This is very different than Chinese takeout sweet and sour chicken. Tofu replaces deep-fried chicken and the sauce tastes much lighter and fresher than the mystery neon goop. The coating gives the tofu wonderful texture, but choose organic to avoid genetically modified soy. If desired, cubed poultry can replace the tofu.
1/3 cup (80 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium ketchup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) turbinado or raw cane sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) plus 1/4 cup (60 mL) cornstarch
1 large free-range egg white
1 block firm tofu, cut into 1/2 in (1 cm) cubes
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cooking oil
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced, green and white parts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ginger, minced
1 cup (250 mL) cubed pineapple
4 cups (1 L) cooked brown rice
In small bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ketchup, sugar, 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch, and salt to taste. Set aside.
In separate bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water. Add tofu cubes and toss to coat. Stir in remaining cornstarch and mix well.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cooking oil, swirl, and add tofu. Cook until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil to wok or skillet, swirl, and add peppers, green onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, or until peppers are tender, stirring often. Pour in sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Add tofu and pineapple; cook 2 minutes, stirring often.
Serve over brown rice.
Each serving contains:
511 calories; 16 g protein; 19 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 70 g carbohydrates; 6 g fibre; 189 mg sodium
Source: "Healthy Chinese Food," alive #348, October 2011
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.