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From Acadia via Quebec...Discussions regarding the origins of Poutine as well as the dish's merits, logistics, rationale and what constitutes authenticity have been known to go on for hours. Regardless of how you feel about poutine, be advised: the recipe below makes for outstanding fries (i.e. you can just use the method to make the best French fries ever and not go ahead on the full treatment). This is a weird dish - no question about it. Yet, it is so appreciated in these parts that even the local McDonald's restaurants serve a version of it (somewhat whitewashed, but poutine nonetheless). It is the best fries ever, topped with special cheese curds that barely melt over the fries, and then a molten cloak of hot chicken or BBQ sauce follows. I diet for two months ahead before indulging in this treat.
 

This features sumptuous, silky smooth homemade vanilla ice-cream with vanilla bean bits throughout and a swirl of homemade dulce de leche, miniature marshmallows and toasted pecans. Ok - you can just make the ice cream or stop at ice-cream with dulce. It's over the top luscious to begin with. I sometimes cheat with this recipe, purchasing ice-cream base (at local food service supply stores), and just dump in the vanilla ice-cream base into my Cuisinart ice-cream maker. You then drop dollops of  dulce de leche just as the ice-cream begins to set up. Freeze, and serve once the ice-cream is fully hardened. This is gorgeous, easy, and better than anything you can purchase. Save some extra dulce de leche, warmed up, to drizzle with toasted buttered pecans over the final offering. (Make the dulce a day ahead – it is just easier to have it ready). This is Haagen Daz/Ben and Jerry rich, ice-cream.

So commercial. So good. So Thanksgiving.

 

Store bought mini round breads, scooped out, make great serving bowls. Scoop 'em out, bake to crisp them up, and fill.

Fresh English muffins that you baked, and a tangy Hollandaise sauce makes this classic, well, classic. The one dish guaranteed to turn your home into a B&B.

You can make these, which are shaped like calzone, with pie dough or pizza dough, and either bake or fry them. Filling vary from sweet to savory and depending what part of Latin America you are from, your notion of a quintessential empanada will differ from anyone else’s! I made these for tango class, which was filled with dancers from Chili, Peru, Brazil, Equator, and Argentina. No one agreed on the perfect empanadas; they only agreed the batch I made was perfection. Adobo seasoning is available in Latin food stores, or Penzey’s. You can also use a bit of onion powder, chili powder, and salt and pepper.

Little gifts of the harvest! Buttered filo houses a mound of sweet potatoes. It bakes up into a little package that is ready pretty darn quick or, if oven space is an issue, are easily reheated (they also freeze well).

No waterworks needed to douse the wonderful flavor of this moist, crisp, heavenly chicken. Serve as is, or with blue cheese dip or Mango Chutney, in our Recipe Archives.

A cheap but authentic wok is best for this – a carbon steel one which heats up quick and is hot enough to properly sear food well (non-stick is an easy clean but never gets hot enough and produces more steam or humidity to the mixture resulting in more saucy stir fries vs. quick cooked, fresh and flavorful. A cast iron pan is also fine. But start with what you have. If you have a round wok bottom and a flat (regular, electric stove top) make sure you get the metal ring the wok sits in. I use both fresh garlic and ginger, as well as the added boost of some jarred stuff, which is always on hand. Plates from Chinatown (the blue and white patterned ones) are especially pretty for this dish. Serve with jasmine tea and dessert could be store-bought fortune cookies, restaurant almond cookies, and/or mango sherbet with mandarin oranges on top. 

Smooth, decadent, seductive and always impressive.

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