alaska episodes

Grilled Salmon with Preserved Lemon Herb Sauce

1 large filet of Salmon, about 3 pounds

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper on the salmon and cook over the grill, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Herb Sauce:

1/4 cup minced preserved lemon

1 tablespoon roasted garlic (about 3 cloves)

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1 cup roughly chopped Italian Parsley

1 tablespoon minced rosemary leaves

Olive oil  

Juice of a grilled lemon

Whisk Together and drizzle over grilled salmon.


Grilled Salmon and Wild Mushrooms

This recipe was provided by Nelly Hand from Drifter’s Fish.

1 large filet of Salmon, about 3 pounds

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

3/4 pound wild mushrooms

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper on the salmon and cook over the grill, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Cook wild mushrooms in butter, thyme, and garlic over low flame until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the wild mushroom mixture directly over the salmon. Serve.


BBQ Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Pizza

This recipe was provided by Raven Madison

Raven’s take on a BBQ “Chicken” Pizza is loaded with freshly foraged and homemade ingredients from Cordova.

If you’ve never tried making pizza over the fire I highly recommend it. Good pizza requires a lot of heat and you can easily achieve that with a pile of hardwood coals. The smokey flavor and the just perfectly charred crust will have you turning off your oven and stoking up the fire.  

Dough recipe:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sourdough starter

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (or one packet)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon organic sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 cup hot water

Mix flour, salt, sugar, and garlic together in a mixer on low. In a separate container mix hot water and yeast. Once the yeast is dissolved mix in the sourdough starter. Mix flour mixture and sourdough starter together and oil. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rest for 24 hours in a well-oiled bowl on the counter.

Split dough in half, roll into balls and let rest for 10 minutes.

Form the dough balls into rough 12-inch circles. Grill on a grill grate or cast iron pan over coals for 5 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn.

Using tongs, flip the dough over the top with sauce, chicken of the woods mushrooms, cheese and any other toppings you desire. Continue to cook the pizza until the dough is completely cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.

Homemade BBQ sauce:

2 cups ketchup

1/2 apple cider vinegar

1/4 brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Cholula hot sauce

A hearty pinch of each: paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper

In a medium saucepan combine the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, honey, worcestershire sauce, lemon, hot sauce and spices. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Chicken of the Woods

2 cups sliced Chicken of the Woods mushroom

1 cup white wine


1 stick/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Add the mushrooms, wine, and a pinch of salt to a large skillet set over the coals or on a grill grate set over flames. Bring to a simmer then continue to cook until all the wine has dissolved. Add the butter and cook until the mushrooms have soaked up the liquid. Taste and add more salt as needed.

Pizza toppings:

Red onion

Mozzarella cheese


Homegrown mixed sprouts

Fresh tomato

These salmon recipes from Nelly and Michael are beautifully simple yet stunningly spectactual. The simple ingredients allow the salmon to shine, as this beautiful wild ingredient should.

Having not grown up a lover of fish I was intimidated by all the fish cookery I did in Alaska. But Nelly’s easy spirit and confident grace was just the lesson I needed. No matter how much I charred the skin she cheered me on and honestly, it was always delicious. When the ingredients are as pure and delicious as what we found in Cordova, the hard part has already been done.


Wild Rice Pudding with Nagooneberry Sauce

I grew up never knowing what “rice pudding” was. In our family it was called “milk rice” and we served it for dinner. Now I know and still sometimes it’s dinner. Here it is the perfect end to our wild feast.

In this version we use wild rice in place of white rice and gently simmer the sweet creamy rice over a low flame and serve with a simple sauce of Nagooneberry. It’s warming, satisfying and so simple to make.

Substitute blackberries, marionberries, strawberries or raspberries for the Nagooneberries.

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2  cups wild rice


½ cup brown sugar

3 cups milk

1 cup cream

1 vanilla bean, split

1 cinnamon stick

1 ½ cups Nagooneberries

¼ cup sugar

Set a small dutch oven or stock pot on a grill grate set over coals or low flame. Add butter to the pot and melt. Stir in the rice and sauté until completely coated in the butter and it smells lightly toasted. Add a hefty pinch of salt.

Carefully stir in the sugar, milk, cream, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer then cover. Gently simmer until the rice is tender and the pudding has thickened, about 1 hour.

In a small skillet add the Nagooneberries, sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over low flame and cook until the sugar dissolves and the sauce thickens just slightly, about 10 minutes.

Serve over the rice pudding.


Moose Meatballs with Low Bush Cranberries and Smoked Cabbage

I felt so honored and humbled while preparing this dish. After the experience we had on our adventure out the road the day before our feast I knew I wanted to make this dish incredibly special. I think we succeeded.

There are a few easy substitutes if you don’t happen to have a freezer filled with ground moose. That can easily be swapped for either ground beef or pork. For the low bush cranberries, feel free to use conventional cranberries (fresh or frozen). Adjust the sweetness to your taste.

2 pounds moose meat (used ground beef or pork instead)

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 piece bread, roughly chopped or torn

¼ cup milk

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 ½ cup cranberries

¾ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¼ cup butter

½ a head of Napa cabbage

Olive oil

Flake salt

1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley

In a large bowl combine the moose, onion, garlic, fennel, rosemary, bread, milk, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well to completely combine.

Set a large skillet directly over the coals or over a grill grate set over flames. Sear off a small piece of the mixture to check the seasoning.

If you’re happy with the seasoning form the mixture into roughly 2 inch meatballs. Add to the skillet and sear on all sides. You want to get a good deep crust. The meatballs are tender so carefully move them around with tongs or a spatula.

Once seared add the cranberries directly to the pan along with the brown sugar, soy sauce, five spice, and vinegar. Add a pinch of salt as well. Let this gently simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the cranberries have broken down. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Cut the cabbage in half and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Set over a hot grill and sear for two minutes, until the edges are charred but the interior is still crisp and fresh. Remove from the grill and set on a platter. Drizzle the wedges with red wine vinegar and finish with flake salt.

Add the meatballs and sauce to the platter and finish with flake salt, Pecorino and parsley.


Alder Smoked Cured Salmon Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Smoked Corn and Whipped Shallot Cream

We were downright giddy when we walked into the otherwise sparse grocery store in town, when we saw heirloom tomatoes on the produce shelves. Our timing was quite serendipitous as a fresh produce shipment had come in the day of our feast. We loaded our baskets to create this bountiful salad with bright, fresh flavors.

You could skip the step of smoking the cured salmon but why miss the chance to impart a soft, sweet smoky flavor whenever possible? This tender piece of fish only sits on the fire for a few brief moments and it is somewhat protected from direct heat as it rests on a bed of fresh Alder branches. The goal here isn’t to cook the fish but rather gently baste it in smoke.

Cured Salmon

1 lb wild salmon fillet

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup kosher salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional)

2 tablespoons bourbon

Rub salmon with olive oil. Lay salmon with skin on bottom in the deep dish & coat both sides with salt mixture. Drizzle Bourbon over top. Cover with plastic wrap, keep in fridge, & baste frequently (36 to 48 hours). Take out of dish with brine and slice salmon thin diagonally.

To smoke the salmon set up your fire with very hot coals. Place a grill grate about six inches above the coals. Gather a couple of fresh, green Alder branches. Set these on the grill grate then place the cured salmon directly on top. Smoke the fish for 5 to 7 minutes. This is enough time to impart a soft smokey flavor but will not cook the fish. Move the salmon around if it’s getting too much heat and it starts to cook.

For the Shallot Cream:

8 oz cream cheese, softened

¼ cup heavy cream

1 shallot, minced

Salt and pepper

Combine the cream cheese, heavy cream and shallot along with a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Beat well with a spatula until completely mixed and fluffy.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week if you don’t plan to use straight away.

Assembling the Salad:

1 ear fresh corn

1 lb heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced

15 basil leaves

Olive oil

Flake salt

Fresh horseradish, grated on microplane, to finish (optional)

Shuck the corn and set the cob on a grill grate set over hot coals. Cook until blackened in parts, about five minutes, rotating every minute or so. For an even more intense flavor add green hardwood (such as Alder) on the coals and although the corn to char and get bathed in that smoke.

Set the corn aside to cool before slicing the kernels off the cob.

On your serving platter layer on the shallot cream then top with the tomatoes, salmon, basil and corn. Sprinkle on good olive oil, flake salt and freshly grated horseradish.


Wild Berry Spritz with Muddled Wormwood

This simple cocktail can easily be adapted if you don’t happen to find yourself in Cordova with access with wild wormwood and Raven’s homemade wild berry liquor. In lieu of wormwood muddle with a few rosemary leaves and in place of Raven’s liquor use a raspberry liqueur - or something similar.

A few Wormwood leaves

1/2 ounce berry liqueur

1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice


Add a few Wormwood leaves to the bottom of a cocktail shaker. With a muddler or the back of a wooden spoon gently press the leaves to help release some of the aromatic oils in the leaves. To that add ice, berry liqueur and lemon juice. Shake vigorously. Pour in a glass then top with crisp prosecco or champagne. Garnish with lemon or more Wormwood