Category Archives: seafood

Pasta and shrimp in a paprika chili sauce

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for a Spanish-style shrimp appetizer. I am pretty sure I’ve eaten my weight in shrimp since posting it.  One of my favorite parts of the dish is sopping up the flavorful garlic paprika oil with a piece of rustic bread.

The other day I didn’t have any crusty bread, so I decided to toss some linguine in the leftover oil. It was fantastic.

So I turned my tasty app into an entree. This is a wonderful way to impress your guests with a colorful, flavorful dish that takes very little time to make. It’s really easy! I eyeballed the oil and the pasta so these are approximate measurements. Feel free to play around with it!

Pasta and shrimp in a paprika chili sauce | A simple dinner recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Pasta with shrimp in a paprika chili sauce

Serves 3-4

Pasta and shrimp in a paprika chili sauce | A simple dinner recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 dried guajillo or New Mexico chilis
  • 16 raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika (Hungarian will do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 pound pasta

Pasta and shrimp in a paprika chili sauce | A simple dinner recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the dried pepper into rings and place in a small bowl. When water is boiling, remove 1/2 cup and pour over the dried peppers. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside. While pasta is boiling, toss the shrimp with the paprika and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium. Add the garlic and softened chili and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp and any remaining paprika. Turn down heat if needs be to avoid burning the garlic. Cook until shrimp is pink, turning halfway, about 4 minutes.

Salt to taste. Add a glug of white wine and let it bubble away for a few seconds. Add the pasta and toss until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle in the parsley.

Pasta and shrimp in a paprika chili sauce | A simple dinner recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Gambas – Shrimp with Paprika, Chilis and Garlic

Lately I’ve had a severe hankering for the gambas appetizer at South Restaurant in Anchorage. It’s a simple dish – shrimp, olive oil, garlic sautéed to perfection, paprika and guajillo chili topped with parsley.

It’s not really the shrimp that I crave. It’s the flavorful seasoned oil that is so perfect for sopping up with a couple of slices of crusty bread.

I’ve had this dish once a week for the past month. It’s time for me to make it at home.

Gambas - shrimp with garlic, paprika and chilis | A recipe by alaskaknitnat.com

This dish was surprisingly easy to create at home. I didn’t have sweet Spanish paprika and used the Hungarian variety instead. I also couldn’t find guajillo chilis at my local grocery store and used dried New Mexican chilis. The flavors were just perfect.

Gambas shrimp with garlic and paprika – an appetizer

Serves 2

Gambas - shrimp with garlic, paprika and chilis | A recipe by alaskaknitnat.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 dried guajillo or New Mexico chili
  • 12 raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sweet Spanish paprika (Hungarian will do)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Rustic bread for serving

Directions:

Using scissors, cut the dried pepper into rings. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the paprika and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium. Add the garlic and softened chili and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Add the shrimp and any remaining paprika. Turn down heat if needs be to avoid burning the garlic. Cook until shrimp is pink, turning halfway, about 4 minutes.

Salt to taste. Add a glug of white wine and let it bubble away for a few seconds. Toss in the parsley.

Serve with toasted crusty bread. Or add 1/4 pound of cooked linguine to pan and toss till thoroughly coated. This makes an amazing light dinner.

Gambas - shrimp with garlic, paprika and chilis | A recipe by alaskaknitnat.com

Ridiculously Easy Crispy Skin Salmon

Whenever my family sits down to a salmon dinner we always have the same debate: do you eat the crispy, burnt salmon skin or does it go to the side of the plate with the stray bones?

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com

My mother is a member of Club No Salmon Skin, which works out in my favor if I’m quick enough to get to her plate before my dad, who is on the same side as me – salmon skin is super delicious when it’s cooked just right.

So I set out to cook a salmon fillet with the sole purpose of making the skin crispy. It was surprisingly easy! I tried a couple of methods and found most success with these directions from Bon Appétit.

And don’t worry, if you’re not a fan of salmon skin, just peel it away and still enjoy this delicious method of cooking wild Alaska salmon.

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com

How to cook wild Alaska salmon with crispy skin

Ingredients:

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com
Beautiful Bristol Bay sockeye salmon. Learn more about this amazing wild Alaska salmon at http://www.bristolbaysockeye.org
  • 1 fillet of Bristol Bay Sockeye salmon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Lemon Dijon sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pepper

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com

Directions:

Remove the pin bones from your wild Alaska salmon fillet. A helpful trick is to place a mixing bowl upside-down on the counter and lay the fillet across it. The curvature allows the bones to stick out slightly and makes it easier for needle nose pliers to grasp them.

Slice the fillet into portions about 6-8 ounces each (should make 2-3). Pat them dry on both sides with paper towels and place them skin side up on a plate. Let sit uncovered in the fridge for one hour.

Liberally coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Place the salmon skin side down in the pan and turn on the heat to high.

Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium flame and whisk in the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and mustard. Bring to a light simmer and add pepper to taste. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cook the salmon skin side down for about 7 minutes. There is no exact science to this as some fillets are thicker than others. The flesh should be opaque around the sides and there should be a ring of raw salmon in the middle of the fillet. Turn off the heat and carefully turn the fillets in the pan with a fish spatula. Let cook for another 2-3 minutes from the residual heat of the skillet. This should be enough to cook the salmon through as most of the cooking happened while the skin was getting crispy.

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com

See how lovely and charred your salmon skin is? It’s ok if it’s a little burnt – that’s the good stuff right there.

Serve your salmon fillets with rice and veggies. Top the rice and veggies with the lemon Dijon sauce (but don’t pour it over the salmon. You don’t want the skin to get soggy!)

After munching down the salmon skin, sop bites of the salmon in the sauce on your plate. It’s so good!

Crispy Skin Salmon | a simple method for cooking wild Alaska salmon from Alaskaknitnat.com

Smoked Salmon Dip with Kelp Pickles

I recently read a story about a Juneau-based company that made food out of kelp. I was immediately intrigued by the idea. One of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten was when I spent a summer in Kodiak and a Chinese woman prepared braised fresh kelp for me.

Barnacle uses bull kelp to make salsa, spice blends and pickles. Their Instagram account displays gorgeous photos of Southeast Alaska along with how they prepare their products and what to serve with them.

Their dill kelp pickles are tangy, slightly sweet and, well, of the sea. What a perfect ingredient to add to a smoked salmon dip.

Smoked salmon dip with Barnacle brand kelp pickles | a delicious appetizer that will wow your dinner guests | recipe by Natasha Price of Alaska Knit Nat

This dip comes together in no time and is a real crowd-pleaser. Impress your dinner guests by revealing its secret ingredient — wild kelp!

Continue reading Smoked Salmon Dip with Kelp Pickles

Thai hot pot soup with shrimp & pork dumplings

It was blustery out yesterday and after picking rose petals in the afternoon to make rose syrup, we went up to my folks’ place for dinner. My dad had prepared what he calls “hot pot soup” the day before and had it sitting in the fridge overnight. The broth was so rich, it looked like murky Jell-o. That’s how you know it’s good.

My dad was lamenting that he’d put the pork in too early and although the broth was extremely flavorful, the meat itself was rather tasteless. I suggested I make some Chinese-style wontons filled with shrimp and pork. The two dishes combined splendidly and we were left patting our bellies and snacking on mushrooms from the near-empty pot.

Thai hot pot soup with shrimp & pork wontons | a delicious fusion recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Fusion Thai Hot Pot/Chinese Pork Dim Sum Soup

Serves 4

Continue reading Thai hot pot soup with shrimp & pork dumplings

Smoky tuna dip – a healthy snack

In Alaska we are pretty seafood-centric. Although we have more than 47,000 miles of shoreline my husband doesn’t like seafood so I rarely cook with it.

I have access to Alaska halibut and salmon, but sometimes I just want a good old-fashioned can of tuna. Recently I was in Mexico and a friend served up a dip made with smoked mackerel. I don’t have any smoked fish lying around my freezer so I tried my own tuna dip. With a tiny amount of liquid smoke and just a few other ingredients I came up with a smoky, delicious tuna salad that’s perfect for a mid-afternoon snack — and it’s healthy too!

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

I love tuna packed in oil, but that can run pretty expensive at our local fancy grocery store. The big grocery store carries the next best thing for about $2.50 a can.

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

You can use any can of tuna you’d like.

Smoky tuna dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 teaspoon of chile in adobo sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • salt and pepper to taste

Drain the tuna and place in a small mixing bowl. Combine all the other ingredients. Serve with corn chips or crackers.

Smoky tuna dip | A healthy snack from Alaskaknitnat.com

Harvesting Alaska: Smoked Salmon Roe

Every summer I look forward to the week of our wedding anniversary; and not because I’m a hopeless romantic — because it’s sockeye salmon season on the Kenai River.

My husband is never here to celebrate our anniversary during the second week of July because he’s dipnetting three hours away.

And although I love a good fresh grilled salmon steak (last night we grilled them over alder branches), it’s the roe that I crave. We usually brine the roe in a simple salt and water solution and serve them with crackers and white wine. You can read my post from last year about wild salmon caviar.

Today, though, a friend dutifully gave me his roe from the silver salmon he caught in Seward over the weekend. When I went to process them I realized they were too small and delicate. Pushing them through a metal grate was ruining them. I didn’t want to waste them so I thought outside the box. Or inside the box, rather, as my dad had just removed some red salmon lox from his smoker.

I found this incredibly simple recipe for smoked salmon roe and decided to give it a try. It turned out splendidly! A friend told me it tasted a bit like smoked oysters. I will definitely try it again, but I might rinse the eggs of their salt brine before smoking them as they are a bit on the salty side.

Harvesting Alaska: Smoked salmon roe | a simple recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

This recipe assumes that you know how to use a smoker. I only say this because my dad is the smoke master in my family and I haven’t learned to operate one. All I can say is we cold smoked the eggs since heat would ruin the texture altogether.

Make sure the roe is fresh, fresh, fresh. That means it’s either been in a freshly caught fish or if the fish was processed on the beach that the eggs were kept on ice the entire time for no more than two days.

Smoked Salmon Roe

Directions:

Rinse the salmon roe skeins in fresh cold water to remove any grit. Pat them dry with paper towels and dredge them in kosher salt.

Harvesting Alaska: Smoked salmon roe | a simple recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Place them on a rimmed baking sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, turn on your smoker.

Remove the skeins from the fridge and rinse them again under cold water. Pat dry. Rinse off the baking sheet and wipe dry. Place the skeins back on the tray.

Place your baking sheet on the top shelf and leave the smoker door slightly ajar. Smoke for 30-45 minutes.

Place roe in fridge until cold. Use a butter knife to scrape the eggs away from the skein membrane. Store in a jar for up to 5 days (but they shouldn’t last that long, really). Enjoy on crackers or in any way you deem fit. Today I made sushi with the smoked roe. It was fabulous.

Harvesting Alaska: Smoked salmon roe | a simple recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com