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Ricardo’s Tourtière

This year Chris and I decided to give some of our Christmas gifts in food form, and settled on traditional, meaty and hearty tourtière.  For many people it’s a Christmas-time comfort food and it’s a great one dish meal that can easily be thrown into the oven some busy winter evening.   I personally think it’s a great gift idea, mostly because I love it whenever people give me food as a gift.  It doesn’t exactly wrap well for under the tree, but I haven’t encountered anyone who will turn away a home cooked item for their freezer!

Get your recipe out and line up some of your ingredients.  I used Ricardo’s recipe for tourtière this time, and it also passed Chris’ french-upbringing-tourtiere-eating test.  This is a legitimately québecois recipe!

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Get out a big pot for the filling (which I neglected to photograph for some unknown reason).  A mixture of beef, pork,potatoes, onion, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves.  And salt and pepper, of course.  The spices are pretty mellow but add a nice subtle flavour to the filling.  Pretty traditional and highly delicious….this recipe makes enough for six pies!

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Cook the onions and garlic in a bit of melted butter until they get soft and golden.

onion

Then throw in the beef and pork, and cook, stirring regularly, until no more pink remains.  Then dump in the rest of the ingredients and let it cook for about 45 minutes.  Not complicated at all!

In the meantime, prepare your dough, using the crust recipe from this pot pie recipe.  Light, flaky and perfect.

crust

There is a serious lack of counter space in my apartment, so Chris McGyvered up a chair-table to fit all the pies!

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Scoop the filling out into the crusts, and use whatever dough you have leftover to make fancy patterns on the top!

triple tourtiereAll of these went in the freezer to be used (mostly) as Christmas gifts, so stay tuned for pictures of the cooked, finished product!

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UPDATE!

The tourtières turned out excellently!  Just like I had hoped they would.  The crust was light, flakey and buttery, 🙂 and the filling was exactly how I remembered it tasting when my french-Canadian babysitter used to make it when I was little. But this time, because we served one of these at our New Year’s Eve dinner party, I decided to fancy it up a little bit by serving it alongside some homemade ketchup. It was the perfect compliment, and I will post the recipe soon!

Here is the one we cooked up on New Year Eve!  Maybe in the oven for slightly too long, but not so long that it ruined it. No complaints from the dinner crowd!

Tourtière

Tourtière

Here it is alongside some homemade ketchup and poutine (also homemade :)).  Did I mention it was a Quebecois themed dinner party?  We also had a variety of beers, including 50.  Très authentic.

Quebecois Dinner Party

Quebecois Dinner Party

And here is another one we pulled out of the freezer a few nights ago.  The ketchup was done, so we served it with a few slices of cheddar cheese instead.  I’m sad there are no more of these left in the freezer, they were such a treat!

Tourtière

Tourtière

Ricardo’s Tourtière Recipe

4 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
45 ml (3 tablespoons) olive oil
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground pork
1.4 kg (3 lbs) ground veal
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
250 ml (1 cup) chicken broth
180 ml (3/4 cup) breadcrumbs
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Rolled-out pastry dough from this pot pie recipe (x 2), or store-bought crust

  1. In a large saucepan, soften the onions and garlic in the oil. Add the meat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring to crumble the meat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes begin to fall apart. Let cool. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely chilled.
  4. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 190 °C (375 °F).
  5. Line six 23-cm (9-inch) pie plates with pastry. Cover with the cooled meat mixture, about 1 pound of meat per pie. Cover with a second crust, and make an incision in the center. Or top with crust pattern or shapes of your choice. Press the lip the seal with a fork or your fingers. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown.

From:  Ricardo

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Filed under Comfort Food, Main Courses

Veggie Quesadillas

This is a great dinner for a summer night when it’s just too hot to eat anything huge and heavy.  Or a fancy party snack! It’s just veggies, cheese and flavour; light, simple and satisfying!

I took some veggies that were laying around – peppers, zucchini, corn and sautéed them with garlic and a few other spices for a few minutes on a high, hot heat.  This just seared them a bit, so they kept a bit of crispness.  Nothing worse than soggy veggies 😦

Quesadilla Filling

So, just lay a tortilla flat and top with cheddar cheese and a few scoops of the veggie mixture. Heat a frying pan up on medium heat, add some butter and let it get sizzly. Then, add the tortilla and top with more cheese and a second tortilla on top. If you cover this with a lid for a few minutes, you will ensure maximum cheese melty-ness.  This particular trait is essential if you’re looking for a high quality quesadilla!

Fried up Quesadilla

When the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy (don’t forget to flip once the first tortilla is golden brown), chop into sections and serve with sour cream.  🙂  Bring a fork to clean up the extra filling!

Veggie Quesadillas

Veggie Quesadillas Recipe

4 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 big cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsp dried vegetable seasoning
1/2 tsp onion salt
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups assorted veggies, chopped (sweet peppers, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, etc.)
¾ cup black beans (optional)
1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
8 Tortillas (Flour and corn both work)
Sour cream for dipping

  1. Stir together 2 tbsp olive oil, vegetable seasoning, onion salt and salt and pepper.
  2. Mix together vegetables and black beans, and stir in olive oil mixture.
  3. Heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan until hot and add garlic.  Cook on medium heat until golden brown and intoxicatingly aromatic.  Throw veggies in, and turn heat up to high.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring pretty regularly to avoid burning.  But don’t be afraid of a little delicious charring!  Remove mixture to a bowl.
  4. In same frying pan, add cooking spray or a bit more olive oil and heat.  Add one flour tortilla, a handful of cheese, and a few scoops of the veggie filling.  Then add some more cheese and another tortilla.  Cover the frying pan with a lid to allow the cheese to melt fully.
  5. When bottom tortilla is golden brown, flip and cook the second tortilla until it is golden brown as well.
  6. Remove to cutting board and cut into sections.
  7. Serve with sour cream and guacamole for dipping!

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Vegetarian

Baba Ghanouj

Apart from being incredibly fun to say, baba ghanouj is incredibly fun to eat!  This would be a great mid-afternoon pick me up snack if you have it with fresh veggies or pita bread, but keep it in the fridge for a week or so and enjoy it in any number of ways.  Like as a spread to fancy-up a sandwich.  Or with black olives for a late night snack. You name it.

I also love that this dish is on the healthy side too;  nothing but smokey roasted eggplant, garlic and tahini goodness.  And some other spices, for good measure. 😉

And you get to take out any aggressions you may have on the eggplant, because you have to stab it with a fork multiple times so it doesn’t explode during the cooking process.  Delicious and therapeutic!  Talk about a good for you recipe!

Here are the fresh out of the oven ooey gooey roasted eggplant guts:

Roasted Eggplant

Pull out the eggplant innards and blend with garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne and salt in a food processor or blender, until well mixed and slightly creamy.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and start dipping!

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ghanouj Recipe

1 large eggplant (about 1 ½ lb)
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Preheat oiled grill to medium-high and oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prick eggplant with fork in several places and grill, turning frequently, until skin blackens and blisters and flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer eggplant to baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until very soft.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Peel off skin and discard.
  4. In food processor, blend eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, cumin and cayenne; process until smooth.  (If mixture is too thick, thin with a lemon juice or olive oil to desired consistency.)
  5. Transfer mixture to serving bowl and use back of spoon to form shallow well.  Drizzle olive oil over top and sprinkle with parsley.
  6. Serve at room temperature with fresh veggies, olives or pita wedges.

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Filed under Apps & Sides, Dips, Vegan, Vegetarian