Taste the World - Canada - Poutine & Nanaimo Bars

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*Official name: Canada *Motto: "From Sea to Sea" *Capital: Ottawa *Official Languages: English, French *Government: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy (under the UK) *Area: 3,854,085 sq mi *Population: (2016 estimate) 36,048,521 *Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD) *Time Zone: UTC -3.5 to -8 *Drives on the: right *International code: CA (data from Wikipedia)

When making a recipe for Canada, the obvious choice is Poutine, but I also wanted to do a baked dessert, so Nanaimo Bars were the answer! Poutine, a national treasure all Canadians should be proud of, consists of crispy french fries, mozzarella cheese curds, all smothered in brown gravy. Nanaimo bars are a decadent layered dessert bar that would be a hit at any potluck. Make some today, and let me know what you think!

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Poutine

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large potatoes , peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • oil , for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella pearls, torn into small pieces
  • 1 cup brown gravy
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

  

 METHOD:

  1. Slice the potato  into thin strips (2mm x 2mm) and soak in cold, salted water for at least 1 hour. 
  2. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer, (or oil in a deep skillet) to 300°F. Pat dry the potatoes, and place in the hot oil in batches. Fry for 4-5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Drain on clean paper towels.
  3. Increase heat to 400°F. Fry the potatoes again until golden brown and crispy.  Drain on a clean paper towel and salt lightly.
  4. On a serving plate, top with mozzarella and green onions, and smother with brown gravy.
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Nanaimo Bars

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
  • 4 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons butter

METHOD:

1. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Beat in the egg, stirring until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbscoconut and almonds (if you like). Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 inch pan.

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2. For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and vanilla pudding mix until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.

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3. While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter together in the microwave or over low heat. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set before cutting into squares.

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