"A good time was had by all." Stevie Smith
Hello my loyal followers!
Well, I am blogging as a newlywed! That's right, my sweetie and I got married recently and I must say, we had a great time at our wedding! Both our families and friends worked so hard to make our day so wonderful. My Mum did the cake and cousin Emily added the fruit to decorate. It was stunning! Emily also did a wonderful job decorated the lodge! My aunts did the flowers. My bouquet was a dream and the centrepieces of fruit and flowers turned out so much better than I could have imagined! Kevin's Dad made all of the delicious wine and my uncle Jeff made Double Diamond beer! Yum! My Dad helped me out with the music and my brother Jordan and his girlfriend Jen were our M.C.s. Also, I'd like to thank my Mum and sister-in-law Michelle for helping me make our guest's gifts. So, thank you all so much!
After the wedding, Kev and I jumped on the train bound for Quebec City. Kevin had never been and I hadn't visited this charming ville since I was in grade 8. Let me tell you, it was even better than I remembered! We stayed at the Chateau Frontenac for the first part of our trip and we loved it! We would start every morning with a long and lazy breakfast overlooking the St. Lawrence. One of my fave brekkies was poached eggs with duck confit, spinach, mushrooms and pan fried potatoes, topped with Hollandaise sauce. So good! Oh yes, and the bacon... I forgot the maple bacon! Yum! I liked it so much, that I took a picture! After our breakfast, we would stroll the day away, nipping into tiny restaurants and pubs for snacks and drinks. We always found time to enjoy the hotel pool, then would treat ourselves to lovely dinners. One day we ventured down to the market and picked up some local cheeses, fruit and a freshly baked baguette. A bottle of champagne completed the menu and we enjoyed a delicious picnic in our hotel room. Ahh, the good life! The food in Quebec City is very good, with of course, a huge French influence! Delicious! One thing that I was surprised to find was the large selection of locally made hard apple ciders. I love cider and I enjoyed a pint of a different cider every day! One food that is synonymous with Quebec is tourtiere. For those of you not familiar, tourtiere is a traditional French Canadian pork pie. While in 'La belle province' we didn't have any, so I decided to make one for Kevin and when we got back! Now, I must admit this recipe is not mine... But, I did in fact test this recipe for a cookbook called 'All the Best Recipes' by Jane Rodmell. This is the same version of the meat pie that we would make for Jane's food shop, while I lived and worked in Toronto. Well, I must say that the tourtiere was just as good as I remembered and not only did we enjoy it for dinner, but my husband Kevin enjoyed it for his next two lunches at work! Bon Appetit!
(makes one 20cm/8 inch pie)
Recipe by Jane Rodmell
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
750 grams lean ground pork
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) cubes
1 tbsp coarsely chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup chicken stock (found on my 'Simple & Tasty' Recipe Page)
1x Tourtiere Pastry (below)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown lightly, breaking up the meat as it browns, about 10 minutes. Remove meat from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Pour off and discard fat.
2. In the same skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pork, potato, thyme, bay leaf, i tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, cinnamon, cloves and allspice and stir to combine.
3. Add chicken stock and deglaze skillet, scraping up browned bits on the bottom. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until potato is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool and refrigerate until needed for up to 3 days.
4. Preheat oven 400F. Line pie plate with half of pastry and fill with cooled pork filling. Top with another pastry layer and crimp edges to seal. Brush top with egg wash and cut 2 slits in top pastry to let steam escape while baking. A sprinkling of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper on top adds extra flavour and interest to the appearance (optional).
5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350f and continue baking until pastry is cooked and nicely browned, 25 to 35 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
(makes one 20cm/8inch pie)
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
2 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely chopped thyme
6 tbsp ice cold water
1. Place shortening and butter in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2. In a food processor, combine shortening, butter, flour, salt and thyme. Process until shortening and butter are cut into pea-size pieces.
3. Transfer flour mixture to a bowl and sprinkle with ice water. Toss with a fork and gather into a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal disks and wrap with plastic wrap. Set dough aside to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for up to 6 weeks, if making ahead.
4. Roll out dough (continue with step 4. above).