Jan. 12, 2012: Quebecois-Style Pea Soup
Published Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:00AM EST
Canadian Living Food Director Annabelle Waugh shares these recipes inspired by Quebec's unique cuisine.
Québécois-Style Pea Soup
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 1/2 hours
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
This traditional pea soup is the ultimate in Quebec-style comfort food. Look for an unsmoked ham hock in the meat department of your local supermarket. If you can't find one, a smoked ham hock will work -- just reduce the salt in the recipe to 1/4 tsp.
- 1 lb (450 g) unsmoked ham hock
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 3/4 cups dried yellow split peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried savory or thyme
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 demi-baguette (or half baguette)
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 large clove garlic, halved
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
Trim off and discard the skin from ham hock; set hock aside.
In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat; cook the carrots, celery, onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the split peas, bay leaves, savory, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, for two minutes.
Stir in eight cups water; add ham hock. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until the peas are very soft and the soup is thickened -- about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Discard the bay leaves. Transfer the ham hock to plate; let it cool enough to handle. Discarding the bone and any fat, dice the meat and return to soup; heat through.
Garlic toasts: Meanwhile, cut the baguette into 12 slices; spread with butter. Broil until golden, about two minutes. Rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt. Serve with soup.
Sugar Shack Crepes with Ham and Eggs
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 1/2 hours (includes standing time)
Makes: 4 servings
These savoury crepes are a delicious background for the delightful sweetness of Quebec's signature maple syrup (light or dark, depending on your preference). When you're at the deli counter, ask for the ham to be sliced slightly thicker than regular sandwich thickness. The chives tend to sink to the bottom of the crepes, so roll them chive-side-out for a pretty presentation.
- 8 slices Black Forest ham
- 6 eggs
- Pinch each salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
Chive crepes: In a bowl, whisk the flour with salt. Whisk together the eggs, milk and half of the butter; pour over dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into bowl; stir in the chives. Refrigerate for one hour or for up to two hours.
Heat an 8-inch (20 cm) crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat; brush with some of the remaining butter. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter into centre of pan; using small offset spatula, spread batter to make thin circle. Cook, turning once, until golden -- about one minute. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter and batter to make eight crepes.
In same pan over medium heat, cook the ham in batches and turning once until lightly browned and heated through, about one minute. Transfer to plate; keep warm. Wipe out pan.
Beat together two tablespoons water, eggs, salt and pepper. In the same pan melt the butter over medium heat. Cook egg mixture, stirring gently with spatula, until large moist curds form and no liquid remains, about three minutes.
Top each crepe with one slice of ham and one-eighth of the scrambled eggs. Roll up. Serve drizzled with maple syrup.
Classic Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 4 3/4 hours (includes baking and chilling time)
Makes: 6 servings
Decadent custard desserts are adored by French Canadians (and all Canadians). To celebrate this love affair, we've created the ultimate classic crème brûlée. A great trick for getting the perfect glassy, crunchy sugar topping is to combine granulated and brown sugars.
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup 35 per cent cream
- Pinch salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
Halve vanilla bean lengthwise. In a saucepan, combine the vanilla bean, milk, cream and salt; bring to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard vanilla bean.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale and thickened, about two minutes. Stirring constantly with heat-proof spatula, add milk in slow, steady stream. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl.
Divide egg mixture among six 6-oz (175 mL) ramekins; arrange ramekins in shallow roasting pan. Pour in enough warm water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven until skin forms on surface, edge is lightly set and custard is still slightly jiggly in centre, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove ramekins from pan; let cool on rack. Cover and refrigerate for four hours. (Make-ahead and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
Topping: Mix granulated sugar with brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over tops of custards. Place ramekins on baking sheet; broil, 6 inches (15 cm) from element, watching carefully until the sugar is melted and caramel colour, two to four minutes. Let cool before serving.