Sunday, 31 August 2014

C for Canada

Dee:  “I’d had Nanaimo bars before, which I loved, but never cooked a Canadian meal.  I’ve had a book called ‘Canadian Colonial Cooking:  Tried and Tested Recipes from Ontario’s Pioneer Villages and Historical Sites’ for years but hadn’t ever cooked anything from it.  After further reading, it turns out that there are many definitions of Canadian cuisine, but what I wanted to focus on, and hopefully achieved was a combination of Native (Maple Syrup), British (Cake) and French (Poutine) influences.  I wanted to get come nice Canadian craft beer to compliment the food but ran out of time to travel to Stirchley Wines and Spirits the best beer shop in Brum, so had to settle for the closest match I could get from the shop at the top of the road:  Coors Light.”

Canadian Style Wheat Bread
Dee:  “I wanted to use Canadian wheat flour for this loaf but the shop I get it from was closed so I had to make do with another type of very strong white bread flour.  The dough was enriched with a mashed potato and a few cubes of lard.  I think I’ll leave the lard out next time as the crumb was a bit too cake-like for my taste.  I prefer a chewy crumb to my white bread.”

Gammon Steaks with Maple Syrup Glaze
Dee:  “I wanted to try peameal bacon but no excuses, I didn’t get my act together and allow sufficient time to brine the pork, so I ended up settling for a couple of gammon steaks which I seasoned with black pepper then cooked in the pan.  The glaze was just the teaspoon of maple syrup that I coated the finished steaks with.”

Poutine style potatoes
Dee:  “There are lots of recipes for Poutine on line, but was limited in making any of them by what was available in the local shop.  I also wanted to bake the potatoes rather than deep frying them, to make a slightly less calorific version.  Once the potatoes were baked, I coated them in barbeque sauce and added a little cottage cheese on top and returned the dish to the oven to heat through.  I know it wasn’t really authentic poutine but it tasted good when served alongside the gammon steaks and vegetables.”

Crumb Cake with Apple Sauce
Dee:  “The recipe for the crumb cake was from the book.  Initially I thought the crumb cake was quite bland tasting and definitely needed the apple sauce, but later in the evening found myself picking at it again so it’s certainly got something.  The apple sauce was made by stewing together a couple of cored, peeled and chopped up cooking apples with some butter, sugar and cinnamon.”

Soundtrack:  The Tragically Hip – Live Between Us
Dee:  “I chose this on the basis of the band receiving rave reviews on line but we were limited by the choice on Spotify. The concert was recorded in what sounded like a large arena so the atmosphere it created wasn’t quite right for an evening meal for two.”

Next week we’re sampling the cuisine of the Dominican Republic.

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