By Mark Bly
When weather doesn’t cooperate, comfort food does
The dog days of winter approach, and with them come the celebration of the season at Fur Rondy and the iconic race that is the Iditarod. Winter days grow longer, but then so too does the itch for spring. It’s the best of times, the most unpredictable of weather.
It has not been such a great season for those who long for the hills.
Be it a vertical drop on telemark skis, or the longing to go full throttle on your new sled, a lack of snow has left many feeling the doldrums of a season gone dry. With unfulfilled promises there is still some hope that the “spring” will finally bring us a winter playground.
It is in these times that you take comfort in the smaller things in life Maybe it’s a “pajama day” in front of a hot-burning wood stove or a day of couch surfing Netflix — the new season of “House of Cards” is almost here!
No matter the reason, you may find your self housebound. In any case, it is time to lean on some tried-and-true recipes from the comfort food library. You know the dish: love at first bite and the flavor that takes you back to happy times, and a better state of mind.
So hey, shake it off, and look forward to the day when it does not require crampons and a top rope to get to your vehicle. Gather friends and family, put on those silly winter sweaters. Hang out and share the good times. Plan for the first king salmon outing to come.
Above all, take the opportunity to shine in the kitchen with a tasty and rich seafood pasta recipe, plus a southern buttermilk pie. When combined, it is guaranteed smiles, complements and people snoring on the couch.
2 cups fettuccini
½ cup clarified butter
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ cup Alaska red salmon, cubed
½ cup Alaska scallops
8 to 10 Alaska spot shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. Romano cheese, shredded
½ cup spinach, thinly chopped
1 lemon wedge and parsley for garnish
Cook pasta until done, al dente’. Drain.
In fry pan heat butter over medium heat: Add garlic, salmon, scallops and mushrooms. Season with half of the seasoned salt. Cook until the fish is half done, about 2 minutes.
Add pasta to frying pan and add the rest of the salt. Stir until mixed.
Now add whipping cream, sour cream and all of the cheese. Stir it up good.
Cook over a medium heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Stir frequently until you achieve a creamy consistency.
Add shrimp and spinach, stir and cook until the shrimp is done.
Plate with lemon wedge and parsley for garnish.
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 35 minutes. Serves 4.
Southern Buttermilk Pie
½ cup buttermilk
1¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix everything together and pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell.
Sprinkle the top lightly with nutmeg.
Bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven to 350 degrees, and bake 45 minutes.
Cool to allow filling