Welcome all! This week we start on our next culinary adventure. As you will recall, we finished up the United States Territories last week with Washington DC. It was all too appropriate that we ended there on Election Day, and it has been a most tumultuous week since.
During the very, very long election season, many people said that they would leave the country if Donald Trump was elected, and to that end, Canada seemed to be the country of choice. So I decided that our friends to the north were just beckoning me to explore them, so here we are on Week One of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday. And yes, I know it’s Wednesday. My son had a dress rehearsal last night and I was helping out, so we didn’t even have dinner last night.
Before we focus on our first province, here is a little background on the country itself. The name Canada is actually a translation error. In 1535, some Huron-Iroquois Indians were giving directions to ‘Kanata’ to the European explorer Jacques Cartier. Cartier thought they were speaking of the entire land area, but in actuality, the word means ‘village’. Canada is the second largest country in land area, but its population is smaller than the state of California. Even with its small population, it is still one of the United States largest trading partners. The US is the only country to share a border with Canada a total of 5,525 miles (but there are no plans to build a wall). Did you know that Canada produces 80% of the world’s maple syrup? Yep. And of that, 91% of it is produced in Quebec. I’m thinking this may be why their flag is a maple leaf. And this one is my favorite factoid… Winnie the Pooh was inspired by a black polar bear at the London Zoo in Regent Park, but the bear was actually Canadian. His full name was Winnipeg.
Ok, on to the provinces. I am going to do these in alphabetical order because that is how I feel like doing it. No other reason than that. We begin week one with the Province of Alberta. Alberta is one of the western provinces of Canada. It is the fourth most populated with approximately 4.2 million people, and is the most populated of the three “prairie” provinces. It is bordered by British Columbia to the west and Saskatchewan to the east. It shares the US border with the state of Montana.
When researching recipes, I discovered that because this was a prairie state, they were known for several agricultural items, including wheat, beef cattle and honey. There weren’t a lot of recipes tied directly to the province, but I did find an interesting one that used two of these ingredients; beef and honey.
The recipe that I made is Honey Garlic Beef Stir Fry. This one is super simple and comes together in about the time it takes to make some rice to go with it. I was a little leery of making a stir fry dish that had honey in it, but the end result was pretty tasty. I do admit that it was a bit sweet, so I would probably drop the honey down to a 1/3 cup and maybe add some soy sauce or even fish sauce to even it out. But for a quick week night dinner, this one was pretty good and I might even make it again sometime. I am going to give it an A- with some potential to make it better.
Thanks for joining me on our new adventure. See you next week in British Columbia!
Honey Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- ½ cup Honey
- ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp hot sauce
- 1 lb boneless sirloin steak, sliced against the grain in thin strips
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 lb bag of frozen stir fry vegetable blend
- Make the sauce by combining the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine beef with ¼ cup reserved sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Set aside
- Heat large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil. When pan is hot, add the beef. Cook until outside of beef is cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the frozen vegetables and sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes until vegetables and beef are cooked through.
- Add cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.