4 firm pears such as Anjou
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup (180 mL) sweet white wine such as Muscat or Viognier
1/4 cup (60 mL) crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
Peel pears, cut in half, and core using melon baller or sharp paring knife. Generously butter a 13 x 9 x 2 in (3.5 L) baking dish with butter. Place pears cut side down in single layer in pan.
Warm honey and drizzle equal amounts over each pear half. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour sweet wine around pears. Bake for 40 minutes. Then generously baste with pan juices and continue to bake until pears are glazed and really tender but still holding their shape, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave pears in pan in their juices in oven until ready to serve.
Alternately, remove pan from oven and keep pears in pan on cooling rack. If liquid has evaporated, add a little more wine just to keep them from drying out.
To serve, place a pear half or two on dessert dish. Place a spoonful of crème fraîche beside and drizzle with some of the pan juices.
Serves 4 to 8.
Each pear half contains: 132 calories; 1 g protein; 4 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 21 g total carbohydrates (15 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 5 mg sodium
source: "Cooking With Wine", alive #376, February 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.