Book review of “More than Poutine” by Marie Porter released on october 2, 2017 plus a *GIVEAWAY* right here on my blog for a free early copy of the book. Simply have to comment on this post about your fav Canadian dish to be admissible. Furthermore a bonus recipe of a spiced up Creton Recipe (pork pate) from the book, which is a typical French Canadian morning spread for toasts or sandwich filling.
*Disclosure: this book was given to me in exchange for a review, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
“More than Poutine” by Marie Porter is a tribute to the author’s native land: Canada and its food, just in time for the 150th anniversary of the country. A nice compilation of Canadian dishes (227 pages) going from East to West with a penchant for the places she knew best. Marie grew up in Winnipeg, lived for a long time in Newfoundland and have some French Canadian roots, so she explored a lot of terrain and she’s able to offer a good personal view and knowledge about some of the most iconic Canadian dishes.
Who is the book for?
A book made for anyone interested in Canada’s food culture but also thought for Canadian expatriates, like me, who wants to reproduce some recipes from back home. The author herself is living abroad in the USA and understands how much our culture is important to bring with us wherever we go around the globe. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about new Canadian dishes I had no knowledge of, like the Hodge Podge popular in Nova Scotia, the Jiggs Dinner ritual from the Newfoundlanders or the Acadian dish called Rappie Pie. It’s also a great book for gluten free diet guys out there, since she often suggest ways to turn recipes into a gluten free ones. In summary, not only a book for Canadians interested in their own country’s classics or expats who want to taste home although they are far away, it’s also a book for any curious person who wants to learn more about this Northern country hidden gastronomic treasures.
Some recipe are closer to my heart then others like the “tourtière“, which is a “holiday” meat pie with potato cubes or the famous “creton” spread which is what I ask my parent for every time I come visit. This last one, I’ve done for the first time back in Spain, her recipe is spicier than the traditional version but equally excellent. Marie let me generously share this recipe on my blog (check it out below).
Each recipe comes with a small introduction, which most of the time is a personal anecdote about the recipe or a general background story of the dish.
I’ve found particularly amusing the recipes in the book which are reproductions of those famous commercial individual cakes every Canadian have at home called “gateaux Vachon” or famous chocolate bars they only sell in Canadaland like the beloved Oh! Henry, the Crispy Crunch and much more. I would never have thought to reproduce these but now that I have a recipe.. why not?
What is Canadian Cuisine?
Everyone knows Canada is a big and beautiful melting pot of cultures, many recipes were imported from other countries that came to Canada and adapted it slightly to our ways like the perogies, donair, Paska or Fish N Chips. Others are based upon our old English and French Colonies cuisines and last but not least, a Native’s recipe called Bannock which is a kind of gigantic soda bread. Marie also explains in the book some nice traditions like this NewFoundlanders Sunday food fest called “Jiggs Dinner” a look alike Thanksgiving dinner but done regularly throughout the year. Traditions like these makes me want to go visit every corner of this immense land that is Canada.
A tad of every provinces
Marie talks from experience and make us travel through her eyes around Canada. I know my province was well represented in there with some of my favorites like “creton” (pork pate), soupe aux pois (pea soup), tourtière (meat pie), tarte au sucre (sugar pie), pouding chômeur (maple reversed cake) and pets de soeur (cinnamon rolled pastries). Each provinces bringing something different to the table. Although important to note, the book emphasized more on the places she knew, there are slightly less recipes from the West.
Overall I really did enjoy the book and highly recommend it. A nice compilation of classics from home which brought me right back and revisit some nice childhood memories. I’ve had a couple of pleasant surprises in there like the “pets de soeur” translated to “nuns farts” which reminded me of my grandma and other recipes I didn’t know at all which I thought was nice to learn about. “More than Poutine” makes you want to make a road trip and travel throughout Canada to fully taste and experience it.
The only weak point of the book for me, which is totally a personal thing, is that I was expecting some more “Main meals”. There is a big chapter on desserts, a lot of chocolate bars, drinks, sauces, condiments and breads recipes but the “main meals” seems a small portion of the book. Anyhow it’s a nice book which I highly recommend, I’ll certainly give a few recipes in there a try! I do recommend her “creton” recipe, a pork pate to spread on your toasts in the morning or make a sensational sandwich out if it. (video below)
Where to find the book? *GIVEAWAY*
You can wether enter the giveaway right here to get the chance to win a copy of the “More than poutine” cookbook, you have until the 10th of October to participate. To be admissible simply let me know in the comment section below what is your own favorite Canadian dish, if you don’t know any, which one you’ve heard off and would like to try. Otherwise you can buy it directly on Marie’s site here. It will be released through other major booksellers on October 2, 2017. Right now available for preorder on Amazon.
Here is a preview of a recipe from Marie’s cookbook, a “spiced up” creton recipe!
Cretons (spiced-up) pork paté
Makes about 1½ lbs
- 2 lbs Ground pork
- 1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
- 500ml (2 cups) of milk
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bay leave
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp Allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 – 1 tsp dried parsley or dried summer savoury
- salt and pepper
- In a large pan, mash together pork, onion, garlic and spices. Add milk a little at the time. stirring to create a runny paste. Add the bay leaf.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the milk is absorbed/cooked off. Remove bay leave, add parsley, stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Continue cooking until all milk is absorbed / cooked off
- Transfer creton to a storage dish with a lid or put in the food processor and puree for a finer texture. Chill well, stir before serving for the first time. Store in the fridge for up to a week.