Foie Gras Poutine
Restaurant Au Pied de Cochon is arguably Montreal’s most famous modern bistro, thanks largely to chef Martin Picard’s ingenious take on poutine, the city’s signature junk food. This incorporation of foie gras, from L’Album by Chef Martin Picard, takes the usual concoction of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds to another level.
7 ounces fresh foie gras
6 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups PDC poutine sauce (available at the restaurant, or use store-bought poutine sauce)
1/4 cup cream (35 percent milk fat)
Foie Gras and Presentation of the Poutine
4 slices fresh foie gras, 3 1/2 ounces each, 1-inch thick
14 ounces cheese curds
4 white-fleshed potatoes (cut into french fries)
Oil for frying (2/3 tallow and 1/3 peanut oil)
Foie Gras Sauce
Set aside 1/2 cup of PDC poutine sauce for final presentation. In a saucepan, bring two cups PDC poutine sauce to a boil. Mix the egg yolks, foie gras, and cream in a food processor at high speed. Slowly add the two cups of hot poutine sauce to the mixture. Pour into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the sauce reaches 175°F (80°C). Remove the sauce from the heat and stir for 30 seconds more. Keep warm.
Foie Gras and Presentation of the Poutine
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). In a hot pan, sear the foie gras slices until they are golden brown. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for four to five minutes. Cook the fries in the oil until crisp. Place the fries on top of a mound of cheese curds on a serving plate. Then, place a slice of seared foie gras on top and smother in the foie gras sauce. Decorate with the one-half cup regular poutine sauce and serve immediately.
Servings: Serves four
Maple Apple Crisp
An elegant and simple dessert best made with fresh Quebec apples bought at an open-air market in the fall, and with local maple syrup from the can. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
7 apples (Honeycrisp or Cortland are great), peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Place apples in an eight-inch-by-eight-inch baking pan, or a pottery flat-bottomed bowl. Toss apples with syrup.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over apples.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Servings: Serves nine.
Meat pie, the French-Canadian way. This version is quick and easy for city dwellers, and the mixture of meats lightens the taste and lessens the fat content. The modern touch of adding beer to the meat mixture adds zest to the meat mixture. This recipe is adapted from the American French Genealogical Society.
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground veal
2 bay leaves
1 cup red beer such as Boréale Rousse
Salt and pepper to taste
Instant potato flakes, as needed
One package Pillsbury pie crust, or premade salt crust for meat pies
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Put ground meats and seasoning in a heavy pan. Brown on medium heat, stirring as needed. When meat mixture is no longer pink, add just enough water to cover the mixture. Simmer covered, stirring as needed, for about 45 minutes to let flavors develop and to ensure the pork is fully cooked. If desired, add beer and simmer until reduced. Remove from heat. Sprinkle instant potato flakes in pan to absorb the meat juices and stir well. Remove bay leaves.
Line a nine-inch pie pan with bottom crust. Turn in meat mixture. Add top crust. Trim crust and slash to allow steam to vent. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with homemade sweet-and-sour tomato relish.
Servings: Ten-inch pie serves about eight.
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