Showing posts from August, 2015

Eat Them to Save Them & Giveaway!

I was in Alaska recently to go fishing and watch cooking demos, but more importantly to learn a bit about how Alaska helps to promote sustainability, protect the fisheries and in turn, the ecosystem. The effort that goes into maintaining the health of fisheries in Alaska is astounding and something I didn't really appreciate until I met and spoke with environmentalists, biologists, state officials and even politicians, all committed to the long term health of the fisheries. 
Salmon fishermen are projected to harvest a billion pounds of salmon or 221 million fish this year in Alaska and yet consumption of seafood continues to decline in the US and is considerably behind chicken, pork and even beef. In Alaska, those responsibly harvesting seafood take a vested interest in maintaining it. What I learned about the sustainability of salmon fisheries has applications well beyond seafood. We all want more sustainability and biodiversity in our food and to preserve traditional foodways, bu…

Slow Roasted Alaska Halibut with Fennel & Tomatoes Recipe

When I was growing up we had a second freezer that I swear was packed full of halibut. My father got it somewhere and we ate it for what seemed like years. I remember that it was dry, tough and somewhat stringy. Was it terribly freezer burned? Only recently my mother told me it might not have been halibut. What it actually was will forever remain a mystery. But it was years before I tried halibut again and imagine my surprise to discover that it is a delicate, creamy and luscious fish.

Recently I was in Alaska to learn more about seafood so naturally I went fishing. Our boat caught a tremendous amount of halibut. Halibut can be very big fish and now I've come full circle and am enjoying having a freezer full of it. I believe the secret to cooking halibut is to be extremely gentle. It cooks up wonderfully when roasted slowly and is much harder to overcook at low temperatures. In this recipe you roast vegetables at high heat, give the fish a little rest at room temperature with a  sp…

Refreshing Drinks for Hot Days

I always have a pitcher of  unsweetened iced tea in the refrigerator and this Summer I�ve been experimenting with making shrubs. I�m not a soda drinker, so these drinks appeal to me because they are very refreshing and not very sweet.  Teapigs is a British tea company operating in the US. They make a most unusual line of matcha drinks. One has grapefruit, another apple and one has elderflower. None of them have any added sugar, just the natural sweetness from fruit juices. I tried all three and I�m hard pressed to say which I like best. They are each quite good. I like the bitter edge to the grapefruit, the fruitiness of the apple and the floral quality to the elderflower. They are a bit pricey at about $3.99 each, but such a nice treat. Think of it as a healthier indulgence than a cappuccino. It�s available in many locations.

If you�ve been to Rome in the Summer, perhaps you�re familiar with the lemon and coconut stands found in piazzas. The CEO of Jones Soda Co. is married to a Roman …

Alaska Seafood Moqueca Recipe

I'm just back from the incredibly wild and unspoiled state of Alaska. I was on the trip with food writers and chefs as well as a seafood importer. I got a chance to talk with a lot of people involved with Alaska seafood including a biologist, a conservationist, a manager from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the proprietor of an oyster farm and even a senator and commercial fisherman. I was impressed with their efforts to keep the seafood industry sustainable and environmentally friendly.
My itinerary was jam packed. I flew in a sea plane over glaciers, foraged along the seashore and into the forest, fished for salmon and halibut (and caught one of each). I tasted all five species of salmon, and I also got a chance to observe some cooking demonstrations where I picked up some great cooking tips. One recipe I couldn't wait to try at home came from Chef Fernando Corsi, who lives in S�o Paolo. It was his version of a very traditional Brazilian recipe called moqueca. If you …

Red Grapeseed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe

If you�re familiar with the White Lily brand, you probably know it�s a Southern company, famous for flour that is used in biscuits. It�s been a very long time since they�ve introduced a new product, so they invited a bunch of mostly baking bloggers (and me!)  to come visit wheat fields outside of Spokane to learn about their latest venture�wheat flours with tracability and blends with red and white grape seed flour.

Red and white grape seed flour from Whole Vine is blended with flour from Shepherd�s Grain and sold in 2 pound resealable bags. It�s designed to be an optimal blend, offering cup for cup replacement of all purpose flour. Plans are to offer it nationwide. Although the flour is a blend, each bag has a traceability code allowing you to see and learn more about a farmer whose wheat is in the specific bag.

To produce the flour, White Lily partnered with Shepherd�s Grain, a cooperative that has roots in an 1888 farmstead farm. The goal of the company is to provide long term sustai…

Peach Barbecue Sauce Recipe

As a Canbassador, I receive a couple shipments of fresh stone fruit from Washington State to preserve. Over the past few years I have made a lot of things with peaches including Peach Ketchup and Ginger Peach Preserves. While there are some good ideas on the SweetPreservation website, in the comments section of my Can-It-Forward giveaway post I received even more fantastic suggestions for canning peaches including peach preserves, peach butter, peach salsa, peach mostarda, brandied peaches, peach pie filling, and a jam from Piemonte with peaches, amaretti and cocoa powder. That should keep me inspired for years to come! 
This year I ended up canning some peaches in a light syrup, and I also made Peach Barbecue Sauce. My recipe was inspired by one I found online, Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce, but I made some changes and am pleased with the results. Barbecue sauce is a very easy thing to make and easy to can. You can and should taste it before you can it and adjust the seasonings as you se…