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For Parties and Presents, Go Wild!

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(Family Features) - Parties to give, presents to buy - are you ready for the annual holiday madness? Smart shoppers will use computers and telephones to sail through their "to do" lists. Fuss-free holidays are just a click or a call away.

Delight everyone on your gift list by ordering wild seafood from Alaska, available by overnight delivery from such fisheries as Juneau-based Taku Store. A welcome change from candy, fruit or steaks, wild salmon and halibut not only taste exquisitely delicious, they're excellent for health and supremely eco-friendly, too.

Unlike farm-raised, wild fish grow naturally in the ocean and can be caught only during a few months of the year, so they are a premium product. All seafood from Taku Store is caught from the pristine waters of southeast Alaska by local family fishermen.

Try these gift ideas available at nature's fish store, www.takustore.com, or by calling 800-582-5122:

  • A sampler of lightly cold-smoked sockeye salmon and cold-smoked halibut make a welcome gift package. Cold-smoking imparts a delicate texture and taste. The salmon is classic lox; the smoked halibut is a unique, signature creation of Taku Store.
  • For a more robust option, give a gift of hot-smoked salmon. The application of heat transforms fish, adding a rich, smoky quality and creating a denser, meatier texture.
  • For those who love to cook, send flash-frozen wild salmon and halibut fillets. At Taku Store, located at the Juneau docks, fish go directly from boat to processing plant, capturing fresh-caught taste.
  • For novice cooks, add to your order of flash-frozen fish a cedar oven-baking plank and fish rub. Anyone can make a gourmet dinner by merely sprinkling fish with the rub, then baking it on the fragrant plank for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • For snackers, send a gift package of jerky-style dried salmon, smoked salmon spreads and Taku wings (delicious, smoked salmon belly fins), ready for instant nibbling.

But don't think of ordering wild Alaska seafood just for others. Taku smoked wild salmon and halibut make instant - and elegant - appetizers for your holiday party. Nothing to prepare, simply arrange attractively on a platter. And, since the fish is delivered to your door, there's one less ingredient for the grocery list.

Consider the possibilities:

  • Loosely roll each slice of cold-smoked halibut and arrange on a party pumpernickel triangle spread with olive tapenade. Garnish with a radish slice, lemon wedge and herb sprig.
  • Halve mini cocktail bagels and spread with cream cheese. Top with a thin slice of red onion, cold-smoked salmon and a sauce of Dijon mustard mixed with chopped fresh dill, a little sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Arrange hot- or cold-smoked salmon on a platter. Surround with dill sprigs and lemon wedges, a bowl of capers, chopped onion and crème fraâche or sour cream. Serve with party rye bread or Swedish flatbread.
  • For tea sandwiches, layer cold-smoked salmon between party pumpernickel bread slices spread with cream cheese that has been seasoned with lime juice and finely chopped cilantro.
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