Blanquette de Veau

This is one of my favorite stew dish that I’ve learned from my husbands’ aunt, Madeleine, who flew to Canada from France just for our wedding in August 1979. It is a traditional French dish, simple enough that I think anyone can make but yet, this blanquette, has a delicacy to it that it is often found on the menu of high end restaurants. I like to reserve this dish for special occasions such as the holidays, someones birthday or an anniversary. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as my family does. Bon Appétit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp organic grass fed butter
  • 1 pound veal cubes (meat from the shoulder)
  • 1 Spanish, Sweet or Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 basil leave
  • 3 parsley branch
  • 8 small new potatoes, peeled (if you do not have the small potatoes, you can use bigger ones but cut in quarters or halves depending of your potatoes)
  • 2 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 red pepper cut in approximately 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 can organic button mushrooms, drained (try to find a PBA free lined can)
  • 2 cups organic chicken broth (homemade chicken bone broth is always best)
  • 1 cup organic dry white wine
  • 4 Tbsps heavy cream
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Roux for thickening made of: 2 Tbsps butter and 2 Tbsps flour (I use gluten free flour)

Instructions:

  1. On a low heat, melt the butter in a large pot. Add in the veal cubes and cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the cubes around and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. You do not want to brown the meat only sear it. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the chopped onion, celery, potatoes, carrots, spices and broth and simmer for 1 hour. Cover pan but leave space for steam to escape (I put a wooden spoon to one edge of the pot and then the lid so it leaves a nice gap).
  3. Add in the red pepper cubes and button mushrooms and let it cook another 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Scoop out most of the bouillon into a smaller pot and let it reduce on a high heat for about 10 minutes then lower the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the roux and add it to the reduction when ready using a whisk to blend well. This sauce should remain a nice and creamy consistency (no clumps).  Pour this sauce to the main stew dish.
  6. Heat the entire stew for another 5 minutes, check seasoning and add the heavy cream while mixing gently to incorporate.

Serve garnished with some chopped parsley. This dish keeps well in the fridge and can be easily reheated the next day.

Santé!

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsps avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 cups (500 mL) sliced leeks, about 2 leeks
  • 2 cups (500 mL) peeled, cubed potatoes
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp chervil
  • Himalayan or Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, set the heat to medium and add the avocado oil.
  2. Add in the chopped onions, garlic, leeks, and cubed potatoes. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables soften.
  3. Pour in the bouillon and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Use a food processor or an immersion blender to purée the vegetables until the soup is perfectly smooth.
  5. Add in the chervil, continue to heat the soup for another 8 minutes.
  6. Season to taste.

Santé!!!

Note~If the soup turns out too thick for your liking, you can add a bit more bouillon to bring it to the consistency that you prefer. I sometimes don’t measure the leeks exactly as I just want to use them all up. This can alter the thickness of the soup so I just make minor adjustments.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squashes
  • 2 Tbsps avocado oil
  • 2 tsps organic honey or maple sirup
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and well drained
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps avocado oil
  • 1 tsp harissa (hot red pepper paste)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, seeded and cut in small cubes
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped and make 2 portions of 1/4 cup each
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella shreds cheese (daiya), make 2 portions of 1/4 cup each
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Wash and cut the acorns in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Brush the cut sides with some oil, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the acorns face down on a cookie sheet that is lined with a parchment paper and bake them for 40 minutes at 400F (200C).
  3. While the acorns are baking, make the stuffing
  4. Cook the quinoa in some boiling water with a little salt. For 1/2 cup quinoa, use 1 cup of water. Boil for 12-15 minutes. When fully cooked, rinse under cold water, let it drain and set aside.
  5. In a large pan, heat the avocado oil, sauté the onion and garlic a few minutes. Add in the cooked quinoa, harissa, roasted red peppers, half of the chopped cashews, raisins or cranberries. Heat this mixture while stirring and then add the nondairy cheese to melt and the cilantro. Season to taste.
  6. When the acorns are cooked to the right tenderness, brush them some honey or maple sirup.
  7. Stuff the acorn halves with the quinoa mixture. Add on more nondairy cheese and the leftover half of chopped cashews and bake in the oven for another 10 minutes, just to melt the cheese on top and reheat the squash halves.
  8. Serve hot with a sprinkle of cilantro for presentation.

This vegetarian dish can be served as a main meal or used as a side dish. Quinoa is gluten free as it is not a cereal grain but an herbaceous plant. It offers all the essential amino acids that we need and is an excellent source of plant-based protein (8.1 grams per cup). Quinoa also contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and nearly all the B complex vitamins. All in all, it is a great addition to your diet.

Santé!