I don't exactly know where I read this article of information on pâté chinois (it wasn't on L'Épicerie alright). The article (I don't even know if it came in paper, or electronically, but it was written for sure) had a few anecdotes on the Pâté Chinois, a French Canadian meal made of ground beef mixed with corn, and a layer of potatoes. Its deeper origins are probably not from this land (as every European nation seems to have their own dish mixing beef, potatoes and corn), and the closest cousin is probably the English Shepherd's Pie (was it made with mutton meat - I dunno), and it other closer cousin from New England. The article in question proposes that the first recipe of a pâté chinois came from a New England town called "China", where many French Canadians emigrated to at the turn of the 20th century. I always thought they are the exact same concepts (and for certain purposes - like producing frozen meals for the entire North American market - they are assumed to be), but there's something in the little things you add/tweak, and where you add/tweak them. Like carrots in the potatoes (I would put mine with the ground beef / corn), or cheese you put on top. Apparently creamed corn is also a variant.
(Actually the info got on Wikipedia (b/c I know it isn't from Wikipedia that I read it), so maybe I dreamt reading the article - which would be really weird)
Typically, I would use ground beef and creamed corn. Lest time I added carrots in the beef too. This time (yesterday night), I had the semi-bad idea (no one in the household complained) of using nibblets instead, which makes the thing awfully dry. Actually, my mother complained it was dry - which is a combination of using nibblets instead of creamed corn, and for once having more mashed potatoes than beef/corn mix. The mashed potatoes has been home-made in recent years. As a kid, I was too lazy - or actually *did not know* (-_-) that it was as simple as it was to obtain mashed potatoes and instead bought the Shirriff brand potato flakes - expensive, and not necessarily tasty.
I really made too much of the mashed potatoes, such that I had some left. I actually don't know, b/c I've been in a sort of food coma, and even "napping", since dinner time (7PM, now 2AM). Too much carbohydrates at once perhaps. It lacked "tasty", and could have used a lot more butter (but I prefer to restrain myself when it comes to particularly bad-for-health types of animal fat). Cheese was shredded swiss non-Kraft brand, but I would want to try with a Cheedar-ish variety (with its spicy spikes).
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