Fried rice is the epitome of Chinese fast food. Too bad it’s rarely more than prodigious amounts of greasy white rice flecked with a meagre amount of vegetables. This rendition ups the health ante with a generous amount of vegetables and brown rice. The key to great fried rice is to use cold rice, preferably a day or two old.
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) + 2 tsp (10 mL) cooking oil
3 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup (160 mL) frozen peas, run under warm water to bring to room temperature
4 cups (1 L) cold, cooked long-grain brown rice
In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, chili flakes, white pepper, and 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil; set aside.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) cooking oil, swirl, and add eggs. Cook for about 1 minute, tilting the pan so eggs cover the surface. When egg pancake is just set and bottom is beginning to brown, carefully flip and cook 20 seconds. Transfer to cutting board and slice into shreds.
Add additional 2 tsp (10 mL) oil to wok or skillet, swirl, and add carrots, celery, half the green onion, ginger, and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add peas and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and soy sauce mixture; cook 2 minutes, breaking up the rice with a spatula until heated through. Add egg shreds and cook 30 seconds. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil and serve garnished with cilantro and remaining green onion.
Each serving contains:
397 calories; 12 g protein; 15 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 54 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 468 mg sodium
Source: "Healthy Chinese Food," alive #349, October 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.