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Bebuzzled: The Flavours of Canada

beebuzzled's picture

Jamie Oliver Jamie Oliver Jamie Oliver


I love Jamie Oliver, so the book I'll be cooking out of for the next year is:


The Flavours of Canada by Anita Stewart


After much deliberation, I decided that though I love Jamie and often (very often) refer to his books, I wanted to cook out of a book that would help me understand the country I live in from a culinary point of view. This book is divided into five sections: British Columbia, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The recipes range from simple to complex and really, really incorporate the flavours from each area into every dish. I'll have to plan a bit in advance as I'll have to track down provincial ingredients like partridge berries, birch syrup, and bison, among others, as well as the suggested wines for each meal. Ideally, I'll win the lottery and spend the year travelling from coast to coast cooking, but if that doesn't pan out, I'll get to meet people from across the country online and by phone as I'm hunting down the ingredients for the various dishes. This is going to be a real learning experience!


Edit: To view the photos, please click  http://picasaweb.google.com/casualfarmer


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow


Edited 4/3/2007 10:50 pm ET by beebuzzled

Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Adele's picture

(post #67175, reply #1 of 200)

Cool!  Perhaps Sarah can put the title of the book in your message head?

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #2 of 200)

AAAck!  Yes, please!


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
FitnessNut's picture

(post #67175, reply #3 of 200)

This sounds cool. I'm really looking forward to reading your posts, especially after having lived in a number of different areas of Canada.

Now, if only I could come to a decision myself. :-)

Follow your bliss ~~ Joseph Campbell
Follow your bliss ~~ Joseph Campbell
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #67175, reply #4 of 200)

If you need any obscure prairie ingredients I'll be happy to help.

shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #67175, reply #5 of 200)

Ditto for any obscure west coast ingredients. Should you need anything Asian, we can probably find it for you at our local supermarket.





"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."
George Orwell, 1984

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #6 of 200)

Thank you, Cooki and Shy, I may have to take you up on those offers. Some of the recipes are very seaonal, so I have to plan in advance. For the next few days I'll be reading and organizing so at least I should have plenty of time to get in touch with you for what I won't be able to obtain here.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #67175, reply #9 of 200)

If you need bison or saskatoons I can definitely send you some.

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #10 of 200)

The saga begins with Ontario Bean Soup cooked in Nettie's Vegetable Broth. I don't know whether it was because of the cold, foggy weather or the fact that it had been a very difficult day (almost 6 hours with a family member in the hospital emergency care room, though all is now well), but this soup was so nourishing, soul-warming and flavourful that it made everything all better.


I began making the stock in the afternoon, stopped halfway through sauteeing veggies to do the hospital trip, then finished it and the rest of the soup by about 9 pm. Some of you purists may cringe, but that evening I was thankful that the recipe called for canned romano and kidney beans, along with the many fresh vegetables. I think I would have cried if I had to have pre-cooked the beans before I could use them. We cut thick slices of NYT bread to go along with the Ontario Bean Soup and felt very cared for and loved. Thanks, Nettie.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Wolvie's picture

(post #67175, reply #11 of 200)

this sounds good and it fit the bill perfectly -  and I am glad all is now well.

"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be."


Kahlil Gabran

 

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #12 of 200)

I love good food, so I'm game for anything. My kids, however, are not. We had the standard chicken, potatoes and gravy, but I added a Barley Risotto to the mix. I had originally intended to make the Wild Rice Risotto With Root Vegetables, but for some reason my eyes skipped over a rather important part of the recipe: the rice needed to be soaked for four hours. Oops. The Barley Risotto was made with carrots, garlic, shallots, herbs and parmesan. It was pleasant, but did not go with chicken and gravy. I'll make it the next time with the tomato sauce and scallops it was listed with.


Dessert was Annapolis Pear and Buttermilk Pie. It had a patted-in shortbread base spread with dried apricots that had been simmered in apple cider, then topped with sliced pears, buttermilk and a topping of brown sugar, butter and flour that had been mixed to a crumble. It was baked in a tart pan with a removable base. Now, I'm sure that had I been raised on the east coast this would have been a taste of home, and I have friends that hail from there, but I grew up with European pastries, breads and cakes, so this was much too sweet for my taste. The base, it must be said, was quite nice, with just enough sugar. It was crumbly and buttery. Comparatively speaking, the complete dessert was like a buttertart that had a hint of pear. The apricots were not apparent in looks or taste. I may make it again, but will leave off the sugar topping, opting instead for an apricot glaze to bring out the fruit flavour or perhaps a custard filling poured over the tart, then baked with a grating of nutmeg.


Though I will try to stay spot on with the rest of the recipes, I will temper the sugar to my own taste with the desserts.


Edit: If you would like to view photos of the various dishes, please click http://picasaweb.google.com/casualfarmer


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow


Edited 4/2/2007 10:08 pm ET by beebuzzled

Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
DeannaS's picture

(post #67175, reply #13 of 200)

Oooo, pretty photos. The tart LOOKS good. But, yah, I could definitely see that it could be over the top.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #14 of 200)

Four Seasons Film Festival Chicken Pot Pie - YUM! I love pot pie at the best of times and it must have something to do with the rainy days and comfort food, but I had to stop myself from taking too much.


I made the chicken and veg mixture from one of the chickens that I roasted yesterday and the chicken stock recipe in the book. The stock itself was very chickeny and gelatinized nicely upon cooling. The topping called for frozen, thawed puff pastry, but since the stores around here carry puff made with oil (!?) I made my own. Now, I have never, ever attempted puff pastry but with some help from one of Anne Willan's books, it turned out very nicely, thank you! If I didn't have the CookTalk project tonight to prod me into making it, I'd probably still be afraid to try.


This I will make again, especially for the friends who love chicken pot pie as much as I do.


Edit: The recipe was made into 6 individual pies. I made one larger and two smaller. We ate the larger (with a teeny bit of leftover), gave away one smaller and put the second in the freezer.


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow


Edited 4/3/2007 8:04 pm ET by beebuzzled

Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #15 of 200)

Elora Road Butternut Squash and Buttermilk Soup


Very tasty, curry spices with corn kernels and minced red pepper thrown in after the squash and veggies in stock were pureed. Very easy and quick if you have chicken stock in the freezer.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
soupereasy's picture

(post #67175, reply #16 of 200)

That sounds lovely.

MadMom's picture

(post #67175, reply #17 of 200)

That sounds delicious.  Another book I might have to think about.



Not One More Day!
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End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #18 of 200)

Baked Autumn Vegetables, Barley and Wild Rice. This is the recipe I was going to make before when I forgot to soak the rice. It was sweet potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, squash and mushrooms on top of the rice and barley, with chicken stock and apple cider added, then covered and baked for 1 1/2 hours. The flavour was kind of murky and too sweet and the texture of the vegetables was mushy and watery, though the grains were properly cooked. Neither DH nor I liked it. This I won't make again.


Fillets of Trout with Ginger-Perfumed Carrot Sauce. The fillets were sprinkled with grated ginger, salt and chives, the drizzled with lemon juice. They were then loosely rolled from the widest end. These were steamed for about 4 minutes.


The sauce was carrot juice simmered with wine, shallots and ginger, then strained with a bit of salt and heavy cream added.


The fillets were plated on top of sauteed, julienned leeks, with the sauce spooned over the top. The flavour was delicate, with a gentle scent of ginger and mild carrot taste. Steaming it this way made the fillet firm enough to hold its shape, yet so soft and succulent it melted in the mouth. It's light, tasty and will most definitely be made again. Lovely!


I should have served the fish with a simple cooked rice and a drizzle of soy. I think the lesson here is to pay more attention to flavour blends, and hold off making something just to get it done. Lesson learned.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Glenys's picture

(post #67175, reply #19 of 200)

You're correct. The rice dish was too heavy and too much for the trout.
Frankly, I know I being blasphemous here but I just don't like wild rice. Yes, I can eat it. Do I want to? No. Of all the bog foods we get I'd rather have cranberries.

I was presented with a special edition book Anita did for CP Hotels- Great Canadian Cuisine. It's a lovely book and she does so much for Cuisine Canada and food writing. I'm looking forward to your adventures.

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #22 of 200)

I sent Anita an e-mail letting her know that I was going to cook my way through her book and she quickly responded, offering help with any substitutions I might need to make in case I'm not able to find all of the things for the recipes. From what I've read about her and Cuisine Canada, it makes me happy that I've chosen this book. This country sure isn't the white bread community it used to be.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Adele's picture

(post #67175, reply #20 of 200)

They were then loosely rolled from the widest end. These were steamed for about 4 minutes.


I love fish done this way, especially tilapia with a nice filling.  I bet the veggies on the rice mixture would of been better roasted and laid on top.  Both sweet potatoes and parsnips are sweet (to me), glad I don't have sweet potatoes in my book. :)  (I don't think!)


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #21 of 200)

Sweet potatoes are not my favourite, but I'll eat them if someone has prepared them. You have a good point in roasting the veggies first. I'm sure that would add the flavour boost this dish needs and would cut down on the excess liquid in the casserole pan. Still, I'm glad I tried it. You never know what might end up being really good unless you give it a go. I think that even if there are some recipes that I really dislike, it will still be a good learning experience. Because of this book, I got the chance to talk to a farmer in B.C. who produces birch syrup. She was so excited that someone from Ontario showed an interest and was very quick to point out the differences in production and flavour. It should arrive here soon, and I'm just as excited to try it, as I've never had birch syrup before. I think this is the start of something a little bigger than just a few recipes.


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Adele's picture

(post #67175, reply #23 of 200)

I think this is the start of something a little bigger than just a few recipes.


I agree. It's already got me back at the Farmers Market.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Quilter's picture

(post #67175, reply #24 of 200)

I'm interested in the birch syrup - could you post the information on where you're buying it?  Thanks

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #25 of 200)

Here's the link:


http://www.birchplacefarm.com/Order.html


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Quilter's picture

(post #67175, reply #26 of 200)

Thanks! Off to browse!

bkrgrl's picture

(post #67175, reply #53 of 200)

if`you are looking for birch syrup.. and live near Edmonton, AB, Canada.. .there was a vendor at the St. Albert Farmers Market who sold it..... I believe he comes to the market occassionally... but also is at the Strathcona market.... I could check if you want... let me know...

Quilter's picture

(post #67175, reply #60 of 200)

Thanks for offering!  However, I'm thinking I'll try Birch Place Farm here in BC while on our holidays this year.  We'll be driving right through that area. 


Considering how many birch trees we have in our back yard (and the accompanying dead leaves every fall) I could probably make my own! But I won't.

TracyK's picture

(post #67175, reply #28 of 200)

Have either of y'all ever tried sweet potatoes fixed in a savory application? Peeled, cubed, tossed with spices and onions and olive oil, roasted till tender? Delightful. :-)

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

beebuzzled's picture

(post #67175, reply #30 of 200)

Tracy, that sounds like something I might just like. Up to a year ago, I hated squash, until I had it in a curried soup and then roasted with spices. The spices changed the flavour completely and now I have it regularly. I've never had sweet potatoes done that way, but I can be a real creature of habit until someone else opens my eyes. Thanks. Sweet potatoes will get another chance. :)


 


Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
Why is the rum always gone?  Captain Jack Sparrow
TracyK's picture

(post #67175, reply #32 of 200)

Yay! I absolutely love them that way... if you like the savory squash you'll probably like them. :-)


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Nightrider's picture

(post #67175, reply #33 of 200)

I often do sweet potatoes roasted as "fries" with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and maybe a little fresh rosemary.  I can't stand them when they are prepared in the traditional "Thanksgiving" manner, or when they are just steamed/boiled...but I really enjoy them roasted with savory seasoning.


ETA:  I'm totally envious of your photography skills. Your food looks gorgeous (and delicious!).  Will be following your project with interest.


Edited 4/5/2007 10:09 pm ET by Nightrider