Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Guest Blogger: Sister #3-Aux Anciens Canadien in Quebec City

August16

When you walk the streets of old Quebec City you soon realize just how young the western provinces are in comparison.

After a hot day full of walking up the steep hills of this amazing place, we were all ready to tuck into some comfort food.  We were advised to make our way to St. Louis Road to Aux Anciens Canadiens.

Housed in a home that was built in 1675, this quaint restaurant was the perfect setting for an early dinner. The menu du jour is offered until 5:45 p.m. daily and we arrived just in time to take advantage of this incredible value.

We started with a choice of the Portage du jour, Chicken vegetable the day we visited, or the Soupe aux pois Grand-mere AKA Grandma’s pea soup.  I choice the later and was pleased with my choice.

There was a wide variety of main courses to choose from.

Gabrielle selected the Fricassée de suprême de poulet et legumes, like an open faced pot pie of puff pastry with grilled chicken and veggies.

Marie choose the Tourtière du Lac St-Jean aux gibiers which featured a variety of wild meat. It was served with fruit catsup and purple cabbage, which the girls tell me is just how their grandma would have served it.

Chantal and I selected the Saumon à la façon coulibiac et sa fricassée de légumes et crevette and it was decedent and fantastic!  Salmon is mashed with seasoned potato, topped with matchstick vegetables, wrapped in puff pastry and served on a pool of shrimp cream sauce.

Unfortunately they were out of the strawberry pie that they had offered as their dessert of the day.  I should have gone with the pear sorbet which would have been the perfect end to a rich dinner, but I was in Quebec so I had to try the tarte au sirop d’érable, a maple syrup pie that was amazing.

So our dinner included fresh bread, soup, entrée, a glass of wine and dessert.  My bill was $19.95 plus tax.  I told you it was an amazing value.  All of this in a sweet, traditional setting, with good service and the best company.  An evening I will never forget!

Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”  Michael Pollan

Love-that is all.

 

Our Canadian/American Family Gathers-Part 2

August15

The rest of the afternoon was spent with more visiting and a team scavenger hunt (where my team reigned victorious)!  Then it was off to the local park for a cross-border softball game.

Everyone who was willing was invited to partake from the youngest to Grandma Jean herself.  There were some surprize hitters and base runners and it was a close match.  Lightning called an end to the game and the start of our picnic supper.

In the end the Canadians won (in our minds at least)-consistent with the Olympics we brought home a bronze…..   Supper was another all American feast of fried chicken, beans and cole slaw.

After a leisurely morning sipping big mugs of coffee, we assembled for brunch on Sunday morning which was put together at various kitchens and by a variety of participants.  There was an egg casserole, French toast, fruit salad and pecan, cinnamon buns-yum.

Catching (and releasing) baby trout with a net.

The youngest member of the gang, still in his pjs.

Hanging on tight to Big Mable.

Prince Harry hair styles on the Ladyman brothers.

The sky had cleared and the temperature had risen and water sports dominated the rest of our stay.  Various configurations of cousins went fishing in the stream and lake, tubing, kayaking and sojourned to a floating trampoline.  I got to join in on an invigorating speed boat ride to the other end of the lake where we spotted loons and a perched eagle upon our return.

Family members started making their departures at staggered intervals.  Almost an hour was spent when D and I decided to do the same, exchanging emails and making declarations to befriend each other on Facebook so that we could keep in closer touch.   I love when social media is used for positive connections and not just frivolity and gossip.

Actually, there was a rumour started even before we had pulled out of the drive way, that the next get together would take place on the Canadian side, eh?

Thank you Sharon, Dan, Danny, Nancy, Dale, Tammy and all the kids for all your trouble hosting and loving us with food.

Kath’s “In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations — it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir.”-James Stuart Keateqyote

Found on the little island where I spent my morning.

Love-that is all.

Our Canadian/American Family Gathers-Part 1

August14

Grandma Jean and I worked together years ago at the same restaurant.  I boldly told her that I was going to marry one of her sons, and years later, even I was surprized, that this fore-telling came to be.  D’s family is even more enormous than my own.  Whereas we are very concentrated in North-East Winnipeg and at the same cottage area, they are spread between TO to the east, Calgary to the west and Phoenix to the south.  This is why Christmas and reunion weekends are so important in their clan.

D’s cousins, Aunt & Uncle who live in and around the lake area of Minnesota, invited us  (and extended family) for the August long weekend, so we Canadians would have some extra time to travel.

We arrived late on Friday evening and assembled in the Pavilion for hugs and hellos (D had not seen one first cousin since they were both 6)!  After a relatively early night, our cottage full assembled for coffee and breakfast together and then we headed to the host cabin for the rest of the day.

There were no arranged activities for the morning so we assembled in little groups to catch up and reminisce.  For those that required a quiet spot, there were many available for blissful times spent gazing at the vistas.

Lunch for 40 was a significant fete.  A variety of cooking stations were set up.  Cousin Danny had one of those propane turkey fryers that was filled with water and was able to accommodate a number of cobs at once.

A crock pot full of melted butter was set beside for dipping the cobs into.  I honestly do not need any other addition to Minnesota corn.  The ears had just been picked and then husked that morning and the sweetness was astounding.  Some family members had three cobs!

Bratwurst were being grilled slowly at another station.  This practical live coal barbeque was fired up.  The wood is lit in the small chamber to the side and then when at the optimum temperature, the smoke and heat enters the large chamber where the grills are placed.  As a result Darnelle (the cousin with the tongs) is not actually working over an open flame, which means that many sausages can be cooked at one time without worrying about flame ups or hot spots.

Lucky for us char lovers, she cooked some extra well.  These were served with mustard and sauerkraut just like at a Vikings game.

Big wedges of watermelon were out (my meager contribution) and what for dessert?  Well apple pie of course (and pecan to be accurate).

Grandma Jean had baked these in her country kitchen in rural MB and transported them safely across the border.  Grandma Jeans pies were one of the many reasons for my early matrimonial declaration.

The fun and eating continues in Part 2.

Kath’s quote: The pie should be eaten “while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood…then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, ‘in apple-pie order!'”-Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

Love -that is all.

Schneiders Spicy 3 Cheese Jalepeno Meatballs

August13

J1 is so crazy about meatballs, he thinks that someone should open a restaurant totally devoted to them.  In the mean time, I recently gifted him with a meatball cookbook.  I know that he will want to add these to his repertoire.  Every forkful brings a variety of tastes.  I served them as an entree with a side of quinoa and some steamed veggies but just think what they would be like on top of spaghetti (all covered with cheese).


Schneiders Spicy 3 Cheese Jalepeno Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
When I made a big batch of these, I froze half to enjoy the treat when I did not want to spend the time in a hot kitchen. They freeze beautifully.
Ingredients
  • 3 Schneiders® Grill’ems® Fully Cooked Smoked Sausages Three Cheese Jalapeno, divided finely chopped
  • 1 lb (500 g) Lean ground Pork
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch chili powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 14 Slices Schneiders® Bacon or Schneiders® Maple Bacon
  • Maple Chipotle BBQ Glaze
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) Ted’s World Famous BBQ Crazy Canuck Chicken & Rib BBQ Sauce or your favourite gourmet style barbecue sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Tabasco Chipotle hot sauce
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) Maple syrup
  • 1 Hardwood maple grilling plank (approx.12x8-inch/30x20 cm
Instructions
  1. SOAK grilling plank in cold water for a minimum of 1 hour. Follow directions on grilling plank package.
  2. CUT 2 sausages into 14 equal-sized chunks (7 pieces per sausage). Set aside.
  3. FINELY chop remaining 1 sausage and place in a large bowl. Add ground pork, cilantro, green onion, chili powder and cayenne. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Divide mixture into 14 equal sized portions.
  4. PLACE a portion of meat into the palm of your hand and flatten slightly. Place a chunk of sausage onto the ground pork mixture and wrap the meat mixture around the sausage so that the entire sausage is covered by the meat. Roll between your hands to make into a nice round meat ball. Repeat with remaining ground pork and sausage chunks.
  5. WRAP each meatball tightly with a slice of bacon, stretching bacon as you wrap, to make sure it covers the entire surface of the meatball. Cover meatballs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  6. COMBINE barbecue sauce, chipotle hot sauce and maple syrup in a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. SET grill up for indirect grilling* and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Place meatballs evenly spaced onto pre-soaked grilling plank. Transfer to indirect heat on grill and close lid. Grill for 8-10 minutes. Turn the grilling plank 180 degrees, close lid and continue to grill for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the bacon begins to crisp.
  8. BASTE with maple chipotle bbq glaze. Continue to grill for an additional 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy, the glaze is sticky and the internal temperature of the meatball reaches 160°F (71°C). Remove and serve immediately.

How to stuff.

How to wrap.

There is still lots of time left in barbeque season, but if you are running out of ideas, check out Schneider’s Facebook page to inspire you anew.

Kath’s quote: “Summer cooking implies a sense of immediacy, a capacity to capture the essence of the fleeting moment.”-Elizabeth David

 

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Whiteys-Grand Forks

August10

Whiteys Cafe has a rich history in Grand Forks and yet the funny thing for me is that I had never heard of it until recently and I have been traveling to GF for decades.  I suppose it is a local phenomena like Sals in Winnipeg.

We were surprized upon arrival that it was not busier but then again when I was served my salad without utensils and could not catch anyone’s eye to accommodate me, I guess we weren’t so surprized. But D and I are very understanding diners, having been in the business ourselves.  We often think when we see tempers flare by disgruntled guests that they should don an apron and see just how complicated the job can be.

D chose the Caprese Sandwich in an attempt to eat a little lighter after consuming many of his fav American treats-Salted Nut Rolls.  We both love Caprese salads and he thought that this sandwich rendition was a delicious choice.

This is my salad mentioned above.  i suppose I could have picked up and dipped the old school ingredients into the ranch dressing but I opted for utensils.  American cooks sure know how to make a good buttermilk ranch dressing.

I had not been indulging in American sweets so that I could savour a hearty lunch and my meatloaf sandwich was a great choice.  The grain and texture of beef in the US seems different than Canada or perhaps the loaf was a mix of beef, pork and perhaps even ground chicken because it retained a lightness that did not taste like home.  Meatloaf sandwiches are a favourite treat for me and this one was exceptional.

We still had more shopping to accomplish and so we did not linger long.  Whiteys is a great stop to grab a mid day meal.

Whitey's Cafe & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?”-Jo Brand

Love-that is all.

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