Land of the Midnight Sun

North to Alaska, go north, the rush is on. Way up north. Not only is Alaska the largest state, it is home to the highest mountain peaks in the country. Alaska was dubbed the Last Frontier. In many ways, it still is. Long before the Russians and European explorers found their way to the Arctic land, Alaska was home to indigenous people. Their ancestors continue to carve out a life in the frozen yet beautiful Land of the Midnight Sun.

In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States. It was a fire-sale of sorts, the bargain price was about two cents per acre. The U.S. clearly got the better end of the deal. Fifty years later, the Alaskan gold rush generated more than a billion in new wealth. This did not include the lucrative timber, salmon and later petroleum industries. Alaska became a strategic military asset during the cold war. Alaska was granted territorial status in 1912. Two of the outer Aleutian Islands – Attu and Kiska – were occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Their recovery became a matter of national pride for the U.S. and the construction of military bases helped Alaska’s population to grow. On January 3, 1959 the Alaskan Territory because the state of Alaska, the 49th state to join the Union.

Hubby and I took a cruise to Alaska to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. As it turned out, the Captain was renewing vows for those interested on our actual anniversary. While we missed the Glacier Bay exploration, the ceremony with the bay in the background was unforgettable.

Alaska is beautiful, rugged and wild. It remains the Last Frontier.

When it came time to create a menu to celebrate the diversity of Alaska, King Crab and Salmon immediately came to mind. But then I remembered a delicious Alaskan Cod recipe, and that seemed perfect. Baked Alaska should have been the obvious dessert choice, but that overlooks the wild berries of Alaska. So a frozen berry pie seemed equally fitting. Hope you enjoy.

Celebrating Alaska
Alaska Cod Parmesan with Zucchini Noodled
Herbed-Garlic Bacon Potatoes
Frozen Blackberry Cream Pie

Alaska Cod Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles
4 Alaska Cod Fillets
2 medium Zucchini
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/8 teaspoon dried Basil
1/8 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Butter
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Fresh Basil or other green garnish

Position oven rack 6 inches below the broiler heat element. Heat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the fillets on the prepared baking sheet, set aside. Shave zucchini into paper-thin sliced using a mandolin. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the Parmesan with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, dried basil and oregano and the onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on the fish and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Broil for 3 minutes, or until the top is browned and bubbling. Reduce the heat to 300-degrees and continue to roast the fish for 3 to 5 minutes, until just cooked throughout. Keep warm.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Cook the zucchini, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates and top with the fish. Garnish with more Parmesan, and small basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Herbed Garlic Bacon Potatoes
15 small Red Potatoes
4 strips Bacon
1/4 cup fresh Parsley
2 tablespoons Chives
3 Garlic Cloves
4 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Bacon Drippings
1/2 teaspoon dried Tarragon
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Scrub potatoes, cut in half. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

While the potatoes cook, fry the bacon. Set aside until ready to crumble, leaving about a tablespoon of drippings in the skillet.

Finely mince parsley, set aside. Finely snip chives, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

Melt butter into the skillet with bacon drippings over low heat. Swirl skillet to blend. Add the parsley, chives, tarragon and garlic; cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Drain potatoes well, add to skillet. Crumble bacon over the herb potatoes, season with salt and pepper. Toss potatoes to coat. Return to medium-low heat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl for serving.

Frozen Blackberry Cream Pie
1 cup Heavy Cream
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 (10 oz) jar Blackberry Spread
1 (9-inch) prepared Graham Cracker Crumb Pie Shell
Fresh blackberries for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl beat heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside. Clean beater blades.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add blackberry spread. Beat on low speed just until combined. Gently fold in whipped cream.

Spoon blackberry mixture into the prepared pie shell. Cover and freeze for 24 hours or until firm.

Garnish as desired with fresh blackberries when served.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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