Bon Appétit – Canada

Canada: poutine, pancakes with Canadian maple syrup, bacon, ginger beef, tourtière with green tomato ketchup, butter tartsflag_of_canada-svg


This was a super fun meal and record setting in numbers – there were 18 people, including kids. I did a kid-friendly start time, so since I knew there were multiple kids coming I chose some kid-friendly items for the menu.

I’ve been wanting to make poutine since I started this project in Philly, but had trouble finding cheese curds in Philly. In Rochester you can find them in gas stations! Thanks, Canada! I had major help with this meal as Rob did all the frying of the fries, Tracey made the gravies, Lora cut all the potatoes, and Ashley made the dessert.

I need to give a big disclaimer at the beginning of the recipe section that I did a terrible job of keeping records of the recipes I used and since my browser history from November is failing me the links I have to recipes are ones that I think are the recipes I used based on my hazy memory.

Poutine is fries, gravy, and cheese curds and since there were several vegetarians coming to the meal I made two versions of gravy – beef and vegetable. First up, the stocks. I felt like a real cook making two different stocks.

The beef stock involved some new ingredients for me.

Vegetarian gravy recipe. 

Poutine is pretty much all my favorite things.

Pancakes and syrup and bacon kept the kids (and adults) happy.

Speaking of kids, I love this evidence of kids enjoying couch cuisine.


Adena’s uncle is from Canada and he suggested the dish Ginger Beef, which is very common in Calgary. He kindly shared the recipe.

Ginger Beef


1 pound beef (rouladen)

1 celery stalk

1 carrot

3 hot chili peppers

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil


2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon cooking wine

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons ginger juice

1 eggwhite, lightly

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon hot chili oil (optional)


1 tablespoon wine

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar (can substitute brown sugar or honey, if desired)

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons water

chili oil or chili powder to taste

4 to 5 cups oil for deep-frying


Cut beef into matchstick strips, cutting along the grain. (The meat is easier to cut if it is partially frozen).

To make ginger juice for marinade, peel and grate ginger. Squeeze out juice.

Mix four marinade ingredients. Add to beef and marinate for 30 minutes.

Begin preparing vegetables. Cut carrots, celery, and pepper into thin strips. Mince garlic. For ginger, use the leftover minced ginger from the preparation of ginger juice.

Mix the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Beat the eggwhite and add water. Add flour and cornstarch. Mix the batter thoroughly. Drop the batter into the marinated meat.

Heat wok. When heated, add 3 – 5 cups of oil. When the oil is ready, add about 1/4 of the meat/batter mixture. Deep-fry the beef until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Let oil come back to original temperature and add more meat.

When meat is cooked, clean the wok. Heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is ready, add the vegetables and begin stir-frying. Pour in the sauce and let come to a boil. Add the deep-fried beef.

Toss quickly, and remove.

Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve hot.


This ended up being the only pic I got of this dish as I was making it at the last minute. But it was great!

My favorite dish ended up being the tourtière. I made two: one meat version (traditional) and one vegetarian version. Tourtière is a meat pie and commonly eaten for celebratory meals, including Christmas Eve. The recipe I used had a completely AH-MAZING pie crust recipe that involved 4 (FOUR!) sticks of butter per pie. I made three pies and therefore needed twelve sticks of butter. Just for the pies. I had to borrow butter from Adena. Here’s the meat version recipe (I substituted the beef stock I’d made for the chicken broth). I used the same crust for the vegetarian version and this filling recipe. 



Tourtière is served with a green tomato ketchup, which cuts the fat in the dish.

Tourtière is one of my favorite dishes I’ve made. It’s so comforting, hearty, tasty and fun. It’s not a simple or quick recipe, but it’s a treat for sure.

Ashley’s delicious butter tarts for dessert (or, actually, for appetizer since nothing was ready when everyone arrived and so Ashley kindly let us dig into the dessert as an appetizer!).


I didn’t do the best job photographing this meal, but it was such a fun and tasty evening. Next time I may attempt making homemade cheese curds. Cheese for the win.



About couchcuisine

I like traveling, cooking and eating...especially with friends.
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