Hot Tourtière Nibbles

Temps des Fêtes 2006
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Réveillon pie needn't only be served after midnight mass-or even in the form of a pie. Here crunchy toast cups are filled ahead with traditional spicy pork and heated when needed. For more spicy heat, use Dijon mustard prepared with green peppercorns or horseradish.

Toast cups
9 slices ordinary white bread
2 tbsp 25 mL) butter, melted


Tourtière filling
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 lb (500 g) lean ground pork
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion, about 1 small yellow onion
1 large garlic clove
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme or ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
¼ tsp (1 mL) dried summer savoury
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup (175 mL) turkey, chicken or beef stock
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
2 to 3 tbsp (25 to 45 mL) Dijon mustard
Several fresh thyme sprigs

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

2. Very thinly slice crusts from bread; reserve for filling. Move a rolling pin over each slice to flatten. Lightly brush both sides with butter; cut each into 4 triangles. Working in batches, press each triangle down into a mini muffin pan cup and shape as needed. Bake in centre of preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until tips and bottoms are golden. Cool on a rack. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze.)

3. To make filling, whirl bread crusts in a food processor until crumbs form; set aside ½ cup (125 mL). (Freeze remaining bread crumbs in a rigid-sided container to use for another purpose.) Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, crumble in pork; sauté 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in onion, garlic, celery and carrot; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, cloves, savoury, black pepper and stock. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Then stir in bread crumbs and parsley; remove from heat. Cool until able to handle. (Covered and refrigerated; filling keeps for up to 3 days.)

4. When ready to serve, press cooled tourtière mixture into toast cups, heaping slightly. This can be done even a day ahead if covered and kept chilled.

5. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

6. Arrange filled cup on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until hot. Top with a dab of mustard and garnish with a tiny piece of thyme. Serve immediately.

Makes 36 nibbles

What to Serve