Receive well with ease

Receiving well with ease


In a new recipe book, which he considers to be the “most personal” he has written in his entire career, Ricardo, accompanied by his wife, gives us all his advice for receiving well , from an improvised dinner with friends to large family celebrations.

From the first moments of their union, 30 years ago, Brigitte Coutu and Ricardo Larrivee have made the art of hosting a couple project. In the recipe book Eating together, which they co-authored with Éditions La Presse, they deliver their best reception formulas and more than 100 recipes for all occasions.

“We make jokes, Brigitte and I, saying that we have been preparing this book for 30 years. We see it a bit like a testament for our daughters. They will have all our stuff there, everything that has become our traditions over time. Each time we receive, we take notes on what worked well or not at all, to remember and improve, and also to simplify our lives. This is what we wanted to share so that people can benefit from it,” says Ricardo in an interview.

Like everyone else, Ricardo suffered from not being able to receive during the pandemic. “We wanted to create a book to get back into the swing of things. We are all a little rusty after 2 years. We forgot how to receive and there, we have plenty of baptisms, parties, Christmas to celebrate! This book therefore gives a host of advice for getting organized and simplifying your life, because when we receive, our first motivation is to see people. If the stress of receiving prevents you from seeing your world, your goal is not achieved! » 

Designed to suit all types of occasions, Eating togetheralso applies to all generations. “We receive according to our means. Brigitte and I ended up equipping ourselves over time, but at the beginning, I remember going to look for flowers in the park near our house! That's why we wanted to make a book that presents different formulas, achievable by both someone 60 and 18, and whether you are experienced in the kitchen or not, “says Ricardo.


Between the family recipes and the personal photos of Ricardo and Brigitte's receptions, a bit of their intimacy is revealed to us. The adventure of Eating togetherwas very different from that of his 17 other cookbooks, explains Ricardo: “It's really the most personal book I've done in my career, because it's not a technical cookbook. It was really special for us to do this work and go back in our memories. Much like when you try to collect your mother-in-law's unwritten recipes, my team ended up writing down our recipes and working out how to present them. »

Choose the winning formula to welcome your guests

To receive hassle-free and treat your guests well, you have to choose the appropriate formula, advise us Brigitte Coutu and Ricardo Larrivee in their new recipe book Eating together.

Each reunion context is different, explains Ricardo. “We have to ask ourselves what our means are, the number of guests, what space and what storage capacity in the fridge and freezer we have, and choose a formula accordingly. »

In the book Eating Together,Ricardo and Brigitte show us 10 winning formulas that can suit all occasions. For each of them, tips and lists of steps to plan are included. From the cheese platter formula to the buffet, through the brunch formula, small bites or central dish, everything is there! We discover how to place cutlery, prepare a charcuterie board, or serve oysters on a platter of ice. And even how to be a good guest!

For 30 years, after each of their evenings, Brigitte and he wrote down everything, explains Ricardo. “We also thought about what we can entrust to the guests to help us, all those little details that mean that at the end of the evening you will have had a good party. » 

Duck breast with root vegetables

Duck is a meat of choice for entertaining. It does not require long cooking and, served medium-rare, it is super tender and very tasty. Serve it on a bed of kale, carrots, parsnips, roasted grapes and pearl onions for a punch of color and texture. A dish as beautiful as it is delicious. 

Preparation: 1 hour | Cooking: 30 minutes | Servings: 6



  • 675 g ( 1 lb) carrot tops, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 450 g (1 lb) parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 60 ml (cup) olive oil
  • 225 g (lb) kale leaves, stems removed, torn 

Duck breasts

  • 20 ml (4 tsp) cornstarch
  • 375 ml (1 cup) sodium-reduced beef broth
  • 3 duck breasts, about 340 g (lb) each
  • 1 bag 175 g white pearl onions, peeled
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) honey
  • 30 ml ( 2 tbsp) red wine vinegar
  • 310 ml (1 cup) veal stock
  • 175 g (1 cup ) small seedless red grapes


  1. Place the rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
  2. On a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet, combine the carrots, parsnips and 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of the oil. Salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until the vegetables begin to brown.
  3. In a bowl, mix the kale with the remaining oil . Salt and pepper. Spread the kale over the vegetables and continue cooking in the oven for 10 minutes or until the kale is golden brown.  

Duck breast 

  1.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 60 ml (1⁄4 cup) of the broth. Set aside.
  2. With the tip of a sharp knife, score the fat from the duck breasts without touching the flesh. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the duck breasts fat side down for 10 minutes or until the fat is golden and crispy. Turn the duck over and continue cooking on the flesh side for 2 minutes for rare or until the desired degree of doneness. Let rest on a plate. Pour the cooking fat into a glass bowl.
  4. In the same skillet over medium heat, brown the onions for 3 minutes in 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of the cooking fat . Salt and pepper. Add the honey and stir to coat the onions well. Deglaze with the vinegar. Reduce until syrupy. Add the veal stock and the rest of the broth. Bring to the boil and let the sauce reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in raisins and cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  6. Reheat the duck breasts in the oven for 2 minutes. On a work surface, slice the duck breasts lengthwise.
  7. On a large warmed serving platter, spread the roasted vegetables. Lay the slices of meat, fat side up. Pour a little sauce. Garnish with pearl onions and raisins. Pour the rest of the sauce into a warmed sauce boat. 

Caesar-Style Deviled Eggs

The less young always have an enthusiastic reaction to deviled eggs, a memory of another era. To inspire the new generation, we take up the codes of a recipe they love, those of the Caesar salad. Anchovy paste, bacon, breadcrumbs and lettuce are there. We tried to make a recipe for deviled eggs with those of our hens at home, but very fresh eggs are almost impossible to peel. It's only a postponement. 

Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes | Cooling: 15 mins | Yield: 2 dozen | Make Ahead 


  • 12 medium eggs or large,temperate
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 10 g (3 tbsp) panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) mayonnaise
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) olive oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) anchovy paste
  • 3 to 4 heart leaves of romaine lettuce, torn into 24 pieces
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped chives
  • 48 capers, drained
  • Finely grated fresh parmesan cheese, for serving  


  1. In a saucepan, place the eggs and cover with lukewarm water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and fill the pan with cold water. Peel the eggs under cold water and pat them dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until browned and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Strain the cooking fat into a bowl through a sieve to remove impurities, if desired. Wipe out the skillet.
  3. Return the cooking fat to the skillet. Over medium heat, brown the breadcrumbs with the garlic, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly salt. Set aside on the plate next to the bacon. Remove the garlic and compost it.
  4. On a work surface, cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and put them in a bowl. Reserve the whites on a large plate, cut side up.
  5. Pound the egg yolks finely with a fork. Stir in the mayonnaise, 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the oil, the lemon juice and the anchovy paste. Salt and pepper. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Fill the inside of the egg whites with the mixture. To book. At this stage, you can cover the eggs and refrigerate them. All you have to do is garnish them when serving.
  6. In a bowl, mix the lettuce, the rest of the oil and the chives.
  7. Insert a piece of lettuce into the stuffing of each half-egg, tilting it slightly so as not to completely cover the stuffing. Top with capers, breadcrumbs and bacon. Pepper. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan. Spread the eggs on a serving platter.

Sushi bowls

Our girls love meal bowls. This is the perfect dish for entertaining at the last minute. Just chop up a few veggies and pop over to the fish counter for fresh fish or to thaw some ingredients. At home, we always have shrimp, edamame and diced fish in the freezer, and rice in the pantry. It's like sushi, but without the stress of rolling it! 

Preparation: 35 minutes | Servings:



  • 225 g (1/2 lb) very fresh salmon, finely diced
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp.) rice vinegar
  • 225 g (1/2 lb) very fresh tuna, finely diced


  • 1 seasoned rice recipe
  • 1 recipe seasoned mayonnaise
  • 1 recipe fried shrimp
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 2 limes, quartered< /li>
  • 2 nori sheets, toasted and crumbled (see note)
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 290 g (2 cups) frozen shelled edamame, blanched for 3 minutes
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Prepared wasabi, to taste< /li>
  • Pickled ginger, to taste  


In a bowl , mix the salmon, 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the soy sauce and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the vinegar. 

Proceed in the same way with the tuna. Refrigerate while you prepare the toppings.


Place bowls of fish over bowls filled with ice cubes to keep them cold while serving. Place the rice, mayonnaise, hot fried shrimp and remaining ingredients in separate bowls in the center of the table. Let each person garnish their bowl. 


  1. To revive the flavor of the seaweed and make it more interesting to bite, grill one sheet at a time for about 1 minute on each side in a large skillet hot nonstick.
  2. Crush the sheet between your hands, it will crumble very easily. 
  3. Feel free to customize your sushi bowls according to what makes you urge. Use ingredients from your favorite sushi to build your bowl by varying fish and seafood or even adding pieces of fried chicken or tempura vegetables. Sauces can also be replaced with sesame mayonnaise or teriyaki sauce, for example. 

Blueberry Apple Pie

Ricardo loves pies of all kinds. He even cooks it in our van!
The fillings change according to the seasons and our inspirations. We cook as many of the most refined with a beautiful braiding as rustic versions. This blueberry pie is one of the best we've ever made. By incorporating green apple, which is rich in pectin, we ensure that the filling will remain firm and that we can make a nice clean cut. 

Preparation: 50 minutes | Refrigeration: 30 minutes | Cooking: 1 h 10 | Servings: 8 to 10 | Make ahead



  • 300 g (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 225 g (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 60 ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) ice water


  • 160 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 25 g (3 tbsp) starch corn
  • 540 g (3 cups) granny smith apples with skin on, grated (about 5 apples)
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp.) lemon juice
  • 1 bag of 600 g frozen blueberries


  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cane sugar
  • < /ul>


    1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt.
      Add the butter and pulse a few seconds at a time until the butter is the size of peas. Add the yogurt and ice water, then mix again until the dough just begins to form. Remove the dough from the robot and shape two discs with your hands. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the two disks of dough to 3 mm (1/8 in) thick. Line a 23-cm (9-inch) diameter glass pie pan with a crust.
      Using the small and large end of a large plain pastry tip, poke a few holes in the second crust.
      Place the crust and the resulting circles on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until assembly.
    3. Place the rack in the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). 


    • In a saucepan off the heat, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add grated apples and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the frozen blueberries and mix well. 


    1. Spread the fruit filling in the crust. Brush the edge of the crust with egg yolk.
    2. Cover the pie with the crust. Remove excess dough, if needed. Fold the second sheet under the first, then seal the pasta together, forming a border. Using a brush, brush the surface of the dough with egg yolk.
    3. Place the circles of dough on the pie and brush them with egg yolk. Sprinkle with cane sugar. Cover with aluminum foil.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Continue baking for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool completely on a wire rack. The pie will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Allow to cool before serving.