Posts in Canada
Nanaimo Bars

If you're looking for quintessential Canadian desserts you will find: Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars. Ubiquitous, sugar powerhouses, and bit sized, both are pretty tasty treats and definitely should be shared with friends! 

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

Base
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 cup white sugar
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 crackers)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional but completely delicious)

Middle creamy layer
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons custard or vanilla pudding powder
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Top layer
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
2 teaspoons butter

1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper. One sheet across the bottom and up two sides should be sufficient, no need to line all four sides. This will allow you to lift the bars out once they are set.

2. In a double boiler (you can use a metal bowl over a pot of just-boiling water if you don’t have a double boiler), combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Whisk egg in a small bowl and temper the egg by add small amount of the chocolate mixture to the egg and stirring until egg is warmed. Then add egg to chocolate mixture in double boiler over low heat and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds (highly recommended). Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate while preparing the middle layer.

3. For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. If using a stand mixer, let it run for a few minutes to get the butter nice and fluffy! Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan using a spatula or the back of a spoon. Chill to set.

4. While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter in a clean double boiler (or clean metal bowl/ pot combo) until chocolate is just melted and smooth. Spread over the chilled bars, do so as quickly as you can, as it will start to melt the second layer and blend together and the goal is to have distinct layers. Let the chocolate set before cutting into squares.

5. Cut into 1 inch squares as this is a very sweet dessert!

Keep refrigerated to maintain distinct layers and a nice texture.

Nanaimo Bar

 

 

Vancouver Cocktail & Hotel Georgia

Exciting cocktails always add something special to a race weekend. Especially when the race lulls a little, pulling out the cocktail shakers and trying new creations livens it up! 

Canadian Cocktails

West Jet Magazine shared four Canadian-made cocktails with varied origin stories. The following two are both signature cocktails created by Canadian hotel mixologists. 

Vancouver Cocktail

"The Vancouver Cocktail, said to have been invented in the 1950s at the city’s Sylvia Hotel. Its flavour is similar to the Toronto, but it’s not quite as bitter." 

1.5 oz gin
0.75 oz Punt e Mes  or other sweet vermouth
0.25 oz Bénédictine
2 dashes orange bitters
Stir with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a orange peal.

Hotel Georgia

"Launched in 1927, The Hotel Georgia reopened in 2011 as the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, housing Hawksworth Restaurant. Former bar manager Brad Stanton found its namesake cocktail recipe and modified it."

1.75 oz gin
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz orgeat syrup
6-8 drops orange blossom water
1 egg white

Shake all ingredients with ice (be careful! the egg white creates a lot of pressure so you'll need to hold to top on well!), strain into a reserved glass and back into shaker, and shake again without ice (dry shake). Double-strain with a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg (optional).

 

 

2018 Canadian GP: Montreal Style Bagels

If we have to talk about the race I would like to take the interview technique of sandwiching the bad within the good. Montreal is an awesome city, with amazing food, super cool people, and a fervor for F1 resulting in a sold out race! The race was utterly boring. The championship is still alive! 

Welp, that's that. Let's talk about bagels! I had never thought about making bagels, ever. I just assumed it was too hard, they'd be too complicated, or they couldn't possibly be as good as my local bagelry. Turns out I was wrong on all accounts. Yes, they took time and a bit of fiddly effort here and there, but if you have half a day and are willing to do a little trial and error it is totally worth it. These are Delicious. 

Montreal Style Bagels

We ate them fresh with whipped cream cheese, lox, a little onion and capers and then had them the next morning lightly toasted with a smear of butter. We took them to work with scrambled eggs and bacon slices for a simple lunch. They were delicious on all accounts. 

Bagel with lox

When it came to making these, as usual I found too many recipes and couldn’t decide which one to follow, and inevitably ended up choosing two and following both… Sometimes this totally ruins things, like when I ended up putting yogurt into a hot curry and curdling the whole thing. Oops. But, this time, it worked like magic and these bagels were amazing! The only thing I would change is to make 18 rather than 12 as they were rather large and my understanding is that Montreal Style Bagels are meant to be on the smaller side. 

Montreal Style Bagels

Adapted from The Spruce and My Second Breakfast with help from Lori McKinnon's Youtube video

4 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast (2 packages)
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
About 4-5 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose)
1/2 to 1 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add yeast and water to mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add egg, and egg yolk, whisk until combined. Mix in ½ cup honey, the oil, and salt.

3. Add flour one cup at a time mixing until combined. Add flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, this may be 4, 4 ½ or 5 cups of flour.

4. If using a stand mixer, change mixer to dough hook and knead for approximately 10 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes firmly elastic. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Prepare 2 cookie sheets covered in parchment paper, sprayed with cooking spray, and have ready two sheets of parchment sprayed with cooking spray to lay on top of bagels.

6. Divide dough into 12-18 evenly sized pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-10 inch rope, then bring the ends together and press to shape into a circle. I found the Youtube video, mentioned above, helpful in seeing a good technique to bring the dough together.

7. Set each shaped bagel on prepared cookie sheets, let them rest of 30 minutes. In the meantime, about 10 minutes before they are done resting heat oven to 425 F and start a large pot of water boiling. Once water begins boiling add ½ cup honey and stir in to dissolve.

8. Prepare more baking sheets, lined with parchment paper (no spray this time). Make egg wash, by whisking one whole egg in a bowl. Set poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds in dishes ready to be sprinkled on bagels. (I like to use a spoon or my hands to sprinkle on, dipping is far too messy.)

9. Boil bagels for 45 seconds on each side. You can do this individually or in batches as many as at a time as your pot (and attention) will allow.

10. Remove from pot and set on paper-towel lined plate to remove excess water. Dip in egg wash on both sides, and sprinkle on poppy seeds or sesame seeds, set on parchment lined baking sheets.

11. Once you have a full sheet Bake at 425 F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. You may flip them if you like, but they will bake through without flipping to preserve a fluffier top.  They can burn quickly due to the egg wash and seeds, so keep an eye on them after the 10 minute mark.

12. Cool on cooling racks, eat fresh or keep on counter for 2 days in airtight container. Freeze the remainder to keep fresh.

 

Bagels cooling
Lentil, Apple, and Raddichio Salad

Lentil, Apple, and Raddichio Salad with Lemon dressing. 

 

LENTIL APPLE AND RADICCHIO SALAD

From Canadian Living 

1 shallot thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoons salt
pinch pepper
2 cups cooked green or brown lentils cooled (in case you are lentil-y impaired like me, here is a great recipe/ tutorial for how to cook perfect lentils)
1 head boston or romaine lettuce thinly sliced
1/2 head radicchio quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple julienned or thinly sliced
1 rib celery thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberry
1/2 cup chopped toasted unsalted walnut
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

In large bowl, whisk together shallot, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Add lentils, lettuce, radicchio, apple, celery, dried cranberries and walnuts; toss to combine.

Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

Canadian GP- Poutine and Radicchio Salad

When I think Canadian Cuisine two things come to mind:

Joe Beef from the Montreal episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and...

Poutine. 

Poutine has gained popularity over the last few years and I have seen food trucks, and Poutine cafes pop up around the San Francisco Bay Area. They concoct all kinds of ridiculousness, kimchi poutine, braised short ribs and cheddar poutine, even vegan poutine! But I wanted to keep it classic. So I did. 

 

Given the heaviness of this (extraordinarily delicious) meal I decided to find a refreshing salad to pair with it. Canadian Living online provided the perfect one with a bright and refreshing lemon dressing to punch it up a bit. 

And last but not least, the drink pairing for this Canada-fest was indeed one of the best things to come out of Canada, Unibroue Brewery's La Fin Du Monde. Délicieux!

Poutine

From Chuck Hughes on Food Network

4 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
Vegetable oil for frying
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 cups beef stock
1tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon whole green peppercorns
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese curds

1. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick sticks. Place in a large bowl filled with cold water and let sit at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours for extra-crispy fries. Drain well and pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner.

2. Make the gravy: Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, ketchup, vinegar, peppercorns and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and make a roux, stirring until slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the stock mixture into the roux and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and keep warm.

4. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Heat 2 to 3 inches vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Fry the potatoes in small batches until whitish yellow, about 8 minutes. Remove with a strainer and drain on the paper towels. Bring the oil temperature to 375 degrees F over high heat. Fry the potatoes in batches again until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on fresh paper towels. Salt and pepper the fries while hot.

5. Put the fries in shallow dishes; top with the cheese curds and gravy.

DSC_0149.JPG

This beauty is the Lentil, Apple and Raddichio Salad with Lemon dressing. 

Lentil Apple and Radicchio Salad

From Canadian Living 

1 shallot thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoons salt
pinch pepper
2 cups cooked green or brown lentils cooled
1 head boston or romaine lettuce thinly sliced
1/2 head radicchio quartered, cored and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple julienned or thinly sliced
1 rib celery thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberry
1/2 cup chopped toasted unsalted walnut
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

In large bowl, whisk together shallot, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Add lentils, lettuce, radicchio, apple, celery, dried cranberries and walnuts; toss to combine.

Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese.

 

And for your continued viewing pleasure, Ferrari and Renault's Canadian Posters: