Can you hear that? That gentle sound from the North? If you cock your head and strain your ear and become very still and focused, you can hear the soft sounds of 'O Canada' coming towards you...
Nothing like enjoying a country with some family friends who also happen to be from that country! They joined me and my boyfriend as we explored the wild cuisine of Canada - pie, potatoes, and dessert, obviously.
If you couldn't find Canada on a map, I cannot help you. Yet here I've posted the customary pic of Canada on a map, LOLZ.
When I researched foods to make for Canada, I simply asked my Canadian friends. I knew I wanted to make poutine (French fries covered in cheese curds and gravy...heck yes...) Authentic Canadian Poutine Recipe - Seasons and Suppers; my Canadian friends also suggested Nanaimo Bars - Cooking Classy (no-bake cookie bars...AH HECK YES...); then, I realized I had no meat. So I looked up meat recipes for Canada and found this recipe for Tourtière: A French-Canadian Meat Pie Recipe (growagoodlife.com) (pork-beef pie). Ever since reading an abridged version of Great Expectations when I was a kid, I've always wanted to try a pork pie. How could this pie be so good that it was made for Christmas, and then stolen??? I love it.
Firstly, I made the Nanaimo bars - probably my favorite bit of the meal. Ya gather your ingredients...
Melt some butter, then add your chocolate, sugar, egg, graham cracker crumbs, nuts, and coconut.
Then I made a sort of buttercream using Bird's brand custard powder. Very not-American.
Another nice layer, lolz.
Then, melt some chocolate for the last layer:
I could've eaten this right then and there, but as it had to harden and it was the night before and I couldn't eat it by myself (I mean...I could've eaten it by myself...but that would be a terrible thing to admit to), I let it be.
Next day, time to make some pie:
Made and rolled out two disks of buttery crusts - one larger than the other, as one is the bigger bottom layer and the top is just the flat top layer. Not pictured is my boyfriend, who dutifully followed my every command and cut up potatoes for two things - pictured is the potatoes cut up to be added to the filling of the pie as a means of being a sponge for moisture. He also cut up nice fat wedges of potato to be put in water to soak before being fried. (Soaking potatoes in cold water and then patting them dry is a method to bring the starch out of them, resulting in a crispier potato.)
Next, meat and aromatics and then the potatoes were cooked off together to become a nice pie filling, a little bit of spices included:
Baked up, I was pretty happy with the results:
I then got distracted in entertaining guests and forget to take pictures of us frying potatoes. But, luckily for me, I've assumed some of you have fried some potatoes before or could use your imagination to imagine what frying potatoes look like, LOLZ.
I made a basic gravy - first, a little roux (fat and flour cooked together until brown), then some broth, and cooked until thick. Cheese curds (do you know how excited I was to find those??? I thought they'd put up more of a fight for me to locate them in my local grocery store, lolz) and gravy were poured on the fries with abandon. SO PRETTY.
And behold, some moneyshots!!!
My family friends brought some Canadian beer and the four of us had a merry feast of it all. The poutine was soft and crispy and cheesy and rich; what could taste better than potatoes and cheese curds and brown gravy? That same brown gravy tasted delicious on the pie, which reminded me of sausage, with the subtle rounding flavor of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon; the crust was flaky and crispy; it was sooo yummy.
The Nanaimo bars!!!!
THE NANAIMO BARS!!!
They're being added to my dessert repertoire as we speak.
They're just...they're soft buttercream and silky chocolate and crunchy yet crumbly crust...they're like a candy bar and a cookie had a baby and it's a delicious baby. My friend said something along the lines of her mother making these for the Christmas Eve table and how these tasted like those.
Needless to say, I shall be making the Nanaimo bars again.
Day made: 3/22/2022, Tuesday
Day post made: 5/12/2022, Thursday (I shall get caught up!!!)
Would I make it again? 9/10, this is definitely top 10 so far; it might also just be my favorite so far ;)
Special shoutout to my family friends and my boyfriend for being the best company EVER!!!