Positioned in the Northwest edge of North America is the U.S state of Alaska.
East is Canada, The Arctic Ocean is to the North, East and South is the Pacific Ocean. Alaska is the largest state in the U.S and 4th most crowded, but the least densely populated than that of the other 49 States. Approximately 735,000 inhabitants live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. The economy of Alaska is controlled by the fishing, natural gas an oil industries reserves which it has in profusion. Tourism is also a an important part of the economy. From the 18th century onwards Alaska has been populated by native people and always considered ready for exploitation and trade. Russia sold Alaska to the U.S in 1867 at approximately 2cents an acre, which totalled 7.2 million U.S dollars. Lots of changes occurred before becoming a territory in 1912 and becoming a state in 1959.
Alaskan native people are split into around eleven clear cultures with at least 20 different languages – these include Eyak, Haida,Tsimshian,Aleut, Inuit and many Northern Athabaskan civilisations. Depending on the season and where they live in Alaska actually controls the diet available to them. Traditionally/historically predator/gatherer civilisations survival is the use of foods such as, berries,salmon, moose, walrus, seal, duck and other marine mammals give them considerable portions of their diet, along with birds and eggs.
Here are a few ideas of native/traditional recipes…. Muktuk (whale skin & blubber),Oogruk Flippers (seal flippers), Eel Akutaq (eel ice cream),Akutaq (Eskimo ice cream) or Salmon Heads & Tails – not sure we would be able to get some of these items in the supermarket! Modern day Alaskans eat everything of course. Today it is easy to ship urban Alaskans the same food we enjoy here. However, they do have access to fresh specialities that are exclusively Alaskan!
The fishing industry is huge is Alaska and there are various varieties of white fish, salmon and shellfish – follow this link to see the various species that can be found in the waters around Alaska. Effective and accurate management promises that the fisheries in Alaska are healthy, clean, useful and maintainable as instructed by the government. Since being admitted as the 49th state of the U.S, Alaska has functioned as an example, all over the globe, of fisheries management… So we saw it fit to eat fish today – fish that we know we can eat – and celebrate the fantastic job the Alaskan fisheries board do. Ian isn’t a salmon lover so we opted for Alaskan Cod…BLACKENED WILD ALASKA COD WITH FENNEL AND ORANGE SALAD BY CHEF JOHN BESH Today is also world pasta day and although I found some recipes that incorporated paste, they also contained salmon, so I decided to add a twist and serve on a bed of tasty buttered pasta.
The cod is seasoned with blackened seasoning – which if you haven’t got any in the store cupboard is easily made – follow the link. Ian made ours in a matter of seconds.
Likewise the Vinaigrette dressing was a 2 minute job which was to be added to the fennel and orange salad…
The fennel and oranges are prepared and placed in a bowl together and the vinaigrette is poured over and tossed together slightly.
The seasoned cod is lightly fried on both sides – the smell is divine. Not easy to do unless you have a non stick pan, which we do but to big enough for 5 fillets, hopefully I can make it look like the recipe on the plate.
As pasta was cooked and prepared as a base, we placed the pasta on the plate, followed by the scrumptious cod dressed with the salad and drizzled with the dressing that has infused the fennel and oranges.
Alaska has an abundance of berries growing wild. Some of them we know well here in the UK, blueberries and cranberries, others not so familiar like salmonberries, which appear to look like raspberries but are orange or yellow and obviously have a different flavour, there are also mossberries (also called crowberries,) lingonberries (also called low bush cranberries,) and watermelon berries, all of which are said to be delicious. So as it is Sunday, a dessert is on the menu so I have opted for a Blueberry Cobbler This seems to be a popular dessert, along with baked Alaska. I didn’t feel confident enough to make that today..
The recipe is simple enough, sugar, flour, baking powder, milk and butter whisked together
Grease a oven proof dish and transfer the batter mixture to it…Spread out the blueberries on top of the batter
then sprinkle over the remaining sugar and bake in the oven for around an hour….
The finished pud, looked and smelt amazing and we are going to serve, as suggested, with some ice cream..
A very delicious pudding – different texture a different look to a cobbler we would make here – but one to have again… It was sweet, but I did mess up slightly with the sugar, having misread the recipe, so be careful to read properly. I also doubled the recipe to ensure there would be enough…
Family Verdict: The fish was very tasty and the blackened seasoning was fantastic, easy to knock together and stunning on the fish. The salad flavours complemented the fish well and would certainly cook again – this was one of the most favourite recipes with the family. Ian said he really did enjoy the Vinaigrette and he isn’t really one normally for dressings etc.. The cobbler was beautiful, fruity and warm. The ice cream was perfect as it was just beginning to melt and together tasted delicious.