Monday, July 07, 2008

Best of the Best from Alaska: Big Hit

I'm amazed again by the healing powers of a good dinner. This was not by any stretch of the imagination a happy day for the family of the Tipsy Baker. It began disastrously, continued badly, and was limping along at 7 p.m. The dishwasher remains broken; the battery in the minivan is still dead; virtually every surface of our home is covered in filthy tarps.

But the halibut fettuccine from Best of the Best from Alaska. . . divine. (To use one of Checka's favorite adjectives -- we miss you Checka! Are you coming to dinner on Wednesday?) To make this crazily delicious dish you saute a little garlic, scallion, and halibut in butter; add cooked fettuccine, cream, and vermouth. Cook a little more. Turn off stove. Throw in Parmesan and parsley. Fattening and fabulous.

For dessert, Isabel made cowboy cookies which are basically oatmeal cookies with milk chocolate chips. Didn't know there were cowboys in Alaska, but whatever. Equally fattening and fabulous.

Best of the Best from Alaska is a spiral-bound volume which culls the "best" recipes from various Alaskan cookbooks. Flipping through it, you can't help noticing how inconsistent and inexact it is. Some recipes don't mention a yield; others call for "half a large can of crushed pineapple." Cake mixes, Cool Whip, and cream of mushroom soup make regular appearances.

I had my doubts and I still have my doubts. But the proof is in the Jell-O instant pudding. And dinner number one was flat-out awesome. 


  1. happy to hear it was so good. and happy that you're back to cooking again after the break! and that halibut reminds me of a dish that was described to me by a friend who had just eaten at a fancy restaurant in berkeley. it sounds very good. i had risotto made with vermouth recently and it was weirdly delicious too.

  2. The dishwasher isn't broken. I resent that.

  3. I must Ms. Baker -- or may I call you Tipsy -- that looks a lot like a wine glass, and it is not yet August.

  4. Yes, Goose, I had THREE glasses of wine last night. But it was a controlled lapse. Since mid-May I have enjoyed 50 days of no alcohol, just not quite consecutively. Occasionally I allow a break and extend my sobriety period by the same amount.
    But thanks for keeping me honest. I appreciate it.