Glean inspiration from Nordic cuisine with this nutritious and lovely tasting stew, which can be put on the table with little effort. Using evaporated milk adds creamy richness with fewer calories than heavy cream. For a nice textural contrast, break rye crisps into the stew.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium chicken or fish broth
2 medium waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
1 lb (450 g) skinless salmon, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
1 cup (250 mL) 2% evaporated milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dill, chopped
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; heat until onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Pour in wine, raise heat to medium-high, and boil until reduced by about half.
Add broth, potatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper to pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in salmon. Heat over low heat just until fish is cooked through and liquid is steaming but not boiling. Stir in evaporated milk and dill.
Divide stew among serving bowls and serve alongside rye crisps.
Each serving contains: 380 calories; 26 g protein; 15 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 26 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 3 g fibre); 291 mg sodium
Let’s go Dutch
When it comes to cooking stews, the Dutch oven is the workhorse of the kitchen. A Dutch oven is essentially a large, lidded pot that can go from stovetop to oven.
Enamelled cast iron pots are the gold standard of Dutch ovens for good reason. They promote even heating, are great for pre-browning meats before adding liquids (read: more flavour), don’t interact negatively with acidic ingredients such as tomatoes, and are easy to clean.
Similarly, a great stew can be had using reasonably priced stainless steel pots that have thick bottoms. Steer clear of cheap aluminum pots, which may warp and can distribute heat poorly.
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.