Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Three – Manitoba –Bannock

Welcome to Week Three of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday! This week we explore the province of Manitoba, another Prairie Province nestled in the middle of Canada.

But first, I hope you all had a long and happy Thanksgiving weekend and somehow managed to survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday! I cooked a ton of food (I should have stepped sideways and shared some of those, :-/ ). Perhaps a future blog line will be about holiday cooking. I make a mean pie and this year made an oyster cornbread stuffing that was to die for. Yum!

On to Manitoba. This province is located between Ontario and Saskatchewan, with the Nunavut Territory and Hudson Bay to the north and the US states of Minnesota and North Dakota to the south.  Like its US neighbor to the south, Manitoba is graced with thousands of lakes, over 100,000, including Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest inland lakes in the world. The province’s name is from an Indian word meaning “the god who speaks”. Because of its physical location in Canada, Manitoba is both agricultural and urban, creating an interesting mix of Prairie west like Alberta and Saskatchewan and multicultural blend like Ontario.

When I went looking for a recipe, I found it difficult to find something that was uniquely Manitoban. There were many “influenced by” stuff and then there were the game meats (does everyone eat elk in Canada??). Ultimately my journey took me to the aboriginal people; the Assiniboin and Ojibwa Indians (part of the First Nations) and a simple bread called Bannock.

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Bannock

Similar to other really old recipes, there are many stories about its origin and also many versions. Basically, this is a simple non leaven bread that would be cooked in a cast iron pan over a low fire. Because it doesn’t contain milk or yeast, it is easy to make with pantry ingredients. I would imagine that there is a Girl Scout out there somewhere that will find this reminiscent of ‘campfire bread’. I have also read that this may have crossed over from Europe at some point in time and is sort of the basis for a scone.

The recipe that I used was very simple and sort of reminded me of a biscuit. I used unsalted butter, but you could use any shortening or even bacon grease. It comes together very quickly and I cooked it on my stove top in about 25 minutes.

pan-fried-bannock
Bannock cooked on stove top

If you are ever in need of a simple bread side, I would highly recommend giving this a try. It is tasty, easy and a perfect addition to a quick mid week meal. We enjoyed it with some spaghetti and meat sauce. A smear of butter on a broken off piece was just perfect.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week in New Brunswick!

Bannock

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cups water

Directions

  1. Measure flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.
  2. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  3. Cook in a greased frying pan over medium low heat, allowing about 12-15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

 

Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Fifty! – Hawaii – Shoyu Chicken, Mac Salad and Haupia

Welcome to week 50 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the last, but certainly not the least, state of Hawaii, who joined the union on August 21, 1959. I cannot believe I did it. All fifty states represented here. From Delaware to Hawaii, we have taken quite a journey through our states, each one unique in its own way. I can honestly say that I learned something from this process. A lot of history about our country, some of it better than others, but I have definitely gained knowledge about who we are, good and bad.

But we’re not done yet! Let’s talk about our Pacific state of Hawaii.

So how did we end up with a state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Well, a lot of it has to do with sugar and of course, location. During the mid to late 1800s, the US government gained interest in the island nation, as it offered a strong strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region and also provided for huge economic opportunity in its sugar plantations. At the time, the islands were ruled by the Kamehameha dynasty, but when the last of the reigning family died in 1872, the islands went into some upheaval and the US stepped in to try to bring control. At the urging of the military and US citizens now living there, the government and Queen Lili’uokalani were overthrown in 1893. US President Cleveland was against annexing Hawaii, but several years later under President McKinley, the islands were officially annexed into the US as a territory in 1898.

After becoming a territory, the US moved quickly to build military bases around the island of Oahu, some still in use today. The US Navy built a base at Pearl Harbor, which we all know was hit by Japanese fighter planes on the morning of December 7, 1941. Twenty vessels were destroyed, over 2000 service men were killed and the attack propelled the US into World War II.

Hawaii wanted to be admitted as a state as early as 1935, but was rejected 3 times before finally gaining enough support with their arguments in 1959. They sent an elected representative to Washington with their desires clearly laid out. They wanted to elect their own governor, have the ability to vote for the president, put an end to taxation without representation in Congress, plus they had proven their loyalty to the US in WWII and more than 90% of the population were already US citizens. In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Hawaii Admission Act and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. On June 27, 1959, a ballot vote was held asking Hawaii residents to vote on accepting the statehood bill, which passed 17 to 1 to accept. On August 21, church bells were rung throughout Honolulu proclaiming that Hawaii was finally a US state.

Ok. So let’s talk about Hawaiian food. I have been to the Hawaiian Islands several times and I always love the food. I tried to find some recipes that were representative of the local culture, but also had to avoid fish (son won’t eat it). I would have loved to make some cool luau food, but not having taro leaves and a big fire pit in my back yard sent me looking for something else.

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Shoyu Chicken, Mac Salad and Haupia

What I decided on were three different dishes! Yes, three different recipes, because I just couldn’t decide on one. The first dish is Shoyu Chicken, which is a tasty braised dish that tastes like teriyaki. It is super simple and flavorful. It is often served as a meat option for the Hawaiian Plate Lunch, which is where the second recipe comes from; Hawaiian Macaroni Salad. This one was also very tasty. It contains more mayonnaise than any other mac salad I have ever made, and everything I read about it is that it is supposed to be that way. It sort of reminded me of deli prepared mac salad. Tasted good, but too soupy. The third recipe was a dessert called Haupia. It is a super simple coconut pudding with only a couple of ingredients. My son described it perfectly when he said it tasted like coconut jello. Sort of jiggly, but flavorful while not being heavy. I bet it would be really good with some chocolate sauce!

So there you have it. Fifty states of New Recipe Tuesday complete. As they say in that old tv ad “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”! Where do we go next? Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe a week or two of reflection and planning for my next adventure. If you have any ideas, please feel free to offer them up.  For now, I want to thank you for following along, and I hope you will continue with me as we move on to our next culinary journey.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week…

Recipe for Shoyu Chicken:

Ingredients:

6 – 8 chicken thighs
2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cups low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup mirin
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 -inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick and smashed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
Thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch and green onions in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, covered, turning occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes more.

Remove chicken to a serving platter. Remove garlic and ginger and discard. Bring sauce to a boil, skim off excess fat, and cook until reduced slightly, about 10 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add chicken, turn to coat, and serve chicken with sauce and sliced green onions.hi-shoyu-chicken

Shoyu Chicken

Recipe for Hawaiian Macaroni Salad:

Ingredients

1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole or 2% milk, divided
2 cups mayonnaise, divided
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled & grated
Salt & pepper

Instructions:

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and the macaroni; cook one minute past done, about 10-11 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

Add the cider vinegar and toss until absorbed. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1 ½ cups of the milk, 1 cup of the mayonnaise, the brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp pepper.

Once the cooked pasta has cooled for 10 minutes, mix in the dressing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup of mayonnaise, along with the scallions and carrot. Stir to combine, and then season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

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Hawaiian Mac Salad

Recipe for Haupia:

Ingredients

1 (12 – 13 ounce) can coconut milk
5 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
34 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut extract
toasted coconut, for topping
Instructions:

Pour coconut milk into saucepan.

Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in water and blend well.

Stir sugar mixture into coconut milk; cook and stir over low heat until thickened (about 4-5 minutes)

Remove from heat and add coconut extract.

Pour into 8-inch square pan and chill covered until firm.

Cut into 2-inch squares. Garnish with toasted coconut.

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Haupia

Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty Nine – Alaska – Salmon Wellington

Welcome to week 49 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the state of Alaska, who joined the union on January 3, 1959. Seriously, am I really up to Alaska?  I am so excited to be rounding the final bend of this journey and I am especially happy for those of you that have come along for the ride. We are almost done! I guess I need to start thinking about where we will go next. Stay tuned for that in just a couple of weeks.

I was really interested in learning about Alaska, as I had no idea how we ended up with this vast piece of land. And knowing what I know about previous territories and statehood, I am very intrigued that this huge hunk of real estate became only one state. So this is what I found out.

The land area of Alaska was part of Russia. In the mid 1860s, Russia was having financial difficulties and was afraid that they would lose the land in a conflict, specifically to Britain, whose Royal Navy could easily capture it because of its remote location. The czar Alexander II decided to sell the land and began negotiations with the US Secretary of State William Sewell. The treaty was signed on March 30, 1867 at 4:00 in the morning for the sale price of $7.2 million US dollars (the equivalent of about $1.7- 2 billion today).

Most of the lower 48 thought it was a stupid deal as the land, in their opinion, held no value and was coined “Sewards Folly” and deemed a total waste. This all changed in the 1890s, when gold was discovered and created a mass stampede of settlers and prospectors, looking to make it rich. The area went through several administration changes and took years to fully organize. I can find no records that ever indicated that the land should be divided up. It was always just one territory. And in 1959 it was finally admitted to the US as a full state.

An interesting fact about the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the US was that it changed time zones. At the time, it was at 14 hours ahead of GMT, but changed to 10 hours behind. This resulted in the land actually have two Fridays in succession, the one place on earth to ever do so.

When you go looking for foods of Alaska, the recipes fall into two very distinct categories. Let’s say they are the ones that I would eat and the ones I wouldn’t. Partly because of availability and partly because they just sound weird, I was not going to make moose meatballs or a dessert that they call Alaska ice cream, which is made of fat and snow and berries. The other half is two things…salmon and crab.

Crab in Alaska is really pure. They don’t make it into crab cakes or casseroles. It is cooked, cracked, maybe dipped in butter and eaten. Not much of a recipe there.

So salmon it was. I wanted to make something (obviously) new, so I settled on an interesting dish called Salmon Wellington. In theory, it is the same as the famous Beef Wellington; a nice piece of meat with some additions, wrapped and baked in a puffed pastry. The recipe I found used a really nice, creamy sautéed spinach, which was delicious and added a lot to the whole dish.

The result was pretty good. I have to say that it seemed to be missing something. Salmon is pretty fatty, and with the pastry and creamed spinach, it was very rich and needed some brightness. I am thinking the simple fix is a good squirt of lemon to give it that needed acidity. Wish I had grabbed a lemon at the market.

As a side note, my son does not like salmon at all, so I decided to make his version using a boneless chicken breast. He said it was really good and ate the whole thing. Since he can be a bit picky, I consider that a big solid A. His only suggestion was that you could probably double the spinach filling. Now that is saying something!

So the salmon version gets an A- because it was a little unbalanced and the chicken version gets an A. Pretty enough for a company dinner, and actually  much easier to make than how fancy it looks. I hope you will give it a try.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week in the big Hawaii 5-0!

salmon-wellington
Salmon Wellington

Recipe for Salmon Wellington:

Ingredients

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
salt and lemon pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, divided
1 shallot, chopped
¼ cup white wine
3 oz cream cheese
1- 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp plain bread crumbs
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 (1 lb.) package puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Season the salmon generously with salt and lemon pepper.

In a large sauté pan, heat butter, chopped shallots, and garlic over medium heat. Sauté until the shallots become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Bring the heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Let the liquid cook out for about 5 minutes, and then add the cream cheese and cook for about 1 minute to melt it a little.

Add the spinach and sauté until it starts to soften. Add the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and blend well. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

Unfold the puff pastry onto a light floured surface and roll out the 2 sheets (to about 10×14), then cut each of them in half on the long side. So you end up with 4 pieces, each about 7×10 inches.

Place each seasoned salmon fillet in the middle of each puff pastry sheet. Leave about 2 inches around the edges.

Divide the spinach mixture into 4 equal parts and evenly spread it on top of the 4 fillets. Then brush the edges of the puff pastry with egg wash.

Begin folding the puff pastry over starting with the longer edge. When folding over the short edges, brush more of the egg wash before folding. It will end up like a closed packet.

rolling-slamon-wellington
Salmon Wellington Prep

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon wellington seam side down.

Make crosshatch slits on top of the Wellington with a knife. Then brush with more egg wash.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

 

salmon-wellington-sliced
Salmon Wellington

Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Forty Three – Idaho – Pan Seared Trout with Pecan Brown Butter Sauce and Potato Salad with Cherry Peppers and Sweet Relish Vinaigrette

Welcome to week 43 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome the state of Idaho, who joined the union on July 3, 1890. And once again, I seem to be making up for lost time! Sorry about missing last week. That is a first for me. I have tried to be so consistent with this journey, but last week was just a mess. I dropped my son off for a month as a counselor at camp in the Poconos. Then headed up to New York to spend a couple days with friends. While there, I sustained a pretty nice injury to my big toe. Let’s just say that a good portion of my toe nail was dislodged…from the nail bed. The whole nail will not be with me for long. I wonder what a toe looks like without a nail?? I guess I am going to find out. Add some parent issues and you get the picture. But I am back on track and hopefully this will be the one and only time I miss a whole week.

Idaho is the fifth state to join the union under President Benjamin Harris. As you may recall, the Enabling Act of 1889 allowed for four states to seek statehood. After those states were admitted, Idaho followed by passing a state constitution, which was submitted and approved by Congress. Idaho was originally a Mormon state with a large pro-polygamy population, but a strong Republican group essentially pushed out the Mormons when they wrote the state constitution, outlawing polygamy and denying Mormons the right to vote. Interesting.

Here is some other interesting information about Idaho. It was the last state to be explored by the Lewis and Clark expedition (and any other European-Americans for that matter). There is no documented exploration of the area until 1805. The Shoshone Indians, who inhabited the region, assisted in the exploration. They had never seen a white man before then.

And Rigby, Idaho, is referred to as the birthplace of television. Inventor Philo Farnsworth is attributed with reportedly sketching out the design behind the technology for a high school science paper. His contributions were crucial to the first all electric television system.

In looking for a recipe for this week, once again two foods came to the surface. The first was the potato. I think just about everyone knows that potatoes and Idaho go together. It was in 1837 that missionary Henry Spalding planted the first potatoes in Lapwai, ID. They were originally part of an effort to bring cultivating crops to the Indians in the region. The soil and weather were perfect for potato growing and today, Idaho produces more potatoes than any other state, nearly 30% of all consumed in the US. And although the Russet is probably the most famous, Idaho actually grows more than 25 other varieties as well.

The other food that Idaho is known for is Trout. Idaho harvests more trout for US consumption than any other state. Trout fishing is a popular tourist activity and draws hundreds of thousands of fisherman to the region annually.

So again I made two different recipes this week. The first is Pan Seared Trout with Pecan Brown Butter. I adapted the recipe from one I found on Saveur. I thought the cooking method for the fish was perfect and the brown butter sauce was a nice addition. I did think it needed more acid, so I have adjusted the recipe to include a really good squirt of lemon to the finish. That was all it needed to really bring out the light fish flavor.

The second recipe is Potato Salad with Cherry Peppers and Sweet Relish Vinaigrette. This recipe is adapted from Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. I liked the ingredients and thought it would be really good, but I didn’t care for it. I thought the sweet relish was too overpowering and overall, the cherry peppers added nothing to the flavor of the dish. I am not sure how I would fix this. Matt really liked it, so maybe it is just me. If he hadn’t thought it tasty, I probably would not even have told you I made it.

Idaho2
Idaho

I think both recipes are not perfect, but I would give the trout an A- and the potato salad a B+ (only because Matt liked it). I would definitely make the fish again, maybe looking for a lighter butter sauce. But the fish itself was delicious and I will not hesitate to make trout again.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by. See you next week in Wyoming! And yes, that will be the official do over of the state! Check out week thirty for that story!

Recipe for Pan Seared Trout with Pecan Brown Butter:

Ingredients

10 Tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 T) unsalted butter, divided
34 cup roughly chopped pecans
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus 2 tsp. juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 cup flour
4 (6-oz.) boneless, rainbow trout filets
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions

Purée 6 tbsp. butter, 12 cup pecans, the scallions, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a small food processor until smooth; set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp. of remaining butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; place flour on a plate. Season 2 filets trout with salt and pepper; dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Cook, starting skin side down, flipping once, until golden and cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter and trout. Transfer filets to serving plates. Add remaining chopped pecans to skillet; cook, until toasted, 1-2 minutes. Add butter mixture; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Spoon the pecan sauce over trout. Squeeze lemon over fish. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe for Potato Salad with Cherry Peppers and Sweet Relish Vinaigrette:

Ingredients

Potato Salad:

6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, skin on, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red onions
1/4 cup pickled cherry peppers, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sliced chives

Sweet Relish Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet relish
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

For the potato salad: Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Season the water liberally with kosher salt. Bring the potatoes to a simmer over medium/low heat and cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and then cover with aluminum foil to keep warm until tossed with the vinaigrette.

For the sweet relish vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, relish, capers and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the potatoes, parsley, red onions, cherry peppers and chives to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat, adding additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or keep covered in the refrigerator up to overnight and toss again before serving.

Idaho1

Idaho – Fifty State of New Recipe Tuesday

Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Thirty Four – Kansas – Cheesy Corn Bake

Welcome to week 34 of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. This week we welcome Kansas, who joined the union on January 29, 1861. The name Kansas is from a Sioux word meaning “people of the south wind”. It is part of the area included in the Louisiana Purchase. Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, and Stephen H. Long explored the region between 1803 and 1819. The first permanent white settlements in Kansas were outposts established to protect travelers along the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.

Today, Kansas is a huge agricultural state, where wheat fields abound. An interesting fact about wheat in Kansas; in both 1991 and 1997, Kansas wheat farmers produced enough wheat to provide everyone on Earth with six loaves of bread! It befuddles me that anyone in our country goes hungry when I read something like this. SMH.

In addition to wheat, Kansas is also known for cattle, and when I went looking for a recipe it was obvious that the cooking gods wanted me to sit around a barbecue and produce some sort of fantastic brisket. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. For as much as I love to cook, the grill is not my territory. And besides, it would have been so obvious that even my biggest fans would have thought it was a cop out.

So I continued to investigate and found out that in addition to cattle and wheat, Kansas also produces corn, beets and oats. With that, I discovered that along with good barbecue, Kansas is also very proud of its side dishes, and in particular Cheesy Corn Bake.

IMG_1807

Interesting story. I have a friend named Steve who is originally from Kansas. He is quintessential barbecue, and regularly breaks out the smoker to spend a whole day cooking up tasty meats of all sorts. He is especially good at ribs and likes to try out all different kinds of rubs. I have been over to his place many, many times and one thing that often shows up on the table is a side dish of cheesy corn goodness. He always just called it corn casserole, but little did I know that it was an iconic dish from his state. When I started reading the recipe, I immediately knew that it was Steve’s corn dish and knew I just had to make it myself.

I was already familiar with Cheesy Corn Bake, and the recipe I found did not disappoint. It comes together super fast and is a great accompaniment to ribs, chicken or brisket. It is pretty rich, so you don’t need a lot, but I will warn you that you will find yourself picking at it if it’s left on the table. A little decadent, but a true crowd pleaser that I encourage you to add to your next barbecue gathering. Your guests will love you.

Since I am not a barbecue goddess, I had some yummy ribs courtesy of Costco, as some roasted romanesco on the side. A great dinner all around.

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Kansas Cheesy Corn Bake with ribs and romanesco

Enjoy and see you next week in West Virginia.

Cheesy Corn Bake

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup milk
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (3oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 (14oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
4 oz ham, diced

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt margarine or butter. Stir in flour and garlic powder. Stir for 1 minute.
  2. Add milk all at once. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  3. Add the cream cheese and continue stirring until melted. Add the cheddar and stir until melted.
  4.  Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until melted. Stir in corn and ham.
  5. Transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

 

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Cheesy Corn Bake