It looks like spring around Southcentral -- both the good and the bad.
When it comes to seafood, there is pretty much all good news this spring.
"The amazing sunshine-filled days have allowed the fisherman to get out and target the wonderful bounties of the waters of Alaska," says Dannon Southall from 10th & M Seafoods. "With the high pressure over the Gulf the halibut fishermen have been able to get out and target these amazing flatfish."
Halibut are available headed and gutted in the 10- to 20-pound range and in the 20- to 40-pound range. They also are available as fillets, and halibut cheeks are also in the store.
Fresh this week are Prince William Sound side-stripe shrimp for $10.95 per pound. Southeast Alaska troll-caught king salmon are $13.95 per pound for head-on fish and $18.95 per pound for fillets. Southall suggests calling ahead for an update on the white kings.
"Pair the side stripes from Prince William, troll kings from Southeast, and the halibut from the Gulf (of Alaska) on your grill as you both bask in the sun," Southall says.
Fresh cod fillets are available for $5.95 per pound, while fresh rockfish fillets are $9.95 per pound. Live Manila clams and oysters are also available.
Duane Clark reports that in addition to the regular items at the Wednesday Center Market at The Mall at Sears, he will be carrying duck eggs for A.D. Farm. "I will have an increase in duck eggs this week ... and chicken eggs are in good supply," Clark says.
Clark's other items include grass-fed beef, Alaska seafood, locally raised chicken and spring plants provided by Mile 5.2 Greenhouse in Eagle River. He also will have pork products from A.D. Farm.
Sleeping Lady Alaskan Foods will have reindeer products from Indian Valley Meats along with bread products provided by House of Bread in Anchorage.
Save the date: Put May 5 in your calendar if you're looking to get an early jump on the summer outdoors farmers market season. The Anchorage Farmers Market at 15th Avenue and Cordova Street kicks off on Saturday, May 5.
Saucy halibut on a bed of lentils
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
10 basil leaves
15 mint leaves
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 4 pieces
Lentils: In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lentils and toss until coated with mixture. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.Parsley sauce: Meanwhile, in a food processor work bowl fitted with a metal blade, pulse parsley, basil, mint, garlic, mustard, anchovies and capers to chop, about 15 times, stopping and scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. With motor running, slowly add oil through feed tube until oil is well integrated. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and set aside.Halibut: Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large covered skillet or fish poacher. Add lemon juice and salt. Add fish and return to a boil. Cover and turn off heat. Set aside for 5 minutes until fish is cooked through.To serve: Spread lentils on a serving dish or deep latter. Remove skin from fish, if necessary, and arrange on top of lentils. Spoon a dollop of sauce over each piece of fish and pass the reminder in a sauceboat at the table. Serve immediately.
Source: "650 Best Food Processor Recipes" by George Geary and Judith Finlayson (Robert Rose, $24.95)
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.