Oscar night at our house

First, we kicked things off with broccoli slaw with buttermilk dressing. The broccoli slaw is made by Dole and comes in a plastic bag in your grocer's produce department, but we can report that it is a quality product. We were mostly just a little sick of salad, and this has a nice kick to it. I made a dressing with buttermilk, tarragon, sugar, salt, pepper, sour cream, cider vinegar, and shallot. It was from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet cookbook. I actually met Ruth Reichl this past summer. I did some website work for the Mount, Edith Wharton's house, and they had a literary festival. She walked in the room, and I asked her where she lives. She said Chatham, NY and I said there was a restaurant we loved, Castle Street Cafe, in Great Barrington, MA near there. She said that was not possible because there were no good restaurants in Great Barrington. To which I said, "Have you been there?" to which she said "no", which I thought was incredibly arrogant. She said she had never been to any restaurants in Great Barrington, therefore she cannot actually know! Anyways, it's a delicious dressing, which we slightly altered based on what we had in our fridge, but buttermilk in general is underrated.

 Then, I made tourtiere. I had never had it before, but it seemed like an interesting French-Canadian thing. I went to Boston last summer as a reunion trip with the girls I did study abroad with, and we had a really great lunchtime meal at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (really intimate space and interesting museum too). And I bought the cookbook. I've made a few other things from it including artichoke and cheese pie, but this tourtiere was really good. I didn't use their recipe for pie crust as shortening seems really unhealthy to me. Instead, I used the recipe for pie crust from this book. It is from a cafe in Paris. I haven't made as many things as I've wanted from it, but I bought it from the Morgan Library and Museum shop when I used to work there in 2009.
Back to the tourtiere, I think what makes it most interesting is the combination of the beef, pork, onion and the allspice. The recipe also wanted cloves, but we had tarragon so we used that. It is a very nice combination, and also makes the house smell amazing. Apparently, Canadians eat it with baked beans, ketchup, pickles and relishes. We only had pickles, but it seemed like an interesting concept. Next up on the Canadian food front, I'd like to try matrimonial bars!


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