Much tastier and healthier than heavily battered fish tacos, brining fish in beer impregnates it with flavour and makes the flesh tender. If you’re concerned about sodium intake, you can cook it in a skillet. If time permits, make the salsa a day in advance to allow the flavours to meld.
1 lb (450 g) catfish filets
3 cups (750 mL) lager or pilsner beer
2 Tbsp (30 mL) kosher or sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) natural cane sugar, divided
2 cups (500 mL) strawberries, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 green onions, green and white parts, sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
1/2 tsp (2 mL) lime zest
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika (optional)
8 corn tortillas
In a container large enough for fish filets to lie flat, add 2 cups (500 ml) beer, salt, and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar. Place fish in liquid and add additional beer if needed to cover filets completely. Let soak in refrigerator for about 6 hours, flipping once.
In large bowl, toss together strawberries, red pepper, jalapeno, green onions, cilantro, honey, lime juice, lime zest, garlic, and salt to taste.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining sugar, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 1 cup (250 ml) beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
Remove catfish from brine, pat dry with a paper towel, and season with smoked paprika, if desired. Place on parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until opaque throughout. Let catfish cool and then slice into thin strips.
Warm tortillas, according to package directions.
To serve, divide catfish among tortillas and top with strawberry salsa and onions.
Each serving contains: 401 calories; 22 g protein; 13 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 46 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 571 mg sodium
source: "Think Outside the Mug", alive #353, March 2012
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.