Evelyn Chartres Author
French – Page 2

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.

Tartiflette au Brie

A recipe that combines potatoes, bacon, white wine and cheese to create a ready-to-serve meal or served up as a side. This recipe is said to have its origin from the French Alps, and is traditionally prepared with Reblochon cheese.

I have difficulty finding Reblochon cheese in local stores, so I opt to use Brie or Camembert instead. Make sure to remove the rind prior to slicing. It also helps if you freeze the cheese for thirty minutes or so to make slicing and removing the rind from the cheese easier.

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds (680 g) of potatoes
  • ½ pound (225 g) of sliced bacon
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of minced onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (5-10 g) pressed
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of dry white wine
  • ½ pound (225 g) of brie or camembert (divided)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Heat in the microwave on high for 3 to 6 minutes until soft. Immerse in water and set aside to prevent discolouration.
  3. Cut bacon into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) long pieces. Sauté over medium-high heat until browned. Drain, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Oil pan, add onions and garlic. Sauté until browned.
  5. Add bacon and wine, cook for five minutes while stirring occasionally.
  6. Add potatoes, mix then season with salt, pepper and herbs.
  7. Remove from heat and divide.
  8. In a baking dish place first half of mixture and cover with slices of brie.
  9. Repeat for second layer of mixture and cover with remaining slices of brie.
  10. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.

Moules à la Marinière

Mussels and clams are excellent appetizers. This recipe combines mussels or clams with an apple cider for an appetizer that has a pleasing flavour. This recipe can also be served with a garlic butter and lemon sauce to give it that extra zing!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of (900 g) of mussels or clams
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) of butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 3 cloves (9-15 g) of pressed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of herbes de Provence
  • ⅛ teaspoon (0.75 ml) of pepper
  • ½ quart (500 ml) of apple cider or dry white wine

Instructions

  1. Rinse mussels or clams. Brush shells to clear any excess material or grit, make sure the shell has not been broken or compromised. Soak in water until ready.
  2. Using a 4 quart (3.7 l) pot on medium high, add butter and melt.
  3. Add onions and garlic, sauté for 1-3 minutes or when onions are transparent.
  4. Add herbs and pepper to the pot and mix.
  5. Set to high and add apple cider or a dry white wine. Boil for 1-3 minutes to reduce or until alcohol has evaporated.
  6. Drain mussels or clams using a colander, place in pot and cover with a lid.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes, shake the contents of the pot every minute or so to ensure even cooking.
  8. Pull from heat. Place colander in a large bowl then strain the mussels.
  9. Place mussels or clams in a bowl. Strain some of the remaining sauce to serve as a side.

Cheese and Crab Quiche

Quiche has its origins in French cuisine and has many variants. This one fuses crab, spinach, eggs whites and cheddar cheese to create a tasty meal!

This recipe can be made from either fresh or canned ingredients. I keep the ingredients on hand in case I need to make a meal on short notice.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (170 g) of flaked crab meat
  • 5 ounces (140 g) of chopped spinach
  • 2 ounces (55 g) of finely chopped onions
  • 3 ounces (85 g) of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 12 fluid ounces (350 ml) of evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5. ml) of salt
  • 1 x 9 inch (22 cm) deep-dish pie crust

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven at 300°F (150°C).
  2. Line bottom of pie crust with crabmeat.
  3. Reserve 1 ounce (30 g) of cheese for later.  Mix spinach, onions, and cheese then line over crabmeat.
  4. Blend egg whites, milk and seasoning. Pour over the pie, allow to settle.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.