CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS AND RECIPES


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It's time for the Holidays! C'est le temps des Fetes!

A recent visitor to our Franco-American web site requested that we post information concerning traditions and foods relative to the Holidays. In response, we offer you the following recipes and links to other sites. We know that you will find these interesting.

TOURTIERE

Recipes for Tourtiere, the celebrated meat pie enjoyed in Franco-American families during the Holidays, are almost as numerous as the number of people who make them. The following is one from Georgette Bégin:

2 pounds lean ground pork*
3 large potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 ground onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 cups water

Pastry for two-crust pie

*A mixture of 3/4 lean ground pork and 1/4 ground beef is also suitable if preferred.

Simmer the meat in the water for 1 hour. Add onion and seasonings and simmer for 30 minutes longer. Skim off fat. Mix in mashed potatoes and let cool. Pour mixture into piecrust and cover with top crust, slit, to let steam escape, and bake for 30 minutes in a 400-degree oven.

You can find more of these on the following links:

French Canadian Recipes and many, many more subjects
http://aolsearch.aol.com/dirsearch.adp?query=French+Canadian+Recipes

French Canadian Tourtiere
http://pork.allrecipes.com/AZ/FrnchCndinTrtir.asp

 

The following recipes are also suitable for the Holiday Season:

French Canadian CRETONS or pork scraps in English

Recipe of Ray Paquin

3 lbs of Lean Ground Pork
1 large Onion, chopped fine
1+ tsp of Salt (per taste)
1/2 tsp of Pepper
2+ cups of Water (to cover meat)

Place all above ingredients in a 4 qt. pan, covering
mixture with the water.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about
15 minutes so the meat will not stick to the pan, until
it starts to boil. Cover your pan and lower the heat and
simmer for 2 hours until the meat is well cooked,
stirring occasionally.

After the two hours, if you have too much juice, cook
uncovered until most of the juice is evaporated.
The meat mixture will start to thicken.

Add the following ingredients:

1 1/2 tsp of Allspice (+ per taste)
1/2 cup of dry Breadcrumbs (plain)

Mix everything together and pour mixture into small
molds or containers. Chill.

This is a Canadian treat. It is usually sliced and served
cold between 2 slices of French bread or spread on
crackers. It is difficult to find two individuals who make
Cretons the same way. I don’t like it too spicy.

 

RAISIN PIE (Georgette Bégin's recipe)

2 cups seedless raisins
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt

Boil all ingredients together until raisins are plumped. Add 4 1/2 tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4-cup cold water. Boil while stirring until mixture thickens, then cool it for about 10 minutes. Pour mixture into piecrust and cover with top crust, slit. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes and at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE (Mrs. Emile Boutin's recipe)

3 cups white sugar
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1 small can evaporated milk
12 ounces chocolate chips
13 ounces marshmallow
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Put sugar, butter and evaporated milk in saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Add chocolate chips, marshmallow, vanilla and nuts and stir. Pour into a buttered 13 x 9-inch pan and let set before cutting into squares. 

GORTON (Mrs. Joseph S. [Blanche] Côté's recipe)

Break 1 pound of ground pork into a saucepan. Add enough water to cover meat and simmer until cooked (about 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper and minced onion as it cooks. Thicken with a mixture of flour and water. Season with cloves and cinnamon to taste.


RECIPES USING MAPLE SYRUP

Many of us were surprised recently when we saw Mr. PAUL MAYOTTE, current president of the Caisse Populaire JEANNE D'ARC Credit Union

http://www.jdcu.com/ on the Food Channel as he prepared some of his favorite dishes. The program aired several times during the week of 20 October 2001. Below are his recipes with his personal comments as published in the Lowell Sun shortly thereafter.

FRENCH CANADIAN BAKED BEANS

1 pound small pea beans (not Navy beans)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound salt pork
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup maple syrup
salt to taste (at serving time)

Pour the beans onto a plate and pick over, looking for bad beans or stones. Place beans in a bowl and cover with water by at least 2 inches and soak overnight.

Early in the morning, drain beans and place in beanpot with remaining ingredients except for salt pork. Cut salt pork into 1-inch pieces and place on top of beans. Add water to cover. Bake in slow oven (250 degrees) for approximately 8 hours. Check each hour to see if water needs to be added.

There is a controversy as to whether they are better cooked covered or uncovered. Many times, they are served for breakfast and baked overnight. When they are cooked this way, it is best to cover them to reduce the number of times you have to get up, usually only once or sometimes not at all. I like to leave them uncovered so the pork gets browned. When it is sufficiently browned enough, I then cover them.

I also sometimes sneak a little more syrup instead of water and finish them uncovered. If the water all evaporates, you end up with dried out bean bullets.

Serve with brown bread and franks or ham. For breakfast, serve with eggs, bacon and homefries.

MAPLE CHICKEN WINGS

3 - 4 pounds chicken wings
2 cups maple syrup
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Cut tips off wings and snip skin between joints. Place in large, disposable aluminum baking pan. Reserve 1 cup maple syrup for later. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over wings, tossing to coat.

Place pan on baking sheet to catch any spills. Bake in moderate oven, 350 degrees, tossing every 15-20 minutes. Liquid will initially increase and then gradually evaporate and concentrate. Cooking will take about 1-1 1/2 hours.

When most, but not all, of liquid has evaporated, increase the oven to 425 degrees and pour remaining cup of maple syrup over wings, tossing to coat. Turn wings a couple more times to coat the bottom ones with concentrated sauce and roast the top ones.

Serve with plenty of napkins. Along with rice and a vegetable, these make a satisfying meal.

BANANA FRITTERS WITH MAPLE SYRUP

1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups milk
3-4 bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2-2 1/2 inches vegetable oil in deep fry pan
1 cup real maple syrup

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Beat eggs slightly and add to mix along with remaining ingredients, except bananas. Mix well, adding additional milk to make a batter the consistency of pancake batter. Let batter rest for 10 minutes while oil is heating.

Cut bananas on the bias into 1-inch chunks. Toss in bowl with lemon juice. Heat oil to 350 degrees or until a drop of batter rises almost immediately to the top. Using two forks, coat banana pieces and drop into oil until surface area is covered. Turn them as they brown (they will float). When golden brown, drain them on paper towels. If making a large batch, keep warm in oven.

Bring maple syrup to gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes to concentrate flavor and thicken. Allow to cool enough to pour into a serving container. Serve fritters warm and pour syrup over them to taste.

 
Bon Appétit!!

For further information relative to our celebration of Christmas and New Year's Day, you may find the following links of interest:

Christmas in Canada
http://clk.about.com/?zi=3/2G/QMtfNqXjRMK&zu=http://www.christmas-world.freeservers.com/canada.html

http://www.kidsdomain.com/holiday/xmas/around/canada.html

Christmas Traditions in France and Canada - English Version
http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Noel/angl/

French language links:

Traditions de Noel en France et au Canada
http://www.museevirtuel.ca/Exhibitions/Noel/franc/

"La Messe de Minuit"
http://www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/biblio/noel/messe.htm

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année !