Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Wild rice is a truly indigenous Canadian food that has been growing in the boreal forest for centuries. Wild rice is not the same plant we commonly refer to as rice. Wild rice in Canada is Zizania palutris, an aquatic water grass that grows in the lakes of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. It has become commercialized and is now also grown on aquatic farms in California as well as harvested from Canada’s natural lakes.

Wild rice contains twice as much protein as brown rice. It is low in calories and high in fibre with a more chewy texture than rice. One cup of cooked wild rice contains only 165 calories and 6.5 grams of protein.  It is high in vitamins and minerals. Wild rice does not contain gluten. Personally I would find it difficult to eat a whole cup of wild rice. It’s so dense.

Wild rice is often sold in grocery stores mixed with regular rice. This is a bad idea because wild rice requires a much longer cooking time and more water than regular rice. I now realize that I’ve fed quite a few people uncooked wild rice.  No harm in that, but under cooked rice is likely to give you a little fibre and no nutrients.   Instructions for cooking wild rice recommend  three to four  cups water for each cup of  wild rice and a cooking time of thirty to sixty minutes. I have had success with using three cups water and cooking for forty five minutes. If in doubt err on the side of extra water and extra cooking time.

Uncooked Wild Rice

Fully Cooked Wild Rice

Once cooked the wild rice  pops open, a little like popcorn. If it looks like the grain, it’s not cooked. One cup of raw  wild rice turns to about three cups cooked.

It’s easy to freeze the cooked wild rice in small portions and then mix it with  rice or other grains into any recipe.

 

 

 

Favourite Tourtiere

Author: helga

Tourtiere was never a tradition in my family, but I am happy to adopt this dish from Quebec and make it part of our Canadian Christmas. This recipe comes from The Harrowsmith Cook Book Vol. 1.  It was submitted to the cookbook by Nicole Chartrand, from Alymer, Quebec.

Lard pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie                           1/2 tsp. savory
1 lb. lean ground pork                                                       pinch of ground cloves
1 medium onion, chopped                                                1/4 cup boiling water
salt and pepper

Mix meat and onion and spices in a saucepan. Add boiling water. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Skim off any fat.

Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Place filling in pie plate and cover with the remaining pastry. Prick with a fork. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until golden. Serves 4-6.

The original recipe says to serve with homemade ketchup or chili sauce. I prefer to serve it with mashed potatoes and lots of gravy.

 

 

Rosemary

Rosemary is a Mediterranean evergreen. it’s leaves are shaped like needles and it has a pine like scent. In our northern climate  we need to plant it every spring.   I wanted rosemary for roasted potatoes, so why not get a head start on spring with a fresh plant.  I stripped the bottom branches and the rest will keep growing.

Rosemary roasted potatoes are so easy to make. All you need is some potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of finely chopped rosemary.  They taste so much better than boiled or microwaved potatoes!

Preheat your oven to 400° and get a metal, glass or ceramic pan. Any pan you have available will likely be adequate, but flat is best so they can spread out in a single layer.  Cut potatoes into approximately equal size pieces, coat with a couple spoonfuls of oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the chopped rosemary.  Cook for 45-60 minutes. Stir a couple of times while cooking  to brown  them more evenly.

This is a very flexible recipe. The potatoes can be cooked at a lower temperature if another dish is in the oven at the same time. They will taste good, if all you have is oil and some salt and pepper. If you prefer,  garlic can be added as well, or a  couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Grated parmesan can be added for extra crispiness.