Nova Scotian Hodge Podge with Tuna

Nova Scotia’s Hodge Podge, with Tuna

Nova Scotia’s Hodge Podge is a homey one-pot supper of fresh potatoes, carrots, peas and green beans. What takes it over the top? The addition of heavy cream and butter, along with a few pearl onions for mild sweetness. A gardener’s delight While there are different ways to go about making Hodge Podge, one thing is for certain: it’s best made straight from the garden, when vegetables are fresh and abundant, just as in the eastern Canadian province that lends its name to this dish. Fresh is fresh. In my research I discovered locals prepare Hodge Podge with baby potatoes just 50-60 days in the ground and the gangling carrots pulled to thin the garden bed. This is a foreign concept to someone who doesn’t grow their own vegetables, but it makes sense in verdant Nova Scotia. When a garden does well, it can produce so much food, it has to be used up throughout the growing season, not just in a final harvest. Farm life is common in the province, as are farmer’s markets – …

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Cumin Seed Potatoes | Batata b’kamun

When I look up at the turmeric-colored leaves that dangle in our now somewhat skeletal trees, I know I need a change. I crave something warm, comforting and full of spice. But I need it to happen quick, so I can run back outside, lay on my back, and watch those leaves shimmy and shake on their way down to the ground. Unless, I can find a compromise. A quick recipe I can bring on a picnic. One that can stand up to a chilly autumn afternoon and a toddler who recently got a big girl bike. A recipe I can bring to a potluck… perhaps a potluck featuring fairies from around the world. Well. Turns out, thanks to Qatar, I can. Enter Cumin Seed Potatoes – a recipe that rocks my world. The origins of this dish are a blend of Middle Eastern and Indian sensibilities, which is just about the way things work in Qatar. For a fun and equally authentic variation, try substituting some or all of the potatoes for steamed cauliflower. Ingredients: 2 lbs small …

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Ginger & Rocoto Ceviche

Last week I spoke with “Kelly,” a short, black-haired Peruvian restaurateur whose father had a thing for Western names (he also named one of her brother’s Kennedy – and, as she admitted with downcast eyes, another brother “Hitler”). If that wasn’t enough to blow my mind, she added in her thick, rolling accent that halibut ceviche is the “Dunkin’ Donuts” of Peru. I asked her twice to repeat herself. Each time her smile grew bigger and her words clearer. Ceviche is the Dunkin Donuts of Peru. Ceviche- Peru’s pride and joy – is light, fresh, and healthy, so I found the comparison strange. Unlike the doughnut, which takes a dip in a bubbling cauldron of oil, the seafood “cooks” in the acid of lime or lemon juice. Nothing could be cleaner. Each bite is bright, flavorful, and often spicy with the addition of the rocoto pepper (although any hot pepper can be used to taste) and a hit of fresh ginger. When I tried Kelly’s ceviche, I was happy to find an assortment of goodies accompanying it. There were the oversize corn kernels …

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Indonesian Salad | Gado Gado

Nope. That would be weird. No, this is peanut sauce, the perfect complement to Gado Gado. And what is Gado Gado, you ask? The coolest way to stay cool in Indonesia. Made from an assortment of tofu, tempeh, young jack fruit, cooled boiled potatoes, eggs, and green beans, Gado Gado is a dream-come-true for those of us who like to use leftovers. Of course, to keep things fresh and crunchy, most Gado Gado salads also add a blast of cabbage and sprouts. If that sounds too healthy, no worries. While I went light on the peanut sauce, I’ve read that many salads are swimming in the stuff. I got the same effect by dipping each bite until totally coated in peanut sauce. It was brilliant. What are we waiting for? Let’s hit up a floating market and make some Gado Gado. Ingredients for 2-4 2 handfuls green beans, steamed and cooled 4 small red potatoes, boiled, cooled, and quartered 4 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled, and halved 1/2 package tempeh, pan fried in oil 8 oz tofu, pan …

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Warm Christmas Potato Salad | Seasoned Potatoes with Salt Cod

Serves 6 This warm salad benefits from the resourcefulness of Croatians who still enjoy preserved fish with salt. Mixed with creamy red potatoes, a bit of bacon, and green onion – this salad makes a great side dish for any eastern European meal. Ingredients: 1 pound boned, salted codfish 2 lbs red potatoes 3 green onions, sliced thinly fried bacon – 2-4 slices, crumbled olive oil Method: The day before serving: First, gather the salt cod. Salt cod is literally fish packed in salt so that it won’t spoil. Our box came with some nifty directions. Thank goodness since, frankly, I was a little scared. As soon as we opened the box, the scent of fish wafted through the kitchen. The salt looked exactly like snow. Nice fluffy seasalt. If it didn’t smell so fishy, I would have boxed it up and used it on something. But… wow. No choice but to follow the instructions. Rinse the salt off of the fish with cool water. After a little while, the pieces will begin to separate. …

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Potato Curry | Aloor Dom/Aloo Dum

Serves 4 The curry sauce is fire-hot (I was sweating while eating), however the potatoes do not absorb the heat so you can easily control how much chili you get in a bite. To make this dish more mild, adjust the amount of chili powder (or remove this spice completely). NOTE: This recipe makes a LOT of curry sauce, so you could freeze half of it and save for another dish if you wanted to – unless you think you’ll sop it all up. Ingredients: 20 baby red potatoes For the curry: 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup chopped tomatoes 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 3 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp cumin powder 1/8 tsp ground clove 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp red chili powder (Lanka guro) (this is VERY hot, adjust according to your tolerance) 1/2 tsp Garam Masala 1 tsp salt Aromatics: 2 Tbsp mustard oil 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 2 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick 4 cardamom pods 2 cups water Method: 1.  Boil potatoes in salted water until almost cooked. Drain. …

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