Around the world in three new cookbooks
The supply of new Atlantic Canadian food writing seems endless, but there’s no question that each book has something unique to offer. The three we feature in this issue would be a positive addition to any cookbook collection.
Chantal Coolen’s Cook with Kindness serves up 150 vegan and gluten-free recipes along with information on altering your diet. And from Newfoundland and Labrador, two lovely new books: Cooking with One Chef One Critic, by Karl Wells with Steve Watson, celebrates a popular local television show; Salt Cod Cuisine: The International Table, by Edward A. Jones, pays homage to the mighty salt cod with recipes from several countries.
To match the “adventure” theme of this issue of Atlantic Books Today, we are celebrating culinary adventures by highlighting an international recipe from each book. Bring out your ingredients, your utensils and your imagination and let the cooking begin!
Chantal Coolen and her family have taken a journey to a vegan and gluten-free lifestyle, and now we’re invited to take one too. The proprietor of the Kind Cookie booth at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market has created an appealing and spirited cookbook with 150 recipes for drinks, breakfast, snacks, salads, sandwiches, soups, desserts and mains, with neither a cup of milk nor an ounce of meat in sight.
Recipes are straightforward with a personal touch: Broccoli, Spinach & Quinoa Casserole; Split Pea Soup; Black Bean Chili. There’s useful information about transforming your diet—or moving closer to a more plant-based diet—with a list of pantry staples, a glossary of sometimes-uncommon ingredients and details about gluten-free grains.
Coolen believes a vegan and gluten-free diet is good for her health and the health of the planet, and her book shows she hasn’t sacrificed either flavour or nutrition.
Red Lentil Dahl from Cook with Kindness: Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes from my Family’s Kitchen
I like to serve this over quinoa or basmati rice with poppadoms for scooping.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1-inch piece ginger, grated
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the lentils, water, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the water is absorbed.
- Stir in the cilantro, if using.
Makes 6 servings.
This cookbook is based on a popular Newfoundland and Labrador television cooking show, One Chef One Critic. If the book is any indication, it’s an entertaining show with inspiring, accessible recipes. You’ll meet the main chef, Steve Watson, the host and food critic, Karl Wells, and guest chefs representing a veritable cultural who’s who.
Mark Critch, the star of CBC’s 22 Minutes, contributes Newfoundland Savoury Crown Roast of Pork; actor, writer and director Mary Walsh offers up an irresistible Baked Brie with Wild Berries; and Krystin Pellerin from Republic of Doyle presents her Stuffed Zucchini recipe.
It’s an eclectic collection for every course, including many recipes with a distinct Newfoundland and Labrador spirit. There are helpful wine-pairing suggestions, plus cooking tips and fun photos from the show.
Turkish Chicken Casserole from Cooking with One Chef One Critic
- 2 broiler chickens, cut into 8 pieces each
- 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into
- 1½-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 lemons, peeled with pith cut away, thinly sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan or casserole dish.
- Tuck potatoes between chicken and drizzle olive oil over all. Sprinkle with garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper.
- Lay lemon slices over and sprinkle with raisins.
- Pour hot stock over and cook in oven until chicken is done and potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Transfer chicken and potatoes to a platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
- Simmer liquid until thickened to a light sauce consistency and reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Season sauce as desired and pour over chicken to serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Salt Cod Cuisine: The International Table
by Edward A. Jones, $39.95 (pb)
978-1-927099-05-6, 318 pp.
Boulder Publications, June 2013
The cultural and culinary tradition of salt cod is celebrated in this very special cookbook—and while it is focused on Newfoundland and Labrador, the recipes take us to the many countries that feature salt cod cuisine.
Part one is the fascinating history of salt cod with accompanying archival photographs, as well as a chapter on cooking methods. This leads nicely into part two, which has recipes.
From the Caribbean’s Salt Cod, Okra, and Yam Soup to a Spanish dish called Spinach and Chickpeas with Salt Cod Dumplings, to Brazilian Cod Cakes, we’re reminded that international trading routes introduced salt cod well beyond Newfoundland and Labrador. The author does share his familiar, at-home recipes for Boiled Salt Cod, Salt Cod Fritters and Salt Cod Burgers.
It’s a beautifully designed book with tempting recipes that should rid doubters of any concerns that the words “salt cod” and “cuisine” don’t go together.
Salt Cod on Onions and Cucumber Slices from Salt Cod Cuisine (representing Guadeloupe)
Scotch bonnet peppers are a defining flavour of Caribbean cooking. They come in a variety of colours (green, yellow, orange, red and white) and are extremely hot. The name comes from their appearance: the Scotch bonnet pepper is lantern-shaped and its crinkled top resembles a traditional Scottish hat.
- 1 pound salt cod
- 1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 fresh chives, chopped
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- ½ Scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place salt cod in hot water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain; repeat three times. Remove any skin and bones. Shred and dry cod. Place in a large bowl.
- Add parsley, green onions, chives, shallots, pepper and onion to shredded cod. Mix well.
- Prepare vinaigrette by mixing sunflower oil, lime juice, white wine vinegar and chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour half the vinaigrette over cod mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Arrange cucumber slices on a serving platter and dress with remaining vinaigrette. Top with shredded cod mixture.
Makes 4 servings