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My Grandfather’s Potato Salad

 

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My grandfather has had an incredible life and I am grateful my family tends to have kids pretty young (present company excluded) so that I have been able to spend so much time with my grandparents. My Nernies, as I call him, has had an adventurous life touching every continent, spanning multiple careers and callings. I’ll get in to some of these stories more down the road, but for now, I’ll tell you that he is an accomplished chef. He began cooking on a Norwegian whaling ship as a teenager and picked up quite a few specialty dishes along the way.

This is nothing fancy, just a big bowl of potato salad. I love the shredded carrots – makes it a bit sweet! Feel free to halve the recipe if you’re not serving a big crowd. This makes a large bowl, perfect for a cookout!

Ingredients: 

3 lbs potatoes, peeled
3-5 eggs (to your taste! I like a lot of egg)
1 Spanish onion, finely diced
3 medium sized carrots, grated
1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil a very large pot of water. Cut any large potatoes in half so they are all roughly the same size. Add the potatoes and a generous sprinkle of salt. Turn down to medium high and let simmer. Begin checking them for doneness around 15 minutes. You want the potatoes to be firm so they hold their shape in the salad, but still able to be pierced with a fork.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, add cold eggs to cold water. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water is rapidly boiling (I consider this definition to be water that is jumping in the pot), remove the pot from the element. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and set aside for 11 minutes. Make sure to set a timer! You don’t want overcooked grey-green eggs.
  3. When the potatoes are finished, strain them and let them cool.
  4. When the timer goes off for the eggs, drain them and plunge them in ice water. After a couple of minutes, peel them under cool running water.
  5. Chop the eggs and potatoes in to little chunks and toss them in a large bowl. Add the grated carrots, finely diced onion, miracle whip, and salt and pepper. Give it a big stir and taste. Needs more salt? Go for it! Kinda sticky and hard to stir? Add more Miracle Whip!

 

Recipes

Cape Breton Fish Cakes

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Cape Breton Fish Cakes

The first of many recipes of my ancestry! I have a few drafts on the go of other family recipes that I can’t wait to share. Please excuse the terrible main photo but I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe. My aunt Moira, currently living it up in Australia, requested the recipe so I figured posting it here would make it sharable and easy for me to retrieve in the future.

This recipe is one of my favourites to enjoy at my grandparents’ house. My Nana is from Chéticamp on Cape Breton Island and this is a traditional recipe of the Acadian people of the East coast of Canada. There are many variations – some are only fried in flour, many call for the addition of the herb savoury – but this is how we always had them when I was growing up.

This recipe is EASILY halved, which I recommend for 2-3 people. As written, this recipe serves 4-5 people.

***Cod must be soaked overnight before beginning this recipe!!**

-1.5 lbs of boned salt cod (I used two 340g bags of the cheaper salt cod pieces – no need for whole filets)
-6 cups of mashed potato (about 5-6 medium potatoes peeled and boiled til falling apart)
-2 eggs, beaten
-1 Spanish onion, finely diced
-1/4 cup butter
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-Freshly ground pepper
-Minced flat leaf parsley (optional – not in my family’s traditional recipe but this would be a great addition)
-50/50 mixture of coarse breadcrumbs and flour, for dredging (about 1.5 cups)
-Neutral oil for frying
-Finely sliced green onion, for serving
-Lemon wedge, for serving

  1. Soak the salt cod in cold water the night before you will make the fish cakes. Change the water a few times over the course of the evening and following day.
  2. Boil the cod and potatoes. In a large pot, add the potatoes and water. Don’t salt the water – the salt cod is going to bring all the salt this recipe needs, even for salt lovers! Boil until potatoes are beginning to fall apart, about 20 minutes. At the same time, bring a pot of water to boil and add the cod. Boil for 15-20 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork. Drain the potatoes and cod and allow to cool a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, add the butter, olive oil, and onions to a pan and sauté until soft.
  4. When the cod is still warm but cool enough to handle, crumble it in to little pieces using your hands. Mash the potatoes.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the cod, potatoes, beaten egg, butter and onions, and pepper. If you would like to add parsley, add it now. If you won’t be frying the cakes right away, it’s still a good idea to make this mixture while the ingredients are warm, to allow the flavours to really mix and meld.
  6. Shape the mixture in to cakes, about the size of small, thick hamburger patties. Meanwhile, add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan.
  7. In a shallow bowl, add the breadcrumb mixture. Press each side of the cake in to the mixture and then roll the sides so the whole cake is covered.
  8. Add the cakes to the hot skillet and fry until deep brown and crispy on both sides.
  9. Serve with sliced green onion, lemon wedges, and fresh pepper

Another not-so-traditional addition: I made a lemon horseradish cream sauce by mixing dried chives, 1 tbsp of horseradish, a splash of lemon juice, and 3/4 cup of sour cream. I used to a spoon to drizzle a little of this on the cakes for serving.

These cakes are wonderful served with arugula salad for some nice balance.

I highly recommend serving leftovers with a poached egg. Add some hollandaise for true decadence!

Instant Pot

Instant Pot Ontario Harvest Kale and Chorizo Soup

Ontario Harvest Kale & Potato Soup

Modified slightly from Ontario Harvest Kale and Potato Soup by the Toronto Star.

 

Ugly photo of Harvest Kale Soup

 

 

1/2 lb – 2/3 lb. (225 g-340 g) fresh chorizo sausages (or other spicy pork sausages)
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. (450 g) potatoes (about 3), scrubbed, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock or water
1/4 cup (60 mL) apple juice
2 tsp (10 mL) kosher salt + more for seasoning
3/4 lb. (375 g) kale (about 1 bunch), thick stems removed, leaves finely sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Prick sausages with a fork; turn on Instant Pot to Saute mode. Let it get hot, then add the olive oil and chorizo. Cook until sausage is browned. Remove sausage from pot and slice thinly.

Add onions to Instant Pot. Cook, stirring, 8 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add stock or water, apple juice and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Let the soup come to a simmer. Press Cancel.

Put the lid on the Instant Pot. Ensure the vent is set to Sealing. Press Manual and set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. Perform a quick release when the pressure cooking is complete. Mash potatoes to purée with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Add sliced sausage. Press Saute on the Instant Pot and let it simmer 5 minutes to warm through. Stir in kale, in batches. Simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes. Greens should stay bright green and slightly crunchy. Taste; season with salt and pepper if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.