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Kim Sunée

We’ve all encountered those superfoods that are supposed to be good for us but somehow -- no matter what you do to them -- end up tasting not much better than cardboard or baby food. My early experiments with quinoa, a complete protein, fell into the baby food category -- bland and mushy. In the effort of clean eating, I kept keeping on with the quinoa, thinking that one day I would love it.

About a month ago, my friend Mara cooked dinner for me -- this is a rare treat when I get to be the guest -- and, thanks to her, I now love quinoa. She had sautéed onions and fresh fennel bulb until they were golden and caramelized before adding it to the quinoa, which she had cooked, in a stroke of genius, in her rice cooker...

Kim Sunée

I didn’t grow up with the notion of Taco Tuesday. As children, my sister and I (who grew up eating Cajun and Creole fare) used to look forward to Friday evenings, which was hard-shell taco night. We had no regrets saying a temporary adios to the pots of jambalaya and gumbo. It was Tex-Mex all the way.

We’d throw down to see who could eat the most pickled jalapeños without taking a drink of water and we’d try our best to make sure our tacos mirrored the Old El Paso photo of perfectly sliced black olive and cheddar cheese-topped shells...

Kim Sunée

Is there anything better than a big bowl of chili for winter gatherings, whether it's casual weekend dinners or the many game days that involve other kinds of bowls? I usually make chili with whole boneless chuck roast that I cut into pieces for Texas-style chili, or a vegetarian version chock-full of chickpeas, black beans and a load of fresh vegetables. Here in Alaska, with friends offering up their hunts, I’ve started making this one-pot wonder with a combination of beef and ground moose or caribou...

Kim Sunée
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I usually make chili with whole boneless chuck roast that I cut into pieces for Texas-style chili, or a vegetarian version chock-full of chickpeas, black beans and a load of fresh vegetables....

Kim Sunée

January always seems to be as good a time as any for healthier eating, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up comfort foods, like pasta and sauce; there’s something addictive about the slurp and chew of good noodles, and they are a perfect vessel for all types of flavor combinations.

This time of year, I always kick-start the month with lots of green -- fruit smoothies with the added punch of spinach and cucumber, fresh herbs on top of everything from omelets to sandwiches. And green tea always makes an appearance, but my family seems to prefer it in stealth combinations. Enter Japanese cha soba, made of buckwheat flour and green tea powder; the flavor is slightly nutty and earthy, with a hint of green tea flavor...

Kim Sunée

By the time New Year’s Eve comes rolling in, if you’re like me, you might be over the meatiness of the holidays, where turkey, ham, brisket and prime rib all seem to make appearances throughout these weeks of entertaining and eating.

So, just in time for New Year’s, some friends shared some of their beautiful fish from this summer’s catch. I thought I’d gussy up the fillets a bit with greens and puff pastry for Salmon Wellington, based on a traditional beef Wellington recipe, but without the beef.

It’s an impressive dish and quite easy to make. And who doesn’t love anything wrapped in layers of buttery pastry? You can improvise on the filling. I’ve made this with everything from sautéed mushroom and creamed spinach or sorrel to a bright green pesto...

Kim Sunée
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By the time New Year’s Eve comes rolling in, if you’re like me, you might be over the meatiness of the holidays, where turkey, ham, brisket and prime rib all seem to make appearances throughout these weeks of entertaining and eating...

Kim Sunée

When speaking to chef Reuben Gerber of the Crow’s Nest in downtown Anchorage, I’m always inspired by his enthusiasm for good food. And when it comes to the holidays, his exuberance is tenfold.

“Hanukkah is right around the corner and that means it’s time for latkes!” he told me recently as we talked about traditional holiday foods. “Growing up in a Jewish home, I could hardly wait to enjoy the festive food … I will never forget tugging on Bubbie’s apron for a latke before they ever made it to the table.”...

Kim Sunée

Restaurant chefs have been house-curing meats and embracing nose-to-tail cooking for decades now, but here in Alaska, both the concept and execution are rare. So the first thing I order at Torchon Bistro is the Taster, a panoply of house-made charcuterie in South Anchorage.

The Taster's offerings, all made in-house from Alaska-raised heritage hogs, change often. It's ambitious and mostly successful -- highlights include cracklin’s with truffled Alaska sea salt and spruce tip-dry rubbed and smoked rib...

Kim Sunée
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Chef Shana Whitlock recently opened Torchon Bistro, in South Anchorage. The menu features house cured meats made from Alaska-raised heritage hogs, and she hopes to one day be able to offer true, sustainable farm-to-table dining in Alaska...

Kim Sunée

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