Set the Net

Recipes and snapshots of life in Bristol Bay, AK

Smoked Salmon Sweet Potato Au GratinWhen I open my freezer or visit my pantry this time of year, I’m acutely aware that the subsistence bounty we harvested here in Bristol Bay is tangible proof of a life well led.

Moose roasts wrapped in butcher paper, spruce grouse breasts sliced thin, ready for breakfast, greens blanched, halibut portioned out carefully, and berries in individual pie-sized portions all line the freezer shelves. Pickles, jam, and jellies all preserved in jars fill the pantry. Bins of potatoes still dirty from the garden lay cool on the tile floor. The season for being consciously thankful is here, my freezer is proof.

Susie and Bea celebrating salmonOf course, there is also an abundance of salmon, the main staple in our diet. There are fillets, steaks, heads, and roe all cleaned and frozen neatly in vacuum sealed bags filling the chest freezer. Buckets of salt fish cure in our cellar, smoked fish and strips are kept chilled or frozen, and then there are the cases and cases of jarred salmon all professing our hard work and our fortune. Truly, these are things to be ever thankful for.  Continue reading

Citrus Maple Salmon Landscape 3.JPGJust when I think the darkness of winter will never lift, the daylight begins to grow longer and citrus season is here. I couldn’t believe it when these gorgeous clementines showed up in our small rural grocery store. I had to buy them – and buy them all I did. It’s the little things.

The clementine is a hybrid between the mandarin orange and the sweet orange, and they tend to be deliciously juicy. This allows them to lend themselves nicely in creating glazes ands sauces. I am also just enamored with the longevity in which the leaves and stems remain green despite sitting the fruit bowl for days. A pop of the promise of summer in mid-winter is always welcome.

Citrus Maple SalmonThe clementine’s vibrancy and the sockeye’s robust flavor pair together so nicely in this simple dish that is driven home with a hint of maple, garlic and ginger for savor. This dish is certain to win over even the most reluctant salmon cook and eater alike. Baked in the oven low and slow, it is a no fuss, moist delicious sockeye salmon dish.  Continue reading

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