Alaskan Barley Risotto with root veggies, citrus vinaigrette and sprouts


I’ve really enjoyed working with the Alaskan Barley and Alaska spouts are a favorite.

You can find both at many of the farmer’s markets in Anchorage.

plated at the northern foodways roundatable

plated at the northern foodways roundatable

Alaskan barley Risotto with Root Veggies and Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

-2 oranges juiced

-2 tsp dry mustard

-1 tsp roast garlic puree

-1/4 star anise- ground in spice grinder

-pinch of red pepper flake

-6 oz salad oil


1.   combine all of the ingredients in a blender EXCEPT THE OIL

2.   Using a buerre stick, incorporate the oil slowly, until fully emulsified.

3.   Add a splash of water if too thick.

Alaskan Barley Risotto

-1 oz salad or cooking oil

-1 tsp minced garlic

-1 yellow onion

-2 stalks of celery

-4 oz pearl barley

-10 to 12 oz vegetable stock or water

 Post cooking:

-2 oz butter

-1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated

root veggies

Roasted Root Veggies

1 ea Beet, medium dice

1 ea Carrot, medium dice

1 ea Parsnip, medium dice

2 oz salad oil

**If you roast broccoli or cauliflower, blanch first in boiling water for 1 minute before roasting.


1.   Roll in oil and roast at 400 degrees until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

2.   Set aside to finish barley risotto.



To Bloom Barley:

*In a thick gauge medium sized pot, sweat garlic, onion, celery-

*When translucent, add barley to coat with oil (add a little more if needed)

*Add roughly a third of the cooking liquid and stir frequently.  When the    liquid is absorbed, add another third,

*When it is bloomed, if you are going to use later, spread on a cookie pan and let cool, so it does not over cook. 

To Finish the Barley

*heat pan to medium, put 3 oz liquid into, when steaming, add barley and veggies-

*remove from heat, add butter, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and top with Alaska Sprouts when serving.



Food Solutions in the Last Frontier

I saw this article yesterday in the Alaska Dispatch.

A farmer in Fairbanks, Matt Springer has been working with quinoa and getting yields.

The Mr Springer has been harvesting and experimenting with Lamb’s Quarters, a relative of quinoa.  At $3,000 a ton, and the popularity of the grain, that could really change the infrastructure of food in Alaska.  (wheat is currently at $300 a ton, to compare) Last year he harvested enough to feed himself and family.

It is encouraging to see that we are looking at similar types of grains that while not indigenous to Alaska, can prosper in our climate and add to our food security issues, and food culture.

With a little luck we will see it in our farmers markets soon!

This is a Fresh Alaska- Troll Caught King Salmon over a root vegetable-toasted quinoa hash, maybe soon, we can do this with local quinoa!




Muktuk Sushi

Beluga Whale with fresh Sea asparagus!

Beluga Whale with fresh Sea asparagus!

platter photo

This summer we catered the Healthy Summer Celebration Dinner for the Alaska Native Health Board.

One of the highlights was serving Indigenous foods to the attendees.

Below is the recipe, this was originally in First Alaskans Magazine, October 2012.

In the early days of Arctic exploration scientist were puzzled by the fact that the Inuit did not suffer from scurvy despite having no citrus fruits in their diet.  The disease that plagued sailors during the Age of Discovery through World War I can cause shortness of breath and bone pain. The skin becomes rough and is easily bruised and can lead to jaundice, fever, gum disease, convulsions and a long slow death.

Muktuk, as it turns out, is an excellent source of Vitamin C, containing as much of this crucial vitamin as you would get from eating an orange.  Whale blubber is also high in omega-3 fatty acids which prevent heart disease.

Found in brackish water along beaches, sea asparagus, also known as glasswort, pickleweed and sea beans is also chock full of health benefits. The leafy plant is also helpful at preventing scurvy, but has so many other properties it’s earned near “superfood” status. Although praised by English physician Nicholas Culpepper for its digestive properties in the 17th Century, the tiny green plant is more than an antiflatulent. It is also a great source of iodine, Vitamins A, C, B2, B15, and D, and a host of essential minerals that nourish the body’s organs, skin and cellular DNA and helpful in preventing strokes.

Traditional foods in Alaska, both sea asparagus and muktuk are considered delicacies around the world.


Chef Rob Kinneen’s Sushi Roll with Sea Asparagus and Muktuk

-2 cups sushi (short grain) rice
-2 cups water

-2 T sugar
-2 T rice wine vinegar
-1T salt

1. Rinse the sushi rice three times, or until the water runs clear.
2.  In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add rice, stir, cover and let cook on low for 15 minutes.
3. Let rice sit for another 10 minutes with heat off.
4. In a glass bowl, spread rice out, and fold in with sugar, salt and vinegar, set aside.

-Nori seaweed paper
-Cooked sushi rice.
-Carrot-cut julienne (matchstick size)
-Cucumbers-cut julienne (matchstick size)
-Sea asparagus -fresh or canned is OK
-Muktuk -sliced thin

1. Place nori shiny side down.
2. Place about 3/4 cup of cooked rice on the nori.
3. Spread out evenly over the nori, if more is needed, that is OK-Be sure to leave about 1/2 inch on each side to complete roll.
4. In the center of the roll, place carrot, sea asparaugs, cucumber or sprouts, and muktuk -1/2 to 3/4 oz. per ingredient is fine.
5. Roll rice, be sure to keep ingredients in the center, and apply pressure to the nori.
6. Cut the roll in 1/2, then each half into 4.  A roll should make 8 pieces.
Serve with wasabi, soy sauce ( to keep gluten free serve tamari ).

When spreading rice on nori roll, keep a little bowl of water to dip fingers into so rice does not stick to your fingers.

Moose Meatballs(Gluten free) with Hoppin’John and hearty greens



I catered for a client that requested we use some of her moose for an entree. She is also gluten intolerant. This was the end result!

We flavored the meatballs with some partially rendered bacon, herbs, garlic and to add some moisture, we incorporated milk soaked Rice Chex-Make sure if you use this as a gluten free option, that the box states “Gluten Free” it ensures that the cereal is produced on clean equipment.

It is the holiday season- if you need a caterer, drop a line!

Alaskan Wild Duck Barley and Root Veg Risotto Webisode

This Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef webisode was shot at Howard Luke’s fish camp. We spent five days here.  Howard is very inspirational, his homestead has cabins and cache’s built in the 30’s and 40’s when he and his Mom obtained the land.  There is also alternative energy (wind wind and solar power) and a partnership with UAF to help him maintain his land, and develop his programs to preserve traditional ways.

The interior of Alaska gets up to 90 and 100 in the summer, by contrast it was MINUS 40 in late January when I was up there earlier for business this year.  Summer time is truly a special time up there!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did preparing it!


Salmon Scramble Webisode and Recipe

A new Traditional foods, Contemporary Chef recipe and webisode are up!  This one was filmed at elder Howard Luke’s fish camp in late September off the Tanana River.  I really enjoyed this once in a lifetime experience at his camp and hope you enjoy watching.

If you want to know more about Howard Luke and what he has to teach, I recommend Howard’s book, “Howard Luke: My Own Trail” edited by Jan Steinbright Jackson.


Braised Rockfish with Fumet, Vegetables and seaweed

BRAISED ROCKFISH with Fumet, Vegetables seaweed and seal oil

This recipe is based on the Southeast Traditional Foods Contemporary Chef Webisode.  If you don’t have access to some of the traditional Alaska Native ingredients, I’ve listed some substitutions you can try.  The dish should work well for any firm fleshed white fish like cod or halibut.

Photo by Dr. Gary Ferguson

Want to see the video and how I prepared it?  Watch it here  … and see the other videos in our “watch” section.

Photo by Dr. Gary Ferguson

SEAFOOD FUMET (fish broth)
 Fish bones rinsed in ice water until the water runs clear
 (also remove gill plate if cooking head)
 8 oz or 1/2 ea onion, rough chop
 3 stocks of celery, rough chop
 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
 1 gallon of water
 1/2 lemon, reserve to finish

1. Bring to a boil, drop to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
1. Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.
2. Strain, reserve liquid.

 3 T oil, any good quality cooking oil
 4 oz (1/2 cup) onion, small dice
 4 oz (1/2 cup) celery, small dice
 4 oz (1/2 cup) red pepper, small dice
 1 clove, garlic, minced
 6 oz (3/4 cup) potatoes, small diced
 gallon fumet

1. In a sauce pan over medium heat sweat onion, celery.
2. When translucent add garlic and potatoes, stir to keep from sticking.
3. Add stock, bring to boil, drop to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

 2 T oil, salad or olive
 2-6 oz portions of rockfish, Scaled, with an "X"
scored on the flesh side
 12 oz fumet with vegetables cooked
 1/2 oz yarrow (or other greens -- such as chard or spinach)
 1/2 oz wild parsley ( or other greens -- such as chard or spinach)
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 2 tablespoons seaweed (can use Hijiki seaweed
or other seaweed from your store)
 2 oz seal oil (the oil can be any high quality oil
or extra virgin olive oil)

1. In a medium heat saute pan add oil, sear rockfish skin side down.
2. Press down lightly with spatula to make sure skin sears well.
3. When you notice a hard white line, flip in pan.
4. Add fumet with vegetables, cook for 12 to 3 minutes
5. Finish with seaweed, foraged greens-just wilted.
Plate with fish on bottom, broth and veggies over the top, seal oil drizzled over the plate.

Lasagna on a comfort food night

Comfort food seems just right today. This is a recipe for gluten free lasagna that our whole family loves.

10 oz Rice pasta, cooked (about 14 noodles or one box)
12 oz any sausage -- we use either reindeer sausage cut into
     1/4 inch pieces and 1/4 inch rings or Sweet Italian Sausage
     crumbled from the casing.
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
38 oz or 1.5 24 oz bottles of marinara sauce
1 15 oz container of ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese, reserve a half cup for the end
1 cup mozzarella cheese
4 oz water room temp


Preheat oven to 350 degrees on bake.

Cook rice lasagna noodles per direction on the box.

Over medium heat render sausage and add mushrooms.

Once rendered, add marinara sauce and heat for 10 minutes.  Depending on your sauce, you may want to add 4 oz of water.

In a bowl add ricotta, eggs, mozzarella and parmesan.

Mix together with your hands or a spoon  and Set Aside.

In an oven proof pan, put 1.5 cups of the sauce on the bottom of the pan spread out.

layer 4 noodles on top of the sauce

Put 2 cups of the sauce on the noodles.

layer another four noodles on top.

add all of the cheese mix.  spread evenly.



COOK FOR 45 MINUTES and enjoy with a nice red wine or your choice of beverage.