Monday, August 20, 2012

Tasty Tourism-North America, Part I


This edition of Tasty Tourism focuses on North America, my 'home continent'. Even though my friends from nearby countries eat much the same things we do in the US, they usually have their own national 'flavor' that can adds variety and diversity. For instance, a friend of mine from Canada brought me a cookbook with some of her favorite 'comfort-food' recipes. They love their mac and cheese in Canada just as much as we do, but...well, let's just say the recipes look so tasty that they put my grandma to shame.  Seeing as I'm a Southerner and she was a master at our unique 'cuisine', that's saying something! However, even experts can enjoy learning something new.

One thing my grandma would have loved to have made is a pork spread called 'Cretons'. It's a traditional spread from Quebec that is usually served at breakfast, but is also good as an appetizer or snack.

1 cup milk
2-3 slices of white bread
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs ground pork
1 large white onion, minced
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 pinch each of ginger, Herbs de Provence, allspice and ground cloves

Remove the crusts of the bread and tear into pieces. Dry them out and soak in the milk. Now, heat onions and butter in a saucepan until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Then, add the pork and break up well. Now, pour milk/bread mixture over the pork and add the salt and pepper. Continue to mix while cooking over low heat. Once the pork is no longer pink, add the other spices. Cover partially and cook for 30 minutes. Now, let it all cool for about 5 minutes and whip with a mixer until smooth. Pour in small bowls or ramekins and put in the refrigerator before serving.

This spread is perfect on toast or a 'crusty' bread.

When my friend went to Prince Edward Island (Canada) for a business trip, he had something called 'poutine'. It's not the healthiest thing in the world but, for the 'cheese fries' or 'hash browns' lovers out there, it's a good side dish.

5 medium potatoes
2 cups cheese curds (you can also use shredded mozzarella or cheddar)
1 quart vegetable oil (for frying)
10.25-ounces (1 can) beef gravy

Cut the potatoes into fries and warm the gravy. Heat the oil to about 365º F in a deep skillet or fryer and cook the fries for about 5 minutes or until light brown. Drain on a paper towel, put on a platter and sprinkle the cheese and gravy. This is good for an appetizer, side and perhaps a breakfast treat. Waffle House, eat your heart out!

Check out posts II and III for more of North America.

No comments:

Post a Comment