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Mar 20, 2013 10:57 AM

Newfoundland Recipes

Newfoundlanders have migrated to alll parts of the world especially in the Boston area. Is there such a thing as Newfoundland cuisine? I think so, and would like to know what recipes you are willing to share or food memories you have of Newfoundland. It is one of the nicest places to visit, a good dish I had there was the Cod au gratin, which is a standard on many a pub menu. I just read a link about a chef from the East Coast of Canada, am providing it, our Newfoundland roots are relative!

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    1. I am anxious to see the results here!

      7 Replies
      1. re: sandylc

        Me too! My Mom's family was from Newfoundland, we had many a boiled meal and it was always delicious.

        1. re: Ruthie789

          What does a Newfoundland boiled meal consist of? What is the heritage of Newfoundland? What I know about Newfoundland would not fill the head of a pin......

          1. re: sandylc

            My father would buy a bucket of salted ribs, boils them for a few hours, cabbage, turnip, potatoes, carrots. My home experience is that many dishes are boiled including a boiled cake. As well salted cod was a main staple of the diet which was exported and was a vital part of the Newfoundland economy. Many Europeans crossed over to Newfoundland by boat including the English, the Irish, the Scottish, the Vikings,the Spaniards and the Portuguese have history there as well. It is closer to Europe for the crossing. We have Newfoundland roots on both sides and some have ended up in the Massachussets area. If you are interested in Newfoundland there is a website called the Newfoundland Grand Banks Geneology website. It is free and has much history about this province but no recipes unfortunately. As well they say that there are undiscovered caves of wine and port somewhere under the city of St. John's.

            1. re: Ruthie789


              Here's a site with a few ideas, although a purist might find them too refined.
              As someone who "married in" to an outport household, I developed quite a repertoire of what I often refer to as "Newfoundland ethnic". The most popular ones in my husband's family:

              Stewed cods heads -- cods heads minus the eye part, stewed with potatoes and onions browned in salt pork fat

              Cod tongues -- floured and fried in salt pork fat

              Toutons -- bread dough fried in (seeing a pattern here?) salt pork fat. I made bread a couple times a week and we usually had toutons -- or their no-fat variant called at our house "cakes roasted on the stove" -- both served with molasses, and with toutons you also had the salt pork rashers

              Moose stew -- actually, moose soup was more popular where I lived -- done like beef soup, but with moose and salt beef

              Boiled dinner -- made with salt beef, root vegetables and cabbage or seasonal greens as in an above post, but with a bread pudding boiled in a bag in the dinner pot. Made with crumbs as well as flour and usually had onions in it. Or you might have a figgy duff, which was more doughy, also boiled in a bag, and had raisins in it. My husband also liked to wallop a great glob of (you guessed it...) salt pork fat into it as well, if he could do it without me catching him. Oh yes, and you can't forget the pease pudding, also cooked in the pot with the dinner -- dried peas tied in a pudding bag and cooked until they are a mush, then you put them in a dish and stir a little butter and pepper in and eat it with the dinner -- my favorite part! and something we had never heard of at home. I used to go through that production every Sunday -- we'd have it at noon, leftover for supper and maybe hash on Monday. I always made some sort of meat that made gravy as well. Still do it a couple of times a year, especially when the turnip greens are fresh in the spring (They go in the pot too....) My husband and mother-in-law -- and the kids when they were little -- used to like to have "Bread dipped in the boiler" (pot juices) for supper.

              Pea soup (made with salt beef and finely-chopped turnips -- and I used to sneak in some onions) with doughballs (dumplings). Doughballs might also go into a boiled dinner.

              Salt fish and potatoes

              Fish cakes (In Newfoundland "fish" always means cod -- all the other kinds have names.

              Mackerel, pollock, salmon, scallops, mussels, lobster -- and, of course, 'fish'

              There were things I didn't cook, like seabirds (turrs or bullbirds, for example), or salted sounds which to me were like salt rubber bands. My mother-in-law took over for the more exotic stuff like that!

              1. re: mewright

                My father really embraced his NFLD roots even getting some Seal flippers. I had absolutely no interest in even trying that one. The salt pork seems to be a staple in food preparation. Years ago I was invited to a wedding in Newfoundland in our honour the mother of the bread prepared a meal with cod tongues and cheeks. I did not eat them thinking it was wierd but not realizing what a common meal it was to most Newfoundlanders. I have a cookbook from Newfoundland, Treasury of Newfoundland recipes, are you familiar with this book?

                  1. re: paulj

                    Oh dear Paulj, now I am having a book buying craving. I have a tattered, falling apart book with a soft cover not at all like the anniversary edition. Thank you for posting. Do you have Newfoundland roots?

        1. re: paulj

          Thank you Paulj, that is very thoughtful. I love the purity website, but what exactly is hard bread?

          1. re: Ruthie789

            It's a variation on hardtack, ships biscuits, pilot bread. I happen to have a bag of Purity hardbread that I ordered some years ago from a Canadian outfitter. They are hard oblong biscuits, roughly 2x1x1". Hard enough that you almost have to use a hammer to break them up.

            When broken, soaked overnight, and then lightly stewed, the result is rather like lumpy mashed pototoes.

            The closest thing you might find in other parts of Canada and the USA is pilot bread, a robust round cracker (unsalted saltine). But pilot bread can be eaten as is; hardbread has to be soaked and cooked. There is also a small market for Civil War style hardtack (among re-enactors).

            The oldest recipes for chowder call for layering fish and ships biscuits in a pot, covering with water (and seasonings) and stewing that. The use of potatoes and milk are a 19th c development.

            1. re: paulj

              Very interesting, Newfoundland cooking is quite unique.