This breakfast casserole is sure to brighten up your morning meal. Not only does the sunny colour of sweet potatoes add to the appeal of this dish, but they’re also packed with vitamin A, an antioxidant powerhouse.
Once you’ve rolled all the sweet potato rolls, the casserole dish may be covered and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Take care to let casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking as directed in the recipe.
Peel and cut 1 sweet potato into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) chunks. Steam until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to a boil. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In food processor, blend together steamed sweet potato, tofu or ricotta cheese, maple syrup, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest, and salt until smooth. Transfer to bowl and stir in diced pear. Set aside.
Peel remaining sweet potatoes and, using mandoline, slice sweet potato into 1/8 in (3 mm) thick slices. Blanch 1 or 2 sweet potato slices in boiling water to determine how long they will need to cook until tender but not falling apart, about 2 to 4 minutes. Take care, because if slices are overcooked or undercooked they will be difficult to roll without breaking. With slotted spoon, transfer slices to baking sheet, laying them out so they do not overlap, and allow to cool. Repeat blanching remaining sweet potatoes in 3 batches. You should have at least 16 slices.
Grease glass or ceramic 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) casserole dish with about 2 tsp (10 mL) coconut oil. Working with one sweet potato slice at a time, place heaping tablespoon of filling in centre and roll up. Place seam side down in prepared casserole dish. Repeat with remaining sweet potato slices. Brush rolls with remaining coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, uncovered, until filling is warmed through. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts and coconut ribbons before serving. Sweet potato rolls are delicious served with fresh berries and an extra drizzle of maple syrup.
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.