Traditional Newfoundland Breakfast: Cod Cakes, Baked Beans, Toutons and Fried Bologna!
It's been pure heaven around here having fresh cod available every single day of the week, but there's only so many times you can have fish and chips believe it or not. We've had Coconut Oil Fried Cod Fillets, pan fried cod with mashed potatoes, stuffed baked cod, fish stew, the quintessential Cod au Gratin and now...Cod Cakes, toutons , Slow Cooker Baked Beans and fried bologna for aTraditional Newfoundland Breakfast!
I'm thinking the cod cakes, fried bologna and baked beans are pretty well self-explanatory to you all, but perhaps toutons is not a culinary term you're familiar with. Pronounced 'tout-ins', (as opposed to 'toot-ins' as one of my favorite maritime relatives calls them), toutons are a pancake of sorts made by frying dough, traditionally leftover bread dough, in a frying pan (cast iron being the preference), with butter, pork fat or oil, served with a dark, Blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or pancake syrup. Toutons are also sometimes referred to as 'Damper Dogs' because the dough would have been cooked right on top of the damper of a wood burning stove in days gone by.
I rarely make homemade bread these days, I'm somewhat embarrased to admit. As such, leftover bread dough isn't something I usually have around. But toutons are so popular here in Newfoundland that you can go to any grocery store and even some corner stores, and get fresh or frozen bread dough relatively inexpensively. From there its simply a matter of cutting the dough into portion sizes of about 1/2 c., letting it rise, and then pan frying it in either margarine, pork or bacon fat, or olive oil. I opt for the olive oil in my attempt to keep the unnecessary fat content down. Once fried to a golden brown on either side, and given that I usually prepare enough to feed a small army, I place them on baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. When ready to serve, simply drizzle with Blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or pancake syrup. If I have fresh blueberries on hand, I heat a cup or so of pure maple syrup in a saucepan with a cup or so of fresh blueberries for an extra special syrupy topping.
I've made oven baked beans before, but a couple of years ago, I fiddled with a recipe for Slow Cooker Baked Beans, and I've never gone back to oven baked again. Slow Cooker Baked Beans,are pretty much a matter of tossing all of the ingredients in, putting on the lid, set the temperature and walking away. The first time I made these Slow Cooker Baked Beans, my father was very skeptical and even expressed some disappointment that they wouldn't be 'traditional' baked beans. However, once he tasted them, he was a fan, or at least the three platefuls plus leftovers he took home would suggest that to be the case! My husband was always a big fan of jarred beans, adamant that they were the best...until he tried mine of course.
The Cod Cakes couldn't be easier either....simply combine 1 small onion, finely chopped, 2 cups of cooked mashed potatoes, 2 eggs, beaten and a pound of cooked cod in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and a teaspoon or so of dried parsley. Form the cod and potato mixture into patties, roll in dried bread crumbs and pan fry about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
I invited my parents and my best buddy, home from Tennessee for a couple of weeks, and her three children for breakfast, and we all had a fine scoff indeed! (Scoff Is Newfie for a big meal cooked either at sea or ashore, that usually accompanies an impromptu party, and is not to be confused with the Newfie term 'scuff'...which is to have a dance.). Although my friend and her husband are true blooded Newfs, born and raised, they have been living in Tennessee for the past 20 years, where their children have been born and are being raised. Her kids alleged that they had never had toutins before, although I find that hard to believe, but they were instant fans nonetheless!
Newfoundland is an island that seems to have been sawn off from Ireland and plooped down close, but not attached to, Canada. Don't get me wrong - we're a loyal brood, but If you were to bump into a Newfoundlander anywhere int the world, he will, first and foremost, tell you he is from Newfoundland, later adding Canada. We're a proud and unique bunch with our own venacular, traditions and cuisine. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking with our rugged shorelines, icebergs and whales, among many other things too numerous to mention. For those of you thinking of coming to visit our beautiful island, a Traditional Newfoundland Breakfast is an absolute MUST! For those of you from here or who have already stepped on our sacred soil, I bet your mouth was watering as soon as your peepers saw the picture for this post! Cod Cakes, Baked Beans, Toutons and fried bologna for breakfast...its not something you'll soon forget!