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A hearty meal for a hard-working people, Cold Plates are a very traditional Newfoundland Sunday night supper. It also happens to be my personal favourite!

A hearty meal for a hard-working people, this plate depicts a very traditional Newfoundland Sunday night supper. It also happens to be my personal favourite!#newfoundland #recipes #cold #plates #traditional

Oh, my Dear Reader, looking at these photographs evokes such feelings of comfort and nostalgia for me. Cold Plates were served in our home every single Sunday night without fail. In fact, they were also served at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years!

It was very common in our home to have a “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner consisting of turkey, stuffing, gravy, and a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, turnip, carrot, etc. All of those vegetables were cooked in the same pot along with cured salt beet and a pudding or two.

That meal was usually referred to as “cooked dinner,” “hot dinner,” or sometimes, just “cook.” It’s most commonly known as Jiggs Dinner outside of Newfoundland, but in our home, it meant a simplified variation of the meal.

If someone said Jiggs Dinner, it meant that the meal would not have any roasted turkey, chicken, or beef – just the cured salt beef – and there would also be no gravy. It’s confusing, but we all knew what mom meant when she said one or the other.

But this post is not about that meal, it’s about Cold Plates! What I’m trying to say is that we would eat large on special occasions. We would have “cooked dinner” for lunch and then Cold Plates for dinner. Or, in the case of Christmas, we’d have “cooked dinner” for a late lunch on Christmas Day, and then we’d have Cold Plates for supper on Boxing Day.

Oh, I should mention that you might need to first understand that you can eat dinner for lunch in Newfoundland, because that’s exactly what it is! In Newfoundland, there’s four meals each day – breakfast, dinner, supper, and lunch. (As opposed to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)

A hearty meal for a hard-working people, this plate depicts a very traditional Newfoundland Sunday night supper. It also happens to be my personal favourite!#newfoundland #recipes #cold #plates #traditional

Breakfast is self explanatory. Lunch (around noon) was called dinner. If your friend at school asked if you were going home at dinner time, you knew full well that they meant lunch time. Then there was supper – not dinner. And lastly, there was lunch.

Lunch was a little strange now that I think back on it. Anything consumed between 8pm and bedtime was considered a lunch. And it’s quite common to have company for lunch – friends or neighbours could join you for a cup of tea, maybe some buttered bread, canned ham, a slice of fruitcake, a tea biscuit, etc.

So, all of that just to let you know that Cold Plates are a meal served for suppers (not dinners!) every Sunday night, or on every special occasion. It’s complicated – I know – but, this meal is the complete opposite – it’s uncomplicated, rustic, not fancy at all, but so damn delicious!

Traditional Newfoundland Cold plates consist of three types of potato salads – there’s the Vegetable Potato Salad, (sometimes called White Salad) Pickled Beet Potato Salad, and the Mustard Potato Salad. There’s also a macaroni or pasta salad, and always a coleslaw too. Depending on who’s preparing the plate, there may or may not be a jello salad – I left that out, because it wasn’t common for us and I actually do not like it!

Then you have your main, which in most cases is a turkey. We only had turkey on special occasions. When mom prepared Cold Plates for a regular Sunday night dinner, she would most likely include roasted chicken, sometimes roast beef, or rarely, glazed ham.

If there was turkey, you could count on there being dressing (stuffing) as well. And lastly, there were the little add-ins, like the slice of black forest ham that had been tightly rolled and pierced with a toothpick; the slice of tomato sitting atop some iceberg lettuce; the cranberry sauce; and, of course, the dinner roll.

All of this created the most popular and most recognized meal on the island. It probably still is! And, more importantly, it created my all-time favourite meal. I could seriously eat this every day and never grow tired of it.

It’s a lot of work to prepare this meal, but it’s not something I do that often anymore. That’s why it was completely worth the effort this time. And, I have been promising to write up this recipe for a long time!

Below, you will find a series of recipe cards. There are no steadfast rules to making your version of a Traditional Newfoundland Cold Plate. Pick and choose the items you want to include and make only those. To be honest, almost every family in Newfoundland had/has their own version, so you can too!

I do hope you enjoy this meal, Dear Reader. It is one that is dear to me and makes me think of my mom and family dinners around the table every Sunday night.

A hearty meal for a hard-working people, this plate depicts a very traditional Newfoundland Sunday night supper. It also happens to be my personal favourite!#newfoundland #recipes #cold #plates #traditional

Compiling a Cold Plate:

If you read through the text above, you’ll already be aware of the fact that a Cold Plate is whatever you make it. I have listed the items and any of the items that require a recipe, you can find them below. I’ll walk you through how I assemble my version.

The first thing you’ll need is a turkey. The following is recipe for a simple roasted turkey that anyone can make! If you want to substitute the turkey with roasted chicken, glazed ham, or roast beef, it would be completely acceptable. (Some Cold Plates have two meats!) Either way, the turkey is the first thing I place on the plate.

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Roasted Whole Turkey

Roasting a turkey does not need to be complicated. For a super moist and delicious turkey, you only need 5 ingredients and a little patience!
Course Main Course
Cuisine North American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 863kcal
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Equipment

  • Large roasting pan with rack – roughly 18" x 13" x 4"
  • Butcher's twine (string)
  • Turkey baster

Ingredients

  • 20 pound turkey, thawed, giblets removed, and washed well under cold running water
  • 2 large white onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup salted butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Measure out the salt and pepper. Stir together in a small bowl.
  • Wash turkey and roughly pat dry with paper towel. Rub the entire surface of the turkey with just over half of the salt and pepper mixture. Distribute the remaining salt and pepper inside the cavity.
  • Place the turkey onto the rack in the roasting pan.
  • Tuck the wing tips under the breast meat. This will prevent them from burning. (Use force; sometimes they're a bit stiff.)
  • Add the onions to the cavity of the turkey. (If you are adding anything else, please do so now. If you are stuffing the turkey, please do so at this point.)
  • Using butcher's twine, tie the two legs together in a cross-over fashion.
  • Place the turkey in the oven uncovered. Roast for 1 hour.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and place all of the butter into the bottom of the pan. Return to oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and use turkey baster to baste the entire surface of the turkey. Return to oven. Baste every 30 minutes.
  • At the 3 hour mark, pay attention to the skin on the turkey. If it has browned enough, tent the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Do not press the foil onto the bird – the skin will stick to the foil.
  • Return to oven and continue roasting; baste every 30 minutes.
  • Once the turkey has been roasting for 4 hours and 30 minutes, check the temperature of the breast meat using a meat thermometer. The temperature should be between 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is not, return to the oven to continue cooking.
  • After the turkey is fully cooked, remove from the oven. Keep covered with the foil and allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Notes

Please keep in mind that the nutritional information accounts for everything and does not account for the remaining butter and juices left in the bottom of the pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 863kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 117g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 417mg | Sodium: 1157mg | Potassium: 1247mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 655IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 5mg

After the turkey (or other meats) have been plated, I add the dressing to the plate. If you plan to stuff the turkey, you can use the following recipe. It’s very traditionally Newfoundland! Or you can bake it like I did and not stuff the turkey at all. This stuffing is referred to as dressing in Newfoundland.

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Traditional Newfoundland Savoury Dressing

Loved throughout Newfoundland, this traditional baked dressing uses pure savoury to transform a bread stuffing into something extraordinarily tasty!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Newfoundland
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 241kcal
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 675 grams white bread (one large loaf white Wonder Bread is best)
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried savoury
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a skillet, saute the onions with the olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Melt butter and set aside to cool.
  • Add two or three slices of bread to a food processor and pulse until bread is broken down into crumbs (about the size of rice).
  • Place all of the grated bread into a large bowl. Add the sugar, savoury, salt, and ground black pepper. Toss well to combine.
  • Add in the onions and pour in the melted butter. Use a spatula to toss until the butter and onions have been well incorporated into the bread mixture.
  • Transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 90 minutes or until the bread has browned and has dried a little. It's important to mix the bread thoroughly every 20 minutes during the cooking time.
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately or allow to cool completely if serving as a cold side.

Notes

If you prefer, you can buy stuffing bread, but this recipe works best if you take the time to prepare the bread yourself.

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 538mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 2mg

Now we will need to plate the potato salads. Please note that I like to use a mashed potato scoop to get nicely rounded and evenly portioned mounds of potato salad. If you don’t have one, you can certainly use a spoon.

Like I said previously, there are three different types of potato salad that help to make up the Cold Plate. So, let’s get started. First up is my personal favourite – the Vegetable Potato Salad.

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Vegetable Potato Salad

Made with chopped hard-boiled eggs, mashed potatoes, and green onions, Vegetable Potato Salad is creamy, comforting, and oh so delicious!
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium potatoes, white flesh, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 15 ounces canned mixed vegetables, drained
  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add the chopped potatoes and salt to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Using a hand-held potato masher, or a potato ricer, mash the potatoes leaving no lumps.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, and using a large spoon, vigorously mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Taste for seasoning and sweetness and adjust accordingly.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Notes

Once the eggs are cooled, I slice the egg in half length-wise and remove the cooked yolk. I only use the white portion of the egg in my Vegetable Potato Salad. You can most certainly use the yolk as well as the white, but it will result in a yellowish coloured potato salad. That’s fine, of course, but I prefer to keep the potato salad looking a bit brighter.

The next potato salad is the Mustard Potato Salad. Place a scoop of this one right next to the Vegetable Potato Salad.

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Mustard Potato Salad

Mustard Potato Salad is very similar to regular potato salad, but with tang and zing from yellow mustard. Update your regular salad with a new flavour profile!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium potatoes, white flesh, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 15 ounces canned mixed vegetables, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add the chopped potatoes and salt to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Using a hand-held potato masher, or a potato ricer, mash the potatoes leaving no lumps.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, and using a large spoon, vigorously mix all of the ingredients together.
  • Taste for seasoning and sweetness and adjust accordingly.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Notes

When buying the canned mixed vegetables, I encourage you to stay away from canned peas and carrots – it just will not taste the way it is meant to be. Try to find canned vegetable medley which consists of corn, green peas, carrots, green beans, etc.
Canned vegetables might seem odd to some, but I have tried to make this potato salad with bagged frozen veggies and the taste is off.

Lastly, there’s the Pickled Beet Potato Salad. Again, using the mashed potato scoop if you happen to have one, place a scoop of this bright pink salad right next to the other potato salads.

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Pickled Beet Potato Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium potatoes, white flesh, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pickled beets, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup pickled beet juice
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Add the chopped potatoes and salt to a large pot and cover the potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Using a hand-held potato masher, or a potato ricer, mash the potatoes leaving no lumps.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, but hold back on ¼ cup of the beet juice.
  • Using a large spoon, vigorously mix all of the ingredients together.
  • If the salad is still firm, and if the colour is too pale, add the rest of the beet juice and mix well into the potato mixture. You want to obtain a bright pink colour, yet maintain a mashed potato consistency.
  • Taste for seasoning and sweetness and adjust accordingly.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

My next favourite part is the Macaroni Salad. This is a replica of my mom’s macaroni salad and we prepare it and eat it often, not just for Cold Plates. It’s not easy to get a perfect mound, so just use a spoon and pile it as neatly as possible on the plate.

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Mom’s Classic Macaroni Salad

Creamy and flavourful, with bell peppers, green relish, and cheddar cheese; Mom's Classic Macaroni Salad is a dish served best any time you like!
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 450 grams macaroni, cooked according to package instructions, drained and rinsed under cold water until cold
  • ½ small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ small green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, diced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Placed the cooked, cooled macaroni into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, add the sweet pickle relish, sugar, yellow mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper; stir well to combine.
  • Add the sauce to the macaroni and stir well.
  • Next, add the red and green peppers, green onions, and the diced cheddar cheese, to the bowl of macaroni and toss to combine.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Finally, another favourite of mine, is the coleslaw. Oh, I might as well confess that they are all my favourites! If you want to place the coleslaw into a small ramekin or serving cup, you certainly can. I would advise you do this if you plan to prepare the Cold Plates ahead of time. Otherwise, the liquid in the coleslaw will run.

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Homestyle Creamy Coleslaw

A great tasting Home Style Creamy Coleslaw consists of simple ingredients, no fuss, and lots of crispy, crunchy vegetables.  
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 125kcal
Author Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces Dole Classic Coleslaw Mix
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add both bags of the coleslaw mix and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to form the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss to coat completely.
  • Transfer to a glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 24.2mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.3mg

You’re almost done! It’s now time to nuzzle in the iceberg lettuce leaves. Top them with a slice of tomato. Place the rolled ham on the edge of the plate. And, lastly, add a freshly baked bun. I never bake the buns from scratch, but buy them from our local grocer.

Congratulations, Dear Reader! You have just assembled a Traditional Newfoundland Cold Plate!! It’s time to dig in. Yes, it’s a big and hearty meal, but you deserve it once in a while. Put on your stretchy pants and enjoy!

If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:

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A hearty meal for a hard-working people, this plate depicts a very traditional Newfoundland Sunday night supper. It also happens to be my personal favourite!#newfoundland #recipes #cold #plates #traditional

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. It is so true that what food you grow up with is the biggest sort of comfort to a person. I just love the memories of childhood meals, tables laden with food on occasions and special dishes prepared at different times of the year. I have lived now in Newfoundland for 12+years and I know all the dishes but crave the traditional food I grew up with as well. Coming from a Ukrainian prairie farm we knew what it was to have 4-5 types of meat, mashed potatoes, 2-3 types of vegetables(just in case you might not like just one, ha ha) pickles,several salads,perogies, cabbage rolls, cannot count the desserts,way too much, for Christmas supper. We would still have leftovers a week after. This continued with some variations for Easter and Thanksgiving and other special times. When I settled down into NL I was like WHAT! everything in one pot??? come on now this cannot be! Now I understand it better and we will always have the fondest memories of what was familiar to us in the early years.

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