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Join Mark DeWolf, SaltWire Network's creative director of food and drink, in our Follow A Foodie newsletter as he follows his taste buds across the East Coast. Subscribe here.
From potatoes to bread
Admittedly, until recently, I was happily unaware that stuffing could be made any way but my mom’s way. In my house, stuffing was made from bread and sausage. Then at Thanksgiving this year I was exposed to potato stuffing. I scoffed at the notion that stuffing could rely on anything but bread as the star of the dish. Mashed potatoes? Seriously. However, it was tasty, albeit not as tasty as my mom’s recipe. Then I learned that in Newfoundland stuffing is dressing, a more liquid breadcrumb-based dish. In Newfoundland even savoury is different. Apparently, the Newfoundland version is spicier and more peppery than the sweet summer savoury spice my mom and most Maritimers rely on for their stuffing recipes.
To be honest, I now use my mom’s recipe as a base, adding an egg in my version to help the bread brown and filling in the crevices with nuts, dried fruits such as raisins and often adding some fresh sage for extra fragrance and flavour. While there is no debate in my mind that my mom’s base recipe is the best, I will let others debate second place. Discover recipes for mom’s stuffing, a potato-based stuffing and Newfoundland dressing in my article Get Stuffed: the stuffing versus dressing debate.
Put Portugal on the table
The wine world has changed dramatically over the last decade. Commercial wines are out and unique, honest wines are in. In an era of being yourself and making wines that are truly reflective of your place, Portugal has risen out of the viticultural ashes to become a star of the new wine generation. Even Port, a wine style that perhaps outwardly seemed aloof, is regaining strength from a balance production of dry table wines and its more high brow traditional sweet-fortified wines. While Port producers veer and move to a new path, elsewhere producers are simply raising the bar of their historic wine styles. The focus is on their local varieties made with honest but modern winemaking. I am excited to try some Portuguese wines over the holidays, matched with some delicious fare. In my latest column Bring Portugal to the Table, I offer a recipe for a blue cheese, squash and onion galette and a bold bacon-wrapped beef dish that will pair wonderfully with a dry red wine from the Duoro. I was also excited to see a recipe for Portuguese custard tarts recently as they bring back memories of my time in Portugal.
Get into the holiday spirit
I, like everyone else, will shed no tears when we say goodbye to 2020. If you are like me, I will happily toast its disappearance, and might just do so with a wee dram of a whisky or a holiday-inspired cocktail. Whether you are making a modern cocktail or updating a classic, the key is to focus on seasonal flavours. Discover my recipe for an old-fashioned holiday and some other holiday cocktail making tips in my recent article Holiday how-to: Mix up some holiday cheer with Christmas cocktails.
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 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