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True North cookbook offers fresh take on "Canadian cuisine"

It's regional. It's international. Canadian cuisine is a lot of things, say Montreal chef Derek Dammann and food writer Chris Johns.
It's regional. It's international. Canadian cuisine is a lot of things, say Montreal chef Derek Dammann and food writer Chris Johns.
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No poutine. No fried bologna. No salmon on cedar planks. 

Montreal chef Derek Dammann and food writer Chris Johns have left many classics out of their new cookbook about Canadian cuisine. True North combines regional ingredients and globally-inspired adaptations to offer a fresh take on national dishes. Today, they join guest host Tom Power to discuss food culture in a pluralistic society.

WEB EXTRA | When asked about a recipe every Canadian should know, Dammann said pickle and pickling recipes are key — especially to supply us with local veggies in the dead of winter. With that in mind, find an appropriately pickly page from the book below. 

Every Canadian should know how to make delicious pickles, say Derek Dammann and Chris Johns. (Farah Khan)

A Few Recipes for Pickles

Everything is better with pickles. My mom was big on canning, so we always had a variety to choose from, and there were always jars of pickles on the table to go with every meal. I don't really go the canning route — I'm more of a bucket-in-the-fridge kind of guy. I also process pickles on a large scale into vacuum bags.

Kept refrigerated, they last up to a year. These are based on Mom's recipes. You can play with the amounts based on how many you want to make.

Makes 20 of each kind

Dill Pickles

20 small pickling cucumbers
4 cups (1 L) white vinegar
4 cups (1 L) water
2 cups (500 mL) fresh dill
½ cup (125 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) dill seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) red chili flakes
2 tsp (10 mL) coriander seed
6 cloves garlic, peeled

Bread and Butter Pickles

20 small pickling cucumbers
4 cups (1 L) cider vinegar
3 cups (750 mL) sugar
2 cups (500 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) coriander seeds
2 tbsp (30 mL) celery seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) dry mustard
2 tsp (10 mL) ground turmeric

Spicy Pickles

20 small pickling cucumbers
4 cups (1 L) white vinegar
4 cups (1 L) water
2 cups (500 mL) fresh dill
½ cup (125 mL) kosher salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) red chili flakes
2 tbsp (30 mL) dill seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) black peppercorns
2 tsp (10 mL) coriander seeds
4 jalapeño peppers, sliced into
½-inch (1 cm) rings
6 cloves garlic, peeled

Wash the cucumbers well and place in a nonreactive container. In a saucepan, bring the remaining ingredients to a rolling boil. Pour over the cucumbers. Allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the pickles and brine to an appropriately sized bucket and place a plate directly on top of the cucumbers to keep them submerged. Cover the pail and refrigerate for two weeks before using.

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