As I mentioned in my September SRC post, Mr Bean and I went to Montreal mid-September for a work conference for him. It was a bit of a hit and run trip – we arrived on Tuesday evening, the conference ran from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon and we left on Sunday morning. Definitely worth it though!
My sister lives in Quebec, so I took the time to visit with her while Mr. Bean was otherwise occupied. Both of us love food, so we knew the time we were going to spend together would revolve around it. Not terribly surprising, but very delicious!
On the Wednesday morning, my sister picked me up from the hotel and we went and picked apples.
It was quite fun! The ladders were a bit bizarre and part way through the orchard was invaded by 4 or 5 bus loads of school children. We ended up with two large bags of apples, which we then put to good use throughout the rest of the trip!
We planned to spend lots of time making food together and we definitely did! Here’s what we made (over 2 1/2 days):
- Swiss Hazelnut Macaroons – we made these while having dinner with a family my sister works with. We also had the most amazing Maple Sugar ice cream – I try not to eat a lot of dairy, but it was definitely worth it!Here is the closest recipe I can find for the macaroons based on ingredients – but instead you beat the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar and beat until glossy, then gently fold in the hazelnut meal. Spoon the macaroons onto lined cookie sheets and put a whole hazelnut on each macaroon. Bake until firm but still a bit soft. Let cool down and enjoy!
- 2 batches of Applesauce – we sweetened it with maple syrup and made it spiced – so good!
- Coconut Macaroons
- Apple Pie – I used a combination of lard & shortening and I didn’t really like the taste of the crust so much. Plus, since I used a glass pan, I could see the fat bubbling away as it cooked (ick!). Has anyone else had this issue with GF pie crusts?
- Butternut Squash Soup - I’m not a huge fan of squash, so I was a bit apprehensive when my sister said that she was going to make this soup. I was wrong to doubt as it was delicious – so delicious that I’ve made it since I’ve come back.
My sister then dropped me off in Montreal on the Friday afternoon for a conference event and then re-joined us on Saturday morning for some sight-seeing and food adventures.
For lunch, we had Poutine at La Banquise. Poutine is a french Canadian dish that consists of fries, cheese curds and gravy, but this place also had many different variations with various additions.
Mr. Bean had the “La Trois Viandes” – ground beef, pepperoni and bacon,
I had the “La Matty” – bacon, onions, peppers and mushrooms without the gravy as it’s definitely not gluten free. I also ordered a salad so that I wouldn’t feel as gross and heavy. Definitely a wise move!
To be honest, I didn’t really like it that much as I thought it was kind of greasy and it probably wasn’t as good as if it were slathered in gravy. Oh well. We decided that we would try to make it ourselves with gluten free gravy and not as greasy fries when my sister is coming to visit for my cousin’s wedding in October.
They pretty much have the most awesome tables ever. I’m sad that we weren’t sitting closer to a window so that the light would have been better.
We also went to a restaurant called Zero8. Everything on their menu is made without the top 8 allergens – gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and shellfish. It’s a great place for people with allergies (obviously) and has some pretty tasty food!
We started off the with the Bruschetta, then Mr. Bean had the Duck Confit and both my sister and I had lamb burgers.
The only thing I was disappointed in was the dessert as I had a spice cake that was like cardboard. Apparently, they baked it too much. The Chocolate ganache was the only thing that made it worthwhile…
My sister and I also found a gluten free bakery called “Cookie Stefanie“, which was pretty delicious. Their Orange Cranberry muffin made a good breakfast for our early travel day home.
I would really like to go back to Quebec to explore the food side of things more (there are at least a few other GF bakeries that we didn’t visit), plus visit Quebec City!
Have you had any Culinary Adventures lately?