Recipe: Chef Chuck Hughes Tourtière
Chef Chuck Hughes shared a number of holiday dishes as the headliner for this year's Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. As chef Hughes is born and raised in Montreal, it was no surprise he would be teaching us how to serve up a traditional Christmas Eve Tourtière (or meat pie). While this meat pie does take some time to prepare, Tourtière is a great dish to make ahead of time so you can just pop it in the oven on Christmas Eve. Chef Chuck Hughes Traditional Christmas Eve Tourtière Pastry 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 2/3 cup butter or lard 6-7 Tbsp cold water Filling 1 lb ground Alberta pork 1 lb ground beef 1 small onion finely chopped 1 clove garlic finely minced 2 large potatoes 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground cloves 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg to taste - salt and pepper 1 egg, scrambled for glazing Prepare the pastry: In a large bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Cut in the butter or lard until mixture is roughly even crumbly texture. Add water and blend just until dough comes together. Shape into a rough disc, wrap and chill in the refrigerator. While pastry is chilling, prepare the filling. Prepare the filling: Cook potatoes in a pot of water until tender, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of potato water and drain the rest. Mash potatoes and set aside. In a large skillet, cook the onion, garlic, beef and pork over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain off the excess fat. Add seasonings and reserved potato water. Mix well and simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from heat, stir in mashed potatoes, and set aside to cool slightly. Preheat oven to 400F/205C. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half and flatten one ball of dough with your hands. Roll dough to about 12 inches in diameter to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place the pastry into the pie plate and add the meat filling. Brush around the outer edge of the pastry with the beaten egg. Roll out the top pastry and place on top of the filling. Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and pinch or flute the edges. Brush the egg was and cut vent holes. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the Tourtière from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Yield: makes 1 pie, about eight servings.  
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Recipe: Graceland Squares
At this year's Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, chef Anna Olson brought some retro flavour to their Alberta Pork sponsored session. Knowing that everyone loves church squares -  you know those squares made with coloured marshmallows, peanut butter and butterscotch chips - Anna added a few elements that would have had Elvis singing Lord Have Mercy. This classic version has the added touch of a chocolate cookie crumb base, plus bacon and banana. These are ideal for any holiday cookie exchange - you will not be having a 'Blue Christmas' with these in your cookie tin. Anna Olson's Graceland Squares Base 1 1/2 cup chocolate cookie crumbs 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted Topping 1 3/4 cups butterscotch chips 1 cup pure peanut butter 1/2 cup unsalted butter 4 strips of cooked bacon, finely chopped 2 small bananas, or 1 large, small dice 4 cups mini marshmallows Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan and line it with parchment paper so the paper comes up the sides. Base Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a small mixing bowl and then press this into the prepared pan. Bake it for 10 minutes (just to set the crust - no change will be visible) and then cool on a rack while preparing the topping. Topping Place the butterscotch chips, peanut butter and butter into a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove this from the heat until the mixture is smooth. Remove this from the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl to cool for five minutes. Stir in the bacon and banana and then add the marshmallows, stirring so that they are fully coated. Spread the mixture over the chocolate crumb bake and then chill for at least two hours to set. The squares cut wonderfully when chilled, but can then be stored in an airtight container and be served at room temperature. The squares will keep in an airtight container for up to three days, or to store longer, keep for up to a week refrigerated. Makes one 8-inch (20 cm) square pan Cut into 36 squares
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Recipe: Charcut's Al Pastor Tacos
For the past three years, Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson have been presenting at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's Christmas in November. This year, the duo shared latin-inspired dishes from their Charbar menu, including an innovative way to cook al pastor tacos. The dish, which originates from central Mexico, was inspired by shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Marinated pork is layered on a vertical spit and topped with a pineapple - as the meat rotates and cooks with the fat and juices slowly dripping down, slices of cooked meat are sliced off for taco time. While I've eaten many an Al Pastor pork taco at restaurants or food trucks, I've never tried to make al pastor tacos at home because I don't have a rotisserie. But that will all change thanks to chef Connie & John's al pastor taco hack that uses a loaf pan. My Mexico Al Pastor Tacos Recipe courtesy of Charcut chefs Connie Desousa & John Jackson 1/4 pineapple, peeled 1/4 onion, white or yellow, sliced 1 Tbsp guajillo chile powder 1/2 garlic clove 1 Tbsp line juice 1 Tbsp pineapple juice 2 tsp coarse kosher salt pinch dried oregano (preferably Mexican) pinch ground cumin 1/2 small chipotle chiles 1/4 - 1/2 tsp adobo from canned chipotle chiles 350 ground boneless Alberta Pork loin 230 g ground chorizo sausage, raw 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 25 corn tortillas, small - 3-4 " 1/4 lbs butter diced in bowl to taste - Vellentina or Frank's hot sauce 12 limes, Mexican cut wedges Taco Meat Preparation Slice pork loin into thin medallions about 1 cm thick. Marinade pork medallions in pineapple and lime juice, salt, oregano, cumin garlic cloves, and chilli powder. On a rotisserie spit or in a loaf pan, layer the pork and sausage meat pressing to flatten out as you layer. Once completed, top the with peeled pineapple. Cook over medium heat on rotisserie or in an oven at 350F until internal temperature is 155F. Remove and rest on sheet pan for 15 minutes. To Assemble Taco Add hot sauce and butter to small pot and heat until butter melts. Whisk until emulsified. Heat corn tortillas in pan with small amount of butter and when hot remove and set on plate covered with damp towel so it does not dry out. Assemble garnish in small bowls, sliced onion, lime wedges, pickled cilantro, and hot sauce. Right before serving slice the meat thinly kebab style again the grain. Serve while still hot along with the hot sauce, garnishes and tortillas.  
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