Alaska – The Last American Frontier

Today we celebrate the amazing state of Alaska. A ruggedly beautiful land, with a strong determined people. Often life in Alaska isn’t easy. But then again anything worthwhile requires effort and sacrifice.

There are a lot of reasons to visit Alaska. And wolves, as it turns out, are an important part of Alaska’s tourism. Visitors from around the globe flock to Alaska for a chance to view wolves in their natural habitat. There are an estimated 10,000 wolves in the wilds of Alaska. These beautiful animals have never been threatened or endangered here.

Another draw to Alaska are the humpback whales. Did you know that a humpback will travel 3,100 miles during their annual migration? Unlike the California Humpbacks that winter in Mexico and Costa Rica, Humpbacks along the Alaska coast spend their winters in Hawaii.

No surprise that Alaska is the coldest state, with an average yearly temperature of 32.03 degrees. No wonder the whales go to Hawaii, with an average temperature of 72.95 degrees. Even whales can appreciate the tropical draw of America’s 50th state.

While you would think Hawaii is the most active state for volcanoes, Alaska has them beat. Alaska contains over 130 volcanoes and volcanic fields. Most are quiet. Still, more than 50 of those have been active at some point since 1760. Of those, 40 are considered to be active today. Hawaii has just 6 active volcanoes.

For every 25 people in Alaska, there is 1 bear. That might explain why Alaska has more annual missing persons reports than any other state; twice that of the national average.

Every state has their strange laws. We’ve had fun exploring some silly laws. That said, in Alaska they have some of the strangest laws on the books. And what’s amazing is those laws are necessary to protect people from themselves.

It’s against the law to wake a sleeping bear for a Selfie. While you would think it would be common sense not to wake a sleeping bear, it became a problem when tourists began to waltz into bear dens to do just that.

In Fairbanks, there was a problem with a local tavern keeper who let his pet moose drink. Apparently, the moose was not a happy drunk and frequently went on a drunken rampage. So the city passed an ordinance to make it illegal to give alcohol to a moose.

And finally, in Talkeetna, they held a festival that involved painting moos poo, numbering the poo and then dropping it from a helicopter onto a target. In 2009, PETA launched a campaign to stop what they thought was the dropping of real moose from a helicopter. (How they thought people were able to get a moose in the helicopter is beyond me). To settle the matter, city officials have banned both moose and their droppings from being flung out of a helicopter.

Did you know Alaska has the largest fishing industry in the United States?

It only makes sense, on this Tijuana Tuesday, that we celebrate Alaska with some delicious cod. Enjoy!

Alaska Inspired Tijuana Tuesday Super
Alaska Cod Fish Tostadas
Refried Black Beans
Tijuana Spicy Rice

Alaska Cod Fish Tostadas
3/4 cup fresh Cilantro, divided
1-1/2 lbs Alaska Cod Fillets
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Lime Juice, divided
1/4 cup Jalapeno Olive Oil
8 Tostada Shells
3/4 cup Mexican Cheese Blend
Spicy Chunky Salsa
1 large Avocado
Cilantro for garnish

Heat oven to 425-degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.

Finely chop cilantro, set aside. Measure lime juice into a glass measuring cup, set aside.

Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Measure 3 tablespoons lime juice from the measuring cup, whisk into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.

Combine Jalapeno olive oil, remaining lime juice and cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste; mix well.

Lay cod out an pat dry with paper towels.  Place fillets on the prepared baking sheet; bake in heated oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Baste cod fillets with olive oil mixture.  Bake an additional 4 minutes, adjusting cook time for smaller fillets.  Cook cod just until opaque throughout and flakey. Remove from oven, leaving oven heated. Flake cod with a fork, set aside.

While the cod bakes, peel and slice avocado, set aside. Snip additional cilantro for garnish, set aside.

To build tostadas; spread cream cheese mixture evenly on the shells.  Top cream cheese mixture with shredded cheese.  Place tostadas on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the heated oven to bake just until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.  Remove from oven. Divide cod among warm tostadas. Garnish with salsa, cilantro and avocado slices as desired.

Serve and enjoy.

Refried Black Beans
To Puree the Beans
2 cans Whole Black Beans
1/4 While Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1 teaspoon Jalapeno Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Drain beans, set aside. While the beans are draining, mince onion and garlic, set aside.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add onions, sauté until almost translucent. Ad garlic, cook another 30 seconds.

Place beans, onions and garlic in a blender. Blend until almost smooth. Season with salt to taste.

To Fry the Beans
2 tablespoons Bacon Drippings
1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
1 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija Cheese

Melt bacon drippings in a large skillet. Spread pureed black beans out in the skillet. Season with Chipotle, Red Chili and Cumin. Warm beans gently over medium heat, stirring to prevent burning. While the beans warm, stem and slice Jalapeno.

Transfer beans to a serving bowl. Garnish with Jalapeno and Cotija Cheese. Serve with additional Jalapeno as desired.

Tijuana Spicy Rice
1/4 White Onion
1 small Jalapeno Pepper
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup White Rice
1 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexican Red Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Kosher Salt to taste
1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel Tomatoes
2 cups Chicken Stock

Finely mince onion, set aside. Stem jalapeno, mince and set aside.

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in rice, seasoning, onion and jalapeno. Let mixture dry-roast for about 2 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring rice to a boil. Reduce to a high simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and serve.

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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