Tag Archives: fennel

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

Over the years tourtière has become a New Year’s Eve tradition.  A nice break from turkey, a spiced meat pie on a chilly winter’s night is the ultimate comfort food.  I decided to change it up this year and include my new fave vegetable: fennel.  Fennel and pork are a popular Italian combination, that I thought my half Italian boyfriend would enjoy.  The licorice flavour pairs nicely with the pork, and adds to the festive seasoning of the filling.  Flaky, rich and hearty, this French Canadian Fennel Tourtière will keep you fed for days!

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

I have always been intimidated by crust, and I’ve tried many different recipes with mixed results. A few years ago I took a culinary course at George Brown College where I finally learned how to make the perfect crust.  This is a sure-fire recipe and the secret is to make sure your dough stays very cold.  What is great about this recipe is that the dough can be used almost immediately and doesn’t need to chill for an hour like most doughs.  I also read somewhere that using vodka instead of water makes for a crispier crust, and I swear by this trick now.

Originating from Canada, immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century introduced this dish to Quebec and since then, has become a French Canadian Christmas or New Year’s Eve tradition.  The filling varies depending on the region.  For instance, the tourtières of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area and Eastern Quebec are made with potatoes and cubed pieces of meat, while in Montreal the pies are made with ground pork only, spiced with cloves and cinnamon and served with maple syrup, ketchup, chutneys or preserves.  In St. Boniface, Manitoba, similar herbs are used as well as celery salt, nutmeg and dry mustard and the pies are served with mustards and relishes, while an Acadian tourtière is made with pork and may also contain beef, chicken or hare.

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

My tourtière is influenced by both the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Montreal tourtières.  I like using ground pork and beef instead of cubes, and the mashed potatoes help to bind the filling (and I also love mashed potato).  Spicing the meat is essential for that festive aroma, and I like my meat pie more on the savory side so I prefer a combination of marjoram, thyme, sage, cloves and now, fennel.  Finally, I serve my tourtière with some homemade ketchup, gerkins or beet chutney to balance out the richness.  I’d love to try serving with some relishes and mustards, I think a maple mustard or a cranberry relish would be really tasty.

With this recipe you can either make two medium thick pies, or one thick pie.  I usually make one large pie, however the tourtière tradition is to make a whole lot to give away during the holidays.  So if you need a last minute gift, making the second meat pie is always an option!  Either way, your home will be filled with the wonderful aroma of fennel, cloves and sage.

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: Makes two 9-inch (23-cm) meat pies or one thick 11-inch (27 cm) pie

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 6 peeled Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel, including stems
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 Tbsp water
  • For the crust:
  • 750 grams pastry flour
  • 500 grams shortening (chilled)
  • 250ml chilled vodka
  • 15 grams salt

Instructions

  1. Boil water in a large pot and add potatoes. Cook until soft, then push through a potato ricer*.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the fennel and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Crumble the ground pork and beef into the pan and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add fennel seeds, marjoram, thyme, sage, cloves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the wine and cover the pan. Lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Combine flour and shortening in large bowl and cut with pastry cutter until reduced to irregular pea sized crumbs.
  7. Dissolve salt in vodka and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix just enough to combine without overmixing.
  8. Transfer dough to floured surface and shape into four discs (or just two if making only one pie). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge until ready for use*.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Grease either 2 x 9-inch pie pans or 1 x 11-inch pie pan.
  10. Once the filling has finished simmering, stir in the mashed potatoes and parsley. Set aside to cool.
  11. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface into four (or two) thin rounds.
  12. Fill each pie chell with 1/2 of the cooled meat mixture and top with the remaining pastry, sealing and fluting the edges with your fingers to form a ruffled border.
  13. Cut small steam vents in the tops of the pies using the tip of a sharp knife and brush the pies with the egg yolk glaze
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Notes

*a ricer is a utensil that pushes the potato through small holes, resulting in fluffly mashed potatoes. A potato masher can be used as well but can result in over mashing, making the potato too gluey.

*if making only one pie, use the extra dough to make a few mini meat pies or to add additional crust decor

*always keep your dough cold, this will "firm-up" the shortening which in turn makes the dough easier to handle

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/28/french-canadian-fennel-tourtiere/

Do you have a New Year’s Eve tradition?  What would you add to your French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere filling?

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

French Canadian Fennel Tourtiere

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

For many years I relied on the same old honey-pecan-carrot recipe when it came to a festive root vegetable dish, but this holiday season I was on a quest to find a new side.  Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out the flavours with minimal effort, and a really healthy cooking technique too.  I still wanted to use carrots, but tried to use a few other veggies that are often forgotten about,  and thus my Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel recipe was born. 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

I absolutely love roasting fennel, the process transforms this lowly root vegetable into a soft, fragrant addition to sauces, salads, curries and sides.  High in fiber and B vitamins, fennel also has a lot of beneficial health properties, and is also a source of iron, calcium and magnesium.  Good for the body when the winter blues hits, and after indulging in heavy holiday fare!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and is balanced by the sweet licorice flavour of the fennel.  Parsnips are one of those vegetables that I always fear will be bland, but in this case they add a bit of heartiness and are a compliment to the sweet carrots.  The crunch from the fennel gives the dish some texture alongside the tender roasted carrots and parsnips.

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Quick and easy, this dish can be prepped ahead of time and then popped into the oven when the turkey comes out.  A healthy addition to a holiday menu, these root vegetables are given new life with the addition of fennel, and as a bonus the roasted fennel will fill your home with a delightful licorice aroma!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, making sure the racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Divide vegetables evenly between two baking sheets. Toss carrots, parsnips and fennel using half the olive oil, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper per sheet.
  3. Evenly spread out the vegetables and cover pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then uncover, toss and rotate sheets.
  5. Roast 10 minutes more. Toss and rotate sheets.
  6. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/07/roasted-carrots-parsnips-and-fennel/

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

What is your favourite holiday side dish?   What other dishes can roasted fennel be added to besides carrots and parsnips?

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

 

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

I have become obsessed with making the perfect quinoa curry ever since I ate this particularly flavourful tofu curry at Urban Herbivore in a food court in Toronto. One wouldn’t think that a meal from a food court would make such an impression but I distinctly remember the crispy tofu and the creamy, sweet and spicy broth.  Ever since then, my mission has been to create the same comforting experience, and I believe I have finally completed my quinoa curry quest!

My quinoa curry is packed full of protein, hints of sweetness, simmering spice and a creamy finish that will have you returning for seconds.  The base of the curry is oil infused with whole cardamom, fenugreek and coriander seeds, however if you don’t have whole seeds handy substitute with 25% less (1 teaspoon whole seeds = 3/4 teaspoon ground). In Indian cooking ground spices are used as well as whole spices to slowly build layers of flavour.  I used fenugreek because it has all kinds of great health benefits – including flushing out harmful toxins and helping digestion – an important aid during our detox!  The heat from these spices builds slowly on the palette, and is balanced out by the soothing sweetness of the coconut and raisins.  The carrots and almonds provide a nice crunch, as well as complimenting the earthy element of the quinoa.  What makes my curry unique is that instead of using an onion as a base, I used fennel.  I made this substitution because my boyfriend loves fennel, and because I thought the licorice flavour would tie the spicy and sweet elements together nicely.  We devoured this curry while watching the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones – the perfect comfort food when watching that unpredictable show.  Needless to say, I have really fallen in love with fennel, and I can’t wait to make this curry again!

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 640

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp & Tofu

Ingredients

    For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • For the tofu:
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 350g package extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into half inch cubes
  • For the curry:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 5 cardamon pods, shell removed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek (substitute for coriander seeds if needed)
  • 1 x fennel bulb, top removed and two layers of outer bulb finely diced. Save fronds for topping.
  • 2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 x 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ a red chili finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 x medium carrots peeled, trimmed and sliced lengthwise and chopped into half moons
  • 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 x 398ml can coconut milk
  • 4 x baby bok choy, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 300g frozen shrimp, defrosted
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • splash of lime
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings:
  • handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • lime wedges
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Rinse quinoa if needed. Combine quinoa with chicken broth and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn down to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Add raisins. Keep covered.
  2. In the meantime, heat oil in a hot skillet until oil starts to smoke, then turn down to medium heat. Carefully place tofu in hot oil and toss every few minutes until just lightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel to absorb the oil.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a small pot over medium heat. Toss whole spices a few seconds until they crackle.
  4. Add fennel and cook until translucent.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, chilies, ground curry, cumin, and coriander. Stir for 1 minute.
  6. Add carrots and enough stock to cover the ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add coconut milk & bok choy, stir and bring to a simmer.
  8. Add shrimp and 1 cup stock, stir and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the garam masala & tofu. Stir well.
  10. Bring to a boil and season to taste with salt, pepper and lime.
  11. Place one scoop of quinoa in a bowl, pour curry over quinoa and top with fennel fronds, cilantro, lime wedges and sliced almonds or shredded coconut
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/04/23/quinoa-fennel-curry-with-shrimp-tofu/

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu

Quinoa Fennel Curry with Shrimp and Tofu