Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Let's Go International, Shall We?

Canadian Living: 
The International Collection
Home-Cooked Meals From Around the World
by Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Trade Paperback, 288 pages

This is definitely an idea whose time has come. Home cooks have, by virtue of the internet and foodie TV, become much more savvy these days. And, although we all love our quickie meals for busy nights, we also love trying new things and exploring new cultures through our kitchens.

The Canadian Living Test Kitchen brings their tested-till-perfect signature style to this offering of delicious dishes from all over the world. You will find some dishes that you recognize, and some that are totally new to you. I love how Canadian Living cookbooks lay out their recipes - well organized, easy to follow, and they all include nutritional analysis, helpful tips, and substitutions for any potentially hard to find ingredients.

The International Collection reflects the rich variety of the population of Canada, and you will find lots to discover in its pages.

Rather than by country, The International Collection is organized by dish type, so that you can easily plan your meal. There is also an international menus page in the back, in case you want to do an entire feast from one particular culture. 

Chapters Include

1. Appetizers & Hors d'oeuvres
2. Soups & Salads
3. Everyday Mains
4. Entertaining Mains
5. Breads, Rolls and Quick Breads
6. Desserts

In our KitchenPuppy test kitchen, we gobbled up:

Spaetzli - probably one of the easiest types of pasta/dumplings that you can make from scratch, they originate from the Swiss and southern German cultures and are a particular favourite in our home. My husband pronounced this batch to be his absolute favourite of all time.

Moving on to a more involved pasta, this Squash Agnolotti with Sage and Walnuts was a labour of love, to be sure, but reflected the flavours of the season beautifully. You can easily cook the squash and make the filling the day before, and even stuff the pasta in advance and chill it for a quick in-the-moment romantic meal for someone special.

And filed under where-have-you-been-all-my-life, these Double Cheese Kolaches from Eastern Europe are a thing of beauty. A soft, buttery yeasted roll is indented and filled with a cheese-danish-like filling and sprinkled with what tastes like shortbread crumbs before being baked to golden perfection. They may very well be my new most favourite thing.
This book is definitely a winner, there is something for everyone. You get the comfort of Canadian Living's clear and simple instructions, the reliability of their recipes, and the excitement of discovering new and interesting foods. A perfect way to spice up your year!