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FOLLOW A FOODIE: Giving thanks to seasonal flavours

Quick pickled vegetables add a pop of colour and vibrant flavours to a charcuterie board.
Quick pickled vegetables add a pop of colour and vibrant flavours to a charcuterie board for your Thanskgiving gathering - Mark DeWolf

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‘Tis the season to give thanks for everything we have here in Atlantic Canada.

In a year when our collective strength as Atlantic Canadians has been put to the test, we’ve proven ourselves to be resilient and co-operative. Never have I been prouder than 2020 to call myself an Atlantic Canadian. We’ve stood strong through great tragedy and been a model of resilience in the face of the global pandemic. The spirit of Thanksgiving has never been more meaningful than now. What better time to reflect on everything Atlantic Canada has to offer?

A multicultural Thanksgiving

In the first of our Dinner Party editorial features, I explore bringing a diverse mix of cultural influences to the Thanksgiving table. The idea is partially a celebration of the diversity of Atlantic Canada’s population, but it also infuses exotic flavours into a meal that for many of us has become a habit of mundanity. From a Middle Eastern inspired turkey recipe to Indian carrots and pea and a Latin American roasted squash dish, this new approach to Thanksgiving dinner is guaranteed to spice up the holiday. Discover the recipes 

This Middle Eastern inspired za'atar and honey-glazed roasted turkey is the showpiece of a multicultural inspired Thanksgiving table. - Turkey Farmers of Canada - Contributed
This Middle Eastern inspired za'atar and honey-glazed roasted turkey is the showpiece of a multicultural inspired Thanksgiving table. - Turkey Farmers of Canada - Contributed

Small plates, affordable dining

Small plates dining was once a fad but now is becoming a necessity of the dining scene. Many restaurateurs have decided to rethink the customer experience, focusing on smaller, shareable plates at a reduced price recognizing the economic hardship the pandemic has placed on our population. Two shining examples of the small plates concept on the Halifax restaurant scene are Bianca’s (occupying the former Bistro Le Coq space) and GIO, located  in The Prince George Hotel. The latter is a reimagined version of its version of its former self, focusing on small plates that showcase worldly flavours, reflective of the cultural diversity of Halifax. Discover more about these restaurants in our Small Plates, Affordable Dining feature.

Bianca's Artichoke Crostini is a delicious example of an Italian-inspired small plate.  - Contributed
Bianca's Artichoke Crostini is a delicious example of an Italian-inspired small plate. - Contributed

Waste not, want not

I, like many Atlantic Canadians facing the rising cost of groceries, have become more concerned with reducing food waste. In the context of Thanksgiving dinner, that means using every ingredient to its fullest or creating dishes that use the leftovers post-Thanksgiving. Why peel the skins of the potatoes? Instead of mashing peeled potatoes, we smash them skins-on for a delicious garlic smashed potato recipe and the broccoli stems that normally get thrown out are used in a simple side dish with bacon. Finally, even the bag of giblets often found in the cavity of the turkey gets used to make a delicious turkey giblet gravy.

Turkey Giblet Gravy - 123RF Stock Photo
Turkey Giblet Gravy - 123RF Stock Photo

A cure for autumn cravings

For this week’s In a Jiffy online cooking class, I am joined by Frederic Tandy, owner of Ratinaud French Cuisine. Fred teaches us how to make duck prosciutto while I conjure up quick, easy and colourful pickled vegetable recipes and a homemade mustard featuring local Boxing Rock Oktoberfest Lager. Discover the tasty results. It’s our cure for autumn cravings.


 


See you next week when we'll offer more great food and drink recipes. Until then, keep following your foodie dreams. 

~ Mark DeWolf

Mark DeWolf - SaltWire file
Mark DeWolf - SaltWire file

Mark DeWolf is a connoisseur of all things food and drink. He's a creative director with SaltWire and local fare is his specialty. Watch Mark whip up seasonal plates in his video series, In a Jiffy, and go deeper with food trends and kitchen challenges weekly 


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