Evelyn Chartres Author
French

Crying Lamb

Featured - Crying LambCrying lamb is said to have its origins from communities that used shared ovens. The meat is cooked above the vegetables absorbing any drippings which adds to this meals distinctive flavour.

This ready-to-serve recipe is sure to attract some attention during its preparation and cooking. It’s great for family gatherings and has a traditional feel that is sometimes missing from modern dishes.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (285 g) of potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 8 ounces (225 g) of parsnips or carrots cut into small slices
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of sliced red peppers
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of pressed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil
  • 2 pounds (900 mg) of lamb shanks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of dill
  • 4 tablespoons (15 ml) of lemon juice (divided)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large bag or sealable container, mix all ingredients up to and including the olive oil.  Mix until contents are evenly coated before placing them in an oiled stoneware container.
  3. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes to soften potatoes and parsnips.
  4. Remove from oven and stir contents.
  5. Mix thyme, dill and lemon juice into a small container. Cover lamb shanks in mixture and set aside.
  6. Using an oiled skillet sear the lamb shanks on every side for a minute or so.
  7. Top stoneware with a grill and place the lamb shanks overtop to make sure that any drippings will pour onto the vegetables.
  8. Return to the oven and cook for about an hour until the internal temperature has reached 160°F (71°C) for medium or 170°F (77°C) for well-done.
  9. Remove from oven, let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Meal is ready-to-serve.

Fondue au Fromage

A cheese fondue is one of the better known variants. White wine and cheese slowly melted into a thick dipping sauce. I prefer to use a french baguette to dip, since the hard crust will give you a surface for the forks to bite into.

Be careful not let the cheese come to a boil, that will cause the fondue to curdle. If your cheese fondue is too thick add some wine. Alternatively add more cheese or cornstarch to thicken the fondue.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (355 ml) of dry white wine
  • ¾ pound (350 ml) of shredded old cheddar cheese
  • ¼ pound (115 ml) of shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ pound (115 ml) of shredded havarti
  • 2 cloves (10-15 g) of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of cognac (optional)
  • 1 French bread baguette

Instructions

  1. Cut baguette into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slices and set aside.
  2. In a heavy pot add wine, cheese and garlic. Mix and melt contents under low to medium-low heat, careful to never bring cheese to a boil.
  3. Stir occasionally, until you have a consistent finish.
  4. Add nutmeg, pepper and cognac, continue to stir. Add cornstarch as necessary to thicken the sauce.
  5. When ready transfer to the fondue pot, maintain heat and serve.

Grands-Pères à L’Érable

A French-Canadian dessert which is a cake-based dessert cooked in a maple syrup sauce. This dish is popular during the maple syrup harvest and is readily available at any Sugar Shack. Quick and easy to make this dish brings the sweet and distinct flavour of maple to one’s palate. Delicious!

Ingredients

Syrup

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of maple syrup

Batter

  • 1 cup (235 ml) of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of milk
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of melted shortening

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the batter until you have a consistent finish. Batter should be able to slide from a spoon, so you may need to add some milk.
  2. In a pot pour water and maple syrup. Bring to a boil.
  3. Drop batter by the spoonful into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, ready-to-serve.

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.

Cognac and Molasses Marinade

A tasty marinade using molasses, cognac and balsamic vinegar This dish is typically grilled then cut up into tender bite-sized pieces.

This recipe can also be frozen prior to cooking and later pulled out for use, so you don’t need to carry all of the individual ingredients. An excellent option when spending the weekend at a cabin; freeze and it’s ready to cook once thawed.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of molasses
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of  cognac
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound (450 g) of chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. In a freezer bag, add all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Use a straw take out any excess air before sealing bag.
  3. Place in the fridge for at least three (3) hours or preferably overnight.  Mix contents of bag occasionally.
  4. Grill chicken until meat is cooked throughout.  Baste with remaining marinade to enhance flavour.
  5. Cut up chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Ready to serve.