Tumeric for Health
This bright orange rhizome, turmeric, is essential in Indian curries and Ayurvedic medicine, but lately it has also grown in popularity as a dietary supplement touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
It’s most commonly found as a dried spice, but it’s also available at natural health stores as capsules or tablets, and also in ointments, energy drinks, soaps, and cosmetics, where it’s often labelled under the name of its most active compound, curcumin.
The amount of turmeric in a recipe will be much less than in a pill, but whichever form you use, always buy a high quality, preferably organic, version, since some powders have been shown to contain fillers such as cassava, barley, or wheat, even when the only listed ingredient is turmeric.
The trick to getting the most out of turmeric is to combine it with a fat (such as oil) and piperine, a compound found in black pepper, which can enhance curcumin absorption by up to 2,000 percent. That’s why it’s combined here with both, for a tasty snack that’s a simple way to supplement your diet.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
Strain, rinse, and dry chickpeas, then toss with oil and salt. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove chickpeas to bowl and toss with remaining ingredients. Pour back onto baking sheet and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how crispy you want them.
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.