Makes 2 cups
No berry story is complete without a reminder about how to make easy jam in minutes. Chia Fruit Jam to the rescue. The rich berry taste isn’t trivialized by massive amounts of sugar, thanks to the chia seeds that give body and thickness. Furthermore, you can use either fresh or frozen fruit to whip this goodie up in minutes. In our recipe, we suggest adding a little honey or maple syrup for sweetening.
In medium nonstick pan, combine fruit and honey or syrup. If using strawberries, cut into uniform pieces. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to medium. Gently mash fruit with a potato masher as fruit softens, leaving a few larger pieces for texture, if you choose. Stir in chia seeds and continue to simmer, stirring steadily to keep it from sticking, until jam is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Jam will thicken as it sits and cools.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Serve immediately on toast or hot cakes, on ice cream or yogurt, and much more. You can also transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
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.