Evelyn Chartres Author
Jams and Spreads

Cretons

This is a classic French-Canadian breakfast spread. Made with pork, onions, spices and served over bread, this dish can be readily found in any Québec kitchen. While this spread can be served straight, many will enhance the flavour with mustard.

In English Canada this dish will typically get some confused looks. However, this dish should be judged with your tastebuds!

Ingredients

  • ¾ pounds (340 g) of cubed lean pork
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of dry breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.63 ml) of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients into a pot. Bring to boil while stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Simmer with a closed lid for an hour.
  3. Remove from heat then let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Use a blender until you have a smooth texture.
  5. Let cool then refrigerate overnight.

Confitures a l’Oignon

Sweet Red Onion Jam

A jam made of sweet onions, wine and blackcurrant liqueur. This dish makes an excellent hors d’oeuvre when served with strong cheese and something crunchy, or served up on a toasted bagel.

I usually serve this up as a snack, mixing an aged cheddar, feta, or blue cheese and serving it atop a Grissol roasted baguettes (pictured).

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces (700 g) of minced red onions (approximately 3 large)
  • 3½ ounces (100 g) of butter
  • 5 ounces (150 g) of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of pepper
  • ½ cup (100 ml) of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons (40 ml) of blackcurrant liqueur or port wine
  • 1 cup (200 ml) of red wine

Preparation

  1. Finely chop the onions. For speed use a food processor or for a smooth texture use a blender to get the desired consistency.
  2. In a deep pan, set stove on medium and melt butter.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Place onions in pan, mix and then allow the onions to sweat. Heat should just be below the point where the onions bubble over.
  4. Add salt, pepper and sugar to the pan. Stir until you have a consistent mixture.
  5. Moisten with red wine vinegar and blackcurrant liqueur. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add in red wine and mix.
  7. Reduce near low heat and reduce the mixture until you have the desired consistency.  This step will take several hours, so remember to mix occasionally.
  8. Let cool then place contents in the fridge until ready to serve.