This is one of those recipes that defy categorization and could easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sweet potato is one of the best natural sources of carbohydrates, which can help improve your mood as it promotes the production of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical. The vitamin D found in fortified eggs is necessary for many of your body’s important functions, and it may also help improve your mood.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
On large holes of box grater, peel and grate sweet potato. In large bowl, whisk 1 egg before adding grated sweet potato, garlic, and pepper. Stir until well combined. Divide potato mixture into 3 equal parts on prepared baking tray. Form each into disks about 4 in (10 cm) wide and 1 in (2.5 cm) high. Transfer to oven and bake until lightly crisped and nicely browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir together tomatoes, black beans, kimchi, cilantro, and lemon juice. Set aside.
Bring medium saucepan filled about two-thirds full with water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Crack remaining 3 eggs each into separate ramekin or small bowl. Add vinegar to simmering water and, with slotted spoon, stir water to create a whirlpool effect. Gently tip one egg into centre of whirlpool and let cook for 5 seconds. Gently re-stir water and add remaining eggs just like the first. Let eggs poach in gently simmering water until cooked as desired. For a runny yolk, poach eggs for about 3 minutes. To check for doneness, gently lift egg out of water with slotted spoon and poke egg with your finger. Egg whites should be firm, and the yolk should be soft. Once done, with slotted spoon, transfer to plate lined with paper towel.
To serve, place warm sweet potato rosti on serving plates. Top with slices of avocado, kimchi salsa, and a poached egg. Garnish with some freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
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.