Anyone who’s skated Ottawa’s Rideau Canal knows all about our iconic BeaverTails. Nobody ever leaves the ice without a bite of these sugary deep-fried pastries decorated with cinnamon, chocolate, or lemon, or some other delightful combination of sweet and sour.
As I was focusing on Ottawa’s winter wonderland for my gourmet dinner party, Frozen in Ottawa, I thought tiny BeaverTails would make a perfect hors d’oeuvre. They would go well with the sweetly tart cocktail we served, Frozen Blues.
BeaverTails are served hot on the Canal. But as my theme was “frozen,” I served mine cold. This is pretty much a DIY item. You can use any combination of pastry, sweet, fruit, nut, chocolate and cheese you like. Here’s what I assembled.
- 16 whole-grain Parmesan crackers
- 16 five-seed crackers
- 24 tiny pastry cups from Whole Foods
- Aged cheddar from Prince Edward Island
- Portneuf brie from Quebec
- sour cherry jam
- lingonberry jam
- candied pecans
- dried cranberries
- Lemon rind, grated
- dark espresso chocolate, shaved
- Cut the brie into small hearts with a tiny cookie cutter and the cheddar into small squares that match the crackers in size
- Alternate with brie and cheddar on each type of pastry
- Top the cheese with a dab of jam, a nut, or a cranberry
- Finish with a sprinkle of grated chocolate or lemon rind
- Assembly at the last minute, just before guests arrive, so the pastry doesn’t have a chance to get soggy. With everything ready to go, it takes only a few minutes
Of course! Serving protein with sugar is a neat trick that keeps sugar spikes in check. The protein and fat in the cheese slow the digesting of sugar, to reduce sugar highs. Nutrients come from the whole grains, the fruit and nuts, and the dark chocolate. People can enjoy a variety of flavors without a lot of effort on the part of the chef. We served only this one hors d’oeuvre, in anticipation of more courses to come. Gotta leave a little room!
Note: Lingonberries, in one of the jams we served, originate in Scandinavia, where Vinny’s great-grandfather hails from. The evergreen plants with their red berries thrive in the cold, making lingonberries ideal for our Frozen theme. The berries, in season during our winter, are nutrient powerhouses. They contain lots of organic acids, vitamins C, A, and B, and the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain phytochemicals that are thought to counteract urinary-tract infections, and the seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Doctor Oz is calling lingonberries the new super fruit. What more do you need?
- Frozen Blues: Cocktail of the hour – Capture the sky of the Dominican Republic within Canada’s icy cold winters… blue curaçao flavors this drink, designed to introduce perfectly a dinner themed Frozen in Ottawa.