Planning to fire up the barbie for July 4? Make plenty of room for fresh Alaska fish.
"Fresh salmon is coming in daily, with both kings and sockeyes," says Dannon Southall of 10th and M Seafoods. So are halibut, true cod and black cod from the Gulf of Alaska and side stripe shrimp caught in Prince William Sound.
While you've got the barbecue hot, why not grill some greens? Arctic Organics will have a clutch of kales, chards and collards this week at the Anchorage Farmers Market. Google recipes for "grilled greens," and watch carefully so the chard doesn't become charred.
Arctic Organics will have a ton of other green stuff as well: baby and bunched arugula, greens mix, scallions, Easter Egg radishes, pac choi, rhubarb, sorrel, mizuna, chives, sage, basil, and butter, romaine and leaf lettuces.
Other vendors at the Anchorage Farmers Market this week are Brown Dog Farm, Ed & Tina's Krauts & Pickles, Fee's Seafood, Happy Valley Chickens (eggs), Mom's Garden, Persistent Farmer, Seldovitsch Farm, Stockwell Farm, Sun Fire Ridge, Turkey Red Café (breads and treats) and VanderWeele Farm.
Spenard Farmers Market
Four Tern Farms, the Ba-Lescas Brothers, Chugach Farms, Alaska Seeds of Change and Brown Dog Farm will sell items like fresh greens, salad mixes, herbs, rhubarb, radishes, turnips, probiotic ferments, krauts, kimchi, green onions and salsa.
Got houseplants? Alaska Salmon Fertilizer has your plant food. You can also pick up barbecue sauces from Steele Grillz for that barbecue, along with canned pickled vegetables from D&L Enterprises, and local jam, jelly and honey from Midnight Sun Farm and Wild Rose Natural Harvests.
South Anchorage Farmers Market
Additional seafood choices abound here, courtesy of Arctic Choice. Among the fresh and frozen options are large oysters (Simpson Bay), side stripe shrimp (Prince William Sound), king and sockeye salmon, halibut, rockfish, cod, sablefish, halibut cheeks, razor clams, crab, and smoked and stuffed fish.
New this week to the market: Northern Fruits, VanderWeele Farm and Stockwell Farm.
And if your pup has been a Very Good Dog! all week, Drool Central has locally sourced rewards. They're freshly baked each week and made with Alaska salmon and cod, and barley and vegetables grown in the Last Frontier.
This indoor market has the usual array of meats and treats, including lettuce, potatoes, sprouts and microgreens, eggs (duck, goose, chicken), local honey, raspberry jam, fresh-made biscotti, grass-fed beef, barley products, and krauts, kimchi and other preserved veggies from Evie's Brinery.
Alex Davis of AD Farms will offer pork chops, chorizo, loin roast, sausage, roasts, feet, hocks and pork fat for rendering. All are from heritage-breed, pasture-raised hogs.
A barbecue alternative
If it's too rainy to grill on July 4, here's a stovetop suggestion for some of that fresh pork. The recipe is from the "Rotarian Flavors of the World Cookbook":
Polynesian Pork Steak
(from the region of Rotary District 9920, French Polynesia)
6 pork steaks
8 oz. plum sauce
½ cup flaked coconut
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 dash of pepper
Trim fat from meat. Brown the steaks in oil; as they brown, season generously with salt. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over meat. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until meat is tender and fully cooked. Remove meat to a warmed platter and pour sauce over it.
Donna Freedman lives and writes in Anchorage, and blogs at DonnaFreedman.com.
Local farmers markets
Monday in the Valley: Colony Farmers Market, noon-7 p.m., Palmer Depot
Tuesday outside of Anchorage: Eagle River Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., Eagle River VFW Post; Farmers Fresh Market, 3-6 p.m., 33955 Community College Drive, Soldotna
Wednesday in Anchorage: APU Farmers Market, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 4225 University Drive; Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Farmers Market at Airport Heights, 3-7 p.m., 2530 E. 16th Ave.
Wednesday outside of Anchorage: Highway's End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 2-6 p.m., Ocean Drive; Soldotna Wednesday Market, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Soldotna Creek Park; Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks
Thursday in Anchorage: Mountain View Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m., 3543 Mountain View Drive; Thankful Thursdays market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Thursday outside of Anchorage: Peters Creek Farmers Market, 3-8 p.m., American Legion Post 33
Friday in Anchorage: Center Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200
Saturday in Anchorage: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 15th Avenue and Cordova Street; Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Center Market, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200; Muldoon Farmers Market, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Begich Middle School; South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., O'Malley Sports Center; Spenard Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 2555 Spenard Road
Saturday outside of Anchorage: Highway's End Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Delta Junction; Homer Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Ocean Drive; Kenai's Saturday Market, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center; Soldotna Saturday Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., East Corral Avenue and Kenai Spur Highway; Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks
Sunday in Anchorage: Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Fourth Avenue Indoor Market, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 33 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 200
Sunday outside of Anchorage: Tanana Valley Farmer's Market, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 2600 College Road, Fairbanks