A spring delicacy, the flavour of fiddleheads wanders somewhere between asparagus and broccoli. If you can't find fresh fiddleheads, try the frozen vegetable aisle or use asparagus instead. If possible, purchase free-range chicken breast from a small-scale local farmer who raises birds humanely. Don't forget the spoon to scoop up the delightful sauce.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 lb/680 g)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
3 cups (750 mL) fiddleheads
2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes, halved
3 sweet banana peppers, sliced thinly
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Rinse chicken breasts; pat dry with paper towel and place on 4 pieces of parchment paper. In small bowl, whisk together mustard, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Spread mustard mixture over turkey breasts.
Toss fiddleheads, tomatoes, and banana peppers with thyme, salt, and pepper. Place vegetables on top of chicken breasts and fold paper. Cook on baking sheet for 25 minutes and let rest 5 minutes before opening.
Each serving contains: 391 calories; 42 g protein; 20 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 209 mg sodium
source: "Packet Up", alive #342, April 2011
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.