Evelyn Chartres Author
Onions

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.

Seafood Chowder

Here is my recipe for a seafood chowder made up of scallops, shrimp, lobster and haddock. Sauté the ingredients first to infuse the meat with flavour then simmer to until it’s ready to serve. For an additional burst of flavour, top with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons (60 to 90 ml) of butter
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 2 cloves (5-10 g) of crushed garlic
  • ½ pound (225 g) of scallops
  • ½ pound (225 g) of peeled jumbo shrimp
  • ½ pound (225 g) of lobster meat
  • ½ pound (225 g) of diced haddock
  • 2 cups (470 ml) of coarsely diced potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 quart (950 ml) of heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of water
  • 2  tablespoons (30 ml) of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of grated old cheddar per person (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Over medium heat add butter and melt.
  3. Add onions and garlic, sauté until the onions are transparent.
  4. Add shrimp, scallops, haddock and lobster and sauté. If necessary change the order so that the meats cook evenly.
  5. Add potatoes, mix and stir.
  6. Add milk then simmer under low heat for at least an hour.
  7. Mix water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly blend into the soup to thicken, repeat if necessary to make it thicker.
  8. Pour into a bowl, cover in grated cheese and ready-to-serve. Makes about six bowls.

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.

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.