‘True North’ filled with unique recipes
Chef Derek Dammann and writer Chris Johns hope their new book “True North” will convince Canadians to explore the unique offerings of the small towns and rural areas across the country.
“There’s great stories and lots of information about the country in there that I think people would find very, very interesting as a coffee table book,” says Dammann.
“From a cookbook side there’s a lot of tricks and techniques ... ( for) how to make things properly and do things the right way through a little bit of smoking or curing, brining, just ways to elevate a simple dish you’re doing at home.”
The pair say Canada is in the midst of a culinary revolution - and not just in urban centres.
“I think people are taking a real interest in restaurants that are serving the food from that area and wanting to go to the farmers market and wanting to cook tomatoes when they’re in season or whatever’s happening,” says Johns.
Dammann says “people are going on these little trips, like mini road trips, without any agenda, stopping at a farm, at a cheese maker, a bakery, a little pastry shop along the way. It’s refreshing to see people taking an interest in what’s here.”
Here is a recipe from “True North” to try at home:
SUCRE A LA CREME POT DE CREME
Dammann says this recipe was inspired by the butterscotch pudding he used to have in his school lunches. Serve with a bowl of lightly whipped cream and cookies. 125 mL (1/2 cup) unsalted butter 250 mL (1 cup) brown sugar
Pinch of kosher salt 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) whipping cream
250 mL (1 cup) whole milk
8 egg yolks
Flaky sea salt, to finish
Preheat oven to 160 C (325 F). Have ready a bowl of ice water with another bowl set inside it. In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in sugar and kosher salt. When sugar has dissolved and mixture is bubbling away, add cream and milk. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add a bit of the hot cream mixture to temper yolks. Keep adding hot cream a little at a time, whisking constantly, until yolks have come up to temperature and won’t scramble when you add them to the pot. Pour mixture back into pot. Cook custard over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula (mak- ing sure to get in the corners, as they scald first), for about 7 minutes, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spatula. Immediately pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into cold bowl to stop cooking. Stir custard every couple of minutes to aid in cooling. (Cooling custard before baking it prevents overcooking.) Pour cooled custard into six 150-ml (5-oz) ramekins and place in a roasting pan. Add enough warm water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until custard is just set and still has a slight wobble in centre. Remove foil and let ramekins cool in water until tepid. Remove ramekins from water and refrigerate, uncovered, until set. Top each pot de creme with a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Makes 6 servings. Source: “True North: Canadian Cooking From Coast to Coast” by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2015).