Peach Salsa and... Alaska?

Last summer I took a much overdue trip to visit Alaska. In addition to being responsible for the ill-founded celebrity of Sarah Palin, our neighbors to the north can boast an absolutely ruggedly beautiful landscape, friendly people like Lance-the-water-taxi-guy, and more mosquitoes than I thought humanly possible.

Our Alaska trip ended up being mostly centered around fish: whale watching while Orcas dove under our boat (those are like really big fish, right?), fishing for salmon on a charter boat (I was the only person not catching a darn thing in 3 hours, until the last 10 minutes when I finally landed one), and early morning halibut fishing (where I caught one but didn’t know it was on the line ’til I finished reeling up my hook to add more bait!). We even went on a spear-fishing expedition (read: knife lashed to stick being jabbed into pods of salmon in shallow river) while camping out at a back country yurt - one of my favorite experiences of all time. We didn’t actually land anything with our spears, but I think our idea for a net system totally would have worked if it hadn’t’ve gotten dark... 

As a reminder of our fishing prowess, we returned to Seattle (ha! I almost wrote ‘to the States’ - Alaska somehow does feel far away) with two boxes full of frozen fish (which we unloaded into our freezers at 2am, on its 51st hour of a 48 hour ice pack…). Which brings me to peach salsa. Many a fish taco party ensued. Grilled halibut (sometimes on handmade tortillas) always draws a crowd, and fish tacos are just not complete without some sort of fruity salsa on top. 

Here’s one that will last on the shelf for a year or so and is especially good if you’re throwing a “It’s-summer-somewhere-party” in the dead of winter (which I highly recommend). 

(I threw in the lime and ginger midway through...)

(I threw in the lime and ginger midway through...)

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Canned Peach Salsa:

2 large peaches, peeled and chopped (I absolutely hate blanching peaches - for no good reason at all - so luckily these were ripe enough to peel fresh)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 jalapeño, finely minced (I left the seeds in which brought some HEAT. Adjust yours accordingly)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium sized red onion, diced

Put these all in a pot on low heat and add:

1/4 t cumin

1/2 juiced lime (optional - this acid it not strong enough for canning so you have to add vinegar, but I like the flavor the lime adds)

1/2c white vinegar

1” grated fresh ginger

Cook down until some of the liquid evaporates and it is no longer watery. (~15 minutes). Ladle into jars and process 10 minutes in a water bath canner

Another good thing to add would be fresh cilantro (or ground coriander - they come from the same plant) but I know a few people who would rather eat dirt than eat cilantro (it’s apparently a brain wiring thing) so I left it out (plus - I conveniently didn’t have any).

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If you are not into canning, here’s a quick blender recipe for a fresh pineapple salsa instead, shared with us by a couple who rented us a cabin outside of Seward, AK.

Alaskan Pineapple Salsa:

Can of pineapple-drained

2 jalapeños (no seeds)

Red onion

5 garlic cloves

Fresh lime juice

Fresh ginger puréed

Salt 

Put everything in a food processor, blend it up, and enjoy alongside fresh caught fish cooked over an Alaskan bonfire with the nicest darn AirBnB hosts you’ve ever met!