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Traveling Violins and Canadian Comfort Food: Dinner and a Movie

​Because the origin of the term Poutine is oft disputed, it pairs well with the film, The Red Violin. This Canadian film with a host of American and International actors, is about the origins of a red violin that turns up for auction in Montreal in 1997. While the characters do not know the origin of the mysteriously seductive instrument, the viewers learn its history. The movie is epic and demands Canadian comfort food as accompaniment. 

Entrée: Poutine
Popcorn: Maple Butter and Bacon
Beverage: Le Fin de Mond or Trois Pistoles Beers by Unibroue

Get the breakdown after the jump.

Film: The film tells the story of a 300 year-old violin that is up for auction in Montreal. As the bidding begins so do the flashbacks from its creation to the numerous people who own and play it over the centuries. The flashbacks begin with violinmaker as he crafts the instrument for his unborn child. His pregnant wife receives a tarot reading before labor, that tells of a long journey she will make around the world. This predicts the journey of the violin. The violin brings strife, betrayal, passion, and sacrifice to each that possess it. It is played by choirboys in an orphanage in Austria, an aristocrat in England, is caught up in the Chinese cultural revolution and then is the object of a pricey bidding war at auction back in Montreal. 



​​Whether you use frozen fries or hand cut and fry your own, the key is to get them nice and crispy on the outside and soft in the center. For the gravy, we went with a chicken base made with a stock from a leftover roast chicken. If you are vegetarian you can always use vegetable stock for your gravy. The key is to make a roux with butter and flour first, add the stock, and salt and pepper. Gravy for Poutine is often peppery so we used black and white ground pepper for ours. 

There are many variations of Poutine, included the addition of various meats. For more information click here. Prepare the gravy and keep it warm until the fries are finished. Once they are at the perfect crispness, plate them and add the cheese curds and gravy. Serve immediately. For a Southwest spin on Poutine, try Arizona Cheese Company's Jalapeno Curds.

Maple Butter and Bacon Popcorn 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Cut strips of bacon in half and lay out on wire rack. Place pan in oven set to Low Broil. Keep oven door slightly open and cook until desired crispness. About 6-8 minutes. Let cool. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside. Remove wire rack from pan, reserving the foil that contains the bacon drippings. 

Pop ½ cup popcorn kernels in ¼ vegetable oil over the stove. Shake covered pan to prevent burning. Add two tablespoons maple syrup to a ½ cup butter and toss. 

Spread maple butter covered popcorn on foil and place mixture in oven set at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes, watching it to prevent burning. This step helps set the maple glaze and crisp the kernels. Remove and add bacon pieces.

Are you a food and film lover too? Got suggestions for Dinner and a Movie? Leave a comment below.
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