Katrina, my teenage granddaughter, loves to drink smoothies and helped me come up with this recipe. For the best flavour, use ripe bananas with sugar (brown) spots. The fresh berries and orange juice deliver vitamin C and other valuable antioxidants, and bananas give your children potassium. Makes four cups.
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp (2 ml) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (185 ml) natural yogurt or kefir
2 Tbsp (30 ml) honey
2 cups (500 ml) fresh blueberries (or frozen if not in season)
In a blender, blend milk and bananas until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, leaving the blueberries to the end.
Blend on low just long enough to mix ingredients well. Drink immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Variation: Substitute blueberries with raspberries or strawberries for a different flavour.
If you omit the orange juice and place the smoothie in the freezer for several hours, you will get frozen yogurt.
Source: alive #239, September 2002
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.