Monday, May 5, 2014

Last Minute Trip to Montreal

It's been too long since my last post.  It's not that I haven't been enjoying life... just somehow too lazy to write much...or thought of taking photos only AFTER delicious meals were eaten.   The Passover Seder was great, but the photos... what there were...not worth sharing.  So on to some more recent experience - a last minute quick trip to Montreal. That's the view from our hotel room in downtown Montreal.   My Honey was there on business and I was in the business of leisure.

My day started with a workout in the Hotel's gym and pool and a browse through one of the malls.  I'm still fantasizing about fabulous footwear.

But the afternoon was the real highlight... a trip to Jean Talon Market.
I was shocked to see the state of things at the market.  I've only been there during serious market season and not during the winter.   The market is just in the process of being made ready for all the local produce vendors.  That's my Honey on the left and my daughter's Honey (F) on the right, just to give a sense of scale.

Fortunately, the permanent shops were still there ... and my drooling begins...
Freshly made delicious Portuguese custard tarts - Natas
One of several butcher shops - this one specializes in veal (something that's hard to find here in Halifax)
Lunch of merguez sausages - I couldn't wait to eat it, so the photo is...well... a silly photo of buns!  Merguez sausages are originally from Morocco and common in Montreal, but rare in Halifax.  In fact, I only recently found the fabulous Ratinaud charcuterie (owner from Montreal) that sells them.  Here's a recipe if you choose to make some yourself.  But I digress.

After spicy merguez we obviously needed some fabulous patisserie...mille feuille and coffee for my Honey, lemon tart and esspresso for F and creme brulee and cappucino for me.
My most favorite shop and one I dream about often is Epices de Cru - a fantastic world of spices and more.
As you can see, I love their their spices and normally replenish my favorites distributed by Costas Halavrezos at the Historic Farmers Market here in Halifax.  Naturally I couldn't miss the opportunity to spend some time in their emporium that transports you to magical other worlds.
My latest purchases- replenish my Turkish aleppo pepper and  Mexican Tlalelolco rub and a new member of my collection Guajillo Chile flakes because of this recipe for Sweet & Sour Maple Syrup Salsa.  One of the absolute joys of visiting the shop is the introduction to totally new flavors.   Just pick up a tin and ask about it.  There are samples to sniff and discussions about how to use them.   My latest discovery.. Panch Phoran - an Indian masala.   There are five recipes on the Epices de Cru website, but the server in the shop told me he often just toasts some in a dry skillet and then add them to sauteed or roasted vegetables.  I plan on trying it out this week with some cauliflower.

And yes, we did visit family and enjoyed that as well.
Just to share one of my lazy dinners...Grass Fed Strip Loin steaks (from Getaway Farm Butchers at the Seaport Market here in Halifax) with some Tlalelolco rub and a green salad with a simple vinaigrette.

I'd love to hear about your favorite market, food emporium or at the very least, your favorite spices.

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