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Yes, It's Real: The Magic of Christmas in Montreal - The Recipes

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Lamb Cassoulet
adapted from L'Express, Montreal

Time: About 5 hours

3 cups dried cannellini or other white beans, picked over
8 ounces salt pork
8 ounces slab bacon, cut in thin strips
4 onions: 1 whole, 3 finely chopped
8 to 10 cloves
1 carrot, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cloves garlic: 2 peeled but uncut, 2 finely chopped
3 lamb shanks, about 3 pounds total
2 cups duck fat
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces saucisson d'ail (French garlic sausage)
Freshly ground black pepper.

1. Rinse beans under running water. Place in large pot with salt pork and bacon; add cold water to cover. Bring to boil and cook 3 minutes. Strain through colander and rinse.

2. Return beans, salt pork and bacon to clean pot. Add 6 cups cold water. Stud whole onion with cloves and add to beans. Add carrot, bay leaf, thyme and 2 cloves peeled garlic. Cover and simmer very gently until beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. Remove carrot, onion and garlic from beans and discard. Set pot aside.

4. Season shanks with salt. Heat duck fat in casserole or Dutch oven and brown meat on all sides. Remove from pan with slotted spoon; set aside. Add chopped onions, chopped garlic and tomato paste to pan, mixing well. Return shanks to pan and fit saucisson, salt pork and bacon around them. Pour beans and their liquid over. Cover partway and cook over low heat for 1 hour.

5. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove meats from beans. Discard salt pork. Cut lamb and bacon into chunks and slice saucisson into 6 thick pieces. Season well with pepper. Season beans with salt as needed.

6. Using slotted spoon, remove half the beans from the casserole. Arrange meats over beans remaining in pan. Spread remaining beans over the meats.

7. Cover casserole and bake 1 1/2 hours. Uncover casserole, raise oven setting to 450 degrees and cook until a crust forms on top of the beans, about 20 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings.

Oysters Cosmopolitan
adapted from Toqué!, Montreal

Time: 15 minutes after 24 hours' maceration of fennel oil

For the fennel oil:
3/8 cup fennel fronds
1/2 cup grapeseed oil

For the oysters:
3 small clementines or tangerines
4 small shallots, cut into very thin rings
6 tablespoons vodka
3/8 cup pure cranberry juice (not cocktail)
16 Sinku or other Pacific oysters
Sea or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
16 sprigs chervil.

1. Rinse fennel fronds in small sieve. Blanch in small saucepan of boiling water for 5 seconds, then scoop out with sieve into bowl of ice water. Drain and blot dry with paper towels. Transfer to blender and add oil. Process 3 minutes. Transfer to small jar or bowl and let stand in cool spot for 24 hours.

2. Just before serving oysters, zest clementines into small bowl. Peel and remove membranes from sections. Dice flesh. Place in bowl with shallots, vodka and juice. Mix delicately.

3. Scrub oysters with heavy brush. Open oysters, cutting each free from its shell but reserving liquor. Divide oysters and juice among bottom shells. Make a bed of sea salt on 4 serving plates. Firmly press 4 filled oyster shells onto each bed to immobilize them. Divide cranberry mixture among oysters (there may be extra, depending on size of oysters). Season with pepper. Garnish each oyster with a drop or two of fennel oil and a chervil sprig. Serve at once.

Yield: 4 servings.

Galette des Rois
adapted from Le Passe-Partout, Montreal

Time: 45 minutes, plus 4 hours' refrigeration and resting time

For the pastry cream:
1/2 tablespoon egg yolk
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons flour
1/3 cup milk

For the almond cream:
7 tablespoons butter, chilled
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/8 cup finely ground blanched almonds

For assembly:
1/4 cup sugar
Flour for rolling pastry
1.1 pounds best-quality puff pastry
1 large egg

1. Prepare pastry cream: In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolk and sugar together until blended. Whisk in flour. Place milk in a very small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk boiling milk into egg mixture. Return mixture to saucepan, and bring to a boil while continuing to whisk. Remove from heat, and transfer to a clean bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface, cool, and refrigerate until cold.

2. Prepare almond cream: using a food processor, mix butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Add ground almonds and mix again. Add chilled pastry cream and mix until well blended and smooth. Cover and refrigerate two or three hours.

3. Make a simple syrup by mixing 1/4 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool; reserve at room temperature.

4. Divide puff pastry dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 10-inch round 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. Place one round of dough in center of sheet. Spread evenly with pastry cream, leaving 2 inches clear around perimeter. (If desired, bury an almond or other object in the center; this is traditional for Three Kings Day.) Using a pastry brush, moisten rim of galette with cold water, and place second round of dough on top, stretching it to cover pastry cream and rim. Press lightly all around rim of dough to seal. Using a sharp paring knife or pizza wheel, trim 1/2 inch from edge of galette to make a neat edge. In a small bowl, mix egg with a pinch of salt, and brush across top of galette. Using a paring knife, make a series of shallow incisions in top of galette, starting from center and spiraling toward edge. Allow galette to rest at room temperature for one hour.

6. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake galette until light golden brown, about 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake until dark golden brown. Glaze top of galette with sugar syrup, and bake 2 minutes longer. Cool on a rack, and serve at room temperature.

Yield: One 9 1/2-inch cake (6 servings).

adapted from "A Taste of Quebec" by Julian Armstrong (Hippocrene Books, $16.95)

Time: About 1 1/2 hours

1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef chuck (not lean)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Pastry for double-crust pie
1 egg yolk.

1. In large heavy saucepan, combine pork and beef with 1/2 cup cold water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to break up meat. Stir in onion, celery and spices. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Season liberally with salt, cover, and cook 20 minutes longer, adding up to 1/4 cup water if mixture starts to dry out. Meat should stay moist. Stir in oats and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Let cool.

2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out half the dough and fit into 9-inch pie plate. Spoon meat into shell. Roll out remaining dough and lay over meat. Trim and crimp edges to seal. Cut vents into top crust. Beat egg yolk with a little water and brush lightly over crust.

3. Bake tourtière 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 25 minutes, or until crust is golden. Serve warm.

Yield: 6 servings.
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
post #2 of 3


Thank you for the recipes, Isa. I can't wait to try them.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
You're welcome Suzanne!

When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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