Away and home: Canadian (Quebecois) mussel chowder

Leaving the food of Europe behind (for now) and jumping over to the Americas feels like we’ve really made some progress in this cooking journey. We started in Wales and have made our way through most of Europe, Asia and Oceania, discovering so many new dishes (and ingredients) along the way. Now we’re embarking on a whole new region, starting with Canada, which we are excited about – but which also posed a problem.

Many of you will be aware that Canada’s national dish is poutine: fries, cheese curds and gravy. Poutine seemed to experience a bit of a rebirth in London a couple of years ago, probably partially because of the ‘it’s cool to eat really unhealthy food and Instagram it’ age we’re in. (Speaking of which, remember that you can follow us on Instagram @goodfoodonbadplates – with very little unhealthy food, in fact!) We’d never actually tried it though, so the idea of making our own was quite fun… until we realised that we don’t have a deep fryer so wouldn’t be making brilliant fries, didn’t know where we’d get cheese curds from, and probably wouldn’t make gravy worthy of this revered dish. Continue reading

Sunny food on a rainy day: Croatian brudet (fish stew) and lepinja (flatbread)

Croatia is a country that is both beautiful and humbling in equal measure. It is known amongst the Contiki crowd as an island-hopping destination but, as with any tourist hotspot, it is many of the lesser-known areas that are the most breath-taking. Miranda has been twice and is just waiting for the chance to take Ash for his first visit. On her first trip, it was the small island of Vela Luka rather than party central Hvar that had the most appeal, and touring the inland areas that still showed evidence of the not-so-distant war was a sobering reminder that there is so much more to this nation than the 18-30s experience. More recently, the little bay near her Dubrovnik apartment provided a week’s worth of secluded early morning swims in an area that the hordes of cruise ship day-trippers wouldn’t have gone anywhere near.

Dubrovnik

But this blog is about food, not waxing lyrical about Adriatic countries. Due to the amount of coastline and islands, our first thought relating to Croatian cuisine was seafood. Crni rizot, or cuttlefish risotto, was a known delicacy, but we weren’t sure whether we’d be able to get hold of any cuttlefish ink. After further research, we came across the seafood-rich brudet, the Croatian equivalent of the French bouillabaisse, or fish stew. Full of all sorts of aquatic bounty, this was a traditional Croatian dish that definitely ticked the ‘seafood’ box. It’s easy to make, because you can mix up the different types of fish as much as you like. There were many different variations of this recipe online, but we decided to go with the one from The Life She Made. Continue reading