Wintry weather may have some down in the dumps, but a fresh dose of seafood may help some.
"I can tell you despite the snowy weather and frigid temps, this is an exciting week for seafood," says Dannon Southall from 10th & M Seafoods. "The start of a new year brings the start of a new season of fresh cod fillets.
10th & M has fresh cod fillets for $5.95 per pound. Southall says they are perfect for just about any use. "The fillets have all bones removed and the skin is off as well making these wonderful fillets useful in any white fish recipe." The cod will work well in the recipe below.
Other seafood options include fresh whole cooked Dungeness crab for $8.95/pound. The crabs are averaging about 1.5 pounds each. Outside fish include fresh sushi-grade big eye tuna, spearfish and marlin. Other options include live Manila clams at $5.95/pound and live oysters, both Alaska and Pacific, for $12.95/dozen.
The weather has put a damper on some fish options.
"The troll king salmon fishery in Southeast Alaska has been plagued with bad weather for the last several weeks, so the fishing effort has not been very strong," Southall says. "Unfortunately, we have not seen any of these fresh salmon from Southeast in a long time, and with the weather pattern the way it is, it still maybe a few days.
Southall says salmon-lovers have options - frozen red and white troll kings are available until the fresh shows up again.
The Johnson family seafood distributors will be in various Southcentral locations this week with Kodiak scallops, Alaska side-stripe shrimp, cold-smoked king salmon and two sizes of Gulf shrimp. They should be located today at Klatt Road and Old Seward Highway; on Thursday and Friday near the Lucky Wishbone in downtown Anchorage; and Saturday near the Mercantile in Girdwood. Seafood is available 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at each location.
Chefs wanted for Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is looking to crown the next king or queen of Alaska seafood. The institute is hosting the Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off on May 14 in Anchorage and is inviting chefs from around the state to enter the head-to-head competition for the honor of representing Alaska in August at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans.
Chefs can enter until April 1. A panel of judges will choose the six winning chefs that will advance to the live competition in May. Any professional chef is invited to enter the contest.
"We have the best seafood in the world and some of the most skilled chefs," said Ray Riutta, ASMI executive director. "The Great Alaska Seafood Cook-Off shows off the best of the best and how terrific Alaska seafood can be."
During the live competition, the contestants will have an hour to prepare and plate a dish highlighting Alaska seafood. Their work will be judged by a panel of past Great American Seafood Cook-Off contestants and culinary stars from Alaska and beyond.
Find out more about the cook-off, including how to enter, at
At the market
Today's Center Market is scheduled to feature A.D. Farm, Country Health Foods, Matanuska Creamery and Northern Lights Mushrooms. Among the items available will be produce, including carrots, beets and potatoes; Alaska-raised pork; grass-fed beef; free-range chicken; Alaska seafood; mushrooms; and cheese and other dairy products.
Regular market vendor Rempel Family Farm is taking a couple weeks off, but will return later in January. Produce will still be available from A.D. Farm.
The market is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Mall at Sears. Vendors will be near the "red entrance" on the south side of the mall.
Grilled wild Alaska cod soft tacos
1 jalapeno pepper
Salt, to taste
2 large avocados, seeded and sliced
6 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped red onion, to taste
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound Alaska cod fillets
1 to 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, to taste
6 flour tortillas (8-inch size)
1 ounce olive oil, divided
Preheat grill or heavy pan to medium heat.
Rub or brush the jalapeno with 1 teaspoon olive oil, sprinkle on salt and place on the grill or in pan.
Rotate the jalapeño until it is roasted and tender on all sides. Cool slightly
Using gloves to protect from burning, peel the pepper, slice lengthwise and remove the seeds.
In a food processor, add half or all of the jalapeno (if spicier is preferred), avocado, half of the cilantro and the juice of half a lime.
Pulse the mixture to the desired texture (less for chunkier or more for creamy) and season with salt, to taste.
Place in a bowl, cover and reserve.
Clean the food processor, and then add the red onion, bell pepper, green onions, canned tomato, remaining cilantro and juice of two limes.
Pulse the mixture until your desired texture for salsa. Season with salt to taste.
Slice the cod fillets crosswise into 1-inch wide strips, then place in bowl.
Sprinkle on Creole seasoning, add remaining olive oil and toss to coat.
Grill or pan-fry until opaque throughout; remove from heat.
For tortillas and serving:
Microwave the tortillas until warm, about 1 minute.
Onto each tortilla spread 2 to 3 tablespoons avocado puree.
Place cod pieces on top of avocado puree.
Then top with ¼ cup fresh salsa.
Pull up or fold over the tortilla to eat.
Makes 6 tacos
Source: Dannon Southall and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at email@example.com.