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A plate of Pâté Chinois, with pickled beets and a Maple leaf cookie. Look up pâté chinois in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Cookbook:Pâté chinois Wikibooks has a book on the topic of Cookbook:Pate Chinois Pâté chinois (pronounced: [pɑte ʃinwa]) is a French Canadian dish similar to English cottage pie, shepherd's pie or French hachis Parmentier. It is made from layered ground beef (sometimes mixed with sautéed diced onions) on the bottom layer, canned corn (either whole-kernel, creamed, or a mix) for the middle layer, and mashed potatoes on top. Variations may include sprinkling paprika on top of the potatoes, reversing the layering of ingredients, adding diced bell peppers to the ground beef, and serving the dish with pickled eggs or beets. Pâté chinois (the words mean "Chinese pie" in English) is often consumed with ketchup mixed in. Name origins Pâté Chinois is not a Chinese recipe. It may simply be an adaption of "Shepherd's Pie", but one possible explanation for the 'Chinese' reference is that it was introduced to Chinese railway workers by Canadian cooks during the building of the North American railroads in the late 19th century[citation needed]. These cooks made it under instruction from the railway bosses (of English extraction) as an easily-prepared, inexpensive version of the popular cottage pie, with the sauce in the tinned creamed-corn serving as a substitute for the gravy. The French Canadian railway workers became fond of it and brought the recipe back with them to their home communities. From there it was brought to the textile mill communities of Maine (Lewiston), New Hampshire (Manchester), Massachusetts (e.g. Lowell and Lawrence) and Rhode Island (Woonsocket) where many French Canadians immigrated to work in the mills during the early 20th century. Another more probable explanation for the name was traced by Lionel Guimont, a student of linguistics at Laval University, who shared his idea with Quebec language historian Claude Poirier. Mr. Poirier later published an article to this effect. Mr. Guimont had met an old native of Maine who was visiting Canada for the first time and had heard the man call the dish "China pie". Based on the fact that "pâté chinois" would normally translate in "Chinese pie", referring to the country (like in "French fries" as opposed to "*France fries"), Mr. Guimont wondered why the old man said "China pie", which in English refers to a city or a region (like in "Boston cream pie" as opposed to "*Bostonese cream pie"). He then found that two towns in the state of Maine, called China and South China, had been a favorite destination for Québécois forest workers, who came down from la Beauce along the Kennebec river by the turn of the century. Even today, a vast portion of the population of the China region is from Québécois descent and still bear French names so Mr. Guimont concluded that the name "pâté chinois" had not come down to Maine from B.C. via Québec (and become "Chinese pie") but rather went the other way. "China pie" must have been a common dish in lumbering camps and in mills kitchens around China. It had been (wrongly) translated later by the workers returning to Québec into "pâté chinois" because of the awkwardness of "pâté de Chine" in the French language. In parts of Maine, "pâté chinois" is referred to as "Chinese Party" -- phonetically more similar to the French term. Cultural references In the Québécois humorous television program La Petite Vie, pâté chinois is used to show one of the character's abysmal lack of common sense as she regularly fails to properly prepare it, for example, by laying the three ingredients side by side instead of layering them, or forgetting to mash the potatoes. References www.whats-cooking.ca article