Denali Dispatch

It is our pleasure to present Dispatches, a journal of the goings on at Camp Denali & North Face Lodge.

Written by members of our staff, Dispatches is an opportunity to peek into the special sightings notebook, brush up on Denali National Park issues, read about our ongoing projects in sustainability, and maybe get a whiff of what’s cooking in the kitchens. Dispatches will carry on through the winter, when we hope to share stories of snowy ski adventures, deep cold, and the events of a small Alaskan community.



Camp Denali Flavor

September 09, 2015

A gourmet culinary experience is totally unexpected at the end of the 90-mile Denali Park road, and 350 miles away from Anchorage.

 

Our guests are not in pursuit of a unique and memorable eating experience when they book a stay at our lodges, but that is exactly what they get.  Over 60 years since our founding, the availability of good ingredients has expanded, as have the expectations of our palates. Long gone are the days of freeze-dried green beans and corned beef from a can. Today, the plates of delicious food served up in our kitchens represent the best flavors and ingredients available to us, and our commitment to source from suppliers dedicated to organic and sustainable production. We pride ourselves in making your dining experience a featured part of a stay at Camp Denali and North Face Lodge.

 

The level of detail found in our kitchens includes even the smallest of products: spices. The curry powder in our “Curried Cauliflower Soup” comes from The Spice House, a family owned company dedicated to highest quality and freshest spices. This delicious dish is perfect for an Alaskan climate, where a hardy vegetable like cauliflower thrives. Starting in July, we receive heads of Alaska cauliflower, ranging from creamy off-white to bright yellow and sometimes (when we’re lucky!) a shocking purple. The creaminess of this soup is unique, derived from pureed cashews and coconut milk. It has a rich flavor without any dairy, and is also vegan.

 

The recipe comes from health food guru, Dr. Andrew Weil.

 

Soup

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt, to taste

 

Garnish

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 

1) Put the cashews in a blender and blend until finely ground. Add 3/4 cup of water and blend for 2 minutes. Strain and set this mixture aside.

2) In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until golden. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, cashew mixture, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.

3) Blend the soup with an immersion blender or standing blender until the desired consistency is reached. If using a standing blender, allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes before blending. Blend until the soup is smooth.

4) Garnish, if desired, with caramelized onions. Sauté the thinly sliced onion in the canola oil over low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add a couple pinches of sugar and a pinch of salt to complete the caramelizing.

 

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