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Food and Drink

How Alaska eats: Spring chicken (cutlet) + poppy seed cake

Pan-fried chicken primavera. (Photo by Kim Sunee)

Newsletter #42: RIP Romano’s

Spring showed up way early for the party. It might be dusty, but the tulips are coming up and the kids are playing in the yard until their hands are too cold to hold the football. What’s for dinner on nights like these? Kim Sunée is making chicken cutlets and a kicky little salad. Maybe you’re feeling like some bacon mac and cheese? Or, if you’re like me, all you want is something light and crunchy, like crisp peanut noodle salad.

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Cold peanut noodle salad. (Maya Wilson / Alaska from Scratch)

I’m deep into green still, going hard on steaming Costco artichokes, green beans and organic asparagus. I can’t get enough. Even if you’re not super into asparagus, you’ll probably like it wrapped in prosciutto the way Maya Wilson does.

[Read previous newsletters here. Find more Alaska recipes here.]

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus (Maya Wilson / Alaska from Scratch)

Can we talk for a minute about poppy seed cake? I experimented with my aunt’s recipe from the ’70s that calls for cake mix and butterscotch pudding because I yearned for that childhood taste. It hit all the notes, with a subbed-in gluten-free cake mix even, but in a JV move, I didn’t prepare the Bundt pan well enough and the cake stuck. Maya Wilson has a way better recipe. And you will know that you have to be serious with the butter and flour beforehand. Make it, will you, and think loving thoughts about the days of getting surprise cake in your lunchbox?

Greek yogurt lemon poppy seed coffee cake (Maya Wilson / Alaska From Scratch)

In restaurant and childhood nostalgia news, Annie Zak reports that the classic ’80s parent date spot, Romano’s, has closed. But there’s a new chicken restaurant! Read all about it. I also noticed that the old Rice Bowl building has been painted green and repurposed into a marijuana establishment. It is not, I’m sad to report, called Nice Bowl.

Get ready for some serious Easter recipes next week, and if you don’t already, support local cooking and local food news and subscribe.

Here’s hoping you squeeze in one last trip to your favorite breakfast restaurant before tourist season ramps up.

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