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Serve a Classically Canadian Meal for the Olympics

Serve a Classically Canadian Meal for the Olympics

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Updated on May 3, 2010

Since the Winter Olympics will be hosted in Vancouver, February is an ideal month to cook Canadian style. Although it's close by, Canada prides itself on several traditional dishes that are virtually unheard of in America. After our activities inspire your child to get physically and mentally involved in the Games, he's going to be hungry for a delectable dinner. We’ve put together a bountiful meal that showcases some of Canada’s favorite ingredients and recipes. Enlist your young chef's help in preparing and serving it up as your family settles down to watch the Opening Ceremonies.

Maple Glazed Salmon

Serves 3 (or more if being served alongside the Poutine)

What You Need:

  • One pound of Salmon cut into 3 fillets
  • 2 tablespoons pure (not imitation) maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place the salmon in a small ovenproof glass baking dish. Whisk together the maple syrup, orange juice, and teriyaki sauce. Ask him to pour this mixture over the salmon.
  2. Cook for about 20 minutes. Drizzle any remaining sauce over the fillets and serve.

Poutine

Serves 4 to 6

Poutine is a hearty dish of gravy and cheese curds served over French fries. It was created by the Québécois (residents of Québéc, the French speaking region of Canada), but the dish quickly became the entire nation’s comfort food of choice. To make this at home you’ll need to find fresh cheese curd, so try to go the local farmer’s market or cheese monger as it is not commonly found at the grocery store.

What You Need:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups organic beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound 8 ounce bag of frozen French fries or potato wedges
  • 8 ounces jersey cheese curd

What You Do:

  1. Cook the French fries according to the packaging instructions.
  2. Melt the butter and flour in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When combined, raise the temperature to just a boil, then reduce heat  and stir frequently until the roux has turned a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in the beef stock and cook until the gravy has thickened, stirring occasionally over medium heat (about 10 minutes). Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, divide fries between four to six bowls. Ask him to ladle gravy over the fries, and top with the cheese curds. Serve immediately.

Nanaimo Bars

Makes 18 mini -bars.

If you haven’t heard of these super sweet treats yet, odds are you’ll be hearing more about them in the upcoming weeks, as they are the point of pride of the town of Nanaimo, British Columbia. Though not traditionally in the recipe, we’ve added a little cream cheese to help balance the powdered sugar of the filling. Just omit the cream cheese if your sweet tooth prefers the real deal.

These dessert bars are extremely sweet, so it’s best to cut the pan into 9 bars, and then halve those for a total of 18 petite bars.

What You Need:

For the base layer

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

For the filling

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix powder
  • 1  2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • For the top layer
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

What You Do:

  1. Set up a bain marie. (Take a saucepan and pour in about two inches water. Find a heat proof bowl that will fit snuggly on top of the saucepan. The base of the bowl should not touch the water.)  Melt the butter in the bowl, and then add the sugar and cocoa, stirring to dissolve. Add the egg and stir constantly as the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour in the crumbs, almonds and coconut and stir to combine. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 brownie pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  3. To make the filling, set up a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the softened butter, cream, pudding mix powder, powdered sugar and cream cheese and beat on medium speed until light and well combined.
  4. Using a small offset spatula, spread  the filling over the base layer. Refrigerate while preparing the chocolate topping.
  5. To make the topping set up a bain marie over medium low heat and add the chopped chocolate and butter to the bowl. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly so that it is not hot to the touch but still fluid.
  6. Pour the cooled chocolate over the filling. Working again with a small offset spatula, quickly spread the glaze to entirely cover the layer of filling.
  7. Refrigerate until hardened, cut into bars, and serve.
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