In light of the Multilinguist’s excursions in Vega, we are making October Canadian Cuisine feature month (the Pie is thrilled because none of it involves tofu).
What better way to start us off than to take advantage of what the autumn harvest in Newfoundland has to offer us? This creamy vegetable stew is easy and comforting (vegetarian, too, though certainly not vegan). The recipe for the stew comes from All Recipes (with my modifications), and the idea itself comes from Delilah, one of the Pie’s classmates. The beer bread comes from my mother’s own cookbook on Nova Scotian eatery.
For the Beer Bread:
In a bowl, mix 3 cups self-raising flour with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. If you don’t have self-raising flour, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt into every cup of all-purpose flour.
Add in 1 12oz bottle of beer and mix well. Use a commercially produced beer for a lighter loaf, or a home made beer for a denser loaf.
This is supposed to turn out more like a batter, and you can see here that one bottle of beer has just produced a really dry dough.
I poured in almost a whole ‘nother beer before I got the consistency I was looking for, but this will depend on your flour, your beer, the temperature/pressure/humidity of your environment, whether or not you got out of bed on the right side or the left side, whether a butterfly really did flap its wings in Brazil … you get the idea.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and chuck it into a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350°F and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
The loaf will sound solid when you tap it and be a pale golden when it’s done.
Serve hot. Also good the next day if you have any left over.
For the HodgePodge:
Peel and dice 1 medium-sized turnip. Chuck that in a large saucepan.
Dice 3-4 carrots and chuck those in as well.
Trim the ends off a couple handfuls of fresh wax beans (those are the yellow ones) and cut them into 1-2″ pieces. Do the same with several handfuls fresh green beans.
Add enough water to the saucepan to cover the vegetables. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cube up 5-6 small potatoes and add that to the pot. Let that simmer another 30 minutes.
Add in 6 tablespoons butter and 1-2 cups heavy cream (we used a blended table cream here) and stir that in for a few minutes. Soy milk would also work well here. I have used soy milk in chowders and it provides a rich, nutty flavour that complements the vegetables nicely.
Add 2-3 tablespoons flour to 1 cup water and stir that around.
Pour the flour water into the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook for a few more minutes to thicken the broth.
Season generously with salt and pepper and serve hot with beer bread.
Frankly, both the Pie and I found the hodgepodge a little on the bland side. It tasted kind of like invalid soup. But it was good. And totally freeze-able. Next time, though, I think I’d add an onion, some garlic, and some spices. The beer bread was excellent and we plan to have what’s leftover with some chili tomorrow night.