Sunday, October 17, 2010

Northern escape with my best friends!

Renata, Claire, Kristina and I have been going up to the Cassis cabin together since our cegep years and we especially like going up in the fall. We went to do our grocery shopping at Bourassa which is a sort of smaller, refined costco. They have amazing olive oils and vinegars, a lot of the same as what you would get at les Douceurs at the Atwater market, but for way cheaper. Their cheese section is basically a walk in fridge with tons of delicious French and Quebec cheeses.

For our platter we bought an oka with mushrooms in it and a delicious cow's milk cheese called pleine lune. It was creamy and covered in vegetable ash and tasted buttery like a brillat-savarin but not as creamy. We accompanied the cheese with fig and olive crackers and some grison and pate de foie de canard. I also made a green salad with raw pistachios and baby tomatoes with a pistachio oil and white wine vinegar maple syrup vinaigrette.

The next day for lunch we made a pumpkin black bean tomato soup. We didn't have any booze leftover to put into it so we improvised and added maple syrup. There was also cubed smoked ham in it so it turned into a very quebecois meal.

1 can black beans
half a can to a full can tomatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves minced
a few branches shallots, chopped
1 tbsp cumin
some allspice to taste
cinnamon to taste
salt and pepper
1 box beef broth (4 cups)
1 small pumpkin (we used one that had a 5inch diameter)
a few tablespoons quebec maple syrup
cooked ham cubed

garnish with sour cream or yogourt and roasted pumpkin seeds

1. chop pumpkin and take out innards and seeds. save for roasting. put pumpkin slices in microwave for 5-10 minutes to speed up cooking process. Then put in oven for 30 minutes. Once cooled peel off the skin.
2. Puree some of the beans and all the tomatoes in a blender. Set aside.
3. Melt butter and cook onions on low heat for 5 minutes. add garlic, shallots, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper.
4. Puree the pumpkin with the broth.
5. Put the pumpkin mixture and tomato mixture into the pot with the onions. Let cook.
6. Add maple syrup and spices to taste.
7. Add the ham at the end and some booze, like sherry or red wine, if you feel like it.

Such a great weekend with my lovely friends!

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