Serves 6 | Ready in 40 minutes
A daring combination of parsnip and vanilla that I came up with during my time at Le Gallois restaurant. The vanilla works so well with the earthy creaminess of the parsnip.
In each delicious serving: 299 calories | 4 g protein | 15 g fat | 42 g carbs (15 g sugar, 9 g fiber) | 147 mg sodium
Heat oil or water in saucepan over medium heat, then sweat shallots and garlic until translucent. Add some seasoning, the parsnips and thyme sprigs.
Turn heat down very low and cover saucepan. Sweat parsnips until almost soft, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.
Add stock and milk and stir to combine. Spilt vanilla pod down middle lengthways and scrape out seeds using back of knife. Add seeds and pod to saucepan and bring soup to a boil, then take it off heat and scoop out vanilla pod.
Carefully pour soup into blender and blend until smooth. Pour soup back into saucepan and check seasoning, adding lemon juice, salt and pepper to bring out flavors.
Serve in warmed bowls or mugs. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and cranberries, a sprig or two of herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
This recipe is part of the Your daring holiday menu collection.
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.