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Chef's Corner: Federal election day party food

Stephanie Taylor | Interrobang | Lifestyles | January 16th, 2006

Talk of separatism vs. federalism; corruption vs. accountability; and the notwithstanding clause vs. the Canadian Charter can make some Canadians feel less than patriotic. So if you're starting to feel blue about the red and white, here are some recipes to help reconnect you to your Canuck roots! Enjoy, eh!

1 bag frozen French fries
1 10 oz. can beef gravy
2 cups curd cheese
Cook French fries according to package directions. While fries are cooking, make gravy according to directions. When fries are cooked, transfer them to bowls, sprinkle on some cheese and top with gravy. If you want to get crazy, add another layer of fries, and put some more cheese on top. Or just gravy. Or just cheese. It's poutine; mix it up however you want.

Beaver Tails
1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
4 1/4 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
oil for frying
granulated sugar for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.

Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of flour to make soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl.

Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away, you can refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in a covered, lightly greased bowl, about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough, (if dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up about 40 minutes before proceeding).

Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough.

Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying). Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.

Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do. Add the beaver tails to the hot oil, about 1-2 at a time.

Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift beaver tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar. Toss beaver tails in sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess.

You can also top off Beaver Tails with whatever preserves, pie fillings or even just powdered sugar.

Blueberry Pancakes with Maple Syrup
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup of delicious wild Canadian blueberries
big bottle of Canadian maple syrup

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

Rye and Coke
Some Canadian Club or your favourite Canadian Rye whisky
some ice
some coke
Put some ice in a glass. Any size glass will do — you're Canadian. Add as much CC as you want. Fill the rest of the glass with coke. Drink. Repeat.
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