Serves 2 to 4
Braising these hearty beans not only changes their texture but leaves them creamy and satisfying. Using a savoury broth with saffron for braising provides the traditional Spanish flavour, similar to a paella. This dish is served as a shared side, but it could also be served with rice and vegetables as a delicious stand-alone dinner or as a satisfying nourish bowl.
Swap your spirits
Try substituting vermouth for white wine in this recipe, if you have some on hand. It’s a great alternative to wine and will last much longer in your cupboard. An added perk? You can save that nice wine for sipping.
In medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high. Add shallot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and anchovies and stir for 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add white wine or vermouth to deglaze pan. Next, add beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, and saffron, and cover with stock. Stir and let braise for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf, once ready, and dish into shallow bowl for sharing.
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.