In December, we introduced you to debut author, Ashlynn Macnamara. A 2011 Golden Heart Finalist, Ash sold her manuscript even before the winners were even announced. Her novel, A MOST SCANDALOUS PROPOSAL hit bookshelves across the country on February 26th! Congratulations, Ash!
To help her celebrate her release, we’re re-blogging the two French-Canadian recipes Ash shared with us in December, Ragoût de boulettes and Sucre à la crème.
So get dinner started and grab her book! Because nothing goes together like great a story and a great meal!
Ragoût de boulettes (Meatball stew) This makes a lot, so you’re sure to have leftovers.
1 C finely chopped onion
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 C plain bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 C chicken broth
½ C flour
¾ C cold water
Mix pork together with onion, seasonings eggs and breadcrumbs. Form into about 30 meatballs. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the meatballs. You might have to do this in batches. When brown, add the broth and simmer for 30 minutes (or more—the point is to cook the meatballs through, but I don’t think it hurts them to simmer longer if you want). Pour the flour into a skillet (just flour, nothing else) and heat over medium, stirring frequently until the flour is a nice caramel color. This is farine grille and it’s used often in Quebec cuisine as a thickener. Place with the cold water in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well mixed. Pour slowly into simmering stew, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens. Simmer about 10 minutes more, and you’re done.
Sucre à la crème is very similar to fudge without the chocolate. When I explained what it was to my very American mom, she said it sounds like something her mother made called brown sugar fudge. Done right, it has a very smooth, creamy texture, but it’s definitely for people who have a sweet tooth.
Sucre à la crème
1 C brown sugar, packed
2/3 C light cream (10% fat, or coffee cream)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
In a small pan with a thick bottom, mix the sugar, brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Boil without stirring until a candy thermometer reads 236°F. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla without stirring and let cool until the candy thermometer reads 110°F (about 45 mins).
Using a hand mixer, beat for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken and lost its shine. Don’t skimp on this step. It’s the key to your candy’s smooth, creamy texture. At this point, you can add chopped nuts if you like, but I’ve mostly had this candy without nuts. Spread mixture into a buttered 8 X 4-inch bread pan. Using the point of a knife, trace the outlines to make 32 squares. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm. Cut into squares using a sharp knife.
Yum! It’ll keep for about 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature (if it lasts that long) or 2 weeks in the fridge (yeah, like it won’t be gone way before then) or 2 months in the freezer (as long as you forget it’s there).