28 March 2009

Carlo Rota and The Great Canadian Food Show....

Lamb Toutiere

Through your TV networks, or perhaps on other blogs, or even just right here on More Than Burnt Toast you may have heard of some of our Canadian chefs. For those of you who haven't, I hope you will find it interesting to see what our chefs are up to, a little about their history and how they came to love what they do. For the next few months I will be featuring one of our Canadian chefs each week. As the second installment to my Canadian Chef series I will introduce you to Carlo Rota. Many of you will know him as an actor, a host, and for his clever sense of humour, but most of all Carlo Rota is an outgoing individual who appreciates culture, great food, and above all loves putting on a performance!!!

Rota started off his career as a chef in the restaurant industry but he had a epiphany just before his 30th birthday, and much to his parent’s dismay, he started a new career path and followed his passion for acting.

As host of The Great Canadian Food Show, he travels around Canada meeting a variety of unique people and trying some of the best dishes our country has to offer and is still able to share his love of good food. Recently nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for excellence in culinary journalism, The Great Canadian Food Show visits every province in our vast country to experience Canada's wealth of ethnic and regionally influenced cuisine. Whether it's Ukrainian perogies in the flatlands of the prairies, baking pies and waiting tables at Marj’s Diner in Aylmer, Ontario, or savoring goose and caribou in beautiful Churchill, Manitoba, Rota has experienced some of Canada’s hidden treasures which he shares with us on a daily basis.

Aside from taping new episodes for the Great Canadian Food Show, Rota has a successful acting career. He has appeared in several independent films, had roles on La Femme Nikita and Relic Hunter, and has recently taped episodes for Nero Wolfe and Queer As Folk, just to name a few.

I couldn't resist making this version of the traditional French Canadian pie, tourtiere as a last hurrah to winter. This recipe comes from L'eau la Bouche Restaurant in Saint Adele, Quebec and was one of the dishes featured on the show. It is prepared with a combination of lamb and pork and topped with goats cheese, all encased in a tender crust. The combination of the orange and the goats cheese really works to create an exceptional tourtiere!!! I chose to make it into individual size pies.

**Lamb Tourtiere**
based on a recipe from L'eau a la Bouche


2 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
pinch of salt
14 tablespoons iced water


4 onions, shredded
2 large baking potatoes, shredded
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound pork, ground
2 pounds shoulder lamb, ground
½ bottle red wine (I used half white and half red wine)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 - 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

1/4 pound fresh goat's cheese
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To prepare pastry: In food processor pulse flour, butter and salt together. Add iced water and pulse together. Chill.

To Make Filling: In large oven-proof casserole bowl add all ingredients (except goats cheese and egg) and simmer in oven for an hour. Stir mixture well and return to cook for an extra half hour. Let Cool.

Assemble: In 9 inch pie plate, roll out pastry. Spoon cool meat mixture into pie. Crumble goat's cheese all over the surface. Cover with top layer of pastry and seal edges with fork. Prick pie with fork. Brush with egg and return to 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. What a neat idea Val. This is a great learning ground for me. xoxo

  2. A wonderful tourtière! Nice choice of filling! Yummy!



  3. This lamb pie sounds so comforting! Thanks for sharing and educating us on Canadian Chefs & cooking...I really don't know much about it!

  4. I love how you introduce a different Canadian chef each week! I used to watch the Canadian Food Chanel almost on a daily basis, but ever since I moved to Germany I have been out of the loop. This is a great way to get reacquainted with my Canadian roots. :-)

    Keep up the awesome work!

  5. Great idea Val - and of course you're going to find him in this world and send him a link to your beautiful story of him. He makes me laugh especially when he teams up with Christine Cushing.
    Now, that pie - aye yay yay - what a great mix of cultures all in one dish - this is so Canadian.

  6. What a lovely choice for a meat filling! I will be looking for lamb this week as soon as I get home. I do enjoy watching The Great Canadian Food Show. He comes up with lovely meals in very interesting places.

  7. You know that I love our Canadian Chefs. Great idea to feature them. And L'Eau à la Bouche is one of the best restaurant in Québec. Great choice to make the tourtière.

  8. I love Carlo Rota, such a nice accent too. "You juicy tomato, you!".
    I didn't realize he was on Nero Wolfe - I loved that show. Are they making more?
    Loving your new Canadian profiles - so cool of you!

  9. Is nice to learn about another country's chefs.I now that Rota´s face are familiar for me . I provably saw him in La femme Nikita
    This lamb tart looks delicious. Wonderful recipe Val

  10. Sounds like an interesting guy. With delicious food too by the looks of that pie.

  11. Great post! The lamb tourtière sounds amazing!

  12. I don't think I've ever seen the show. I'm kind of jealous of his job though. I would love to travel around Canada sampling food. Actually...I'd love to travel around anywhere sampling food.

    Great way to feature Canadian chefs!

  13. Thanks for introducing us to these talented people! I can truly say that I have never heard of those flavors combined in a pie, but it sure sounds delicious!!

  14. One of the days I'm going to make a Tourtiere.

  15. Oh! I didn't know that show was still going on! Last I heard of it was in... um, I don't remember. 5 years ago!?

    I only ever see Carlo Rota on Little Mosque on the Prairie now. =)


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