Canadian Eats, eh.

Whenever we travel to another country and return home, we realize how fortunate we are to be living in such a beautiful country. As much as we sometimes complain about Canadian weather—summer in Canada is when it stops snowing, around March, no, April, well, probably more like mid-May—it is a privilege to be a Canadian citizen.

For this week’s Tasty Tuesday (I know it’s not Tuesday, but I’m moving the day up to coincide with Canada Day), I wanted to feature a few traditional Canadian recipes.

I asked my fellow Canuks on Facebook for suggestions, because I was stumped. Canada has such a diverse and beautiful mixture of cultures and nationalities that we really don’t have a lot of dishes that we can say are authentic Canadian meals. Sure, there are recipes that include maple syrup, back bacon and beer, but those recipes are an infusion of recipes which originated from other countries.

However, we do have a few authentic Canadian dishes and ingredients that are only available in Canada, which is what I will feature for this week’s recipes.

POUTINE, also known as heart attack in a bowl, seems to have been a popular suggestion…recipe is simple, french fries, cheese curds and hot brown gravy. Personally, I prefer to eat my French fries drenched in malt vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt, but Canada is the land of the free and toque wearing brave, so to each his/her own.

BEAVER TAILS were also another popular suggestion. Don’t worry, no beavers are injured nor are their tails chopped off. Basically, it’s flat fried dough, topped with brown sugar, or maple syrup…actually, anything goes on a beaver tail….(raunchy jokes aside).

SMARTIES are our national candy—okay, I admit, I have assigned them as our national candy, pop a few in your mouth and you will see why. Smarties resemble M&M’s, but taste better.

There is a timeless song that crosses all generations to honor Smarties.

Rumor has it that the talented Canadian romance author, Kelly Jamieson can belt this song out Winnipeg style. One of these days I’m going to show her how we sing it out here in the east.

Come on, sing along with us, you know you want to. Don’t worry, you won’t have to inject an “eh” or an “aboot” anywhere in the song.

Let’s sing together….

“When you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last? Do you suck them very slowly, or crunch them very fast? Eat those candy-coated chocolates, but tell me when I ask, when you eat your Smarties, do you eat the red ones last?”

In our home it is tradition that birthday cakes (chocolate of course) are decorated with Smarties.

Click here for CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE

cake

NANAIMO BARS: This popular dessert was created in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Best part about making Nanaimo Bars, they’re easy to make, they’re chocolately….but I must warn you, they are extremely rich and even the most rabid chocoholic can only eat a small piece.

They are delicious with vanilla frozen yogurt (or ice-cream) and require 45 minutes on the treadmill afterward, but it’s so worth it.

Nanaimo-Bars-13

Ingredients:

1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/3 cup Finely Chopped Walnut Halves (you can use slivered almonds if you prefer)

1/4 cup Cocoa Powder

1/4 cup White Sugar

1/3 cup Butter, melted

1 egg, Lightly Beaten

Filling:

1/4 cup Butter

2 tbsp Custard Powder

1/2 tsp Vanilla

2 cups Confectioner’s Sugar

2 tbsp Milk

Chocolate Icing:

4 oz milk chocolate, good quality, chopped

1 TBSP Butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a metal cake pan (8 or 9 inch pan) with parchment paper.

In bowl, stir together: graham crumbs, walnuts, cocoa powder and sugar. Drizzle with butter and egg; stir until combined.

Press crumb mixture into baking pan and bake for 10 minutes (until firm).

Set aside and let cool.

Make the filling: In bowl, beat together butter, custard powder and vanilla. Beat in confectioner’s sugar alternately with milk until smooth (you may need one teaspoon of additional milk if it’s too thick).

Spread this custard mixture over the graham cracker base (make sure graham cracker base is cool).

Refrigerate for one hour (until firm).

Make the Chocolate Icing: Boil water in a sauce pan. Turn heat down to a low simmer (make sure water is no longer boiling).

Use a heatproof bowl and put over the sauce pan, add chocolate with better and stir, until all chocolate is melted and it’s smooth.

Spread chocolate over filling.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from fridge and with the tip of a sharp knife, cut them into bars.

Refrigerate for an hour, until chocolate is set.

Can be wrapped in foil and put in the freezer.


caesarBLOODY CAESAR:
 Just to be clear, this drink has nothing to do with Vampires and I do realize this cocktail sounds rather ominous, but it’s a great way to have your v
odka and vegetables as well. This cocktail was invented in Calgary, Alberta. Cowboys and vodka—personally, I would have thought it would be a cocktail using a Molson’s (beer) because cowboys and vodka is not a visual I would have imagined, but, they do get credit for the Caesar.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Vodka

4 ounces Clamato Juice

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Dash of Tabasco Sauce

Celery Stick

Celery salt and salt and pepper mixture

Lemon

Optional: If you’re feeling adventurous, add a bit of horseradish

Directions:

  1. Rim a high ball glass with the juice from a lemon wedge, then dip it in a combination of: celery salt, salt & black pepper.
  2. Add the vodka and clamato juice.
  3. Add Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces to taste.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Add a celery stick.

 HAPPY CANADA DAY

CANADA

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16 thoughts on “Canadian Eats, eh.

  1. Happy Canada Day Selena, these recipes sound good will have to try them. I did make the Key lime pie this weekend it was great!

  2. I was with you right up until the Bloody Caesar ;). Happy Canada Day! I love my Canadian friends, new and old. They are always so willing to teach me new things. In college, I learned to curse from hockey players and still do it with a Canadian accent ;). Now Selena is teaching me countless things like myriad uses of “sod” and that Tuesday is usually a day when I’ll be cooking something new :).

  3. Happy Canada Day Selena 🙂 My mouth is watering for those beavertails and the Nanaimo bars. I never knew Caesars came from Canada. Thank you all for that, they are sodding delicious! I also mix Clam juice in my beer. Must be a Northern thing. (Seriously Sherri you should try it ) 😉

    • Thanks, Heidi. I think one can only get Clamato in Canada, but I could be wrong, if you can’t get Clamato juice, then I think it would work with Tomato juice and perhaps add some chicken or beef broth (chilled of course).

      Nanaimo bars are delicious, but I can only have a small bite, bigger bites go directly to my thighs.

  4. Happy Canada Day Selena! I loved this post. I have to confess that I don’t know much about our Canadian friends so thanks for enlightening me :). The Beaver Tails and Poutine sound delicious and I will have to make the bars. What’s custard powder though? Never heard of it.

    • Thanks, Scarlet. No fear, I shall school you in Canadiana and you will be as Canukian as I am.

      In Canada we have custard powder called, Bird’s Custard. It’s fairly common and can be purchased anywhere. Try looking for it at Whole Foods, or any place they sale UK food items. If you can’t find it, let me know, and I’ll ship you a container. It’s so easy to use, a lot faster than making custard from scratch (which you can do for this recipe as well)

  5. Beautiful! We’ll have a singalong! And great Canadian recipes – some things I wouldn’t have thought of – Nanaimo Bars, of course! And people, don’t turn your nose up at a Caesar, yum!!

    • Hi, Kelly, thanks for stopping by! Besides loving your books, I love that we share OSEJ (Obssessive Smarties Eating Joy). Ha, we use that as a hashtag on Twitter, people will really be curious. LOL Yup, Caesars are delicious!

  6. Oh my gosh, I adore Nanaimo Bars–or Nanaimo Squares, as my Grammy called them! In fact, that’s one of the recipes I’ve posted on my blog. I never knew where Grammy got the recipe but she was a home economics teacher in Oklahoma. She used to send them out, along with burnt sugar fudge, to her distant friends at Christmas every year. Her recipe called for chopped pecans instead of walnuts, slow-cook vanilla pudding mix instead of custard powder, and didn’t require baking the bottom crust (but I think I’ll try that)–otherwise they look exactly alike! I’m so thrilled to find out more about them. 🙂

    Happy Canada Day to you!

    • Hi, Robin, thank you for stopping by the blog and sharing your Grandma’s recipe. There are many variations to make these bars, I think I rather like your Grandma’s version with pecans. Yum, and the Vanilla pudding idea sounds interesting as well.

      Happy Upcoming Fourth of July! And I hope you come back and visit us here. 🙂

  7. I would love to visit Canada! High on my list of to go places. We did got to Victoria, I don’t know if that counts. I’m drooling over the Beaver Tails, not so much the Poutine. What’s the difference between M&M’S and Smarties? Happy Canada Day !
    We’re pretty “sodden” here in N.C., thinking about getting an ARC! Thanks for the wonderful recipe’s and info…..enjoy your holiday……xoxoxo

    • Hi, Pat, thank you.

      Yes Victoria certainly counts, as it is in Canada. 🙂 I’ve been to Victoria and I felt I was walking the streets of my own city, because Victoria is identical to our city.

      Beaver Tails are popular in the winter months, they go well with hot chocolate, I think they are similar to what Americans call elephant ears.

      Smarties are smaller in size, have a chocolate center and I just think they taste better than M&M’s., Kelly Jamieson will agree with me of course. I guess it’s because it’s a candy that brings a lot of us memories from our childhood.

      Yeah, it’s been raining here too, but at least we don’t have to shovel the rain.

      Happy upcoming Fourth of July!

  8. Clamato juice is a common item in my house. Used for Bloody Mary (Caesar) or mixed half and half with beer. I’m in Wisconsin which is kinda considered lower Canada. 🙂

    When you said smarties I was thinking about these http://www.smarties.com/ not M&M’s. 😉
    The recipes look good. But I will not put gravy on my fries, cheese sauce for dipping maybe.
    Happy Canada Day!

    • Hi, CG, some people add Clamato juice to beer and I hear that tastes good as well. I like Clamato juice on its own, with a lot of spice added.

      What you call Smarties in the USA, we call Rocket candies.

      I don’t like gravy on my fries, as I said, lots of sea salt and vinegar, love them that way.

      Thank you and Happy Upcoming fourth of July! 🙂

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