- The Public Markets are setting up for Spring
- Recipes from our Chef Nicole-Anne Gagnon - Savoury Smoked Ham, Dried Pear and Black Pepper Cake; Chocolate Hazelnut Terrine
from our Chef Nicole-Anne Gagnon
Chef's Notes: This savoury cake is perfect for brunch. Its unique texture and contrasting sweet/savoury flavour combination will delight your guests. The dried pears can be replaced with other dried fruits such as apples or figs. You can also substitute Bayonne ham (air dried salted ham) for the smoked ham, however you will need to reduce the quantity to 2 oz
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 eggs - beaten
2 tbsps milk
1/2 cup of olive oil or melted butter
1 cup of smoked ham cut into small dice
6 dried pears - diced
1. Boil 2 eggs in salted water for 10 to 12 minutes, cool, remove shells and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375°
3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
4. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten eggs and milk.
5. Beat while adding the olive oil (or melted butter) a bit at a time.
6. Mix in the dried pears and ham.
7. Pour one-third of the mixture into a greased loaf pan, place the hard boiled eggs on top, and then cover with the remaining mixture.
8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Check cooking time by piercing the cake with the tip of a knife. Cake is ready when the knife comes out clean.
9. Remove from pan and serve warm.
Chef's Note: If you like delicate chocolate candies like 'Ferrero Rocher' this chocolate hazelnut terrine is similar in texture and taste. A guaranteed crowd pleaser!
14 oz. dark chocolate
2/3 cup of butter, softened
6 tbsps + 2 tsps of whipping cream
1 tin of sweetened chestnut purée
5 tsps of dark rum (optional)
7 oz. roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, remove from heat.
2. Whip the whipping cream and set aside.
3. Add the sweetened chestnut purée and the dark rum to the melted chocolate and mix well.
4. Fold in the whipped cream and then add the chopped hazelnuts.
5. Refrigerate for a few hours.
6. When ready to serve, slice and serve with various field berries, like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or ground cherries.
Taste the Joy that Spring Brings
In the last issue of our newsletter, we announced the arrival of our resident chef at Motreal's Pnublic Markets. Now, it is our pleasure to introduce Nicole-Anne Gagnon, our Chef and Spokesperson, who will be serving up new and tasty recipes in our monthly newsletter Fresh News. A teacher at ITHQ (Institut d'hôtellerie de tourisme du Québec) since 1999, Nicole-Anne really knows how to communicate and share her knowledge as well as her love of cooking. A leader with real know-how, she has a flare for creating truly unusual flavour combinations and building new and exceptional dishes that highlight local Québec fare, whether it be fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese or other delicacies. Passionate about her work, Chef Gagnon is convinced that cooking is the best gift we can give. Her motto: You are what you eat!
You will have the opportunity to meet her and her team and to benefit from her valuable advice and tips beginning in mid-June. Don't miss out on her appearances every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Jean-Talon Market Kiosk, next to the « Première Moisson » bakery, or at the Atwater Market Kiosk, in the outdoor corridor at the north end of the market. Be on the lookout also for a small kiosk which will be set up at Maisonneuve market over the course of the summer.
We encourage you to visit the markets, you are always welcome -- whatever the season. Write to us, your comments and feedback are important – we want to hear what you have to say!
by Isabelle Létourneau
Director of Communications,
Montreal Public Markets, 514-937-7754
The Egg Throughout Our History
by Michel Lambert
Chef and Québécois Food Historian
Easter always seems to shift our focus back to the egg, but why? One could say that the egg is symbolic of Spring, nature's new beginning, and the triumph of life over death. Since early Christianity, the egg was often used as a symbol in rituals and feasts - the Romans found thousands of egg shells in the catacombs dating back to the third century. Subsequently, however, the Catholic Church diminished the egg's symbolic importance citing its association with the animal world as a negative factor. During fasting periods such as Lent, abstinence from meat and eggs was decreed. This meant that in the Spring, when the hens began laying again, there was an overabundance of eggs available for the celebration of Easter.
In Quebec, like in Europe, eggs are definitely associated with Easter, but here they are also a major part of the sugaring-off season. Anyone familiar with the sugar shack menu knows the popularity of an omelette with "oreilles de crisse" (deep fried pork jowl crisps), eggs cooked in maple syrup, egg tarts with nutmeg seasoning, and floating islands (puffy clouds of softly poached meringue floating atop a custard made with egg yolks and milk), etc.
Many families in Quebec could not imagine Easter lunch without smoked ham served with an endless variety of egg dishes: oven baked eggs sunny side up with cream, chopped egg salad with a tangy mustard vinaigrette, scrambled eggs with fresh herbs (picked from seedlings that were potted in March for garden transplantation at the end of May), omelettes with smoked pork cheeks, soft boiled eggs atop homemade crusty bread spread with a layer of pork roast drippings, and last but not least, freshly gathered eggs drank straight from the shell, or beaten with milk, sugar and rum as a frothy eggnog. And, on top of this, we musn't forget all the delicious desserts mentioned above!
Quebec's indigenous people also have their own traditions associated with eggs including gathering them from the nests of wild birds during nesting season. The story goes that each spring, the Innu, from Quebec City to the Northern Coast, gathered eggs from the islands along the river: they enjoyed them really well cooked just in case the egg had been fertilized and was developing, contrary to our ancestors who preferred their eggs soft and would simply dispose of the ones that had already begun to transform into embryos.
This Easter, why not continue the tradition by serving festive regional Easter dishes such as "eggs in a nest" that are cooked in a well at the center of a small mound of well-seasoned potato purée along with your boiled ham, roasted veal, leg of lamb or roasted milk-fed pork, just as many families from the Montérégie region still do. What a great way to keep our rich culinary heritage alive! Happy Easter!
The Jean-Talon and Atwater Markets are preparing for Spring.
- All temporary winter structures will be dismantled at Atwater Market from Monday April 20th to Thursday April 23rd.
- At Jean-Talon Market, the movable walls used to enclose the market during winter will be removed from April 27 – 30, 2009.
A return to the open-air arcades
heralds the arrival of Spring. Starting in May, all your favourite stalls will be bursting
with the colors of summer.
At the Maisonneuve and Lachine public markets, no major installations will be taking place during this period.
des Marchés Publics de Montréal
155 Greene Avenue, 3rd Floor
Montreal, Quebec H4C 2H6
Communications Director: Isabelle Létourneau
Webmaster: Jean Gagnon Doré
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