One Man's Paradise

Eat like a musher

It has been 2 months that the Iditarod blazed through Rainy Pass. The trail markers are gone, the trail itself is fast melting away. Once in a while we find a dog booty, but sooner or later all signs of this wild dog sled race will fade.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for hungry souls.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for hungry souls.

The Iditarod is tough, but it is not a self-sufficient race any more. Rainy Pass is one of many checkpoint along the trail, where the formidable Iditarod Air Force drops food, fuel, and hay for mushers and dogs. Most mushers are pretty generous with the amounts of food that they send to the checkpoints. You want to keep dogs and the musher happy, when it comes to eating. Hence, there are leftovers. Fear not, nothing goes to waste. The hay goes to the horses, fish and meet stew are taken by the ravens, and the mushers dinner goes to … our freezer.


Now is the time to find out what the mushers are eating. All meals are vacuum sealed, some pouches are labeled, most of them are not. Since it is frozen food it is not always possible to identify what’s inside the bag. Mystery food!


Today we tested the first batch. Turns out, it was pretty tasty (3 out of 5 spoons). Chicken meat balls, with chicken chunks, rice, and carrots. Hearty. Now we know what mushers eat! The only question remains: Whose dinner was it?

How to cook a musher's meal

How to cook a mushers meal

By the way, mushers food is a snap to prepare. It’s precooked in a sealed pouch. All you need to do is toss it in hot water to heat it up. Bon appetit.

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What's cooking

Heavenly Pastries

The holidays are over, but winter is still here. It’s the perfect time to stay in the warm kitchen and prepare some delicious treats to beat the winter blues.

  1. Blueberry Tart


  2. tarte

    Blueberry tarte

    The undisputed winner in this distinct collection of fine pastries. It takes three kinds of blueberries and lemon zest to create this sweet and tart evocation of the senses. Fresh, wild blueberries, handpicked, are best for taste and unforgettable memories.

  3. Apfelstrudel


  4. Apfelstrudel

    Apfelstrudel

    An Austrian desert with a thin flaky crust and a sweet apple filling with a touch of cinnamon and a powdered sugar coating. It takes a little courage to bake this delicate pastry because of the thin trademark crust. It is not that difficult as mast recipes make you believe. Grandmothers may say you need to roll it so thin you can read a newspaper through. I think that’s a bit of a myth. Make it as thin as you can without ripping holes in the dough. Use a good baking apple and raisins for the filling and powdered sugar for the coating. Slice the pastry with the sharpest knife in the house (or a pizza cutter) and serve while warm with a dash of whipped cream on top!

  5. Beigli


  6. Hailing from Hungary comes this contender. Poppy seeds are the main ingredient of the filling. A festive pastry, rich and tasty. Pretty to look at, too. Last time I made this, they were gone before I could take a picture. Go figure.

  7. Terrassen


  8. Almost inconceivable that this fine pastry is only available during the holiday season.

  9. Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze


  10. Scones

    Blueberry Scones

    These scones are a perfect treat when blueberries are short in supply. For best presentation use frozen blueberries. Try not to squish the berries too much while adding them to the dough or you’ll end up with green scones. They still taste great! With that, any day is a great day for blueberry scones.

  11. Schneckenudeln


  12. Fun to make, fun to eat. Cinnamon rolls or morning rolls are in the same family as this nutty treat.

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What's cooking

Bin dae duk

Bin dae duk is one of my favorite Korean dishes. It’s a pancake without flowers nor eggs. You can make it a vegetarian dish or add some meat or seafood to it, as you like. The essence of the dish is the mung bean. If you want to make your life easy, buy peeled split mung beans. I started with the whole bean and it took me about 2 days to remove the hull… Well, if your next grocery store is a one hour plane ride away that’s what you have to do. Maybe that’s also one reason why they tasted so good.
Bin dae buk

looks tasty, no?

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of peeled split mung beans
  • 6 table spoons rice
  • one onion
  • a handful of bean sprouts
  • green onions
  • one zucchini
  • red bell pepper
  • a hot chili pepper
  • sesame leaves or cilantro
  • salt and pepper

For the dipping sauce use 2 parts soy sauce with 1 part sesame oil and 1/2 a part vinegar, add some finely diced scallions and enjoy.

Directions

  1. Wash beans, combine with rice and let soak for 4-24 h. Rinse and drain
  2. Blend mung beans and rice with a total of 3/4 cups of water.
  3. Transfer to a big bowl that holds the batter and the vegetables.
  4. Fold vegetables into the mix.
  5. Bake in pan over medium heat from both sides until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with soy sauce mix
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What's cooking

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Pumkin Soup

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • a pumpkin or butternut squash
  • one onion
  • some carrots
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Peel the pumpkin and remove, but keep the seeds. Cut pumpkin into 2-inch pieces. Combine pumpkin, onion, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil and 2 teaspoons salt; toss to coat, then spread in a single layer. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork. Rotate pan and turn vegetables halfway through.
    3. Boil the saved pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes. Dry them, place them in a baking pan, add some spiced salt and roast them for some time while the oven is still hot. The seeds are a great snack. You can also sprinkle some on top of the soup later.
    4. Puree vegetables and stock. Oh, and when you puree the pumpkin, be careful. Don’t splatter it all over the kitchen like I did.
    5. Bring soup to a simmer. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

The ginger makes this a pretty spicy soup, great for cold weather nights. The soup can be frozen without loosing its taste. Add a dash of sour cream and some roasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy.

If I remember well, you can add coconut milk to the soup for a richer taste.

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What's cooking

Frosted Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

What do you do if you live in remote Alaska and have a craving for good pastry?

First, you need to be picking blueberries while you can. In most places in the Northern hemisphere blueberry season is long gone, or so I thought. Even in late October there are still blueberries around. These are not just any blueberries. They have gone already through a couple of freeze-thaw cycles. They may look shriveled, but boy are they tasty. In the morning there are dark red drops on the berries, as if they are bursting from sweetness and taste. They may also be covered with some frosting. Reminds me of making ice wine. Yesterday the picking came to an end, since we have 6 inches of snow on the ground and this time around it may just stick. That makes this little container of wild, frosted blueberries in our freezer all the more precious.

Today I made another batch of blueberry scones. I think, I am getting close to perfection. Using frozen berries prevents the berries from bursting, which increases the visual score. And the lemon glaze at the end just puts them over the top.

If there are still some scones left in the morning I may take a picture. If not, they were just too good!

Here is what it takes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Bake at 375°F for about 20 min.

Thank you Tyler Florence!

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