Tourtière is, for me, the dish that best represents Québec. It can be traced back to the 1600s, and there’s no master recipe; every family has their own twist. Originally, it was made with game birds or game meat, like rabbit, pheasant, or moose; that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it with venison instead of beef or pork. Variation: If you prefer to make single servings, follow our lead at the restaurant, where we make individual tourtières in the form of a dome (pithivier) and fill them with 5 ounces (160 g) of the ground venison mixture. Variation: You can also use a food processor to make the dough. Place the flour, salt, and butter in the food processor and pulse about ten times, until the butter is incorporated—don’t overmix. It should look like wet sand, and a few little pieces of butter here and there is okay. With the motor running, through the feed tube, slowly add ice water until the dough forms a ball—again don’t overmix. Wrap, chill, and roll out as directed above.
My love of artichokes continues with this classic recipe, one of the best ways to eat this interesting, underrated, and strange vegetable. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the flavour and texture of fresh artichokes are, by far, much superior and definitely preferred.
Cervelle de canut is basically the Boursin of France, an herbed fresh farmer’s cheese spread that’s a speciality of Lyon. The name is kind of weird, as it literally means “silk worker’s brain,” named after nineteenth-century Lyonnaise silk workers, who were called canuts. Sadly, the name reflects the low opinion of the people towards these workers. Happily for us, though, it’s delicious—creamy, fragrant, and fresh at the same time. Cervelle de canut is one of my family’s favourite dishes. It’s a great make-ahead appetizer that you can pop out of the fridge once your guests arrive. Use a full-fat cream cheese for the dish, or it will be too runny and less delicious.
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Black, pearly lentils serve as a springboard for a highly nutritious salad that seems more sophisticated than its ease of prep would suggest. You want a lot of broccoli in this dish, so if only small heads are available, use two bunches. French green lentils also hold their shape with cooking, so they would be an adequate substitution for black lentils. Take stalk Don’t compost those broccoli stalks. When relieved of their outer green layer, they are crisp, tender, and mild in flavour on the inside. Slice and sauté them in stir-fries, or use as a crudité for dips.
Who says meatballs are just for pasta and red sauce? These curry fish balls are an exciting focal point for this salad inspired by traditional Asian flavours. The raw greens and herbs deliver freshness to the salad, while the sweet and nutty-tasting black rice adds a visual pop. If you can’t use black rice, long-grain brown rice can stand in. Can do Convenient canned salmon is a strong source of heart-helping omega-3 fatty acids. If your budget allows, opt for the sockeye version, which typically has higher levels than pink salmon. You can now find no-salt-added options for both.
The sweet-tart warm blueberry dressing is a wonderful counterpoint to the earthy elements of this simple yet satisfying salad. All the cooked elements of this salad—berry dressing, chicken, and farro—can be prepared ahead of time and then assembled for a quick weeknight meal. If farro is not available, other grains, including spelt berries, sorghum, or quinoa, can be used. Raise a toast To deepen the flavour of the farro, you can give it a quick toast before simmering in water. Simply heat a small amount of oil in the saucepan and then toss in dry grains. Heat, stirring a few times, until grains turn a shade or two darker and emit a nutty aroma. Then add water to pan.
Carrots, whose earthy sweetness is intensified in the oven, are an inspiring and eyesome stand-in for grains in this lively gluten-free version of a classic Lebanese side dish. You can serve the tabbouleh salad on a bed of freekeh or quinoa for a more substantial dish. If za’atar is not available, you may season the carrots with Italian seasoning or herbes de Provence. Nice spice Za’atar, a combination of sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme, can be found at Middle Eastern grocers or natural food stores with a well-stocked spice aisle. It can instantly vivify dressings, dips, roasted vegetables, and yogurt for savoury uses.
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Decadent and rich, this picnic-packable bar will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. A hearty mixture of oats and nuts is bound together with sweet dates and maple syrup, creating a tasty base that’s topped with a luscious layer of decadent, rich, and dreamy chocolate. No time to chop Dark 60% cacao chocolate chips can be substituted for chopped dark chocolate to save on prep time! Out of sight, out of mind These ganache bars freeze well, so you can hide these tasty treats away for another day! Simply wrap each bar in a small piece of parchment paper and store all in a resealable bag or container. Freeze for up to one month.
Roasted sweet potatoes and zesty Dijon mustard transform a classic picnic salad concept into a new and fresh menu item for your basket. One step ahead Reduce your prep load by making the sweet potato salad a day ahead and storing it in the fridge. This will not only allow for quick wrap assembly but also deepen the flavours in the salad.
With very little effort, chicken drumsticks are transformed into a fun and flavour-filled tasty treat! Enjoyed hot or cold, these meaty lollipops pack well and are fantastic on their own or will complement just about any side dish. Slip and grip Prepping these chicken drumsticks can be quite slippery! To improve grip when peeling and removing skin and tendons, use a paper towel and then discard. To foil or not to foil To prevent possible scorching of the drumstick bone on the barbecue, place a piece of aluminum foil around exposed bone while grilling and remove before serving.
Each salad component is unique and distinct in flavour—from fennel’s hint of licorice to tart and fruity pear, peppery arugula, and smooth, salty blue cheese—it’s all brought together with a sweet and tangy citrus dressing. Elegant in appearance yet simple to create, this light and fresh salad is great for any occasion or as a perfect side for a winter picnic. Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans for another layer of crunch! Layered effect Packing this salad to go for a picnic or dinner party? Layering the salad will help keep the colours vibrant and greens fresh. Toss fennel, onion, and pear with citrus dressing for bottom salad layer. Top with arugula and blue cheese, and cover. Just before serving, mix arugula and blue cheese into the bottom salad layer, coating everything with dressing.
Full flavoured yet easy to make, this simple but refined soup is cozy and rich in earthy mushroom flavours and cashew creaminess. It’s a plant-based spinoff of an age-old family favourite that is sure to please! Fungi family relations Did you know that a portobello mushroom was once a white button mushroom, and that a white button mushroom turns into a cremini mushroom? They’re all the same, and part of the Agaricus bispourus fungi family! This edible mushroom, in its immature form, is white and often referred to as a button mushroom. When it ages and darkens in colour, it becomes known as a cremini or baby bella. Once the mushroom matures and the cap widens and dries out, you can find them described as portobellos.
Sweet apple cider partners perfectly with fragrant chai-inspired flavours for a delicious and warming beverage sure to spice up any winter picnic! Keep it spicy! With age, spices and herbs can lose their flavour, colour, and potency. To maximize your herb and spice shelf life, store them in glass containers and avoid keeping them in areas with direct sunlight, heat, and/or moisture. Typical shelf life dried herbs 1 to 2 years ground and powdered spices 2 to 3 years whole or unground spices 4 years