Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Loving Ethnic Foods

Lebanese Molokhai with Chicken & Rice

Recently I promised more details about a great new find...Gourmet Cash & Carry. Think ethnic food shopping a la Costco. But let me back up a bit. The store is owned by CLIC International, the largest importer, distributor of ethnic foods to North America. Head Office and giant warehouse are in the Montreal area and they currently have seven stores across Canada and are also distributing into the US.

I'm sure I've driven by their Halifax operations a gazillion times without realizing what a gem we have here. Great selection and excellent prices...what a fantastic combination. I'll be writing a more detailed account for foodtv soon, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime I thought I'd share ingredients for last night's dinner (recipe at the top of this post)...

The leafy molokhia is similar to spinach but has an earthier taste and a slimier texture...sounds bad, but really...it was as delicious as Tony, the manager of Gourmet Cash & Carry said it would be. It's his recipe at the top of the post. The Seven Spice mix is a blend of allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, ginger, clove & nutmeg. I'm really going to love it in lots of stews and just sprinkled over fish and chicken as it's grilling.

On the right in the photo you can just make out the frozen artichoke bottoms. I've looked high and low for some in the city. There's a fantastic recipe I'll be making tomorrow - Sicilian Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms. And although Jennifer Joyce, author of Small Bites (more about that tomorrow too), does explain how to start with whole artichokes , I preferred to have someone else do that for me.

These perfectly sundried olives are definitely another favorite find...and less than $3 for this medium sized container...half the price of elsewhere...even if you could find them.

This blurry shot is just half of one shelf unit of spices. I forgot to mention that the store is divided by ethnic groups...Middle Eastern being the largest, but you will also find Indian, Asian, Latin American as well. 1400 products from all around the world!

Just a few of my favorites...rose water & orange blossom water.

Dried fruits like papaya & mango at a price that won't break the bank!

As for savory...some authentic Mexican Mole for that chicken dish I'm dying to recreate from my honeymoon all those years ago in Cancun.

I could go on forever, but you'll just have to wait for the next installment.

What's your most favorite ethnic shop near your home?


Bellini Valli said...

This place sounds like a slice of heaven...and frozen artichoke bottoms...wouldn't that be a treat:D

Happy cook said...

Looks like you took lot of pics there.
When we went to egypt, we went to a libanese restraunt and they food there was so delicous, just thinking aobut it makes me drool.

Ruth Daniels said...

I took a gazillion photos, and you're right...it made me drool just thinking about what I'll make first.

Thanks for dropping by.

Ruth Daniels said...

Artichoke bottoms on the menu tonight...stuffed with seasoned bread crumbs and cheese. I've been thinking about them since I first saw the recipe a month ago and couldn't find any frozen bottoms anywhere in town.

Joanne said...

What a great find! I love cooking ethnic foods with authentic ingredients but I usually just don't have the time to seek them out. The Lebanese chicken dish looks delicious.

Pam said...

Wow! I don't know what I would do if I had such a place near me!