FEAST BY LINDSAY ANDERSON & DANA VANVELL
This weekend meal plan is all about great Canadian recipes that makes this country special with the food that its calls its own. I found this new cookbook by Lindsay Anderson and Dana Vanveller who wrote this wonderful book after their epic road trip touring throughout Canada. They literally ate their way through the trip that took them from coast to coast, along the way gathering recipes from some of Canada’s best little restaurants, bakeries and chefs. The pages of this book feature each province, the food they are famous for, and the new take on some of old classics. My guests and I truly enjoyed the meals from this book. The baked beans for breakfast were a super yummy and pared perfectly with some scrambled eggs and toast. I chose to make a big picnic lunch on the lawn serving the fish cakes, BBQ corn and my own take on a fresh coldslaw. I recommend this book for your kitchen library, a great book to have to learn about this country’s diverse food and enjoy the tastes we call our own.
MOLLASES BAKED BEANS SERVED WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS AND TOAST
SPICY HADDOCK + SNOW CRAB CAKES
BBQ CORN ON THE COB WITH CHIVE AND GARLIC SCAPE BUTTER
MY HOMEMADE COLD SLAW
Molasses Baked Beans
Serves 6 to 8 or 4 as a main dish.
2 cups (500mL) dried navy or pea beans
1 small yellow onion (about 120g), peeled 1/2 apple (about 50g), cored and peeled (optional)
3 Tbsp to ⅓ cup (45 to 80mL) lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup (125 mL) molasses
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) dry mustard
½ (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 slice bacon (about 1 oz or 25g), chopped (see note)
Note: To make this dish vegetarian, simply swap 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter for bacon
Soak the nacy or pea beans in a large bowl of water overnight in the refrigerator
The next day, drain the beans, transfer them to a medium pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the skins break when you blow on them.
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150℃) and set a full kettle of water to boil.
Drain the beans and out them in a large ovenproof pot or bean crock. Bury the onion (and apple, if using) in the middle of the beans.
Mix together the brown sugar, molasses, salt, dry mustard, and pepper and pour over the beans. Sprinkle the bacon pieces overtop, or dab with the butter. Pour over enough boiling water to just cover the beans. Cover the pot and cook in the preheated oven for 4 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Serve with homemade bread, biscuits or as a side dish.
Spicy Haddock and Snow Crab Cakes
2 tsp (10 mL) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying the cakes
¼ cup ( 60 mL) dry white wine
9 ounces (250 g) haddock, or any other mild white fish
1 pound (454 g) potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups (375 mL) cooked snow or Dungeness crab meat (optional: see note)
4 to 5 green onions (60 to 75 g), finely chopped
¼ cup ( 60 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Generous dash hot sauce
1 tsp ( 5mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour (optional)
1 egg yolk
½ tsp (2 mL) Dijon mustard
1 ½ Tbsp ( 22 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
⅛ tsp salt
½ cup (125 mL) extra virgin olive, sunflower or canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Note: if omitting the crab meat, double the amount of fish.
Preheat the oven to 350°F ( 180 ℃).
Put the 2 tsp ( 10 mL) of oil and the wine in a baking dish. Add the haddock and sprinkle the filets with a pinch of salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes apart easily. Remove from the oven and let cool.
While the fish is baking, add the potatoes to a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, coarsely mash, abd set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix the fish, crab, mashed potatoes, green onions, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste, If the mixture does not form cakes easily, add the flour, 1 tsp ( 5 mL) at a time, until the mixture comes together. Season further with salt and pepper, if desired. Form 16 patties about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and slightly flatten them. Set patties aside in the refrigerator while you make the aioli.
You can make the aioli with a hand blender and a deep measuring cup or with a whisk and a large bowl. If you choose to whisk it by hand, be warned that it will be a bit of an arm workout, as you have to rapidly whisk with very few breaks. In either scenario, it’s easiest with two people — one person blends while the other pours in the oil.
Blend (or whisk) the yolk, then mix in the mustard, half the lemon juice, and the salt. While blending/ mixing constantly, add the oil in a steady stream. Once the oil has been incorporated, you’ll have a nice, thick aioli. Stir in the rest of the lemon juice and garlic and season further, if desired. Keep in the refrigerator until needed. Fresh mayonnaise is good for 2 to 3 days if kept cool.
Heat some oil in a large pan. Once hot, cook the fish cakes a dew at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Make sure to flip the cakes only once. Repeat until all the cakes are fried. Serve with the aioli, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a cold beer.
Barbecued Corn on the Cob
With Chive & Garlic Scape Butter
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped garlic scapes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp ( 2 mL) salt
1/2 cup ( 125 mL) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 cobs of corn, still in husks
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive or grapeseed oil, for brushing
Flaky sea salt
To make the herbed butter, put the garlic scapes, chives, salt and butter in a food processor or blender and pulse the mixture until it’s combined but not perfectly smooth. Lay out a piece of plastic food wrap or waxed paper and transfer the soft butter mixture to the centre. Fold over one end and roll, shaping the butter into a log. Twist both ends in tightly. Let chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the corn is cooked.
Fill a large bowl or pot with cold water and submerge the cobs, still in their husks, for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the barbecue to high (about 450°F to 500°F/ 230℃ to 260℃).
Pull back the husks of the corn but keep them attached. Remove the silk and brush each cob with about 1 tsp (5 mL of oil. Wrap the corn back up, enclosing all the kernels in their husks once again.
Turn the barbecue down to medium and place the cobs on the grill. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and cut into 12 slices.
Cook the corn on the grill for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally so that all sides of the cob have a turn facing the grill. When they’re done, the husks should be mostly charred and the corn inside will have turned bright yellow. Remove the corn from the grill and let it cool enough to handle. Husk the corn, top with slices of butter, sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired , and serve immediately.