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Lobster RollsAside from chowder or fish and chips, there is no single dish that visitors seek as avidly as the lobster roll. It is such an iconic Nova Scotia treat that even McDonald’s includes one on its menu. This recipe is my attempt at the perfect lobster roll. I’ve used some old-school garnishes but changed it up with an interesting European-style, Marie Rose sauce. As for the rolls, sometimes you can’t improve on a classic. Soft white rolls (or hot dog buns), fried in butter, are traditional.Cajun Honey Barbecued ChickenI love the use of a whole bird, wasting nothing. This recipe is a nod to the recipes of Louisiana, as “Cajun” is derived from “Acadian,” referring to the French Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755. This is an important part of our heritage in Nova Scotia, and I have always been amazed at the widespread cultural influences around North America that have resulted from such a horrible period. Although one does not typically think of spicy Cajun dishes as being Nova Scotian, I certainly feel there is a connection and one that should be shared and celebrated. Should you not have a barbecue for this recipe, you can simply roast the chicken in a 400F (220C) oven for 40 to 50 minutes.Apple Cranberry ChutneyThis simple condiment is a classic around Christmas as a side to turkey or turkey leftovers but works equally well year-round for roast chicken dishes, roast pork, or on a sandwich.Turkey Pot PieThis has become a bit of an “after Christmas dinner” tradition for my family and me, as it uses up a significant quantity of turkey leftovers on Boxing Day. However, you could take the same steps with cold chicken and obtain an equally delicious result anytime of the winter. For me, the key with meat pies is consistency, as I do not like extremely runny fillings. I prefer a bottom and a top crust, made in the style closer to a British meat pie. If you’re rushed for time, you could assemble the filling and bake it in a casserole dish covered with just a top crust of pastry or sheet of store-bought all-butter puff pastry.The Halifax DonairQuintessential Halifax street food, the donair has connections to many Old World dishes called doner kebabs. Roasted lamb, pork, and beef on a skewer garnished with pickles and a tangy or spicy sauce, then wrapped in a flatbread — this classic has been served for hundreds of years by many world cultures. It’s also the only Nova Scotian food that signals a specific city (Halifax), similar to other iconic foods such as the Philly cheese-steak sandwich (Philadelphia), smoked meat sandwiches and poutine (Montreal), beaver tails (Ottawa) or clam chowder (Boston). The sauce makes the donair, and that’s why the Halifax version is cherished. You either love ’em or hate ’em. I adore ’em. I’ve created this recipe to mimic the spit roasting and carving of the meat you find in a donair shop. It’s easy to make and tastes exactly like a donair you’d wolf down at 2 a.m. to finish a night on the town. Grab yourself a big handful of napkins and tuck in!Thai chicken curry recipeWhen my friend and colleague Marie Nightingale wrote Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens in 1970, I am quite sure she would never have considered including a Thai green curry recipe as a featured entree. But the one thing that always impressed me about Marie — my Nova Scotia culinary idol — was her love of all the wonderful new dishes and flavours introduced to the province. Honestly, can you even imagine our cities and towns without sushi restaurants? I certainly can’t. I don’t know if Marie ever made any curry, but I do know that she was immensely proud of every hardworking young chef and cook who enriched Nova Scotia’s culinary landscape. In Halifax, Thai restaurants are incredibly popular — the food is full of bright, balanced flavours and endless variety. Like Marie, I’m grateful to live in a city that embraces so many different types of cuisine.Strawberry Rhubarb CheesecakeThis is a dessert from my childhood. So many moms made aversion of a “no bake” cheesecake, and still do, as I routinely see similar recipes topped with canned cherries or a stew of strawberries and rhubarb at church and school bake sales all over Nova Scotia. In my house growing up, this dessert was luxurious and saved for special occasions. I even requested it several times on my birthday instead of cake! The memory inspired this dessert to be served in a Mason jar. If you don’t have jars, just use water glasses or even wine glasses and show off the lovely layers. Using frozen strawberries is just fine for this, as I try to use any of the previous season’s fruit in frozen form before buying imported fresh fruit out of season.Seafood ChowderChowder may be the most stereotypical dish on any restaurant menu in Nova Scotia, and that’s because everyone who likes seafood loves chowder. Here, competitions are held for chowder glory and everyone thinks their mother makes the best. This is my shot at perfect chowder — free of pomp and ceremony, but full of the best seafood in the province. The innovation is the pureed soup base, to which the seafood is added. For most chowders, I serve tea biscuits or good warm bread and garnish with some freshly ground black pepper.Roasted Root Vegetables and Ham Hock SoupYou could realistically call this soup “winter cellar veggie soup” as it features all those things we have plenty of all winter long in Nova Scotia. If you omit the ham hock and use only vegetable stock, you’ll have a delicious vegetarian version.A dedicated meat eater, I do love the warm and satisfying meal that this soup provides — with all of the ingredients. You can garnish it with a drizzle of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar or melted butter, or with pieces of honey-roasted carrot. Paired with a piece of buttered bread or a biscuit, this is a classic stick-to-your-ribs winter treat.