Far too much time has passed since we should have posted this but work and life are keeping us busy at the moment. However, seeing as the Azerbaijani race is upon us, we’ve pulled out the laptop to keep on top of things!
We’ve both visited Canada, one of us even lived in Canada for a short while, so we like to think we’ve got a decent idea of what Canadian treats are. We thought of Tim Horton’s amazing coffee’s and pastries (did you know they’ve opened a branch in Glasgow?) and maple flavoured everything but two things really came to mind; smoked goods and poutines.
Luckily, we have the Northumbrian Smokehouse right on our doorstep and we could get stuck in, to make smoked poutines…. Say whaaaat?
Northumbrian Smokehouse, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, can be found at most local foodie festivals with their broad range of home smoked nibbles. Nuts, cheese, seeds, chicken, black budding, mussels, pâté…the list goes on. We decided to jump straight in and bought pretty much one of everything having previously tried their BBQ smoked chicken breast and smoked and salted Cashew nuts. What we had already tried was moreish, the chicken breast had gone down a treat as a starter on Christmas day after we found them in Hexham Market and so we were keen to get stuck in.
Our first task was to make a couple of poutines, one ‘smokehouse based’ and one more traditional, yet elaborate.
Poutine 1 – Good fries, beef gravy, smoked cheddar, smoked chicken and jalapenos. It was absolutely delicious. The smokiness really cut through the comfy gravy and gave it a more ‘grown up’ twist. One to try again, for sure.
Poutine 2 – Good fries, beef gravy, our own BBQ brisket, a little smoked stilton, smoked cheddar and jalapenos. The smoked cheese really made this one and complimented the BBQ brisket perfectly. The jalapenos were great for cutting through the rather rich dish.
This is such an easy meal to make, just over fried chips topped with your favourites and then grilled for a few minutes. We would advise not using paper lining and then using the grill. We may or may not have caused a small fire…
The amount of smoked items we had bought meant we could make a couple of different meals with all the lovely produce and so we also used the BBQ smoked chicken breast to make a really lovely salad along with serrano ham, rocket and peaches. One of us had to be convinced to use the peaches but it worked really well together. We have found the products from Northumbrian Smokehouse to be of really, really excellent quality and so a number of meals hang together well based on awesome textures and lovely flavours. We really like how smoking seems to firm up the texture of the meat a little which makes for a nice, luxury finish to various combinations.
The produce lasts a good long while, having been somewhat preserved so at the end of the week we took the remaining cheese, nuts, seeds, salmon pâté, mushroom pâté and mussels to a holiday lodge that we had hired with parents. They made for tasty evening suppers listening to the rain bounce off the windows…. we got our smoky flavours even if we didn’t manage the planned BBQ….
We’ve still got our smoked black pudding to use and we’re thinking of a special meal to use it in to get the most out of it. Any ideas would be very much welcomed!
We definitely recommend Northumbrian Smokehouse, for Canadian inspired meals or otherwise… You can find them at Jesmond Market, Quayside Market and Kells Lane Market amongst many others. Follow them on Twitter @NbrianSmokehse to find out more.