to cook over the phone from her hospital bed walking me through the steps one at a time. I started out with beans and franks and by the time she came home I was making complete meatloaf dinners with all the trimmings. As a result, I learned all the basics at a very young age which took all the work out of cooking and really made it a creative outlet for me. At the risk of sounding trite, I cook with love – as in I love to eat, I love to share, I love to feed people.
6. Any other comments you would like to add that relate to your passion for cooking?
Now that I'm no longer caught up in the corporate rat race I've really become a home body and find I've become pretty passionate about doing a lot of nothing. However, there is one exception and that is, now that I have the time, I joined the Rotary Club which is dedicated to contributing to the local community as well as the world community. In a way it's a lot like cooking because I get to share and to feed people.
Cumin Crusted Salmon with Sun Dried Tomato Chutney and Yogurt Cream
"Sometimes you create something that you feel is so spot on that you can't think of a single thing you'd change and this was one of them so it made it extra special for me that Bella Sun Luci felt the same way. I am both honored and proud at the same time!"
- Mary Edwards, First Place Winning Recipe in the 2020 Bella Sun Luci Annual Recipe Contest
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup diced onion
- ½ generous tsp. of curry powder or Garam Masala, according to taste
- ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
- dash of cayenne pepper, according to taste
- pinch of salt, according to taste
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 oz. Package of Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes (reserving ¼ cup)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup water
- 7 oz. Container of Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup diced thin skinned cucumber
- ¼ cup diced Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomatoes (that had been set aside from the chutney)
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅓ cup diced tart green apple
- 1 tbsp chopped green onion
- ¼ tsp grated garlic (1 small clove)
- ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
- 4 salmon fillets
- 2 tsp (approximately) ground cumin
- Both the chutney and the yogurt cream can be made well ahead.
- Make the chutney by sauteing over low heat the onions in the olive oil until translucent, stir in the curry, ginger, cayenne, salt and brown sugar and saute for another minute.
- Chop the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes (reserving ¼ cup) and add them with the lemon juice and water.
- Cover and simmer over very low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the yogurt cream.
- Lightly dust the salmon fillets with the cumin and broil the fish until the cumin just starts to bubble.
- If using thick fillets turn the broiler off and allow the fish to finish cooking in the warm oven for a few minutes.
- Serve the warm salmon topped with a large dollop of the yogurt cream with the chutney as an accompaniment on the side. Garnish as desired.