ITALIAN - Quebec BRUNCH invite

Treating your guests to a menu that is indulgent and invites them to linger.
True to my roots, an Italian brunch welcomed some Quebecois specialties.

Through most celebrations we tend to stick to the traditional dishes. 
However, with time and since I've taken over the challenge of bringing novelty to the table…
I introduced a few Quebec style specialties which complimented the old stand-byes.

Here, I'll share a few from my past recipes as well as adding in a few new ones.


Chicken Sweet Potato Soup 
Topped with rustic, artisanal bread Croutons
Used my Chicken Tomato potage recipe with the addition of three medium size sweet potatoes.

Side Platters:

Bruschetta: Vegetable / Sausage mix topped with Cambanzola
Saute of bacon, onion, fennel, mushroom, finely diced sweet potato.  A splash of dry Sherry or Porto.
Once the Rustic bread slices were slightly toasted, some warm mix was set up to receive a few slices of Cambanzola blue brie cheese (brie and gorgonzola) over top.

Egg Noodle Ham Pastiera
The traditional, Italian pasta pie ' Pastiera' developed and perfected alongside my 'Nonna'.

Smoked Ham slices with a Honey-Dijon mustard sauce.
Preferable to cook the small smoked ham. 
Cover the ham with water in a restrictive size pot. 
Lightly boil for about one hour.  Remove the ham from the water and cool in the refrigerator. 
Slice when ready to serve.
Sauce:  ancient grain Dijon mustard with mild honey (to taste)
Garnish with a few Orange or Pineapple slices.

warm Quebec style baked BEANS feves au lard
Pork belly ham, and a pouring of Spring time sweetness was shared here.


Side Platter: mains :

Mashed potato puffs
Either made with leftover mashed potatoes or as in this mashed root vegetable puff recipe.

Mayo-free stuffed Italian style 'Deviled' eggs
. Boil six eggs in cold water, uncovered.
. Then remove from the heat when the first strong boil appears.
. Cover the pot for 12 minutes to achieve hard boiled eggs.
. Bring them to room temperature and later refrigerate.
.  Patiently peel the shells.  Gently divide the eggs and remove the yolks.
. Mash the yolks with a small dollop of Dijon Mustard.
. Splash in a little white Balsamic vinegar as well as extra virgin Olive oil.
. A small amount of crushed capers and minced parsley leaves can be added.
. Pinch of sea salt and granulated garlic powder to season.
. Then, taste to see what's missing.  Garnish with fresh, parsley leaves.


Central PLATTER:

Squash, pumpkin or sweet potato make excellent creamy cheese biscotti.
Aromatic herbs or seeds can easily replace the French tarragon in this crunchy bite.

Store-bought sides:
marinated oyster mushrooms
marinated artichoke hearts
raw fennel slices
green 'Cerignola' olives
black olives, pitted
roasted red peppers
(blended with a little Olive oil and chopped Parsley, salt, garlic powder)

 Porto Fig Walnut and Cheddar spread
(vegetarian paté)
With a few other Porto fig slices as garnish


CRETON light spread
An ode to my Quebec roots...inspired by Quebec Sugar shacks.
With my own twists of making it with lean minced pork, added butter and some low-fat milk.

yields about 3 cups (750ml) / [6x125ml mini jars]


(American/Metric measures)

. 1 lb. (~500g) lean, ground pork
. 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
. 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
. 1 cup (250ml) milk (2%)
. 1-1/4 tsps. (6.25ml) sea salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) granulated garlic
. 1/8 tsp. (.63ml) ground cinnamon
. 1/8 tsp. (.63ml) ground cloves
. 1/8 tsp. (.63ml) fresh nutmeg, grated
. 2 bread slices, lightly toasted, crustless and cubed
. 1/3 cup (75ml) milk 2%

1. In a medium size pot, place ALL the ingredients from Part-1. Then, on MEDIUM heat, mix and stir it to combine for a few minutes. 
2. Lower the heat only one notch down.  Cover the pot and come back every so often to stir it in order to make sure it doesn't burn at the bottom.  Cook for 40 minutes. 
3. Part-2: Meanwhile, lightly toast the crustless bread and cut it into cubes.  Only once the initial cooking time is over, put in the cubed bread.  Combine it to the mix and cover to cook for the last 5 minutes.
4. Place everything into a glass bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap slightly ajar for a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight in the refrigerator.
5. With a food processor, turn in the cold mix with the extra milk.  Pulse a few times and then whirl on MEDIUM speed until a desirable, smooth texture is achieved.  Tip: if a creamier texture is required, just add a little more milk.
6. Serve right away or conserve it for up to a week.  Better yet, place some in small mason jars and freeze for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the fridge before serving.

Happy celebrations throughout any table shared with loved ones.  Enjoy the festivities.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.