This stew—reminiscent of the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast—is so good that the first spoonful will convince you to include it in your regular dinner rotation. Spooning the herb sauce over top adds a restaurant-worthy presentation. Be sure to place a plate of sliced crusty bread on the table for soaking up the heavenly broth.
4 Tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil, divided
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil
1/4 cup (60 mL) flat-leaf parsley
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 lb (750 g) mussels, scrubbed
1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) celery seeds or fennel seeds
1 - 14 oz (398 mL) can fire-roasted unsalted tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned white kidney beans
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1/3 cup (80 mL) black olives, sliced
To make herb sauce, using blender or small food processor, blend together 3 Tbsp (45 mL) oil, basil, parsley, and lemon juice. Set aside.
In large saucepan, combine mussels, chicken broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium heat until mussels pop open. Discard any mussels that have not opened up. Place colander over large bowl and drain mussels, reserving broth. Remove mussels from shells and set aside.
Return saucepan to stovetop and heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; heat for 1 minute. Add celery seeds or fennel seeds; heat for 30 seconds. Add reserved broth, tomatoes, beans, oregano, chili flakes, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and heat for 10 minutes. Stir in mussels and olives and heat through.
Divide stew among serving bowls and serve topped with herb sauce.
Each serving contains: 458 calories; 30 g protein; 19 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g total carbohydrates (2 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 416 mg sodium
source: "International Stews", alive #385, November 2014
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.