What do you think of as “Canadian” food? Do bacon and maple syrup top your list? How about bannock, poutine, butter tarts or Nanaimo bars? Our country is very diverse, so it’s hard to come up with one food that is quintessentially Canadian. We’re also very fortunate to have access to pretty much any food we want, any time of the year, from West coast salmon to East coast potatoes.
Here are the results of our culinary journey across Canada:
Anita Stewart’s Canada contains great stories about Canada and would be a wonderful book for new cooks or newlyweds. Cheryl made several recipes, including a salmon dish and this decadent cheesecake, full of eggs, sour cream and orange and lemon zest, which was amazing.
Dianne thought Homegrown by Marilyn Smith was an excellent cookbook. The Cranberry Maple Butter tarts were delicious, especially while still warm. They were a little on the sweet side, so she would use less sugar, next time.
Lynda and Maureen had fun with You Gotta Eat Here, Too! They’ve eaten at several of the restaurants that have been featured on the show, including The Fiesta Mexicana Restaurante y Cantina, which is famous for their giant Burrito Guadalajara – the pico de gallo really makes this dish. The Mango Tango Chicken Pizza from Mickey’s Dragon Pizza was fantastic.
I chose John Catucci’s first book, You Gotta Eat Here! and tried Dottie’s Delicious lemon tart. The filling is a lemon curd with a hint of basil. I used a gluten-free coconut crust, from Canadian Living Magazine, instead of the usual pastry crust. This TV show has been very successful and it’s great to be able to re-create some of these restaurant favourites in your own kitchen.
Jackie thought The Dietician’s of Canada Cook would be perfect for a beginner cook, as it contains a lot of general information. The Greek Chicken was a tasty, easy dish, that she would make again. The Turkey and wild rice soup was a good, hearty soup that calls for ground turkey, but might be better with shredded turkey.
Grandma’s Kitchen reminded Iris of her own mother’s recipes and uses ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard.
Ed was very happy with Michael Smith’s Back to Basics and his “pan-rushed” cooking method – a restaurant technique for getting food out fast. It involves searing the meat, making a sauce, then putting the meat back in the sauce to simmer.
Winnipeg Cooks is a wonderful new cookbook showcasing our own city’s talented chefs. Rossita made this colourful Roasted Beet Salad.
Sharla made the French Onion soup from The Soup Sisters, not realizing you need to cook the onions for 40 minutes. The end result was worth it and the cheese toast was also a big hit, so she made it again to go with the Hamburger Soup. The tomatoes were a little over-powering in this recipe, but nothing a little milk and hot sauce couldn’t fix.
Next month we’ll be hosting the “Bean Team” of the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers and learning about nutrition and the delicious possibilities of how to cook with pulses, for International Year of the Pulse. Please contact the Osborne Library at 204-986-4775 for more information.