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Whip up a feast for Food Day Canada and get munching 0

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI AGENCY

Today's the day the party starts — Food Day Canada is inviting everyone across the nation to come together and enjoy the bounty.

Every person in every province — the towns, 'burbs, big cities, villages, neighbourhoods — is being encouraged to set the table and celebrate all good things to eat in our nation. So says award-winning author and activist Anita Stewart, who has been at the helm of Food Day Canada, which has been taking place every first Saturday in August since its inception back in 2003.

And they want to hear from you! Just log onto Fooddaycanada.ca and share your story or the menu you're creating for this fabulous feast day. While on the site, log on to the amazing interactive map — a first.

"It's our gift to Canada," says Stewart. "We all talk about eating locally and I think this will help people not only find the restaurants, but find the markets in which to buy ingredients to make their own ... anyone can post a short Food Day Canada menu and we'll pin it to the big map."

You can share your family favourites or enjoy the following and make them part of family tradition.

Spicy Jalapeno Meatballs

Kick up the heat at your Food Day Canada party with these spicy bacon-wrapped meatballs, developed for Maple Leaf Foods by Canadian Chef, Ted Reader.

Ingredients:

Meatballs

  • 1 hardwood maple grilling plank (about 12x8 inches (30x20 cm)
  • 3 fully-cooked jalapeno smoked sausages (or favourite smoked sausages)
  • 1 lb (500g) lean ground pork
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch each chili powder and cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 14 slices bacon

Maple chipotle barbecue glaze

  • 4 Tbsp. (60 ml) favourite gourmet-style barbecue sauce
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) chipotle hot sauce
  • â…“ cup (75 ml) maple syrup

Directions:

Soak grilling plank in cold water for a minimum of 1 hour.

Cut 2 sausages into 14 equal-sized chunks (7 pieces per sausage). Set aside.

Finely chop remaining sausage and place in a large bowl. Add ground pork, cilantro, green onion, chili powder and cayenne. Mix well. Season with salt and black pepper. Divide mixture into 14 equally sized portions.

Slightly flatten a portion of meat mixture in palm of your hand. Place a chunk of sausage onto meat mixture and cover entire sausage with meat. Roll to form a round meatball. Repeat with remaining ground meat and sausage chunks.

Wrap each meatball tightly with a slice of bacon, stretching bacon to cover entire surface of meatball. Cover and refrigerate meatballs for one hour.

Combine barbecue sauce, chipotle hot sauce and maple syrup in a small bowl. Set aside.

Set grill up for indirect grilling and preheat to 400F (200C). Place meatballs evenly spaced onto pre-soaked grilling plank. Transfer to indirect heat on grill and close lid. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn grilling plank 180 degrees, close lid and continue to grill for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until bacon begins to crisp. Baste with maple chipotle barbecue glaze.

Continue to grill for an additional 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy, glaze is sticky and internal temperature of meatballs reaches 160F (71C). Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Makes 14 meatballs.

Piradzini — Latvian Bacon and Onion-Stuffed Rolls

A celebration in the scattered Latvian communities of Canada often include these bacon-filled buns. Recipe from Anita Stewart’s CANADA: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (HarperCollins)

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) butter
  • 1 1/2-2 cups (375-500 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) instant yeast

Filling

  • ¼ lb. (110 g) lean side bacon, finely diced
  • 2 small onions, finely minced
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • ½ cup (125 ml) finely diced ham
  • ½ tsp. (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk

Directions:

In a saucepan combine potato, water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil: reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving liquid and mash thoroughly. Stir in sugar, butter and reserved water. Let cool till lukewarm.

Beat in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of flour. Add yeast, beating vigorously till well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add enough of remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Place in a well-oiled boil, cover with a damp towel and let rise till doubled, about 1 to 1¼ hours.

Meanwhile, make filling. In a heavy saucepan, cook bacon, onions, green onion, diced ham and pepper, until onion is softened and bacon begins to crisp. Let cool completely.

When dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 16 pieces. Roll each piece to flatten slightly. Place a spoonful of bacon mixture onto centre of each bit of dough. With floured fingertips, pinch edges together to make crescent. Place each piradzini about 2-in. (5 cm) apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slash tops with a sharp knife. Cover loosely with a towel; let rise until doubled, about 50 – 60 minutes.

Whisk egg yolk and milk together. Brush over crescents. Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until very well browned.

Makes 16.

Maple Pudding Chomeur — Lazy Cook's Pudding

This delicious self-saucing pudding from the Laurentians in Quebec is laced with maple syrup and is a perfect winter dessert served with a bit of table cream. The translation is Lazy Cooks Pudding and in fact is very easy to make. From Fooddaycanada.ca.

Ingredients:

Pudding

  • 1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. (1 ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter

Sauce

  • ¾ cup (175 ml) maple syrup
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) butter
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla or maple extract

Directions:

In a bowl, stir or sift together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk and melted butter, stirring to make a thick batter. Transfer to a lightly-oiled 8 cup (2 L) glass casserole.

To make sauce, in a saucepan stir together maple syrup, brown sugar, water, butter and vanilla or maple extract. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over pudding base. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 35-45 minutes or until bubbling and golden.

Serves 6.


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