As the date grew closer and closer for the next segment in The Canadian Food Experience Project I agonized over what I was going to pick for the topic,which is writing about a regional Canadian food.
Saskatoons seemed the obvious choice as nothing is more ingrained into my family’s culinary history than the Saskatoon berry, but I didn’t want to be obvious. If the prairies are known for one thing and one thing only, it’s definitely the Saskatoon berry. I wanted something fresh, new and out of the box.
I’m late with this post in actual fact as it should have been up yesterday, but I was too busy fishing the backwoods of Alberta this past weekend and my computer has been at home for a couple of days, gathering dust as I explore.
When I had that thought to myself, clarity hit like a bolt of crystal clear lightning.
Why would I write about what I have already done, what I have made before, when the large part of the change happening here on The Kitchen Magpie is about adventures and exploring? Seeing what I can discover not only with my outdoor adventures and travel in this beautiful country of ours, but discover new things about myself as well?
To me, a large part of being Canadian is our connection to our land, our love for our unsurpassed wilderness and small – compared to most countries- population.You’ll find that my contributions to the Canadian Food Experience Project will not see me anywhere near well-known traditional foods or methods.
I want to not only open your eyes (as my lovely readers) to a new experience but also discover it for myself. My first post for the project was My First Authentic Canadian Food Memory: Wild Caught Fish so I knew that building upon that first memory was the right direction to go for this second part.
So my food choice for a Canadian regional food is brook trout.
Brook Trout can be found spread throughout Alberta in small numbers, found in some lakes and various foothills streams. Not a prolific or commonly found trout, you have to work harder and do your research to find these beauties, but that makes it all the more special and sacred.
I could have chosen any fish, really, such as the Northern Pike or lake whitefish. However those are easy to come by, indeed, one can source Northern Pike during the year and whitefish fill many a fisherman’s freezer from the ice fishing season.
I didn’t just push my limits fishing these beauties, I blew away any preconceived notions I built up about myself regarding how tough a day I could handle. A completely off the grid lake that took hours to drive to, a lake with no boat access, meaning you had to take the boat in with an ATV – and not by a road, just a bush path. A day full of cold ,rainy weather that permeated to your bones. Hauling all your gear in on that bush path from the road to the lake because you were gone for the day and there was no stopping until lunch.
For the story of that amazing day you can read my post Alberta Brook Trout – The Action.
Not only did we indulge in a shore lunch the day of our adventure – one of the most amazing culinary experiences of my life – I also prepared the brook trout in the BBQ while we were camping one weekend.
The best recipes are sometimes the simplest, and while cooking on the BBQ can be a pain in the patootie sometimes, this worked out nicely.
All you have to do for a large (3 lb) brookie is place it on a foil lined baking sheet that fits inside your BBQ, slice one or two lemons, a small white onion and 4-5 garlic cloves and stuff that fish up with it, setting aside three lemon slices. Cook in a 350 degree BBQ until the meat flakes when you take a fork to it. Once the fish is close to done, squeeze the lemon from the three slices onto the top of the fish a little bit and then place them on top. You add last-minute flavor and a beautiful garnish.
Our shore lunch was simple butter with seasoned flour on the brook trout filets, fry it in butter until it flakes and then eaten plain or in a bun for a fish sammich that just cannot be beat!
Filet o’ Alberta, anyone?
I hope that everyone had a fabulous weekend! I am so excited to write this week about my newest adventures fishing the wilds of Alberta that took up our weekend, what a fabulous way to enjoy ourselves!