05 November 2009

Pate Chinois

We're studying world geography this year. I decided that we should have a meal from each country that we study. Cooking with the kids is a blast for me, and it is highly educational for them. Ava gets to practice kitchen safety, and Lukas gets to practice his math skills by measuring. Plus, they both love it! This week, we made a Canadian meal. I found interesting things on the internet when I was googling for traditional Canadian recipes. For instance, did you know that seal fin is quite the big deal on the east coast of Canada? I also found a couple recipes for muskrat. Since seal fin is not readily available in central Ohio and muskrat is anything but appealing, we opted for an inexpensive French-Canadian dish similar to shepherd's pie called pate chinois. It's so simple and seems to be so similar to traditional American cuisine, that you won't believe that it's actually a traditional French-Canadian recipe. I found several recipes for this, and I decided to use the one that seemed to be the friendliest for my kids (well, Lukas, mostly, since he's the picky one). Here it is for your enjoyment:
1 pound ground beef, lamb or pork (we used beef)
1/2 medium onion
1/2 cup green pepper
1.5 cups frozen corn or 1 can whole kernal corn
1 can creamed corn
6-8 servings mashed potatoes (I guessed at this and think we actually had more than this)
1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Brown ground meat, onion and pepper. Salt and pepper to taste. Drain any fat from meat, and spread meat into bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Pour whole kernel corn over meat (if using a can, drain water first). Pour creamed corn over the whole kernel corn. Layer the mashed potatoes over this. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle the top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer.
Note: If your potatoes are not freshly made (ours were cold), you will need to bake this longer. Ours baked for almost an hour because the potatoes were refrigerated. Also, I left the green peppers out because neither of my kids eat them. Normally, I would put them in anyway, but I knew it was going to be a battle to get Lukas to eat this meal. He doesn't do casseroles very well. Let me know if you make this! It's delicious, and it makes a lot! It's a great meal to stretch your grocery buck too!

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