The Last Frontier is so abundant with resources and famous for many of its foods. From wild game to seafood to berries, there’s an endless supply of delicious offerings to enjoy. If you need some inspiration on how to prepare these foods, here are five Alaska cookbooks that I love.
When we moved to Alaska over five years ago, it didn’t take long for us to want to indulge in the many wild foods we found available to us. However, I had no experience cooking game meat or even seafood. I started searching for Alaskan recipes using these ingredients and now I can’t imagine eating anything else.
We cook with a variety of regional foods that we harvest up here. My husband goes hunting several times a year and brings home caribou and black bear for our red meat. He also goes fishing for salmon and whitefish. We pick different types of berries to use throughout the year and of course, I learned how to make sourdough.
Five Alaska Cookbooks That I Love
I have found a few cookbooks specific to Alaska foods and these helped me to learn how to use our bounty in creative and delicious ways. Here are my favorites along with the recipes form them that have become staples at our family table.
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Homestead Kitchen by Eve and Eivin Kilcher is a wonderful Alaskan cookbook. Full of beautiful photographs and delicious recipes, it’s just as enjoyable to read as it is to use. There are interesting stories and informative tidbits to teach you about life in Alaska and homesteading.
I use so many of the recipes in this book and have become much better at preparing wild game meat and seafood as a result. Recipes for using all of the berries we pick and the eggs from our hens have become favorites too. I turn to this cookbook time and again, even just to read when I have homesteading questions.
Here are a few of our favorite picks:
- Smoked Salmon Dip
- Creamy Halibut
- Berry Ice Cream
- Dena’s Rhubarb Sauce
I know you will enjoy this cookbook and the taste of Alaska that it will bring into your home.
The Salmon Sisters
The Salmon Sisters by Emma Teal Laukitis and Claire Neaton is definitely a must-have if you want to learn about Alaskan seafood cooking. Not only does this cookbook have amazing illustrations and photographs but it’s full of important information.
They have included explanations about all the different types of seafood that Alaska has to offer as well as advice for handling and preparing each type. This is very helpful to someone like me who had no previous experience with preparing seafood before I moved here.
There are recipes for salmon, whitefish, shellfish, and other accompaniments. Plus lots of stories from their time on the sea. I love using this cookbook and keep many of the recipes in regular rotation in our home. Here are just a few that we love:
- Blueberry-Apple Dutch Baby
- Crispy Beer-Battered Halibut
- Superfood Salmon Cakes
- Sourdough Chocolate Cake
Alaska From Scratch
Alaska From Scratch by Maya Wilson is a more recent addition to my cookbook collection but every recipe that I have tried has been amazing. They are a bit on the fancy side for me so they give me a good challenge and I’m excited when I can wow my family with an extra special meal!
I love when my girls ask me what I’m preparing and peek at the cookbook to see what I’m working on. Then they ooh and ahh and wait to be called to the table. They’re so sweet and do this with almost everything I prepare but certain recipes really excite them. Thanks to Maya’s cookbook I can make really impressive dishes with our Alaskan ingredients.
Of course, it also includes gorgeous photographs of Alaska scenery that make it enjoyable to flip through while searching for what to make next. I’m glad to have this cookbook on my shelf. These are my go-tos:
- Ginger Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Pears
- Smoked Salmon Pot Pie with Chive Drop Biscuits
- Hunter’s Pie
Alaska Sourdough by Ruth Allman was my very first Alaska cookbook and I still treasure it. It is so wonderful not just for the sourdough recipes but because the author hand wrote and illustrated the entire book! Her writing is so interesting and engaging, I can’t count how many times I’ve read this cookbook.
The historic information and stories that she includes are reason enough to have this book on your shelf, even if you don’t make sourdough. This book taught me how to get started with sourdough when we first moved here and I’ve never looked back.
The recipes range from a sourdough starter to waffles and cakes and pancakes to berry syrups and other treats. True Alaskan sourdough history and advice that have stood the test of time. Anyone interested in Alaskan cooking or sourdough or just Alaska history would enjoy this beautiful cookbook!
The Alaska Wild Berry Cookbook
The Alaska Wild Berry Cookbook is full of delicious recipes to use up all of those berries that we spend so much time picking during the summer. There are so many recipes for all different types of dishes as well as information on Alaska’s berries and preserving them.
Berry picking is one of my favorite activities each summer, I always look forward to it. We pick several times at several different places to collect enough to last us until the following season. We haven’t bought berries from the store in years and once you try Alaska’s wild berries, you’ll see why.
We carefully pick for hours and then just as carefully preserve our harvest. I make a lot of jam, enough for the winter, and then freeze the rest. Then we can enjoy our berries throughout the year in smoothies, on our homemade yogurt, and in delicious baked goods.
I frequently turn to this cookbook for a quick berry recipe as a treat for our family. Muffins, cobblers, pies, and sauces are indulgent ways to have healthier, homemade sweets using our harvest. The cold winter days are made warmer with these delicious reminders of the summer to come. Try a few of these:
- Blueberry Sponge Cake
- Wild Strawberry Pie
- North Star Scones
- Spiced Cranberry Cake
A Few Others to Try
I have a few other Alaska Cookbooks and am always on the lookout for more. I love learning about new ways to cook with the bounty that Alaska provides, whether it’s game meat, seafood, wild berries, or sourdough. I am still working on trying recipes from these cookbooks but have enjoyed them so far:
- The Fishes and Dishes Cookbook
- The Best of the Best from Alaska Cookbook
- Simply Sourdough: The Alaska Way
If you want to bring a taste of the last frontier to your table and make delicious, rustic meals for your family, I think you will love these Alaska cookbooks. Learning how to gather and prepare the abundant resources that Alaska has to offer has been and continues to be one of my favorite parts about living here.
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