If you’ve ever seen a spiky green fruit with a starchy, fibrous interior, you may have been looking at a jackfruit. Although it is a fruit and doesn’t contain significant levels of protein, its texture makes it a tasty plant-based substitute for pulled pork. In this dish, opt for the canned variety, which will save you the time and considerable effort it takes to clean fresh jackfruit. When paired with jackfruit’s meaty texture and barbecue-grilled corn, these smoky stuffed poblano peppers make for a deliciously satisfying meal.
Drain jackfruit and rinse it well. Chop and break up pieces before cooking. The stringy flesh can be pulled apart with your fingers or a fork. Slice firm cores into smaller, bite-sized pieces. You can prepare jackfruit mixture in a heatproof skillet placed on a barbecue or grill or, if you prefer, prepare it in advance on your stovetop and refrigerate until ready to grill.
In medium skillet, on low-medium heat, fry onion in olive oil until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add prepared jackfruit, pizza or tomato sauce, spices, and water, and cook on medium for about 10 minutes, continuing to pull jackfruit apart with a wooden spoon or fork, until jackfruit is tender.
Meanwhile, on preheated grill of about 350 F (175 C), grill corn, rotating it from time to time until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. At the same time, grill poblano pepper halves until charred and slightly soft, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
Allow corn to cool slightly, and using sharp knife, remove kernels from cobs and combine them with jackfruit mixture. Stuff jackfruit mixture into poblano pepper halves. Place in grill basket, cover with stainless steel bowl, and return to cook over hot grill, with lid closed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
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.