Category Archives: Great Canadian Cookbook

You’ll Love Every Single Layer of This Nanaimo Bar Trifle

Transform the ultra Canadian dessert into an impressive party pleaser. This recipe takes the flavours of Nanaimo bars — coconut, chocolate and vanilla custard — and layers them into a decadent, drool-worthy trifle. We make it over the top with layers of chocolate wafer cookies and topping it off with whipped cream. Literally dig right into this deep-dish dessert of inspired by a classic Canadian square.

nanaimo-trifle1

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Vanilla Custard:
6 Tbsp Bird’s custard powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups milk

Assembly:
1 cup 35% whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup desiccated sweetened coconut
10 chocolate wafers, crushed

nanaimo-trifle2

Directions:
1. Mix the cake batter according to box directions. Stir in walnuts.
2. Bake in a 9×9-inch baking pan according to package directions. Let cool.
3. In a microwavable bowl, mix custard powder with sugar and milk. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk mixture until smooth then microwave for another 3 minutes. Whisk again, then let stand for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap flush to the custard to avoid a skin. Refrigerate until cool, about 15 minutes.
4. Whip cream to soft peaks and fold in sugar.
5. Remove cake from pan and cut cake into 2-inch chunks. Layer 1/3 of cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle dish, spoon 1/3 of custard over cake pieces, then sprinkle on 1/3 coconut,  then1/3 of chocolate wafer. Repeat twice.
6. Spoon whipped cream on top, and sprinkle with reserved coconut and chocolate wafer.

Looking for more Nanaimo-inspired desserts? Watch these videos for Nanaimo Cheesecake Bars, Nanaimo Ice Cream Cake and Nanaimo Bar Pie.

S'more Pops

Get All the Flavour Sans Campfire with Fudgy S’mores Pops

Toasty, chocolatey s’mores are great for cool summer nights by the campfire. We love the Canadian flavours of graham crackers, chocolate and golden, toasted marshmallows so much that we created a whole new s’mores inspired treat. This one is for hot summer days by the lake or pool. Fudgey, frozen pudding pops are covered with toasted meringue and dipped in graham crumbs to create the ultimate summertime snack when there’s no campfire nearby.

S'more Pudding Pops

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes + 8 hours
Makes: 6 pops

Ingredients:
3 cups prepared chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, divided
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

S'more Pops

Directions:
1. Divide prepared pudding into 6 popsicle moulds. Let freeze for minimum 8 hours.
2. To make the meringue, heat 1 cup sugar, cream of tartar and water over high in a small sauce pan. Let the sugar fully dissolve and the mixture reduce slightly, about 4 minutes
3. Meanwhile, beat egg whites to soft peaks in an electric mixer. Add remaining sugar and whip.
4. While the motor is still running, pour a stream of the sugar mixture into the egg whites along the side of the bowl. Careful not to pour directly into the whisk or the hot sugar mixture with splatter.
5. Whip until peaks are stiff and mixture is cool, about 10 minutes.
6. Place graham crumb in a small bowl.
Place a baking tray in the freezer.
7. Working quickly, spoon meringue on both side of one pudding pop. Using the back of the spoon, make swoosh patterns in meringue coating.
8. Dip the top of the pop into graham crumb to coat the top inch.
Using a kitchen torch, toast both sides of meringue until lightly golden. Avoid torching graham crumb.
9. Place pops on baking sheet set in freezer and repeat with remaining popsicles.
10. Keep in freezer until ready to serve. Or enjoy immediately.

S'more Pops

Craving more s’mores? Try our delectable Nanaimo S’mores.

This No-Bake S’Mores Cheesecake Was Made for Summer

Nothing says summer quite like making s’mores on the campfire. The fire crackles, the smell of toasted marshmallows that fills the air, and the laughs from watching those mallows unexpectedly catch on fire permeate the otherwise quiet night.

There’s a little je ne sais quoi about the combination of a plump and perfectly golden toasted marshmallow, melted dark chocolate, and classic graham squares. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of childhood, perhaps it’s the act of bonding with friends over s’mores. Whatever it may be, this no-bake s’mores cheesecake is a rich and dreamy version of the summertime treat that can be made without having to gather firewood.

Classic graham crackers are used to make a sweet, crispy crust, while a velvety dark chocolate cheesecake is the centrepiece. The cake is then finished with a torched meringue topping, a spin on what one might consider the pièce de résistance of a good s’mores treat; the classic plump marshmallow.

Smores Cheesecake

No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake
Makes: One 8-inch cake

Ingredients:

Graham Crust:
20 graham squares
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
265 g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
340 g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream (will yield ~2 cups whipped cream)
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Meringue Topping:
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Smores Cheesecake

Directions:

Graham Crust:
1. Using a rolling pin or food processor, crush graham cracker squares into a fine crumb.
2. Transfer graham crumbs into a bowl. Add in pinch of salt and toss.
3. Add melted butter to mixture and mix until crumbs are evenly coated.
4. Press graham mixture into a parchment-lined 8-inch spring form pan.

Smores Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:
1. Place chopped dark chocolate into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Stir chocolate until it has fully melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy.
4. Gradually add melted chocolate, beating on low speed, until well combined.
5. With a rubber spatula, fold in prepared whipped cream until well combined. Spoon into prepared crust and chill until firm.

Smores Cheesecake

Meringue Topping:
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler.
3. Whisking constantly, heat the egg white mixture until the sugar dissolves and it is warm to the touch. Once warm, transfer the bowl back to the mixer.
4. With the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until medium-stiff glossy peaks. Add salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
5. Fill meringue in pastry bag with piping tip. Pipe meringue onto chilled cheesecake.
6. Using a kitchen torch, toast the meringue top. Enjoy!

Smores Cheesecake

Looking for more campfire treats? Try our 14 Easy Campfire Recipes.

Portuguese Custard Tart

How to Make a Party-Sized Portuguese Custard Tart

Similar to its standard mini version, this extra large Portuguese custard tart is a fun twist on the classic pastry. The flaky, crisp crust filled with rich, velvety custard slices up beautifully to feed a small crowd. Even in the larger size, this tart keeps the signature browned top and crunchy edges by being baked in an extra hot oven (and by blind baking the puff pastry shell before adding the filling). A hint of cinnamon in the heavenly pastry cream is all you really need, but feel free to serve with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, a side of ice cream or a warm cup of coffee.

Portuguese Custard Tart

Bake time: 37 to 40 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pinch salt
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pasty, thawed

Portuguese Custard Tart

Directions:
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer the syrup for about a minute or so, then remove from the heat to let cool.
2. Add 1 cup of the milk to a large saucepan. Heat over medium until the milk begins to steam and small bubbles begin to form around the edges.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl until a smooth paste forms. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
4. Once the milk is warm, gently stream about half of the warm milk into the flour mixture, while stirring. Stir in the remaining milk and sugar syrup. Whisk to eliminate any lumps. Add in the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
5. Pour all of the ingredients back into the large saucepan and place over medium-low heat. While stirring, heat the mixtures until it thickens and large bubbles begin to pop at the surface. Always keep stirring slowly, and be sure not to let the mixture curdle.
6. Strain the custard into a heat-safe bowl. Stir in the vanilla and cover by pressing a piece of plastic wrap directly to the top surface of the custard. Refrigerate until thickened and ready to use, or overnight.

Portuguese Custard Tart

7. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Gently unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Trim the puff pastry into a square that’s about 3 inches larger than your round tart pan (an 11-inch square for an 8-inch round tart pan). Gently lift and fit the puff pastry into the tart pan. Press the dough into the pan. Trim the excess dough by rolling over the top edge of the tart pan with a rolling pin, paring knife, or kitchen shears.
8. Dock the dough to the bottom of the pan by pricking it with a fork. Be sure to prick any surface you wish to keep from “puffing” up including to crease between the bottom and sides of the pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Portuguese Custard Tart
9. Brush on side of a piece of foil with butter and line the chilled dough with it, butter-side down. Fill the pan with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the foil/weights and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
10. After the 2 minutes, gently press down the centre of the tart shell with a clean kitchen towel if it has puffed up at all. Allow to completely cool.
11. Increase the oven to 450°F.
12. Once the tart shell has cooled (keep it in the pan), fill it with the custard. Place the filled tart on a rimmed baking sheet and into the pre-heated oven for 25 to 28 minutes. When done, the centre should be partially browned and the crust should be cooked. If at any time the crust begins to brown too quickly, cover the edges with foil (most likely halfway through the bake).
13. Allow to cool before slicing. Best served the day that the tart is made.

Portuguese Custard Tart

Roti

The Tasty History of Roti in Canada

Here’s some good news for Canadians from coast to coast: you don’t have to travel 11,000 kilometres across the ocean to get your roti fix. “Everywhere we go [in Canada], there is a roti shop to be found,” say Marida and Narida Mohammed, co-owners of Twice De Spice. Born in Trinidad, sisters Marida and Narida Mohammed grew up eating this delicacy on a daily basis, calling it the “equivalent of what sliced bread is to Canadians.” But with a gazillion and one ways to make and eat this warm, chewy flatbread, what exactly is “roti?”

Mona's Roti in Toronto

“In the [Indian] subcontinent, ‘roti’ is a generic word for bread and is often a synonym for chapatti,” says Richard Fung. “In Trinidad, [the word] is used generically also: Indo-Trinidadians eat sada roti, alu puri and paratha, also known as ‘busupshut.’ Dal puri [generally refers to] what Canadians call ‘West Indian or Caribbean roti.’”

Fung should know: he grew up eating roti in Trinidad and produced Dal Puri Diaspora, a documentary exploring the roots of roti in Trinidad, India and Toronto. Eating his way across the “roti trail,” Fung’s film showcases just how diverse the dish can be.

Related: Want Layers of Flavour? This Flaky, Crunchy Guyanese Roti is a Meal-Time Must-Try

Many food historians believe that this ancient flatbread originates from the Indian subcontinent, where even today, no meal is complete without a side of roti. “In India, puris are deep fried — so what we call dal puris in the diaspora might perhaps more correctly be a dal paratha,” says Richard. “The cooking method and the ingredients (white flour, split peas) are the results of conditions on the plantations.”

The dish began to reach all corners of the earth in the 19th-century, when indentured workers from India introduced the recipe to southern Caribbean colonies of Britain and the Netherlands. Over the decades, the dish gradually garnered its own Caribbean flare.

“Caribbean roti is a large flatbread made with white all-purpose flour and stuffed with ground, seasoned split peas and cooked on a griddle,” says Richard. “In its commercial form, it’s wrapped in a style similar to a burrito around curried meat or vegetables.”

Cooking roti

Much like the origins of roti, the roots of roti in Canada are a bit fuzzy. With waves of immigration in the 1960s, the wrapped roti from Trinidad arrived in North America, where it was popularized in big cities like Toronto and New York and became known as “Caribbean” or “West Indian” roti. “A lot of people migrated [to Canada] from [Caribbean] islands and Guyana,” says  Marida and Narida. “Coming to Canada and the US, they brought their culture here to North America. As it travels, it changes and the spice levels.”

According to Richard, Ram’s Roti Shop was the first roti eatery in Toronto, opening in the 1960s (now closed) and serving Indian-style roti. Today, roti restaurants are scattered across the Greater Toronto Area and there are plenty of choices for hungry hordes eager to sink their teeth into this satisfying dish. “Toronto has a huge West Indian population,” say Marida and Narida. “In the Caribbean-populated areas like Scarborough, West Etobicoke, Brampton and Mississauga, you’re going to find a roti shop tucked in somewhere.”

While Marida and Narida name Ali’s Roti and Drupati’s as being among their favourites in Toronto, you can also mosey over to Mona’s Roti — a Scarborough eatery visited by Great Canadian Cookbook host Noah Cappe and that’s famed for serving mouth-watering roti. Here, the bread is stuffed with a slew of delicious fillings, such as tasty curries (chickpeas and potato, chicken, goat and shrimp), stews (beef and king fish) or veggies. The chicken curry is a bestseller!

Mona's Roti in Toronto

Of course, Toronto isn’t the only place to enjoy this delicious dish. As Marida and Narida say, no matter where you go in Canada, you’re bound to find “a roti shop tucked away somewhere.” Snag a spot at Calabash Bistro in Vancouver, where you can indulge in six types of Caribbean-style roti. A must try is the goat curry wrapped in a fresh busup roti served with organic mixed greens.

Plus, it’s impossible to tire of eating this favourite dish. There is no shortage of chefs across Canada who are making endless and ever-evolving variations on roti. As Richard points out, some Toronto chefs are adding new flavours and ingredients not found overseas. “Immigrants directly from the subcontinent began marketing rotis with fillings typical of North Indian cuisine, such as saag panir or butter chicken,” says Fung. “Places like Mother India Roti and Gandhi sell hybrid rotis that one wouldn’t find in India or the Caribbean, but are very much a result of an encounter in Toronto.”

Marida and Narida are kickstarting “dessert roti,” which they predict will be “the next big thing.” “You can never go wrong with Nutella and bananas with whipped cream on any kind of warm bread,” they say. “Sweet rotis — that’s a trend that we’d like to put out there!”

Photos courtesy of Great Canadian Cookbook/Moni’s Roti

Tourtiere anna olson

The Meaty History of Québécois Tourtière

No visit to Québec would be complete without indulging in a savoury slice of tourtière, the famed double-crusted meat pie with a flaky, buttery crust. But did you know this delicious dish has deep roots in an old Christmas tradition dating back centuries?

“It’s the type of food you will find only in the winter season, and nowadays, close to Christmas,” says Ricardo Larrivée, chef and host of the Food Network Canada’s Ricardo and Friends. “You will do it maybe once a year, a bit like going to the sugar shack. It’s a tradition.”

Tourtiere

Tourtière can be traced back to the 1600s, when Québécois settlers attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve and celebrated afterwards with réveillon, a late-night festive feast fit for a king. A tradition borrowed from Europe, the table would be overflowing with seafood, meat dishes, wine and luxurious sweets, consumed late into the evening. Tourtière was always on the table, and in 17-century Québec, the pie was traditionally served in a cast-iron cauldron and stuffed with cubed meats, often wild game (rabbit, pheasant, or moose).

Four centuries later, the pie remains a staple dish both at réveillon and in Québécois households. Although recipes vary, the basic ingredients are the same: a buttery pastry shell is filled with spiced meats and vegetables, and then baked until the crust is golden and flaky.

“It’s part of our heritage and it’s nice to keep it alive,” says Ricardo.

Some food historians believe tourtière may be related to a 5th-century pie called “La Patina,” made in a bronze pot with layers of pastry and a hole in the crust’s centre. However, in Québec, the earliest recipes for tourtière appeared in La cuisinière canadienne (1840), likely the first French-language cookbook published in Canada. And there are all kinds of theories about the history behind the name, “tourtière.”

“A ‘tourte’ was the name of a bird like a pigeon, and they were making pie with these types of birds,” says Ricardo. “So they called it ‘tourtière.’ Another other explanation is that it got the name from the dish — a tourtière is also the [pie pan] in which this meat pie was cooked and baked.”

Tourtiere

But what makes an “authentic” Québécois tourtière? It’s a hotly debated topic within the culinary community, with no clear-cut answers or consensus.

Along Canada’s coasts, it’s not uncommon to find meat pie made with salmon or trout. In Montreal, it’s all about ground pork, beef, or veal baked into a delicate shell, while others in Saguenay-Lac St. Jean lean towards making giant pies stuffed with game meats — enough to feed a family of twenty.

“In Gaspésie, we are making layers of dough, under which we will have either game or meat, and even sometimes potatoes,” says Ricardo. “The top is crusty and golden brown, where the inside pieces of dough will be soft as if you were having a dumpling.”

Virtually every Québécois family has a recipe. But regardless of these regional renditions, four spices are almost always included — cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg — which distinguish this meat pie from the others.

The “pie love” knows no boundaries in Canada, with the recipe being constantly replicated and adapted. Some renegade chefs are getting creative in the kitchen, making funky renditions such as Bite-Sized Tourtières, Tourtière Phyllo Triangles and Tourtière Spring Rolls, perfect for parties and pairing with condiments like Dijon mustard, chili sauce, chutney, red pepper jelly or pomegranate jelly. Oh mon dieu!

But despite these playful renditions, Ricardo says that tourtière is a relatively rare dish to find on the menus in Québec and across Canada.

“The reason why this particular dish won’t be in the hot spot is pretty simple: it takes a lot of time and it’s pretty expensive,” says Ricardo. “There are six to eight pounds of meat in that. It’s something unique — it was a country staple food. Rarely will a restaurant do it.”

Tourtiere bites

Since it’s slim restaurant pickings, why not try mastering the classic Québécois tourtière at home? Start with this classic tourtière by Anna Olson, packed full of savoury meats and spices, or for a Montreal-style recipe, try “Chuck’s Tourtière,” a crust teeming with ground pork and veal seasoned in onions, cloves, and spices.

Martin Picard has long been a tourtière champion, making a mean version at Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon. Give his Tourtière De Ville recipe a go, stuffing the pastry with ground pork and meaty chunks of braised pork shoulder flavoured with spices, wine, and garlic.

As for Ricardo, he often makes his pie with hand-chopped pork, instead of minced meat spiced with nutmeg and clove. But no matter which recipe you choose, Ricardo says to expect one thing every time.

“Be prepared not to sleep for a whole night,” he says. “Because you have to wake up – four, five, six times – to add some broth into the hole on top of your dough. It’s good when it’s moist! It will take at least 8 hours to bake slowly. It’s a heavy dish, probably 20 lbs!”

Looking for more Québécois treats? Try these 15 Delicious French Canadian Recipes.

Schwartzs Deli-Smoked-Meat-montreal

The Delicious History of Montreal Smoked Meat

What better way to get a taste of Canadian history than by sinking your teeth into a Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich?

In case you’re a first-timer, Montreal smoked meat — or viande fumée — is a cross between corned beef and pastrami, and typically served on rye bread smothered in zesty mustard. Developed by Jewish delis in Montreal and influenced by New York City’s pastrami, this succulent sandwich is traditionally made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. Smoky and savoury with a peppery zing, it’s no wonder this meaty delicacy has been popular since the early 1900s.

Montreal Smoked Meat

But like any legendary dish, the origins of Montreal smoked meat are fuzzy and hotly debated among food historians. Some credit Benjamin Kravitz, founder of the famed Bens De Luxe Delicatessen and Restaurant that opened in 1908 (and closed in 2006), for introducing smoked meat to Montreal. After fleeing Lithuania in 1899, Kravitz and his wife, Fanny Schwartz, started serving smoked-meat sandwiches from their fruit and candy shop, using an old family brisket-curing recipe. By the early 1960s, the deli was open 22 hours a day and serving almost 8,000 peckish patrons a day, including big names like Leonard Cohen, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Bette Midler, and René Lévesque.

Others say that Reuben Schwartz put Montreal-style smoked meat on the map. A Jewish immigrant from Romania, he was the original founder of the iconic Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen. Considered the oldest deli in Canada, this legendary hot spot has been serving preservative-free brisket braised in fine herbs and spices since 1928 and is practically a city landmark.

However, Eiran Harris, the Archivist Emeritus of the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, believes neither can claim credit for introducing Montreal-style smoked meat to the city. According to this sandwich sleuth, the origins are much more complex.

“The actual genesis was the arrival in 1884 of Aaron Sanft from Yassi, Romania,” Harris said in a 2009 interview. “He became Montreal’s first kosher butcher. Although I don’t know the exact year he introduced [the dish], I do know that he was the first to advertise it.”

In 1894, a full-page advert in a Jewish newspaper proclaimed: “A. Sanft Kosher Meat — 560 Craig Street, Montreal’s largest butcher shop, clean and fresh meat daily. Manufacturer of salami, smoked meat, corned beef, smoked beef and sausages. Same quality as New York. Guaranteed not to spoil.”

By the turn of the 20th century, it wasn’t the only delicatessen in town selling smoked meat. Competition was fierce, with numerous purveyors advertising the “kosherest” smoked meat in the Jewish newspaper. From his research, Harris believes it was a New Yorker, Hyman Rees, who opened Montreal’s first “real, sit-down delicatessen restaurant.”

Montreal Smoked Meat

“On May 9th, 1908, he opened the British-American Delicatessen Store on St. Lawrence Boulevard,” says Harris. “The 5 cent smoked meat sandwich caused long lineups around the corner to Ontario Street. Customers were encouraged to vacate their seats as soon as they consumed their meals in order to make room for hungry patrons waiting in line.”

Ultimately, no one knows for sure who “officially” introduced Montreal smoked meat, but the experts can agree on one thing: the dish is likely Romanian and Jewish in origin. It takes a little time-travel across the pond to trace the recipe’s roots.

“Historians believe that modern day smoked meat originated in Turkey and was brought to Romania by invading Turkish armies,” says Harris. “Romanian Jewish butchers improved the curing process, resulting in an exquisitely tender delicacy.”

But what makes Montreal-style smoked meat so special? Pastrami was first popularized in New York City’s Jewish delis in the early 1900s, and this type of kosher-style deli meat eventually made its way to the Great White North with waves of immigration. However, smoked meat in Montreal eventually developed its own flavour, and according to Harris, it all boils down to how the meat is cooked.

“Traditionally, the dry curing process commenced with salt and spices being rubbed on the surfaces of briskets,” says Harris. “They were then piled into wooden barrels, where they remained marinating in their own juices for a period of 12 to 20 days, depending on the thicknesses, and being turned over a couple of times.”

Afterwards, the cured briskets were hung up on racks inside a smokehouse and cooked for six to nine hours depending on brisket size. As Harris says, this dry cooking technique “resulted in the unique quality and flavour of Montreal-style smoked meat.”

In contrast, Harris believes the “need for speed” influenced the American-style cooking tradition. Some purveyors used the “wet cure,” whereby briskets were rubbed with spices and soaked for only four days in a brine-filled barrel of nitrate and water. Another technique involved “heated smoked meat” — cooked briskets that were steamed for just three hours prior to being sliced and served to order.

Schwartz's Deli

Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen in Montreal.

Since New York City’s cuts were considered superior in the early to mid-1900s, it took a bit for patrons to work up an appetite for the Montreal-style smoked meat. In the 1930s, Schwartz’s played a big role in popularizing the dish with their succulent 13 cent sandwiches, attracting hungry hordes and leading other delis to pop up across the city after the 1950s.

Today, the feeding frenzy continues in countless delis across Montreal. Aside from the legendary Schwartz’s, get your fix at Lester’s Deli, a family-run “smoked meat institution” for deli lovers, or mosey over to Reuben’s Deli and Steakhouse for a Famous Super Sandwich — a 10-ounce sandwich piled sky high on rye bread with mustard. But make sure to pull up a stool at Wilensky’s, a hole in the wall hangout since 1932. Rumour has it that Anthony Bourdain loves this joint, and a must try is their “Wilensky Special” — a grilled beef salami and beef bologna sandwich with “compulsory” mustard.

If you’re overwhelmed by the endless delis in Montreal, take a food tour with Fitz and Fowell Co. Over a half day, you’ll get a crash course in the history of Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches, as well as get to sample the best of the bunch. If you still have stomach space, take away some Montreal smoked meat from a local deli and build your own sandwich at home with this recipe from Christine Cushing. Or for something different, try making this tangy Montreal Smoked Meat Pizza or Smoked Meat Poutine!

Spring Appetizer: Crudités with Preserved Lemon Guacamole

Spring is perfect for al fresco dining; the outdoors providing a bright, natural setting for any dishes you’re serving. Next time you are entertaining, rather than spending hours on prep, try a simple yet impressive crudités platter. Typically filled with fresh, seasonal vegetables and a dipping sauce, this stunning appetizer is sure to delight your guests.

Guacamole-and-crudite-portrait-1

Creamy, crunchy, spicy and tangy, this guacamole has got it all going on. Finely diced preserved lemon brings both a hit of salt and a good dose of acidity to this perfectly balanced dip. A rainbow of spring produce alongside the guacamole makes this vibrant appetizer the star of any spread.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Guacamole crudite prep-1

Ingredients:
3 firm-ripe Hass avocados
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 of a preserve lemon, rinsed
1/3 cup minced sweet white onion, such as Vidalia
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Assorted spring vegetables, such as baby carrots, snap peas, young asparagus and radishes

Guacamole-mixing-1

Directions:
1. Cut each avocado in 1/2 lengthwise. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh out of the peel with a soup spoon and place in a medium bowl.
2. Pour the lime juice all over the avocado and then mash them to a pulp. I like to use a pastry cutter for this job; a fork works just fine, too.
3. Finely mince the entire preserved lemon (rind and pulp) and remove any seeds you encounter. Add to the mashed avocado, along with the minced onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mash everything together, then taste the guacamole and add additional seasoning if desired. Since we are not serving this dip with salty tortilla chips, I find a little extra salt in the guacamole goes a long way.
4. Scrape preserved lemon guacamole into a serving bowl. Garnish with a fine dice of preserved lemon rind if desired. Serve immediately with a platter of spring vegetable crudités.

Guacamole-and-crudite-final-1

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Spectacular Spring Rhubarb Lattice Tart

Sometimes you need a show-stopping dessert, and this rhubarb tart takes the cake! It may require a little more time than your typical tart but the result is well worth the effort. Tender, sweet spring rhubarb shines like jewels over a lovely light almond and ricotta filling. Just like a lattice-topped pie, you may need a slice of patience to assemble this impressive dessert.

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Pastry:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Rhubarb:
5-6 stalks of fresh rhubarb
1/4 cup apple jelly

Ricotta Almond Centre:
1 cup extra smooth ricotta
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

lattice-rhubarb-tart

Directions:
1. In a food processor mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water tsp by tsp through the spout on the top. Dough will come together into a smooth ball.
2. Roll out dough on a floured surface until dough a circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place rolled out dough into the tart pan and gently press into and up sides. Discard excess dough. Poke the surface of the dough with a fork. Place a piece of parchment over dough and place baking weights over top. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn golden, about 12 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and remove baking weights and parchment. Return to oven until crust is golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

lattice-rhubarb-tart

5. Decrease oven temperature to 350°F. Slice rhubarb along a mandolin into long, thin strips. Set the strips on a flat surface and form a lattice pattern with rhubarb by weaving strips over and under each other. Continue to weave until a square forms 9 inches wide. Trace a circle 8.5 inches over lattice. Cut out circle carefully ensuring to keep lattice intact. Set aside.
6. In a large bowl, whisk ricotta with almond meal, sugar, almond extract, salt, and egg together until combined. Transfer mixture into the tart shell. Smooth over surface and spread into an even layer. Lift the rhubarb lattice circle and place over ricotta mixture.
7. Microwave apple jelly for 15 seconds and brush over rhubarb. Bake in oven until rhubarb is tender and ricotta mixture is set, about 25 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Looking for more spectacular spring recipes? Try these 20 Fresh and Beautiful Rhubarb Recipes.

Apple Butter Tarts

Absolutely Addictive Apple Pie Butter Tarts

Even if you prefer your butter tarts raisin free, you’ll find this super sweet pie-like combination irresistible. Just like the traditional version, these butter tarts have a flaky crust and an ooey, gooey centre, but are studded with diced Canadian apples. Warming cinnamon and nutmeg, and a splash of lemon help round out the sweetness of the filling, and pair perfectly with the apple bits.

Apple Butter Tarts

Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 18 minutes
Servings: 12 tarts

Ingredients:
1 recipe pie dough (for single crust)
3/4 cup peeled, diced apples
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt

Apple Butter Tarts

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
2. On lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Use a 3 to 4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter (an upside-down glass works too), to cut out rounds of pie dough. Gently fit the pieces of dough into the wells of a standard muffin tin. Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the muffin tin.
3. Gently gather any scraps and re-roll the dough until you have 12 tart shells. Chill in the refrigerator as you prepare the filling.
4. In a small mixing bowl, dredge the diced apples in lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar. Set aside.

Apple Butter Tarts

5. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the 1 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, egg, vanilla and spices.
6. Remove the chilled tart shells from the fridge. Evenly distribute the apple pieces, leaving their juice behind. Carefully pour the filling mixture into each tart shell, filling it about 2/3 of the way. Stir often to make sure the filling reaming uniform.
7. Bake the tarts in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 18 minutes. When done, the edges of the crust should browned, the centre slightly caramelized and puffed up, and apples should be tender. Cool on a wire rack before popping the tarts out of the muffin pan.

Apple Butter Tarts

Note: If any of the filling over-flows the tart shells and caramelizes, run a thin knife or small offset spatula around the tart to loosen before removing it from the pan.

Looking for more tasty recipes? Try our Best Maple Butter Tart Cheesecake.

Easter Cupcakes

Spectacular Spring Carrot Cupcake Bouquet

Carrot cake has never looked so beautiful! Using a few simple techniques, turn regular cupcakes into a show-stopping dessert display for Easter or any spring celebration. This beloved cupcake design is one we’ve been testing for a while. On their own, they’re simple yet stunning — but joined together with a few frosting leaves and tied together with an icing bow, these cupcakes create a bouquet of Easter sweetness!

Carrot Easter Cupcakes

Bake Time: 22 to 28 minutes
Total Time: 70 to 85 minutes
Servings: 24 to 28 standard size cupcakes

Ingredients:

Carrot Cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 cup apple sauce
3 cups shredded carrots

Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, softened
4 to 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Milk, as needed

Assembly:
Piping bags
Gel food colouring
Medium star tip
Leaf
Petal tip
Medium round/plain tip
Large serving platter, cutting board, or sheet cake board

Carrot Easter Cupcakes

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. For this design, use a combination of mini, standard and extra large cupcakes liners. With this recipe, you can make approximately 12 mini cupcakes, 12 standard size cupcakes and 6 extra large cupcakes.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine the oil and both sugars. Mix until combined. With the mixer on low, add in the eggs, 1 at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients in 2 batches to allow the batter to absorb the flour without overmixing. Add in the applesauce and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and fold in the shredded carrots.
5. Distribute the batter into the prepared cupcakes liners. Fill each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake until slightly golden on top and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The mini cupcakes will take 16 to 18 minutes. The standard cupcakes will take 20 to 23 minutes. The extra-large cupcakes will take 24 to 28 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool on a wire rack before icing.

Carrot Easter Cupcakes

Icing:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the cream cheese and continue to mix until combined. 2. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the sugar and lemon juice. Once incorporated, mix on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add 1 Tbsp of milk at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Assembly:
1. To create the flower bouquet, first separate the frosting into different bowls. Tint the frosting with a touch of gel food colouring your desired colours. Remember to tint 1 bowl green for the leaves and stems!
2. To create the rosette on top, fit a piping bag with a medium star tip (like Wilton 1M). Fill the piping bag with frosting. Keeping the piping bag nearly perpendicular to the top of the cupcake (hovering just slightly above the surface), apply even pressure to the bag as you pipe a tight spiral of icing. Continue around the cupcake, gradually release the pressure on the piping bag at the end and pull away. Pipe rosettes on all of the cupcakes in various colours.
3. Once the cupcakes are piped, arrange them into the shape of a bouquet on a large serving platter or cutting board. They should be fairly close together, using the smaller cupcakes to fill in the gaps. Fit a piping bag with a leaf tip and fill with the green frosting. Pipe overlapping leaves to connect the cupcakes together and fill in any smaller gaps. Switch to a plain, round tip, and pipe lines of the green icing coming out of the base of the bouquet to resemble the stems.
4. Lastly, fill a piping bag fitted with a petal tip with any remaining frosting. Keeping the narrow end up toward the top of the bouquet, pipe to large loops on top of the “stems” followed by wavy ribbon tails to complete the design. For the loops and tails, the piping bag (and opening of the piping tip) should be held at a 45-degree angle,  switching from one side to the other.

Looking for more Easter treats? Try these 30 Festive Easter Cakes and Cupcakes.

Gorgeously Gooey Creme Egg Nanaimo Bars for Easter

Creme Eggs are one of the guiltiest pleasures around Easter, with a deliciously sweet centre covered with smooth milk chocolate. Everyone has their different way of eating them, weather it be licking out the middle or biting into it whole. Our way is the Canadian way: in the form of Nanaimo bars.

In this recipe, we start with the classic coconut base and swapped out the custard middle layer of the classic Nanaimo bar, replacing it with a cream egg centre and topping the chocolate layer off with some crushed mini eggs. The result is an ooey, gooey scrumptious Easter treat.

creme egg nanaimo bar

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Serves: 16

Ingredients:
Crumb:
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cocoa powder
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cream Egg Centre:
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups icing sugar
4 drops yellow food colouring
1 drop red food colouring

Chocolate Topping:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup candy coated chocolate mini eggs, roughly chopped

creme egg nanaimo bar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the graham cracker crumb with the cocoa powder, coconut, sugar and salt in a bowl. Pour in butter and egg and stir to combine. Press mixture into an even layer in a greased 9×9-inch cake pan. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. To make the cream filling, combine corn syrup, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on high speed until fully combined and creamy colour. Add in icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove about 1/3 of mixture and place in a separate bowl. Mix separated mixture with yellow and red colouring until colour is a rich even yellow.

3. Spread the white mixture over crumb into smooth even layer. Swirl spoonfuls of yellow mixture into white layer. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

4. Place chocolate and butter into a glass bowl set over a heated pot of water. Do not boil water. Stir until chocolate is melted and shiny. Remove bars from refrigerator and spread chocolate evenly over cream filling. Sprinkle chopped mini eggs over chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut bars into 16 even squares.

Looking for more treats? Try 10 Tasty Nanaimo Bar Recipes.

Coffee and Donut Trifles

Oh-So-Canadian Coffee & Doughnut Hole Trifles

We’ve transformed your afternoon snack into a creamy and indulgent dessert with layers of rich flavour and texture. A hint of coffee gives extra punch to the silky custard, making it the perfect accompaniment to doughnut holes. Top with homemade maple whipped cream and you have a quintessentially Canadian dessert.

Coffee and Donut Trifles

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 2-3/4 hours
Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tsp boiling water
4 eggs yolks
2 cups milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 doughnut holes, quartered
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
4 tsp maple syrup
Cocoa nibs (optional)

Coffee and Donut Trifles

Directions:
1. In small bowl, whisk together coffee powder and boiling water until smooth; set aside.
2. In large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and coffee mixture. Set side.
3. In heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour remaining milk. Heat over medium until bubbles form around the edges. Slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour egg mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon, about 6 minutes.
4. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
5. In bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Beat in maple syrup; set aside.
6. Layer 4 doughnut hole quarters in bottom of small jars or glasses (about 2/3 cup in volume). Top with 2 heaping Tbsp of custard; top with 3 doughnut hole quarters and another 2 Tbsp of custard. Dollop with a little whipped cream; top with 1 doughnut whole quarter. Sprinkle with cocoa nibs, if using.

For more sweet treats, check out our 30 party-worthy doughnut recipes.

Indulge In This Luscious Lobster Poutine

As if poutine wasn’t decadent enough — an indulgence of crispy fries, thick gravy and cheese curds — we’ve amped up the luxuriousness with fresh lobster, salty bacon, diced tomatoes and, of course, loads of gravy. This secretly easy-to-make weekend meal is worth every cheesy, lobster-filled bite.

lobster-poutine-2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45
Serves: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

For the Fries:
3 russet (baking) potatoes, skin intact, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips or wedges
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

For the Toppings:
11/2 cups cooked lobster meat, torn into bite-sized pieces
200 g poutine cheese curds
2 strips cooked bacon, chopped
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 cup gravy, heated

lobster-poutine-1

Directions:

For the Fries:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. On a large baking sheet, toss all potato ingredients until potatoes are evenly coated.
3. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and golden brown on the bottom.

Assembly:
1. On a warm platter, add a bed of fries. Top with lobster, cheese curds and bacon, if using. Ladle over hot gravy (use as much as you like; there may be extra). Garnish with chopped tomatoes, parsley. Serve immediately.

Love poutine? Learn more about the iconic Canadian dish with these 9 fun facts.

Super Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

When I was a kid, I used to eat salt and vinegar chips until my tongue hurt — and that salty, acidic crunch is still just as addictive in my adult life.

If you’re just as keen on this indulgent snack, you can satisfy that craving for tangy, salty chips in the form of roasted potatoes! And the best part is that they can be served as a part of your breakfast, lunch or dinner.

888_salt-and-vinegar-potatoes2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vinegar, plus 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp salt
2 lbs baby potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red skin
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Pepper, to taste

888_salt-and-vinegar-potatoes

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large sauce pan, combine vinegar, salt and potatoes. Add water just until potatoes are covered. Heat sauce pan on high until mixture reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Drain liquid. Cut potatoes in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Combine butter and olive oil and pour mixture over potatoes, shaking the baking sheet to coat potatoes.
3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and crispy, about 30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and immediately drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp of vinegar over potatoes. Garnish with sea salt and season with fresh ground pepper.

Want more tasty tater recipes? Check out these 10 ways Canadians are eating potatoes.

French Onion Soup Pizza Will Satisfy All Your Cravings

Craving a piping hot bowl of French onion soup? Get all the same flavours of this comfort food classic, but in pizza form!

Hand-held slices packed with buttery, caramelized onions and flavourful broth, gooey melted Gruyère and a crispy bread base — this mouth-watering pizza gives fusion a whole new meaning.

888_French-Onion-Soup-Pizza2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cups sliced Spanish onions
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Madeira wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1/2 tsp
1 227g store bought, thin pizza crust
1 cup of Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

888_French-Onion-Soup-Pizza

Directions:
1. Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once butter is bubbly and foaming, add the onions and salt. Stir onions to coat in butter and let cook until deep brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes, stirring intermittently.
2. Once onions have caramelized, pour in Madeira wine, stir, and continue to cook until alcohol is evaporated and liquid is fully absorbed into onions, about 1 minute.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and thyme to onions. Increase heat to medium and cook until stock fully reduces, about 5 minutes. Drain any residual liquid and remove thyme sprigs.
4. Place the caramelized onions over the pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Cover onions with Gruyère and sprinkle with Parmesan.
5. Bake in oven until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and garnish with 1/2 tsp fresh thyme.

Looking for more comfort food goodness? Check out our 16 Satisfying French Onion Soup Recipes.

3 Ways with Cauliflower Wings

If you’ve been searching for a healthier chicken wing alternative to please both carnivores and vegetarian diners, look no further. Enjoy classic wings — sans meat — with these three tasty cauliflower wing variations!

Cauliflower-Wings-7

Cauliflower florets offer a pool of flexibility when it comes to flavourings, so get creative with your homemade and prepared sauces. From Thai peanut to maple chipotle to honey garlic, these tasty bites will satisfying your cravings with little caloric impact.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Cauliflower-Wings-12-Thai-Peanut

Crunchy Thai Peanut

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 Tbsp minced fresh Thai chili
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp tamari or fish sauce
1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
1/4 cup water, more to thin
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Minced green onion, to serve
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve
Sriracha, to serve

Cauliflower-Wings-1-Thai-Peanut-Prep

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl whisk peanut butter, lime juice, chili, tamari or fish sauce, ginger and water until smooth. Mixture should be thick but still run off the spoon; if too thick, add water, 1 tsp at a time until proper consistency. Add panko to a large plate.
4. Working one at a time, dip cauliflower in peanut butter mixture to coat, then coat in panko, shaking off extra. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and panko is crispy. Transfer to a serving plate, top with green onions, cilantro and a drizzle of Sriracha. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-1-Chipotle-BBQ-Maple

Maple Chipotle BBQ

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1 cup prepared or homemade BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl, mix BBQ sauce, maple syrup, vinegar and chipotle peppers until combined. Working one at a time, coat cauliflower in BBQ sauce mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender sauce is sticky. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-Honey-Garlic-Sesame

Honey, Garlic and Sesame

Ingredients:
1 small or 1/2 large head cauliflower
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp white miso paste
2 Tbsp rice vinegar or mirin
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried granulated garlic (no garlic salt)
2 tsp black and/or white sesame seeds, to serve
Chopped fresh cilantro, to serve (optional)

Cauliflower-Wings-5

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut cauliflower in half, remove tough core and cut into large florets.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk honey, miso, vinegar or mirin, water, sesame oil and garlic until combined. Working one at a time, coat cauliflower in honey mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender sauce is sticky. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with cilantro and chili, if using. Serve.

Cauliflower-Wings-14

Note: Make these as close to baking as possible. The longer the panko sits on the peanut butter mixture, the less crispy it will be.

For another tasty appetizer, try this recipe for Moroccan-spiced cauliflower bites.

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Heart-Shaped Red Velvet Lava Cakes

If the way to your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach, you’ll surely win them over with this chocolatey, heart-warming dessert.

Filled with a double dose of chocolate, these cakes take just 30 minutes to make, and are best served warm to enjoy the gooey chocolate filling. While you’re likely planning a dinner for two, this romantic recipe makes four — because we know how irresistible these decadent cakes really are.

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Prep: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Cake:
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup icing sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp red food dye

Topping:
Additional icing sugar dusting (amount based on personal preference)

red velvet chocolate lava cakes

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Grease 4 heart-shaped muffin tins or ramekins.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon.
4. Microwave butter and chocolate on high until melted in blasts of 15 seconds, about three times. Stir mixture in between each blast.
5. Add icing sugar to chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
6. Stir in eggs, yolks, vanilla and red dye. Add in flour mixture and stir to combine.
7. Divide batter into prepared muffin cups or ramekins. Bake until batter has risen but remains wet in the centre, about 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before un-molding.
8. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm.

Looking for more inspiration? Try these 12 Romantic Recipes for a Valentine’s Day Dinner At Home.

poutine week feature image

A Poutine for Each Province and Territory

Oh, Canada! To celebrate Poutine Week, we’re highlighting local ingredients from each province that would make tasty additions to our gravy-covered national treat. Get the fries cooking and your taste buds ready for these creative poutine combos.

Poutine week

British Columbia: Dungeness crab and sautéed wild mushrooms

Yukon: Smoked salmon and citrus crème fraîche

Alberta: Braised short ribs and baked beans

Saskatchewan: Roasted beets and sour cream

Northwest Territories: Ground bison and grainy mustard

Manitoba: Sweet corn and pickled red onions

Nunavut: Grilled caribou and caramelized onions

Ontario: Pulled pork and apple slaw

Québec: Montreal smoked meat and toasted caraway seeds

lobster poutine

Nova Scotia: Lobster and lemon aioli

New Brunswick: Grilled oysters and hot sauce

Prince Edward Island: Clothbound cheddar and stout gravy

Newfoundland and Labrador: Salted cod and summer savory

For more creative ways of making this class Canadian dish, check out our tasty poutine recipes.

Poutine combos by Charlotte Katz.

flapper-pie-karlynn-feature

Rediscovering Old-Fashioned Prairie Desserts

Karlynn Johnston is bringing your grandma’s baking back. We’re not talking jello salad, but rum balls, danties, squares and the ultimate Prairie classic, flapper pie.

With her new cookbook, aptly named, Flapper Pie and a Blue Prairie Sky, the Edmonton-based blogger behind The Kitchen Magpie, takes us back in time with recipes for classic Canadian desserts of yesteryear. Passed down on scraps of paper or typically only published in community cookbooks, Johnston has brought together a perfect selection of long forgotten sweets from Prairie kitchens past and present.

flapper pie and blue prairie sky

Flipping through the cookbook, each page takes you back to your grandmother’s kitchen, school bake sales and community halls, where many of these desserts have been enjoyed for generations.

“My grandma, out on the farm, would always have danties in the freezer for company,” says Johnston. “That was a big part of Prairie life.”

For Johnston, her love of baking started at a young age, where she spent summers in her grandmother’s farmstead kitchen in Dauphin, Manitoba. There she was put to work turning buckets of freshly picked blueberries and Saskatoons into dozens of freshly baked pies, made with classic Canadian Tenderflake dough.

“Pie days were a lot of work,” says Johnston. “She’d start in the morning. If you could fit three in the oven, you’d bake those for an hour and have the next ones ready. It was a huge assembly line.”
From there, the pies were cooled, wrapped and frozen for the cold Prairie winter. While she ample experience mixing, rolling and baking pie dough, she admits that she doesn’t quite have her grandmother’s touch.

“She had the lightest touch, out of everyone I know,” she says. “By touch she always knew if it needed a little more vinegar or cold water. She made the best pie pastry.”

Karlynn Johnston's Flapper Pie.

Excerpted from Flapper Pie and Blue Prairie Sky: A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts by Karlynn Johnston. Copyright © 2016 Karlynn Johnston. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Excerpted from Flapper Pie and Blue Prairie Sky: A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts by Karlynn Johnston. Copyright © 2016 Karlynn Johnston. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Johnston prefers to make the simple graham crust of the classic Prairie flapper pie, which dons the cover of her book. Known as the ‘almost’ forgotten pie, the custard-filled treat topped with meringue is a family favourite across the prairies, with variations abound.

“I’ve had a lot of people tell me it’s the proper one, because it has cinnamon in the graham crust,” says Johnston, who received the recipe from her mother. Once she baked it up, and posted it on The Kitchen Magpie, she was flooded with nostalgic notes from readers.

“I had hundreds of people telling me they had forgotten about it,” says Johnston. “I think it is one of those foods that their grandmas and their aunts used to make and it just has the memories attached to it.”

“My mom didn’t make it, but she remembers her mom making it. Her generation forgot about it and now my generation is going back and recapturing all those memories.”

Saskatoon-Berry-Pie

Excerpted from Flapper Pie and Blue Prairie Sky: A Modern Baker’s Guide to Old-Fashioned Desserts by Karlynn Johnston. Copyright © 2016 Karlynn Johnston. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Johnston isn’t surprised by the newfound love for classic recipes, especially Canadian ones. With new, over the top food trends popping up almost daily, she thinks that people still crave that down home comfort.

“It is fantastic to go to a restaurant and eat it, but these (classic recipes) are the recipes that mean the most to us,” she says.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t open to creative twists on the classics. Her book is riddled with new interpretations of Canadian sweets, including her new favourite: Saskatoon Butter Tart Pie.

“There’s something about the flavours that are perfect,” she says. “You won’t think they would work but it does really, really well. It is like the culmination of everything Prairies in one recipe.”