Week 5: Canadian Poutine

poutine
This week’s dish.
tarts
Photo from: http://www.bakingobsession.com/2008/06/25/canadian-butter-tarts/
beaver-tail
Photo from: http://blogs.smus.bc.ca/review/2012/02/03/outdoor-education-offers-beaver-tails-and-snow-flurries/#.VJHjXlpH0wQ
pie
Photo from: http://jbeancuisine.com/2011/03/22/whats-baking-traditional-tourtiere-french-canadian-meat-pie/

Bonjour! This weeks cultural food is poutine, which is probably the country’s most outlandish. If you do not know what this dish is, this French-Candian classic consists of french fries, topped with light brown gravy and cheese curds. There are many forms of this dish, like jerk chicken poutine, cheeseburger poutine, Italian poutine, you name it! Canadian restaurant’s with French fries on their menu will often offer poutine such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, New York Fries, and my favourite Smoke’s Poutinery. Canadian poutine is actually very similar to American disco fries, but the two can be be distinguished from each other.  Together the three elements seem to make a odd combination, but when the steaming fries and gravy melt the cheese, you will be drawn to eat more than you think. I myself, enjoy having poutine especially on a cold day because the warm gravy really helps ease the cold winter days.

Even though this is a really tasty dish, not all tasty dishes are healthy. A small serving of poutine would be about 710 calories and 38 grams of fat, which is why some people see this as a junk food. As you can tell, there are not many health benefits to eating poutine. The high-fat food holds a very unique appeal and is not for the faint of heart. For those who are watching their waistlines, it is okay for have it once in a while or not at all.

There are not a lot of Canadian foods that are recognized, which is why we are proud of our poutine; it is one of the most reputed dishes in our country. Today I would like to recommend some Canadian foods thatI honestly love that are well known, but some of them are usually not made at home. The foods will be listed down below:

http://www.beavertailsinc.com

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/meat-pie-tourtiere/

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/best_butter_tarts.php

Like always, thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment down below what your favourite cultural food is, and what cultural food you would like me to try and review next.

Week 4: Chinese Peking Duck

peking duck
This week’s dish.
dumplings
Photo from: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/9373/pot+sticker+dumplings
ChowMein
Photo from: http://www.otwaypork.com.au/cms/great-recipes/chow-mein-with-noodles/
zongzu
Photo from: https://artifactsjournal.missouri.edu/2014/03/the-legend-behind-zongzi/

Ni hao! This week’s cultural food is peking duck. Peking duck is so popular that it is available at almost any Chinese restaurant you go to. Every time I go to a Chinese restaurant for a special occasion I  would always suggest to order peking duck, it is a family favourite that has been prepared ever since the imperial era. If you have never had peking duck it is basically strips of roasted duck, shredded vegetables, and hoisin sauce all wrapped together in a unsweetened pancake called mandarin pancake. This dish is basically like a asian taco if you really think about it. The duck is perfectly marinated because they are seasoned 65 days before being roasted and hanged. More authentic forms of this dish mainly serve the skin, because people actually prefer the skin over the meat since it is prized for its crispiness.

This dish is quite healthy because nothing is deep fried or too fattening. Peking duck is beneficial to our heath because it can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease because of this one special ingredient, and that ingredient is red yeast rice which is used to add colour and flavour. This additive has been used for thousands of years as a herbal medicine that is good for the heart. I must say that this dish is quite filling, that is only if you have about 5 pieces or more if it counts as a meal. Here is  a tip, try to eat the mandarin pancake while it is still warm and fresh, or else the dish itself will not be as good.

I grew up eating Chinese food, and I must say that peking duck would have to be one of the most favoured dishes. Today I would like to share some dishes that I have always cherished, in my opinion it is better to cook these dishes at home because the majority Chinese restaurants use MSG. The recipes will be listed down below:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chinese-pork-dumplings/

http://taste.fourseasons.com/2014/03/zongzi-dumplings-recipes/

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/ching-he-huang/chicken-chow-mein.html

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! Please feel free to comment down below on what cultural food you would like me to try and review.

Week 3: Italian Fettuccine Alfredo

alfredo
This week’s dish.
ravioli
Photo from:http://www.buitoni.com/Pasta-Products/10948/Spicy-Beef–Sausage-Ravioli.aspx
pizza
Photo from: http://images.media-allrecipes.com/userphotos/250×250/01/01/38/1013805.jpg
lasagna15
Photo from: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/12/lasagna-soup/

Buogiorno! Italian fettuccine alfredo is the cultural food choice of this week. If you do not know what this pasta dish is, it is basically made with a flat noodle called fettuccine topped with Parmesan cheese, butter, and cream. The melted butter and cheese makes a smooth and rich sauce that compliments the fettuccine. This classic dish definitely satisfies your hunger and the flavour can be altered by adding asiago and romano. Chicken, shrimp, and vegetables such as peas can be served on top to create a single-dish meal. I personally like chicken as my topping, but this time I just wanted to try something new so i added shrimp instead. I think that fettuccine Alfredo is similar to macaroni and cheese except they both use different cheeses, pasta, and toppings; if you enjoy having macaroni and cheese you will appreciate fettuccine Alfredo.

This dish is not a low calorie food, so you need to watch the size of your portion if you want to include the mouthwatering dish into your diet without exceeding your daily calorie requirement. A plate of fettuccine Alfredo when eaten at a restaurant can total up to about 2,940 calories, so preparing this dish yourself is a good idea because you can substitute the ingredients with healthier alternatives. By using whole wheat fettuccine and replace the heavy cream and butter with a mix of evaporated milk, flour, low-fat milk and Parmesan cheese. A bowl of fettuccine Alfredo sums up to the amount of calories that you should have a day, so I would not consider this dish a healthy dish.

Although fettuccine Alfredo is a comfort food that you just cannot resist, it is alright to have it once in a while. In restaurants this dish does come in pretty large portions, so I suggest you make your own version at home. I do not go to many Italian restaurants or eat much Italian food that often, but when I do I really do savor every bite. Here are some other Italian foods that I have tried so far that I want you guys to try as well. the recipes will be linked down below:

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/simply-lasagna-69196.aspx

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/beef-ravioli-with-fresh-tomato-sauce.html

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/deep-dish-italian-sausage-and-mushroom-pizza/

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment down below what your favourite cultural food is, and what dishes would like me to try and review.

Week 2: Japanese Sushi

sush
This week’s dish.
Ramen
Photo from:Photo from: http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/spicy-shoyu-ramen/ unagi
tempura shrimp
Photo from: http://www.zmenu.com/fuki-sushi-palo-alto-online-menu/dish-28241 tempura shrimp
unagi
Photo from: http://wow-cook.com/recipe/detail.php?ID=711&SECTION_ID=197

Konnichiwa! Sushi is the food choice of this week. Honestly I think that if I were to live off one type of cultural food it would have to be sushi, because it is something that my tastebuds cannot be tired of. Sushi consists of vinegared rice and a combinations of ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, and sometimes fruits. These ingredients are held together by the sticky fingered rice and seaweed. Have you ever tried sushi with our vinegar in the rice? If you haven’t it tastes incomplete and blah, so the vinegar is crucial in sushi. The type of sushi that I ate recently was the California Roll; which contains crabmeat, cucumber, and avocado as the main ingredients. I would suggest you guys to try this roll if it is your first time trying sushi, since it is a good beginner roll. This dish cannot be compared to any other culture food because the taste and looks are different in a special way. Sushi can be a form of art, since the appearance is just as important as the flavour. My attempt of making sushi was difficult at first but I got the hang of it; some chefs take years to master the craft of sushi.

One California Roll equals to six pieces and the whole roll is about 255 calories and contains 7 grams of fat. To determine if sushi is healthy or not we have to take a look at the fillings, so in this case crabmeat, cucumber, and avocado are healthy ingredients. Crab meat is a good source of omega 3 which benefits the heart, normalizes and regulates your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and maximizes a child’s intellectual potential. The cucumber and avocado has a lot of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that help prevent cancer, promote joint health, can cure diabetes, reduces cholesterol, and control blood pressure.

The California Roll a very simple and appetizing roll that I like, but today I would also like to share with you guys some of my most favourite Japanese dishes. It is up to you whether you will like to prepare these dishes or order them at a restaurant, but either way I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do. The recipes will be linked down below:

http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/shrimp-tempura/

http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/spicy-shoyu-ramen/

http://sushiday.com/archives/2006/12/18/unagi-roll/

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment down below what your favourite cultural food is, and what dishes would like me to try and review.

Week 1: Vietnamese Phở

Pho
This week’s dish.
Sandwich
Image from: http://tasteofphohouston.com/topho/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=6
Image from: http://rasamalaysia.com/vietnamese-spring-rolls-cha-gio-recipe/
prok chops
Image from: http://mimitam.weebly.com/eastern-style/vietnamese-grilled-lemongrass-pork-chop-with-rice

Chao! This week I had the opportunity to try a Vietnamese noodle soup also known as Phở. The first time I ever had a bowl of Phở was when I heard about how much many people loved it, now I understand what the fuss was all about. This dish usually consists of linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh phở, broth, herbs, onions, meat; restaurants usually provide lime, Thai basil, and bean sprouts in a small dish on the side to add to your desire. The broth itself contains so much flavour because it is prepared so carefully and you can taste all the herbs, which why it is the base of the dish. There is no need for the meats to be marinated and to add any sauces, but there are sauces available like hoisin sauce, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, and soy sauce. A bowl of Phở is warm, filling, and delicious.

Of course there are different types of Phở, but they are all made the same way but with different herbs, spices, and toppings. With many vegetables and nothing deep fried or fried, I would consider Phở be a pretty healthy meal to have as lunch or dinner. The soup is low in fat and is filled with key vitamins and mineral such as iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium. Phở delivers about 24 grams of protein and 2 grams of dietary fibre. The nutrients help your digestive system to function normally and support strong bones and teeth. Phở is not only tasty, but also healthy.

Previously I have had other Vietnamese foods other than Phở, some that I enjoyed and some not as much. Today I would like to share my favourites that I recommend others to try. It is up to you whether you would like to cook the dish yourself or order it at a restaurant. The recipes are linked down below:

http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2007/01/cha-gio-vietnamese-springegg-rolls.html

http://www.chow.com/recipes/11211-pork-and-pate-vietnamese-sandwich-banh-mi

http://www.food.com/recipe/vietnamese-spiced-pork-chops-505539

Please feel free to comment down below what your favourite Vietnamese dish is, and what cultural food you would like me to try and review.