It's been said we Canadians have identity issues. I heard someone say once that we're better at defining ourselves by who we're not (ie: we love to proclaim we are not American) than by who / what we actually are. And then there's food. Is there such a thing as Canadian cuisine? That's a hard question to answer. I was pleased to be asked to contribute to the Canadian Food Experience Project which has set out to answer that very question and to explore our Canadian food heritage.
OK so I know maple syrup is the obvious / cliché Canadian food... but as my first contribution, I couldn't help but share something kind of crazy I remember eating as a kid: eggs poached in maple syrup.
Although he denies it, I distinctly remember my dad making this for me when I was little. You may remember my dad. I've written about his passion for maple syrup before and made this video of him last spring when I joined him on his annual maple syrup making adventure.
This recipe is the ultimate celebration of maple syrup. And it's so easy it hardly qualifies as a recipe. There's not much to say about it other than you literally just poach an egg in a pot of boiling maple syrup. It's rich and heavenly, perfect for dipping warm toast into, or served on crepes for the ultimate brunch. If the yolk is soft, it will run and mix with the maple syrup and possibly dribble down your chin and the whole thing is a big sloppy and delicious mess. My mom used to say "c'est cochon, mais c'est tellement bon" (roughly translating as "pigging out in the best possible way"). Try it and let me know what you think.
I'm curious to know, what are YOUR favourite Canadian recipes?
MAPLE SYRUP POACHED EGGS
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
About 4 eggs, depending on how many people you're feeding
Pour the maple syrup and water in a very small saucepan (the smaller the better as more of your eggs will be submerged in the syrup). Bring the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Crack the eggs directly into the gently simmering maple syrup (you may wish to poach 2 eggs at a time so they aren't too crowded). As they cook, spoon a little of the hot syrup over the yolks every now and again. Poach for about 3 minutes if you like your yolks soft, and longer according to your personal preference. Serve the eggs in a generous pool of maple syrup. Serve with warm crusty bread to use for dipping and mopping up. Bon appétit!