October 24th is National Bologna Day!
Bologna, or “baloney” as it is often pronounced is a very popular luncheon meat in North America, made from finely ground meats and fat. Bologna sausage got its name from the city of its origin, Bologna, Italy.
There are different kinds of bolognas which are made with different ingredients; German garlic bologna, which adds garlic to the mixture, Halal bologna, which does not use pork products, instead using beef, or chicken, turkey or lamb, Lebanon bologna, which is cured and dried like a salami to name a few.
Bologna is to Newfoundland as Spam is to Hawaii. Locals have coined it as the "Newfie Steak". We consume 1/3rd of all bologna products sold in Canada, and given we have a population of about 500,000, that is quite a lot of bologna! When I first heard that there was a bologna cookbook out, I thought to myself, “I bet you that the author is a Newfoundlander” and he is, Chef Kevin Phillips hails from Cape St. George.
As a Newfoundlander, bologna is near and dear to me. I have so many great memories of having breakfasts on the weekend of fried bologna and eggs, a nice treat from the quick cereal and toast during the week. I have had Barbequed bologna, bologna sandwiches, appetizers and casseroles. If the recipe called for ham, in a pinch bologna would work. The bologna in Newfoundland is a variant of the rag bologna, as we call it, the wax bologna due to being coated in wax during processing.
To celebrate this exciting holiday, I have made up a bologna recipe using bologna and another one of my Newfoundland breakfast favourites, toutons. Enjoy!
Bologna Eggs Benedict on a Touton
1 Slice Maple Leaf bologna
1 Poached Egg
1 Piece Pan-fried touton dough
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Egg yolks
½ tsp White vinegar
1 Tbsp Water
Salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Start by taking a palm sized amount of flattened touton dough and pan fry it in both sides
To make the hollandaise sauce, melt butter in a small steel bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water. Add egg yolks, vinegar, water, salt & pepper. Whisk continuously until the sauce begin to thicken and turns a pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
Next we have to poach an egg. In a small sauce pan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer and slowly drop in the egg and let it cook slowly until the surface is cooked and the middle is runny and soft.
Heat a large frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Place a small piece of touton in the pan along with the bologna. Let it fry for about a minute and turn over the touton dough when it starts to rise and brown and continue to cook for another minute. Also flip over your bologna until its crispy on both sides.
Plate the crispy touton dough. Drizzle with molasses. Top with the slice of bologna and poached egg. Spoon the hollandaise sauce over the egg and let it cascade over the bologna and touton dough.