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Hodge Podge: a Summer Favourite!

hodge podge

This is a family favourite in my house.  Both of my parents are from Nova Scotia and ask any Bluenosers about Hodge Podge and their reaction is usually – “yummy!” Loaded with any fresh veggies from the garden or picked up at the farmers market. Left overs (usually not much at my house!) are just good as the first time around.

It is important that the freshest veggies are used, so this is definitely a summer recipe. Use whatever you have on hand (that you would usually boil or steam) & tinker around by adding different vegetables and quantities … the bacon is a must!

Learn about the history of Hodge Podge here.

Hodge Podge Recipe

Ingredients

6 to 8 slices bacon – cooked until crispy
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 onions – roughly chopped
Any 4 to 6 of the following fresh vegetables:
12 small whole new potatoes – a mix of red & white are my favorite
1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
1 cup fresh green or yellow beans, trimmed and snapped
1 cup fresh peas – use either snow peas or shucked peas
1 cup of yellow or green zucchini – cubed
2 or 3 cobs of corn – boiled & kernels cut off
salt & fresh ground pepper – to taste
1/4 cup butter – cubed
½ cup  to 1 cup 2% milk (or if you like – cream!)
1/2 cup water

Method

  • Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble and set aside.
  • Wipe the skillet with a paper towel leaving just enough bacon fat to lightly fry the onions. Reheat skillet on medium heat & stir in the chopped onion. Cook until the onion has softened. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring 3 or so cups of water to a boil.  Keep in mind that you want to boil the vegetables in an order where those that need the most time in the water are done first, then staged to those vegetables that need just a few minutes.  There is nothing worse than over boiled veggies! My suggestion is to begin with potatoes for 5-6 minutes, then add cauliflower until tender, then beans & carrots for 2 mins.  By the time you add zuchinni, peas & corn, the potatoes should be perfectly done!
  • Drain off all but 1 cup of the water (can pour into a bowl & use as vegetable stock for another recipe).  Return to low heat. Add onions.  Pour in enough milk to cover all of the vegetables in the pot. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch out that you do not boil the milk…just want to heat it through.
  • Add butter to melt & crumble in most of the bacon (set a handful of bacon aside). Stir gently.
  • Serve into large bowls & top with more bacon.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

This recipe begs for a full-bodied white wine like a buttery oaked Chardonnay.  For something a bit lighter with more acidity, uncork a bottle of Viognier or Pinot Gris.  On the flip side – for fun – serve with a bottle of sparkling wine to toast in the best things of summer!
Enjoy!

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