The profusion of fall produce opens up exciting menu possibilities. How about savoury white-wine cake for an appetizer, followed by a deconstructed ratatouille, a warm lentil-andsquash salad, or cider-braised pork belly? And here’s an idea for weekday meals: cumin-andrum chicken drumsticks. For dessert, try our Calvados-flambéed tarte Tatin – a fancy nod to the apple season.

See the recipes

Savoury white-wine cake (+ 3 variations)

Deconstructed ratatouille

Spicy homemade ketchup

Cider-braised pork

Warm autumn salad

Cumin-and-rum chicken drumsticks

Calvados-flambéed tarte tatin

Suggested background music

New works by local artists for every occasion

La science du cœur by Pierre Lapointe
Loveshit II – Blondie and the Backstabberz by Jason Bajada
MAKANDA at the End of Space – The Beginning of Time by Pierre Kwenders
San Cristóbal Baile Inn by Boogat
Painted Ruins by Grizzly Bear
Sleep Well Beast by The National


Reds and whites are on the menu, of course. Here, you have a choice of provenance: France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, California or Greece. rosés, sparkling wines and beer pair equally well with meals. In this section, you’ll also discover trending wines from Montérégie.

Savoury white-wine cake

Cake ingredients often include raisins and candied fruits but it doesn’t always have to be sweet. In fact, a savoury cake is preferable as a cocktail canapé. Use cheese, leek and white wine instead, for example. Then add other tasty ingredients like herbs, diced bell pepper, bacon bits and olives. Ingredient possibilities are endless. Now that’s stress-free entertaining!

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

Savoury white-wine cake

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Cost per serving: about $3.00
6 to 8 servings

30 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil
1 leek, minced
430 mL (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
15 mL (1 tbsp) baking powder
5 mL (1 tsp) salt
3 eggs
30 mL (2 tbsp) honey
60 mL (¼ cup) melted butter
250 mL (1 cup) white wine
250 mL (1 cup) grated Gruyère
8 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from stems
Freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). 2. Butter and line a 23-cm x 13-cm (9-in X 5-in) loaf pan with parchment paper. 3. In a skillet, sweat the leek in the oil. Let cool. 4. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside. 5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and honey with an electric mixer until the mixture doubles in volume, about 5 minutes. 6. On low speed, incorporate the butter and the white wine. 7. Add the leek, half the cheese and half the thyme. 8. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine everything. 9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and garnish with the remaining cheese and thyme. Cook until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.


Place the entire cake on a cutting board, then cut and serve as needed. Or precut it into squares or bars. Have fun!

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

What to drink with this cake

Our basic cake recipe goes well with a Sauvignon Blanc like Château de Sancerre. Its mineral and crisp structure matches the cake’s savoury, vegetal flavours. If the recipe includes hazelnut, basil, and orange and lemon zest, then try the citrusy Paco & Lola Albariño. And if the cake contains caraway seeds – ideal for smoked salmon with sour cream and dill – you can’t go wrong with Buti Nages, a fruity, floral and delicately spicy rosé from the Rhône region.

Savoury white-wine cake: 3 variations

Variation 1

At step 7, also add 60 mL (¼ cup) roasted and coarsely crushed hazelnuts, 45 mL (3 tbsp) chopped basil and the zest of one lemon and one orange.


Variation  2

At step 4, also add 15 mL (1 tbsp) caraway seeds. After step 8, toast cake slices and serve with sour cream, dill and smoked salmon.


Variation 3

Toast cake slices and serve with a poached egg and tomato confit.

Deconstructed ratatouille

Why not give a new twist to this classic recipe? Our version calls for layering ratatouille and inserting tempeh cheese between the layers. Made with fermented soybeans, tempeh is delicious whichever way it’s cooked – sautéed, pan-grilled, oven-roasted, braised… It’s also an excellent source of protein and is well-suited to sauces and stews. As in our recipe, it holds up in marinades, steeping for at least three hours in a fragrant mix of vegetables.

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

Deconstructed ratatouille

Preparation: 30 minutes
Marinade: 3 hours
Cooking: 45 minutes
Cost per serving: $4.00
4 servings

30 mL (2 tbsp) olive oil
4 grape tomatoes, halved
2 small zucchinis, sliced on the diagonal
1 small eggplant, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 240-g package tempeh, quartered

125 mL (½ cup) olive oil
60 mL (¼ cup) sherry vinegar
Zest and juice of one lemon
30 mL (2 tbsp) honey
2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from stems
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped from stems
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped basil and chives
Grated Parmesan, to taste

1. Place oven rack at bottom level. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Coat tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Cook until blistered and slightly golden brown, about 45 minutes. Set aside. 3. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with those for the marinade, except the basil, chives and Parmesan. Marinate for 3 hours. Place the marinated vegetables on the baking sheet and roast in the oven, turning them over regularly, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Set aside. 4. Stack the vegetables, tempeh and tomato confit. Garnish with herbs, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.


What to drink with thus ratatouille

Ready and waiting are two light, aromatic Quebec wines. With fruity and floral notes, the Domaine St-Jacques rosé will lend a Mediterranean touch to the recipe. If a red is your preference, then William from Vignoble Rivière du Chêne has enough subtle, spicy notes and supple tannins to do the job. Serve it cool for best results. You can also choose a red from southern France, like Les Cranilles, made from Grenache and Syrah. Its aromas of ripe fruit, violets and spices will complement the fresh herbs in the marinade.

Cooking with peels

The first order of business is to stop peeling the skin off your veggies and throwing them out. Ratatouille will taste better if vegetables are left unpeeled because the skins add flavour. But if other recipes do require peeled produce, you still shouldn’t chuck away the scraps. You can make crunchy chips from potato skins, salads from broccoli stems, cream or pesto sauces from carrot tops, or chutney from melon and watermelon rinds. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

Some slave over a hot stove, others busy themselves with making tomato sauce. It’s the start of traditional get-togethers.

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

Spicy homemade ketchup

Preparation: 45 minutes
Cooking: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Servings: 6 jars of 250-ML

2 kg (4.4 lb) Italian tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
454 g (1 lb) pearl onions, peeled and cut in half
4 sticks celery, finely diced
250 mL (1 cup) sugar
30 mL (2 tbsp) salt
5 mL (1 tsp) crushed red pepper
5 mL (1 tsp) ground ginger
5 mL (1 tsp) ground allspice
5 mL (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 mL (1 tsp) cardamom seeds
5 mL (1 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
6 whole cloves, crushed
250 mL (1 cup) cider vinegar
60 mL (1/4 cup) tomato paste

1. In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onions, celery, sugar, salt and spices. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let rest for 12 hours. 2. Place a strainer over a large, heavy pot. Pour the tomato mixture through the strainer, pressing to obtain as much juice as possible. Reserve the tomato pieces left in the strainer. 3. Add the vinegar and tomato paste to the pot. 4. Bring to a boil and let reduce until the liquid is syrupy in consistency (about 15 minutes). 5. Stir in the reserved tomato pieces and continue cooking on medium-low for 30 minutes, stirring often. 6. Adjust seasoning as necessary and divide the ketchup mixture among six jars.

Cider-braised pork

There’s just no way anyone can resist this comforting dish and its all-pervasive aromas! And, in addition to green beans, carrots and potatoes, seasonal autumn vegetables – mashed turnips and dates, vegetable eggplant tians, vegetable curry, squash and cheddar gratin, braised cabbage – add their fragrant flair.

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

Cider-braised pork

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Cost per serving: $4.50
8 servings

2 kg (4 1/2 lb) pork belly, with rind
500 mL (2 cups) apple cider
125 mL (1/2 cup) cider vinegar
250 mL (1 cup) chicken broth
6 sprigs thyme
15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil
10 mL (2 tsp) coarse salt
10 mL (2 tsp) freshly ground pepper
30 mL (2 tbsp) flour
30 mL (2 tbsp) butter, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). 2. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the pork-belly rind without cutting through to the meat. 3. Place the pork belly in a roasting pan with the cider, cider vinegar, broth and thyme. Cover well with aluminum foil and bake for two hours. 4. Remove the pork belly from the oven and transfer to a plate. 5. Pour cooking juices into a saucepan. Let stand 15 minutes. 6. Increase the oven temperature to 230°C (450°F). 7. Pat the rind dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. 8. Place the pork belly on a rack in the roasting pan, rind-side up. 9. Bake another 45 minutes, or until rind is crisp. 10. With a spoon, skim the fat off the surface of the cooking juices then reduce by half over high heat. 11. In a small bowl, combine the flour and softened butter. 12. Whisk the mixture into the cooking juices and cook for 3 minutes. 13. Add the apple slices, cook for another 3 minutes and adjust seasoning, to taste. 14. Slice the pork belly and serve with the applesauce.

What to drink with this braised pork

Sartori Valpolicella is an impressive light red that brings out the best in white meat. Le Clos du Bois, made from Chardonnay, exudes aromas of ripe apple and butter, and underscores the flavour of the garnish. The latter also teams up well with Boréale Polaire, a slightly bitter and fruity Quebec pale ale.

Fall cooking methods

Braising: Whether it’s beef stew, carbonnade, tajine or curry, the meat is first seared in a casserole. Then it needs to be covered and requires at least one more hour of cooking (depending on the ingredients) half-submerged in a simmering liquid like meat or vegetable stock, tomato juice, wine or beer.

Poaching or boiling: Ingredients (like beef, chicken, couscous) are submerged in water infused with aromatics (sometimes with added wine) for slow cooking. This is ideal for tenderizing large cuts of meat or poultry.

Warm autumn salad

This seasonal salad is tastiest at room temperature and can be served either as a starter or main course for your holiday dinners: Thanksgiving, for example. Just be sure to incorporate a few proteins and something crunchy to give it a little punch. In our recipe, the soft texture and nutty taste of the butternut squash serves to hold everything together. Assembled with Halloumi cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds, this salad is as nutritious as it is delicious.

Cake salé au vin blancCake salé au vin blanc

Warm autumn salad

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Cost per serving: $4.00
4 to 6 servings

60 mL (¼ cup) olive oil
1 small butternut squash, sliced
1 leek, sliced
500 mL (2 cups) cooked green du Puy or Beluga lentils
60 mL (¼ cup) roasted pumpkin seeds
Zest and juice of one lemon
60 mL (¼ cup) chopped chives
60 mL (¼ cup) chopped parsley
60 mL (¼ cup) chopped dill
45 mL (3 tbsp) chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 160-g package Halloumi cheese

1. Place oven rack at bottom level. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Coat squash and leek slices with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place slices on the baking sheet. 3. Cook squash and leek in oven until soft and golden brown, about 40 minutes. 4. In a bowl, combine lentils with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and add the cooked vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil. 5. In a non-stick pan, heat some oil and brown the cheese slices. 6. Place a spoonful of cooked vegetable mixture on each plate, and garnish with the lentils and a slice of grilled cheese. Serve with toasted garlic bread.

Improve visual appeal by cutting each vegetable a certain way: julienned carrots, spiralled zucchini, cubed beets. For individual-meal bowls, display the different veggies separately, without mixing them.

What to drink with this salad

Argyros Atlantis is made from Assyrtiko grapes, which grow and thrive in the volcanic soil of the Greek island Santorini. This light and crisp white has hints of minerality that respond cheerfully to the earthy flavours in the salad. With its accents of flowers, pear and mandarin, Domaine Les Brome Cuvée Charlotte is also a good choice. The Martini Prosecco will add a celebratory touch thanks to its white fruit and almond notes, not to mention its fine bubbles.

Cumin-and-rum chicken drumstick

Everyday meals will never be the same after trying this original marinade recipe combining cumin, chili pepper, coriander and white rum. You can replace the rum with your favourite spirit or liqueur (like pastis if you like anise, or Cointreau or Grand Marnier if you prefer citrus flavours). And if you fancy veal or beef sauté, Cognac or port will work!

Cumin-and-rum chicken drumsticks

Preparation: 15 minutes
Refrigeration: 12 hours
Cooking: 30 to 35 minutes
Cost per serving: $3.50
4 to 6 servings

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-sized onion, minced
45 mL (3 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
125 mL (1/2 cup) olive oil
15 mL (1 tbsp) ground cumin
2 mL (1/2 tsp) crushed chili
5 mL (1 tsp) coriander seeds, crushed
45 mL (3 tbsp) white rum
12 chicken drumsticks, without the skin
Fleur de sel

1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients but the drumsticks and fleur de sel. Stir and set aside. With the tip of a knife, score the meat so all the marinade flavours penetrate well. 3. In a large dish, place the drumsticks without overlapping them. Top with the marinade and rub each drumstick with your hands to coat them well and make the marinade penetrate. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 4. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). 5. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and place them on a baking sheet. 6. Cook in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, turning over once halfway through the cooking. 7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. 8. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve immediately.

What to drink with these chicken drumstick

Red-wine aficionados will definitely appreciate Château La Lieue’s aromas of violets, blackberries and spices. But beer or white wine also goes well with this recipe. With hints of coriander, the Quebec L’Amoszus white ale will arouse the flavours of the cumin-infused drumsticks. And the fruity Versant blanc Coteau Rougemont , full of rich and exuding notes of pear and honey aromas, will make an excellent pairing. It’s your choice!

Marinades 101

It takes no time at all to prepare a marinade, which tenderizes your meat and gives it a decided flavour. Here are a couple of ideas:

Add garlic and spices to plain yogourt.
Combine white wine with lemon and thyme, or whisky with maple syrup.
To make a rub or dry marinade, combine spices, seasonings and a bit of sugar. Rub the mixture on the meat and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes.
If the cut of meat is thick, make a few incisions to speed up absorption.


Calvados-flambéed tarte tatin

Ever wonder what to do with all those apples you picked with the family? Tarte Tatin will make a welcome change from the old familiar apple pie. Its particularity is that it’s upside down! First, place the apple slices on the bottom of the pan then cover with puff pastry. It may sound odd, but the caramelized apples that the process renders are simply divine.

And there’s a bonus: Our version is flambéed with Calvados!

Calvados-flambéed tarte tatin

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Cost per serving: about $2.00
8 servings

125 mL (1/2 cup) butter
250 mL (1 cup) sugar
6 to 8 Royal Gala apples, peeled and quartered
1 sheet puff pastry
60 mL (1/4 cup) Calvados

1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). In a deep, 25-cm (10-in) round cake pan, heat the butter and sugar to medium-high until caramel forms. 3. Add apples and shake the pan to coat them thoroughly. Continue cooking for afew minutes. 4. Arrange the apples, core-side up, at the bottom of the pan. 5. Cover with puff pastry, folding the edges inward. 6. Cook until the pastry turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. 7. Let cool 5 minutes. 8. Flip the tarte Tatin onto a serving dish. 9. In a small pan, heat and flambé the Calvados, pouring it over the apples. 10. When the flames are out, serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Rediscovering calvados

It’s an eau-de-vie made from apple cider. The appellation Calvados Pays d’Auge indicates those made in this corner of Normandy, France. The widely accepted notion is to enjoy Calvados by taking small sips from a ballon while sitting in a quiet lounge.

But in fact, the drink has been enthusiastically rediscovered by mixologists far and wide (see our Cocktails section). And even at home, a bottle needn’t stand idle inside the cupboard. You can use it to flambé pastries, as in our recipe, or add a dash over vanilla ice cream or a dark-chocolate mousse, or incorporate it in the sauce for an apple-infused chicken dish or duck breasts.

Photos: David de Stefano