It’s time for the Holidays! C’est le temps des Fetes!
A recent visitor to our Franco-American web site requested that we post information concerning traditions and foods relative to the Holidays. In response, we offer you the following recipes and links to other sites. We know that you will find these interesting.
Recipes for Tourtiere, the celebrated meat pie enjoyed in Franco-American families during the Holidays, are almost as numerous as the number of people who make them. The following is one from Georgette Bégin:
2 pounds lean ground pork*
3 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 ground onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 cups water
Pastry for two-crust pie
*A mixture of 3/4 lean ground pork and 1/4 ground beef is also suitable if preferred.
Simmer the meat in the water for 1 hour. Add onion and seasonings and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Skim off fat. Mix in mashed potatoes and let cool. Pour mixture into piecrust and cover with top crust, slit, to let steam escape, and bake for 30 minutes in a 400-degree oven.
The following recipes are also suitable for the Holiday Season:
RAISIN PIE (Georgette Bégin’s recipe)
2 cups seedless raisins
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
Boil all ingredients together until raisins are plumped. Add 4 1/2 tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4-cup cold water. Boil while stirring until mixture thickens, then cool it for about 10 minutes. Pour mixture into piecrust and cover with top crust, slit. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
CHOCOLATE FUDGE (Mrs. Emile Boutin’s recipe)
3 cups white sugar
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1 small can evaporated milk
12 ounces chocolate chips
13 ounces marshmallow
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Put sugar, butter and evaporated milk in saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add chocolate chips, marshmallow, vanilla and nuts and stir. Pour into a buttered 13 x 9-inch pan and let set before cutting into squares.
GORTON (Mrs. Joseph S. [Blanche] Côté’s recipe)
Break 1 pound of ground pork into a saucepan. Add enough water to cover meat and simmer until cooked (about 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper and minced onion as it cooks. Thicken with a mixture of flour and water. Season with cloves and cinnamon to taste.
French Canadian CRETONS or pork scraps in English
Recipe of Ray Paquin
3 lbs of Lean Ground Pork
1 large Onion, chopped fine
1+ tsp of Salt (per taste)
1/2 tsp of Pepper
2+ cups of Water (to cover meat)
Place all above ingredients in a 4 qt. pan, covering mixture with the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 15 minutes so the meat will not stick to the pan, until it starts to boil. Cover your pan and lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours until the meat is well cooked, stirring occasionally. After the two hours, if you have too much juice, cook uncovered until most of the juice is evaporated. The meat mixture will start to thicken.
Add the following ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp of Allspice (+ per taste)
1/2 cup of dry Breadcrumbs (plain)
Mix everything together and pour mixture into small molds or containers. Chill.
This is a Canadian treat. It is usually sliced and served cold between 2 slices of French bread or spread on crackers. It is difficult to find two individuals who make Cretons the same way. I don’t like it too spicy.
FRENCH BUTTER FROSTING
by Ray Paquin
Don’t knock it before you try it. It will become your favorite frosting.
3 tbsp Flour
½ lb Butter (I like Imperial Magarine)
1 cup Milk
3/4 cup Regular Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix milk and flour in saucepan and cook until thick. Put to one side to cool. Cream butter and add sugar slowly. Add flour mixture and vanilla. Beat until like whipped cream. Enjoy!
Here’s my wife Joan’s famous BREAD PUDDING
by Ray Paquin son of Alphonsine Chenette
1/2 cup raisins
4 slices stale bread
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Line bottom of greased pudding dish with raisins. Cut bread slices in 3 or 4 strips, crosswise. (Bread need not be too stale). Dip each strip in melted butter and arrange on top of raisins (buttered side up). Beat remaining ingredients together and pour over bread. Set dish in pan of hot water. Bake in hot oven (375 degrees F.) for about 45 minutes to an hour or until bread is browned and a knife blade comes out clean. Serve plain or with cream. Enjoy !
RECIPES USING MAPLE SYRUP
Many of us were surprised recently when we saw Mr. PAUL MAYOTTE, past president of the Caisse Populaire JEANNE D’ARC Credit Union on the Food Channel as he prepared some of his favorite dishes. The program aired several times during the week of 20 October 2001. Below are his recipes with his personal comments as published in the Lowell Sun shortly thereafter.
FRENCH CANADIAN BAKED BEANS
1 pound small pea beans (not Navy beans)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound salt pork
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup maple syrup
salt to taste (at serving time)
Pour the beans onto a plate and pick over, looking for bad beans or stones. Place beans in a bowl and cover with water by at least 2 inches and soak overnight.
Early in the morning, drain beans and place in beanpot with remaining ingredients except for salt pork. Cut salt pork into 1-inch pieces and place on top of beans. Add water to cover. Bake in slow oven (250 degrees) for approximately 8 hours. Check each hour to see if water needs to be added.
There is a controversy as to whether they are better cooked covered or uncovered. Many times, they are served for breakfast and baked overnight. When they are cooked this way, it is best to cover them to reduce the number of times you have to get up, usually only once or sometimes not at all. I like to leave them uncovered so the pork gets browned. When it is sufficiently browned enough, I then cover them.
I also sometimes sneak a little more syrup instead of water and finish them uncovered. If the water all evaporates, you end up with dried out bean bullets.
Serve with brown bread and franks or ham. For breakfast, serve with eggs, bacon and homefries.
MAPLE CHICKEN WINGS
3 – 4 pounds chicken wings
2 cups maple syrup
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
Cut tips off wings and snip skin between joints. Place in large, disposable aluminum baking pan. Reserve 1 cup maple syrup for later. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over wings, tossing to coat.
Place pan on baking sheet to catch any spills. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, tossing every 15-20 minutes. Liquid will initially increase and then gradually evaporate and concentrate. Cooking will take about 1-1 1/2 hours.
When most, but not all, of liquid has evaporated, increase the oven to 425 degrees and pour remaining cup of maple syrup over wings, tossing to coat. Turn wings a couple more times to coat the bottom ones with concentrated sauce and roast the top ones.
Serve with plenty of napkins. Along with rice and a vegetable, these make a satisfying meal.
BANANA FRITTERS WITH MAPLE SYRUP
1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-2 1/2 inches vegetable oil in deep fry pan
1 cup real maple syrup
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Beat eggs slightly and add to mix along with remaining ingredients, except bananas. Mix well, adding additional milk to make a batter the consistency of pancake batter. Let batter rest for 10 minutes while oil is heating.
Cut bananas on the bias into 1-inch chunks. Toss in bowl with lemon juice. Heat oil to 350 degrees or until a drop of batter rises almost immediately to the top. Using two forks, coat banana pieces and drop into oil until surface area is covered. Turn them as they brown (they will float). When golden brown, drain them on paper towels. If making a large batch, keep warm in oven.
Bring maple syrup to gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes to concentrate flavor and thicken. Allow to cool enough to pour into a serving container. Serve fritters warm and pour syrup over them to taste.
Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année!