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Nova Scotia’s Traditional Foods


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I was wondering why you bothered to gut and behead them, then. If you're just looking for the fillets, a lot of people seem to just cut them off the sides of the whole fish, and discard the rest. Based on your pictures, you should be able to do that without losing any yield while saving a lot of time.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I really like mackerels and knew for a long time that they were easy to fish. It's been one of my long time dream to spend a few hours on the shore fishing for them before cooking them on a beachwood fire perhaps with a salad of sea asparagus collected nearby. When you live away from the coast it is easy to get these weird romantic ideas.

At least now I know when to take vacations if I want to ever come close to realizing this kind of dream.

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I was wondering why you bothered to gut and behead them, then. If you're just looking for the fillets, a lot of people seem to just cut them off the sides of the whole fish, and discard the rest. Based on your pictures, you should be able to do that without losing any yield while saving a lot of time.

You're right, it would save time if there were lots of fish to fillet. I only had a few mackerel, and the idea of using the guts in a trap only came to me as I started to remove the innards. The usual bait is canned cat food.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Despite being Acadian, I can offer no help here, as Rappie pie is not native to my cultural region (North-East NB). Another mystery to me is Poutine rapée. I've never had one, but I tried to make them once and the potatoes completely dissolved and turned the entire stockpot into a disgusting gray good with suspended chunks of pork.

As I'm writing this, it just occured to me that I could probably make these sous-vide (cogs turning...).

I had poutine rapée on the coast not too far from Moncton and really liked it. I am surprised it is not better known outside NB.

I'm highly intrigued by any version of poutine - might I ask for an explanation of poutine rapee?

Thanks.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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Hey, Peter, do you know if mackeral take flies readily? I am a fly fisher, and it would be really fun to try to catch some on flies. Thanks!

I've never seen anyone using fly gear for mackerel. They'll take anything presented to them so I'm sure it could work. Unlike a lone river salmon, it's all or nothing with these guys -- they travel in numbers. They left my bay this week so I'll have to wait to try a fly. They're pretty good fighters being torpedo-shaped like tuna.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I'm highly intrigued by any version of poutine - might I ask for an explanation of poutine rapee?

Thanks.

Poutine rapée has little in common with the Quebec version of the dish. It is essentially made of potato dough. It is filed with meat and served in its own broth.

There is a nice article on poutine râpée here.

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Coquille Saint Jacques Nova Scotia Style

This was a fun one to research. There's lots of history and an enormous number of variations for this French Classic, from the dead-easy to the ridiculously complicated. The most important thing, in my opinion, is to use fresh scallops and don't over-cook them.

This version uses farmed Digby scallops, potato, onion, garlic, butter, cream, white wine, flour, flaky salt, black pepper, bread crumbs and chives.

Steam the scallops whole for a few minutes:

gallery_42214_6041_88424.jpg

Take them out when they're just opening:

gallery_42214_6041_129035.jpg

Make a white sauce using the flavourful steaming water. Pipe a mash potato circle around the perimeter of the cleaned half shell. Spoon in the sauce and add some scallop meat. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, Salt and pepper:

gallery_42214_6041_155940.jpg

After a few minutes under the broiler, sprinkle some chopped chives and serve:

gallery_42214_6041_18591.jpg

They didn't last long:

gallery_42214_6041_157470.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Those look exactly perfect. And you can hardly go wrong with fresh Digby scallops. I've got a kilo or so of fresh Nova Scotia mussels in the fridge that I don't know what to do with - garlic, butter, and white wine is pretty standard for Nova Scotia, which is pretty close to moules mariniere. Do we get our love of mussels from the Acadiens, or are they a more recent development?

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Do we get our love of mussels from the Acadiens, or are they a more recent development?

I think they're still on the rise in terms of popularity. They've only been farmed for a few decades now, so they're also more available than before.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that the first French settlers recognized them immediately as delicious bivalves. I'm pretty sure the First Nations folks were eating them 10,000 years ago.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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My wife and I will be in the Moncton area June 20 (maybe staying in Dieppe or Shediac). Is poutine râpée the kind of thing we could typically get in a restaurant in that area or is it mostly a home dish? We would love to try it! Thanks!

(Being a Cajun from Southwest Louisiana, I know first-hand that the best Cajun dishes are usually found in people's homes! Those who've only had Cajun food in restaurants don't know what they are missing, really)

Edited by My Confusing Horoscope (log)

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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In general, I would say that most of these dishes are home dishes, but with the CMA 2009 this summer I would expect that alot of these dishes will be popping up, especially at the major cultural events.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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My wife and I will be in the Moncton area June 20 (maybe staying in Dieppe or Shediac). Is poutine râpée the kind of thing we could typically get in a restaurant in that area or is it mostly a home dish? We would love to try it! Thanks!

(Being a Cajun from Southwest Louisiana, I know first-hand that the best Cajun dishes are usually found in people's homes! Those who've only had Cajun food in restaurants don't know what they are missing, really)

You will need to hunt a bit for poutine rapée. I got mine at a bakery after asking locals where to find some (and receiving weird looks). You will be in the right area though, so its a good start.

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My wife and I will be in the Moncton area June 20 (maybe staying in Dieppe or Shediac). Is poutine râpée the kind of thing we could typically get in a restaurant in that area or is it mostly a home dish? We would love to try it! Thanks!

(Being a Cajun from Southwest Louisiana, I know first-hand that the best Cajun dishes are usually found in people's homes! Those who've only had Cajun food in restaurants don't know what they are missing, really)

You will need to hunt a bit for poutine rapée. I got mine at a bakery after asking locals where to find some (and receiving weird looks). You will be in the right area though, so its a good start.

You can find it at the grocery store. Try the freezer section at Sobey's or Atlantic SuperStore.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Jumbo Lobster

A typical Nova Scotian lobster supper would feature a pound-and-a-quarter market-sized lobster boiled for fifteen minutes, served with melted garlic butter, a baked potato, corn on the cob and some cole slaw. If you're lucky there will be steamed mussels and fresh white buns. Popular accessories include a bib, scissors, a nutcracker and lobster pick. Some servers will pre-crack the claws for you and cut the underside of the tail for easier meat removal. There's really nothing inside the shell that can't be enjoyed -- oozy green tomalley, crumbly pink stuff, and of course the succulent white meat. For me, it's the sweet love child of a crab and shrimp.

A jumbo lobster weighs between four and ten pounds. The one seen below, until yesterday, lived in St. Margaret's Bay for ten or twelve years. She weighs in at just over four pounds and cost me twenty dollars. The box it came with could fit a pair of Kodiak work boots.

gallery_42214_6041_63926.jpg

Cooking a large lobster presents a few problems. Without the double banded claws I'm sure it could take my finger off. Do I have a pot big enough? How do I cook through the body without over-doing the extremities?

I get two or three inches of water boiling in the big stock pot, then I stuff it in head first and keep my hand on the lid for five minutes. Move the lobster to a large cooking sheet and bust it up into pieces, cut the tail and body in half, then return to boiling water for another ten or fifteen minutes.

gallery_42214_6041_88972.jpg

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A nice bonus with the bigger lobsters is the leg meat -- it's worth the effort to crack one open and get a nice pencil-sized chunk. This lobster fed five people plus it provided the stock for an excellent chowder.

Lobster chunks on black squid ink noodles with vidalia white sauce, four kinds of mushrooms and steamed fiddleheads:

gallery_42214_6041_55253.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wasn't able to find poutine rapée in any restaurant on my recent trip to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but a friend we visited in Halifax fixed us some delicious fresh mackerel and mussels. The mackerel was boiled and served with potatoes and onions. The mussels were steamed in white wine and garlic. We got a fine sample of NS home cooking from a generous host!

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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Dulse on the left, toasted dulse on the right:

gallery_42214_6041_40590.jpg

You know, if I have dulse that really dries out (I prefer the moister, leatherier dulse), I'll whizz it in the food processor with kosher salt, and it makes this great seafood condiment! :wub:

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Dulse on the left, toasted dulse on the right:

gallery_42214_6041_40590.jpg

You know, if I have dulse that really dries out (I prefer the moister, leatherier dulse), I'll whizz it in the food processor with kosher salt, and it makes this great seafood condiment! :wub:

Absolutely, it's like a marine dried herb. It can be found at the store in small shakers to be used that way.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's so easy to make a good dinner this time of year.

Most of the stuff below stuff came from my own garden -- the potatoes, rainbow chard, peas, dill and mint. The lamb and cauliflower is from a farm not thirty minutes away. The butter is from Tatamagouche.

gallery_42214_6390_43917.jpg

A dinner like this is not really traditional, although it should be, one day.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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It's so easy to make a good dinner this time of year.

Most of the stuff below stuff came from my own garden -- the potatoes, rainbow chard, peas, dill and mint. The lamb and cauliflower is from a farm not thirty minutes away. The butter is from Tatamagouche.

gallery_42214_6390_43917.jpg

A dinner like this is not really traditional, although it should be, one day.

Well, it's not that far removed from hodge podge, minus the cream :biggrin:

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Speaking of Hodge Podge...

gallery_41378_5550_142115.jpg

I was in the Annapolis Valley the other day, and stopped in at Hennigar's Farmstand in Wolfville. They had all sorts of new vegetables in, and a recipe posted for making Hodge Podge, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Basically, the recipe is meant to use a variety of vegetables fresh from the garden. It makes sense in Nova Scotia, where you can't always count on having a huge bounty out of your garden all at once, to try to make use of small amounts of different vegetables. It's hardly a recipe at all - just a pot f boiling water, to which you add potatoes, then carrots, then beans, then peas, in declining cooking order. When the peas are right and ready, drain the lot,and add generous amounts of cream, butter, salt and pepper. How can you go wrong?

I've heard some tales that suggest this dish is part of the origin of pasta primavera, although Wikipedia suggests differently. Does anyone else recall hearing about this?

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Speaking of Hodge Podge...

gallery_41378_5550_142115.jpg

I was in the Annapolis Valley the other day, and stopped in at Hennigar's Farmstand in Wolfville. They had all sorts of new vegetables in, and a recipe posted for making Hodge Podge, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Basically, the recipe is meant to use a variety of vegetables fresh from the garden. It makes sense in Nova Scotia, where you can't always count on having a huge bounty out of your garden all at once, to try to make use of small amounts of different vegetables. It's hardly a recipe at all - just a pot f boiling water, to which you add potatoes, then carrots, then beans, then peas, in declining cooking order. When the peas are right and ready, drain the lot,and add generous amounts of cream, butter, salt and pepper. How can you go wrong?

I've heard some tales that suggest this dish is part of the origin of pasta primavera, although Wikipedia suggests differently. Does anyone else recall hearing about this?

Nice looking veggies. I always stop in at Hennigar's.

I have heard the pasta primavera theory, who knows, someone here probably.

In case anyone missed it, there's some good discussion upthread regarding the word hodge podge.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 1 month later...

Below is a blueberry buckle. Batter goes in a pan and the fruit goes on top for baking. You could call it a blueberry cobbler, or a blue betty:

gallery_42214_6390_7837.jpg

A grunt is made by simmering berries with sugar and water then adding dumpling batter -- also known as blueberry slump.

A blueberry bang belly is a basic pie with a top crust.

A blueberry dog belly is a roll of biscuit dough baked with a berry filling.

A blueberry fool is pretty much the same as a grunt but heavy cream is added instead of batter. Serve in a parfait glass.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've got some ex-Nova Scotians visiting from Yellowknife, a mere four thousand miles west and north of here, and they are missing Atlantic seafood. Before the traditional lobster feed, which was not photogenic, I gave them a pasta appetizer with Digby scallops and local oysters:

101_3024.jpg

Scallops and oysters are sauteed in butter and set aside. Into the butter goes flour, garlic, smoked paprika and toasted dulse powder. The oyster juice goes in next, then milk to get a good saucy thickness. Add the pasta to the sauce and top with seafood.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 4 weeks later...

Pickled Mussels

I've had them baked, boiled, steamed, rolled maki-style and smoked, but never have I had pickled mussels. I don't know where I'd go to buy them, maybe from a Scandinavian fish market? Time to experiment.

Good mussel discussions can be found in the eG forums. Ypants finds good ways to use the broth here, Shel_B gathers recipes here, and there's a general discussion here with suggestions I can vouch for from Jinmyo and bourdain.

Here's my non-scientific method:

  1. steam local mussels until open, remove, de-shell and cool.
  2. to mussel broth add celery, onion and garlic. Simmer 15 minutes and strain out the chunks.
  3. make a simple pickling syrup with the broth using vinegar, salt and sugar.
  4. place barely cooked mussels into five small jars and almost fill with syrup.
  5. individually flavour the jars with something special.
  6. cool overnight, compare next day.

Photos to follow . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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