You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2022.

  • Ingredients
  • Fresh (or frozen and thawed) salmon
  • Sesame seeds
  • Favorite seasoning salt
  • Oil

Slice the salmon into evenly sized strips, about 1″ wide. I used three strips per person. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto a plate. Let’s call the salmon skin the bottom. Press one side of the salmon into the sesame seeds on the plate so that the side is well-coated. Heavily salt the other side, the side that is facing up toward you. That’s it for prep.

Heat just a little oil in a skillet until very hot. Place the salmon in the skillet, sesame side down, and sear it for a couple minutes. Do not crowd the fish. When you see the salmon turning pink about half way through, turn the salmon over so that the salted side is on the skillet. Let it finish cooking, a couple more minutes. Remove from skillet and let stand for a couple minutes. Serve.

This tastes really good sauced with tahini sauce.

NOTES: This tastes AMAZING!!! No joke. My son in Juneau (pictured below) made these and used blueberry salt for the salted side. He said it was AMAZING! I used garlic salt the last time I made these. I cannot overstate how good these are. It’s as though I discovered the perfect way to make salmon. Oh, but credit must go to Jamie Oliver for introducing me. Thank you.

How I ended up with more salmon than I know what to do with, but I’m working on it . . .

Last summer I bought 30 salmon from my friend Sandy. She has a small processing operation in Naknek. She fileted the fish for me. In Alaska parlance, that means she gutted the salmon and split the fish in half, removing the backbone. My memory from working at the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game in King Salmon during summers 1975-1977 as a fish ticket editor and radio operator tells me the average size of a Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is 8 pounds. If you remove the guts and split it in half, that’s about 2.5-3 pounds of meat. I see salmon recipes online talking about filets and I just don’t know what that means. They clearly are using the word “filet” differently than I’m accustomed to. Oh, well. To me, a filet is half a fish. If it’s a Kasilof fish, it’s not very much. If it’s a Bristol Bay fish, it’s a lot.

Sandy asked me if I wanted the collars and bellies removed. I was trying to catch up on the lingo and told her I didn’t care, whatever was easiest. She left them. Thank goodness because that’s what I’m used to. I cut them off myself and boil them to make salmon broth for use in salmon chowder and other seafood chowders. Sandy asked if I wanted some bellies. She cuts them off for her customers outside Alaska. The filet makes a neater appearance that way. Sure, I took some bellies. I smoked and canned them, but they’re nearly all oil so it wasn’t very appetizing. I tossed some on the smoker, but still . . . too oily for me. I don’t think I will order them again. She also threw in some scrap meat. It’s the odds-and-ends, mostly from around the backbone. There were several pounds in my order for free. She’s trying to develop a market for it, so was seeking recipes. Now that’s been a wonderful boon. I really like that. It’s good for salmon burgers and chowder. I like it better than the bellies.

Well, that’s how I ended up with 60 salmon filets, plus more extra pieces. I created a checklist so I know how many to order next year. It’s December 20 and I’ve used 19 filets. How many will I have used by July 4, 2023? We’ll see. We’ll see.

Merry Christmas!


  • Ingredients
  • 12 oz. white baking chips
  • 1/2 cup shelled, salted pistachio nuts, whole
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper, a silpat, or grease/butter.

In a microwave-safe bowl, using 30-second increments in your microwave, melt the baking chips until smooth, stirring well after each increment. Stir in the nuts and cranberries. Spread onto prepared sheet pan, as thin as you can without leaving any holes. Place into the refrigerator, or out on a countertop, until it’s hard. Remove to a cutting board and slice or break apart into serving-size pieces. Yum.

NOTES: Make sure to separate your dried cranberries so that they’re not in clumps when you stir them into the baking chips. I had a 1-lb. bag of white chocolate chips the first time and I used chopped dried cherries and lightly salted pistachios. It was great. The next time I had the ingredients I’ve listed above. The recipe is very forgiving, you don’t need the exact measurements. The add-in amounts should be to your taste, as long as you can spread the mixture out on a sheet pan. I live in a cold climate, so leaving the candy out on the countertop to harden works just fine, but you may have trouble if it’s too warm in your kitchen.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups salted dry roasted peanuts, shelled
  • 1 10-1/2 oz. package miniature marshmallows

Prepare a 9×13″ dish by greasing it or lining with parchment paper.

In a large pan, melt chocolate chips with butter and sweetened condensed milk over low heat until smooth. Stir in peanuts and marshmallows. Spread mixture into the prepared dish. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Yield: 3-1/4 lbs.

Here are photos of before refrigeration and another to show you how much it makes — huge amount! This is an expensive recipe, but it’s super easy and takes just a few minutes to throw together. Make sure you use a really large pan to melt and stir everything together in. Those marshmallows take up a lot of space. It’s very pretty when sliced and served. Tastes REALLY yummy, too.

What kind?