Peasant Soup with Fava Beans and Barley

This rich and filling bean and barley soup recipe is from the Saguenay / Lac St. Jean region of Quebec. Known in Quebec as soupe aux gourgane, the recipe was adapted from a recipe from Julian Armstrong’s Made in Quebec cookbook, a wonderful compendium of French-Canadian recipes. Ideally, you would make this in August when…

Homemade Maple Jerky

When the early settlers arrived in Quebec, the native Indians who lived here likely taught them to make jerky.  There was no other way to store meat at that time. Homemade jerky is fun to make, delicious, and costs a fraction of what commercial jerky costs. You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients –…

Roasted Lac Brome Duck with Maple Caramelized Pears

After sampling a Lac Brome Duck Pot Pie a few months ago, (fantastic!) we decided to visit the farm in Knowlton, Quebec when visiting the Eastern Townships not long ago. The store is a simple trailer, parked outside a large industrial-looking building.  It was a bit disappointing – I was expecting something more picturesque, like…

Traditional Quebec Pea Soup in the Slow Cooker

Who knew? The recipe for Traditional Quebec Pea Soup probably came across the ocean with Samuel de Champlain over 400 years ago. According to the Ottawa Chef Marc Miron who recently made this discovery, “When they came to Canada, they didn’t know what to expect so they loaded up their boats with dry beans, cured…

Maple Cream

Maple cream is a creamy spread that’s great on toast, muffins, fresh homemade bread– or just on a spoon straight from the jar. Image source It’s called “butter” but there’s no cream or butter in the recipe. It’s just pure maple syrup that has been boiled, cooled then stirred (and stirred… and stirred…) until the…

Slow Braised Maple Carrots

These carrots disappear from the dinner table faster than anything else. A big hit with kids and adults alike. A great side dish with roast lamb.        Image Source Slow Braised Maple Carrots   6-8 carrots, peeled and sliced in 2″ lengths Approximately 1 cup water 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup maple syrup 1 teaspoon….

Mandoline Slicer for Potatoes Gratin Dauphinois 

This mandoline is great for making potatoes gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes). It sells on Amazon.ca for just over $20. The Sterline Adjustable Stainless Steel Mandoline Slicer is super convenient and great quality for the price.  Plus,  like those old K-Tel ads … “It slices! It dices! It juliennes!”  Also makes great waffle fries. Has a built-in stand, and a…

Maple Syrup Pie with Apple Cider Vinegar

Maple syrup pie is delicious but can be unbearably sweet. This problem is solved with a generous shot of apple cider vinegar to balance out the flavour. Image Source This recipe takes time, so it’s not for anyone who wants their pie in a hurry. You can make the maple filling a day ahead to…

Kamouraska Lamb Crusted with Salted Herbs for Easter

This traditional Easter recipe comes straight from Quebec’s heartland: Kamouraska Lamb Crusted with Salted Herbs. Kamouraska is a pretty little village on the lower Saint Lawrence River, where the lambs spend their days grazing in the sun and wind along the river’s edge. The grass the animals eat is washed with salt water from the sea, which gives…

3 Great Maple Syrup Cookbooks

A round-up of some of the best cookbooks I found while researching traditional French-Canadian cabane à sucre recipes. Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack by Martin Picard (2012) A book that defies description but surpasses all expectation, Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack is a cookbook by legendary Quebec chef, Martin Picard.  To open this book is to step…

Maple Syrup Poached Eggs on Easter Morning

Several Americans of French-Canadian descent told me they have fond memories of eating Maple Poached Eggs on Easter morning. This is one of those recipes that you think “Really? No way. It will never work.” Then you try it, and wow – it’s like fairies dancing on your tongue. Pure comfort food. It’s also super easy…

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans

Pure Quebec Maple Syrup – 8 Cans Each can 540 ml (18.25 oz) $83.40 CDN Pure Quebec maple syrup, shipped straight from the farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The farm is nestled in rolling countryside, where the clean air and pure water produce one of the finest maple syrups available on the market. Packaged in the iconic…

Cabane à Sucre Egg Souflee with Maple Syrup

It seems like winter will never end, but in fact, the maple sap is running in the trees and spring is just around the corner. Photo courtesy Recettes du Quebec This means it’s almost for Quebecers to round up a gang of family and friends, jump in the car, and drive out to the country to a…

Mi-Carême: A Quebec Cheese with a Great Backstory

Today is Mi-Carême, a built-in cheat day in the middle of the 40-day Lent period. Lent is all about penance, and deprivation and austerity. By contrast, Mi-Carême is a day of eating, fun and hijinks. The date for Mi-Carême changes every year. This year, it falls on March 8, 2018. Photo courtesy Montmagny et Les…

Slow Cooker Maple Baked Beans

Spring is almost here! Almost time to go to the cabanes à sucre (sugar shack). The best cabanes à sucre are large, rustic cabins in the woods – preferably a maple forest – with crowds of people everywhere. Photo credit: Tragear Because cabanes à sucre are all about crowds – everyone hanging out together, collectively marveling that the winter is almost over. Waiting in line to…

Make Tire Sur la Neige in the Microwave This Weekend

Make tire sur la neige in the microwave this weekend before all the snow is gone! Tire sur la neige (taffy in the snow) is an old-fashioned Quebecois treat that’s made in late winter / early spring when there’s still snow on the ground, but the sap in the maple trees has started to run. Making tire…

Tourtiere & Sweet Crepes for Mardi Gras

We tend to think of Mardi Gras as a season, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is just one day. The name comes from the Italian carne vale, or farewell to meat, and marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of fasting and penance before Easter when observant Catholics stop eating meat. With austerity ahead, Mardi…

Caribou: Offical Drink of the Quebec Winter Carnival

Mardi Gras is one last big party before everything shuts down for the 40 long days of Lent. In Quebec City, Mardi Gras is celebrated by a giant, mid-winter festival called the Quebec Winter Carnival. Over a million people descend on Quebec City each year for Carnival. Activities range from canoe races through ice chunks on the river to…

Crêpes de la Chandeleur or Crepe Day

On February 2 each year, many French people celebrate Chandeleur by eating crêpes, a wonderful tradition indeed. Chandeleur (also known as Candlemas) is when the Virgin Mary presented baby Jesus at the temple. Incidentally, it’s also Groundhog Day in the rest of Canada, when Wiarton Willy the groundhog pops out of his hole and predicts…

Grands-pères au sirop d’érable or grandfathers in maple syrup

Grandfathers in maple syrup (grands-père au sirop d’érable) are soft dumplings served in warm maple syrup. The origin of the name is uncertain, but many appealing theories abound. Maybe they were invented in the French-Canadian logging camps of yesteryear. Served warm, these moist, sweet dumplings would have been welcome comfort food after a hard day’s work. Or maybe…