Traditional French-Canadian Comfort Food and Recipes

Memere's Pea Soup

 1 lb. of yellow split peas
1 1/2 cups of cooked, diced ham
1 large onion chopped
1/4 lb. of smoked but uncooked bacon or salt pork, diced
1/3 cup of diced carrots
salt and pepper to taste

Soak peas overnight. Drain and fill with 4 1/2 qrts. of fresh water. Bring to a boil, add onions and bacon, then cook on low for 2 1/2 hrs. If you use a crockpot, cook on low for 3 hrs. Add the carrots and ham. Cook for a 1/2 hr. more.
Memere Ouellette used to serve this with cornbread or biscuits.

Tourtiere Pie (meat Pie)

2 lbs. of fresh, ground pork
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large potato, pealed and diced
1/8 tsp. of ground clove
1/8 tst. of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of chicken or beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your favorite double crust pie pastry.
Beat 1 egg and set aside the beaten egg and pie pastry.
Combine the rest of the ingredients, blend and simmer,
uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often.
Skim any fat that rises to the top. Let simmer until mixture is tender and moist, but not wet.
Let the mixture (in French~Canada and Franco~Americans in New England, we call this "creton", and can be purchased in local supermarkets.) cool. Mash the creton with a fork, making sure the potato is mixed in well. 
Add the salt and pepper in the amount that you prefer.

Roll out 2/3 of pie dough and line a 9 inch pie plate with the dough. Add the creton. Brush pastry edges with the beaten egg that you set aside. Roll the remainder of the pastry to cover the 9 inch pie. Seal the edges. Brush the top with the beaten egg and cut vents for steam, in the top of the pie.
In a preheated oven of 375 degrees, Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.
I love this served with a chicken or brown gravy over the top.
(We put gravy on, almost, anything!)
This is a pie, traditionally served after midnight mass and has become, over the years, a staple on other holidays, special occasions, (religious sacraments) and family gatherings.

Whoopie Pies

1/2 cup of shortening
1 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks, save whites for filling.
3/4 cup of cocoa
2 cups of flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 cup of milk
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg yolks. Slowly, add flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drop by spoonfulls onto cookie sheet and bake for 15 min.
While baking and cooling, make whoopie pie filling.

Whoopie Pie Filling

1/2 cup of shortening, butter flavored o.k.
2 cups of powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp. of vanilla
pinch of salt

Whip filling ingredients till fluffy.
Sandwich filling between two whoopie pies after they have
completely cooled.
Wrap in plastic wrap to stay fresh and cakelike.
Memere would, sometimes, add chocolate chips to filling.

Only, until recently could you find Whoopie Pies outside of Maine and Eastern Canada, Thanks, to Oprah, " one of her favorite things".


Ploys are a French Acadian Buckwheat, Crepelike Pancake
You can purchase the mix in Maine from the supermarkets, made by "Bouchard Family Farm"in Fort Kent, Maine. They  have a website or you can make your own mix with buckwheat flour, wheat flour, aluminum free baking powder and salt. I prefer to buy the mix because the Bouchards have perfected this mill.
"Ploys are as elegant as a crepe and as hardy as a pancake.
No Eggs... No Milk... No Sugar... No Fat... No Cholesterol"

Heat an ungreased griddle to 450 degrees or medium to medium high.
Mix 1 cup of the buckwheat mix with 1/3 of a cup of water.
Beat well, until all lumps have dissolved.
Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter onto the hot griddle. Spread the batter in a circular motion until 1/8 of an inch thick. Cook on each side for about 1 minute. If the pan or griddle isn't hot enough the ploys will stick. Mom uses a castiron griddle but I like a non-stick pan.
You can make these as thick or thin as you like with water.

For Breakfast~Serve with fresh maple syrup, or wild Maine  blueberries (any fruit will do)
For Lunch or Dinner~ Fill with your favorite meat spread. ( I love this with Creton)
For Desserts and Snacks~ Great with Ice Cream, Yogurt, or your favorite fruit.
C'est Bon, Bon Appetit!