Miso comes in different "colours" depending on the grain used. In this soup, use any kind of miso: blond, red, or dark. I like to use up whatever I have on hand.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
4 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups (500 mL) water
3 Tbsp (45 mL) miso paste
4 slices whole wheat French bread
4 tsp (20 mL) seeded mustard
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat Swiss or mozzarella cheese or soy equivalent, grated
In large pot, warm oil over low heat. Add onions and caramelize by cooking them slowly for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
When cooked, add the water and bring to boil. Remove approximately 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the broth and dissolve the miso paste in it. Remove soup pot from heat and stir miso mixture back into broth.
Preheat broiler. Pour equal amounts of broth into 4 ramekins or oven-proof bowls. Place bowls on baking tray. Spread French bread with mustard and place slices, mustard side down, on top of broth. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes until cheese softens and bubbles. Serve hot. Serves 4.
Source: alive #264, October 2004
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.