When Lynn and I went to Montreal almost exactly 10 years ago we were blown away by the restaurant Joe Beef. Since then, the Restaurant's owners Frederic Morin, David McMillan along with Author Meredith Erickson have released two innovative, even ground breaking cookbooks which in some ways reset the idea for what a cookbook is and can be. With their latest, Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse; Another Cookbook of Sorts (Alfred A. Knopf Publishing) the Joe Beef team returns with another cookbook with great and exotic French Caniadian centric fare like Crispy Frog Legs, Lobster Sausage and French Smoked Rack of Lam.
Surviving the Apocolypse would be one of the most interesting culinary offerings of the year with only its recipes. What takes it to another level is it's DIY spirit celebrating skills that maximize self sufficiency with recipes and instructions to make (among other things) beef jerky, dry herbs, make syrups and smoked apple cider vinegar so if/when the apocolypse hits you are all set...M&L
(As a treat to M&L followers here are a couple of recipes from Joe Beef STA)
Smoked meat croquettes
Makes 30 croquettes
You will need:
Digital scale (optional)
Deep fryer or heavy pot
For the filling
¼ pound (113 g) cheese curds
¼ pound (113 g) smoked Cheddar, cubed
½ pound (225 g) Montreal smoked meat (lean), shredded
½ cup (30 g) sauerkraut, drained and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Montreal steak spice
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
½ cup (120 ml) Béchamel Rapide (recipe follows)
2 quarts (2 l) canola oil for deep-frying
For the breading
1 cup (75 g) flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (130 g) rye bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
Yellow mustard (optional)
Thousand Island dressing (optional)
1 kosher pickle, thinly sliced
1. Add the cheese curds and smoked Cheddar to the bowl of a food processer and pulse until evenly crumbled. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Now pulse the smoked meat in the food processer until it looks like hamburger meat. Transfer to the cheese bowl.
3. Add the sauerkraut, steak spice, mustard and béchamel, and using a spatula or gloves, mix well.
4. Use your hands to shape 30 cylinders into the size and shape of a wine cork. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan as you work. Refrigerate the croquettes for 30 minutes to help them retain their shape.
5. To bread the croquettes: Set up three bowls, one with flour, one with the eggs, and one with the rye bread crumbs. Dip each croquette into the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Set aside on a small tray.
6. Pour the canola oil into a deep fryer or heavy pot. The oil should be 350 F (180 C)
7. Fry the croquettes in batches of 5 or 6 for 21/2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on the thermometer and adjust your heat up or down accordingly so that the croquettes don’t brown too quickly: you want them to be hot in the center. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
8. Serve with your choice of yellow mustard or Thousand Island dressing and slices of kosher pickle.
Note: To make your own rye bread crumbs, process several slices of rye bread in your food processor. Spread the fresh crumbs out on a sheet pan to stale completely. Process again until fine, pass through a sieve, and keep in an airtight container until ready to use.
Makes 2 cups (500 ml) sauce
You will need:
Handheld immersion blender
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk, cold
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (60 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
1. In a tall jar or container, combine the cold milk, nutmeg, and flour with an immersion blender.
2. Transfer to a small saucepan, and bring to slow boil over medium heat.
3. Whisk in the butter: Whisk, whisk, whisk until well incorporated and the sauce visibly thickens—about 4 minutes. Cook to lukewarm, then stir into the croquettes filling (opposite).
QC Spring Seafood PieServes 6-ish
(feeds a family with leftovers for the following day)
You will need:
Piping bag with the largest pastry tip
Large Pyrex or Le Creuset baking dish, similar to what you use for shepherd’s pie
For the pommes duchesse
4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
(35 percent butterfat)
Salt and white pepper
For the velouté
¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (720 ml) whole milk
1 cup (240 ml) fish stock or clam juice
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
(35 percent butterfat)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juiceSalt and white pepper
For the filling
4 ounces (120 g) cooked lobster meat (from one 1-pound lobster)
4 ounces (120 g) whelk meat, finely sliced (typically comes in a jar)
4 ounces (120 g) fresh or frozen Nordic shrimp (aka Maine shrimp)
4 ounces (120 g) bay scallops
4 ounces (120 g) steamed and shelled mussels (from one pound of mussels)
½ pound (225 g) turbot fillet
1 Yukon Gold potato, cut into cubes the size of playing dice
7 ounces (200 g) lardons (bacon slices cut into ½-inch-/1-cm-thick bâtons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the garnish
Egg wash (1 large egg beaten with
3 tablespoons whole milk)
2 sets snow crab legs, thawed, and cracked lengthwise (using kitchen shears)
1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
- For the pommes duchesse: Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer.
- In a bowl, stir the potatoes with the egg yolks, butter, cream, and salt and white pepper. Reserve in a piping bag with the biggest piping tip, such as the classic plain #24 (11/16”)
- For the veloute: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the mustard and flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk, fish stock, cream, cayenne, and lemon juice, and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
- Add all the filling ingredients to your veloute.
- Butter the inside of a Pyrex/Le Creuset/copper pot. Transfer the filling mixture to your vessel. Inside the dish, pipe the pommes duchesse in a way to make it look like fish scales. If that OTT (over the top), simply pipe in a spiral to follow the shape of the dish.
- Brush with the egg wash. Just before putting the dish in the oven, place the crab legs sticking out the dish as if it were crawling.
- Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pie is hot inside and golden brown outside. Finish with a dusting of Old bay to garnish.