Chatelaine Kitchen

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!

Quebec's godfather of modern Montreal cuisine release his first cookbook, Toqué!, and shares five of his adventurous and signature recipes.
Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!


Backwards BLT

Serves 4
Preparation: 1 hr

12 thin slices of pancetta (not rolled)
4 medium tomatoes
4 tbsp chardonnay vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
Maldon salt and pepper
4 tbsp shallots, minced
250 ml (1 cup) mayonnaise
12 basil leaves
12 lettuce leaves
4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
4 tbsp fried bread

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the pancetta slices between two sheets of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes until golden and crunchy. Set aside.

With a small knife, score an X on the underside of the tomatoes and blanch them in boiling water for 15 seconds. Before peeling, cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water. Set aside on paper towels. Remove the heart of each tomato with an apple corer, and then slice each fruit horizontally into three equal slices. Keep the slices of each tomato separate, so that they can be easily restacked later.

Finishing Touches

Place the tomato slices on a baking tray, in such a way that each tomato can be easily reconstructed later. Drizzle a little vinegar and olive oil on each slice (except the topmost), adding Maldon salt, pepper, shallots, mayonnaise, a basil leaf, a lettuce leaf, chives, Parmesan cheese and fried bread.

Finally, place a slice of pancetta on each tomato slice. Stack the slices one on top of the other to re-form a full tomato. Add a bit of mayonnaise in the hole made by the apple-corer. Sprinkle with olive oil and season with Maldon salt.

Photo (c)

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!

Ham and Strawberries with Molasses and Lime Zest

Serves 4
u2028Preparation: 10 min

1 basket of strawberries, hulled and sliced in halfu2028
2 tbsp molassesu2028
The zest of 1 lime
u2028200 g (7 oz) thin slices of dried hamu2028
1 pinch of freshly ground pepper
u20282 tbsp olive oil

Place the strawberries in an irregular fashion on a large plate. Slowly pour the molasses over the strawberries. Add the lime zest, ham, pepper and olive oil.

Photo (c)

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!

Lemon Butter Razor Clams with Chanterelles and Beans

Serves 4u2028
Preparation: 1 hr

Razor Clams

1 kg (2 lb) raw razor clams (about 25 clams)

Soak the clams under cold running water for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to eliminate any sand.

Remove the white muscle from the clam and set aside the eight prettiest shells.

Lemon Butter

5 tbsp 35% creamu2028
240 g (1 cup) butteru2028
3 tbsp lemon juiceu2028
Salt and sugar

In a frying pan, heat the cream over medium heat. As soon as it begins to boil, incorporate the butter with a whisk. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Salt and sugar to taste.

In Season Vegetables

24 Snow peas, stringedu2028
50 g (7 oz) broad beans, shelled
u2028200 g (7 oz) chanterelles
u20281 tbsp cold butter, in small pieces

Blanch the snow peas and broad beans separately in salted boiling water for about 1 minute each. Cool off in a bowl of ice water. When the broad beans are cool, remove their skins.

Clean the chanterelles well. In a hot frying pan, sauté them in butter for 1 to 2 minutes. Lower to minimum heat and pour in 250 ml (1 cup) of lemon butter. Add the snow peas, broad beans and razor clams. Cook for 1 minute over low heat.

Finishing Touches

3 tbsp of spicy oilu2028
3 tbsp of green onion oilu2028
Garden herbs and shoots, to taste (ideally basil)

Portion the mixture into the empty and cleaned razor clam shells. Serve two shells per plate. Garnish with the aromatic oil and garden herbs.

Photo (c)

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!

Apple and Vanilla Grass Cocktail

Serves 4
u2028Preparation: 10 min
u2028Rest: 30 min

240 ml (8 oz) Cortland apple juice, extracted with a juice extractor
u20282 branches of vanilla grass
u2028120 ml (4 oz) vodka

In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the apple juice to a simmer, and add the vanilla grass. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla grass.

In a shaker, mix all the ingredients together with ice. Filter with an ice strainer and pour into martini grasses.

Photo (c)

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!

Girly Cranberries

Serves 4 to 6
Cooking: 1:30 hrs

Cranberry Purée

1 kg (2 lb) cranberries
375 ml (1 ½ cups) water
120 g (1/2 cup) sugar

In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook the cranberries with the water and sugar between 10 and 15 minutes, until all the fruits have burst. Pass through a sieve without pressing on the fruits too hard. Keep the water to make the syrup. Pass the pulp through a food processor and set aside to be used for both the chips and sorbet recipes.

Cranberry Sorbet

125 ml (1/2 cup) water
120 g (1/2 cup) sugar
Cranberry pulp

In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook the water and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Mix 900 g (3 cups) of the cranberry purée with the simple syrup made from sugar and water. Pass through an ice-cream maker. Let rest in the freezer.

Cranberry Syrup

60 g (1/4 cup) sugar

In a saucepan, over medium heat, let the reserved cranberry water and the sugar simmer until the mixture has a syrupy consistency.

Cranberry Chips

6 egg whites
240 g (1 cup) sugar

Preheat the oven to 110°C (225°F). Using a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar. Mix a quarter of this meringue with 100 g (1/2 cups) of the reserved cranberry purée. Using a spatula, delicately fold this mixture into the rest of the meringue.  With a bent spatula, spread the preparation 5 mm (1/4 in) thick on a silicone baking mat. Separate the preparation into four sectors by making a cross with the end of a wooden spoon. This will ensure that the cooking is uniform. Make sure that the four pieces made in this way do not touch each other.

Bake for 25 minutes. Turn the baking mat 180 degrees, and cook for another 25 minutes. Flip the baking mat over on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, remove the baking mat and cook another 25 minutes, until the preparation is dry to the touch (your finger shouldn’t leave a mark). (Adjust the cooking time according to the texture of your mixture. The preparation should become crunchy after 5 minutes.) Slice into 5 cm x 8 cm (2 in x 3 in) rectangles.

Finishing Touches

60 ml (1/4 cup) thyme oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) whipped cream
Fresh thyme
Maldon salt
2 tbsp dried olives, chopped

In each plate, drizzle thyme oil and cranberry syrup. Place a scoop of sorbet. Stack 3 chips one over the other, and spread with whipped cream. Add thyme, Maldon salt and dried olives

(If you don’t have thyme oil handy, make some in the following way:

In a saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch 120 g (3 cups) of thyme leaves for 30 seconds. In a food processor, grind them quickly with 250 ml (1 cup) grapeseed oil. Pour into a bowl and place this bowl in a second one filled with ice water to fix the preparation’s colour. Let infuse in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and let the oil warm up to room temperature. Pass through a coffee filter, and reserve.)

Photo (c)

Five recipes from Normand Laprise's new cookbook, Toqué!


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