This dish provides a flavourful twist on the famous patatas bravas that many of us know and love. Here, traditionally crispy potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce are swapped out for roasted butternut squash and a smoky pepper sauce. This dish offers fantastic umami flavour loaded with smoky and subtle bitter notes, compliments of roasted red peppers. The creamy sweet garlic yogurt drizzle is the perfect accompaniment to balance the bold piquancy. A perfect couple!
Keep this 5-minute yogurt sauce on hand to liven up a variety of vegetables and other dishes. Get creative!
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking tray with parchment paper.
In large bowl, toss cubed butternut squash with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and season generously with freshly cracked pepper. Place on lined baking tray. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.
While waiting, in small saucepan on medium-high heat, add 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil and both paprikas. Cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped roasted red peppers and vegetable stock, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, just enough to combine flavours.
In small blender, add cooked roasted peppers, mix and blend until smooth, taste, and season with salt, if desired.
In small bowl, mix together yogurt, maple syrup, and garlic.
Once butternut squash is cooked, plate desired portion, and pour smoky red pepper sauce overtop, then drizzle with yogurt sauce.
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.