Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Montreal 3 - A fooding we will go...

The boy, the bro and my dear friend jumped into the car.

We were late.

We had meant to be at the market much sooner.

However, when complaints of empty tummies were heard, my tireless friend swerved to do a run in at St. Viateur's for warm hot bagels. However, the brakes were stomped on and parking found when Genevieve de Grandbois chocolate shop was spotted.

We split up. The bro went to fetch, in his words, “the best coffee in Montreal”, while the boy, the friend and I stopped for chocolates.

After buying one of everything in the store (literally...including the rich, thick hot chocolate), the bro had arrived with our hot coffees.

A hop and a skip down the block, we were in the tiny St Viateur bagel shop, warming our hands on our coffees and inhaling the aroma of freshly baked bagels. A dozen was quickly bought and our mouths full of sesame bagels before we left the shop.

Down another two blocks to the kosher bakery for chocolate, cinnamon and jammy croissant bites, before shivering all the way to the car.

Straight to Jean Talon market, the entrance of which distracted us with the bison ribs, bags of home made chips (that's crisps to you English!), sauerkraut with Italian sausage, baby scallops with lemon and tartare sauce.

The boy, the bro and the friend had to drag me away from the man opening oysters for $1 each to passerbys. I kept dropping loonies (that's $1 dollar coins to you non-Canadians!) in his tin and he kept opening the deliciously cold fresh oysters, what was a girl to do?

I downed 5 of them before they could distract me by waving the scallops under my nose.

We then entered the market whereupon my posse seriously wondered if I had ADD as they kept having to stop and find me whenever I wandered off, enticed by a huge freezer stocked full of sausages, or to a shelf full of home made preserved, or to the pieces of milk fed delicious veal being cooked in front of me, or the veal pate being proffered to passers by.

Churros was at another stand, in addition to fresh pressed apple cider, slices of orange, pineapple, crisp Cortland apples and bags of earthy, beautiful beets. Huge fennels, cauliflower the colour of vibrant Easter eggs and tomatoes, tomatillos fighting for attention next to the baskets full of apples, pears and others was almost too much for me to handle.

Bakeries, patisseries, the Italian deli, cheese store and the produce stores surrounding the market had me weak at the knees and when my posse had lost patience with me, they dragged me kicking and screaming to the car, where, a dense loaf studded with cranberries, chocolate chips and liberally sprinkled with large chunks of salt was shoved in my mouth just to keep me quiet.

Dinner was cauliflower soup with pesto, served with homemade croutons,

The most excellent fennel and mushroom salad from Orangette,

Pan fried smoked pork chops,

Finishing with a pineapple upside down cake baked to perfection, with crusty caramelized toffee bit edges.

It was a good day.

Just a side note about this pineapple upside down cake. My lovely friend whom I am imposing on while in Montreal, as a thank you once gave me a slice of this cake back when we were studying in Vancouver and I was driving her to the airport. It was the 'edge' piece with two sides of crusty caramelly bits and it was heaven. For 6 years (!!) I had been trying to find and copy this cake, I have never, ever found something similar. Back then I was too polite to harrass my friend for the recipe. This time I was bold. In fact, I was pushy. Here I am, staying at her gorgeous condo and basically pulling on sleeve, pleading with her.

A simple phone call was made. (No, not from me...I'm not part of the Chinese triad)

This was to her father, Guy Gauthier, who is a fabulous (and I mean, FABulous) cook. When he heard that I was whining and being a complete nuisance to his lovely daughter, he promised me the recipe (and a self made 'Best of' cookbook he put together himself) if I would shut the hell up.

So, you lucky people, here's the recipe. Many, many, many thanks to Guy.

Pineapple Upside-down Cake

- 1/3 cup of butter
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup of sifted flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 can of pineapple rings with 4 tbsp juice reserved
- candied cherries optional
- 1 pinch salt

Melt the butter and mix with brown sugar.

But at the bottom of the pan.

Lay pineapple rings with cherries in the middle on top of the sugar mixture and press slightly.

Mix white sugar and flour and add pineapple juice. If too stiff you may add a touch more pineapple juice.

Mix in the egg yolks then add in the egg whites.

Pour the batter on top of the pineapples and sugar mixture.

Cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let stand for 10 minutes before flipping and serve at room tempurature.


susan in Hong Kong said...

Hi Jess, sounds like you're having a great time. I heard Montreal has some fabulous food - and better bagels and "salt beef" (aka pastrami) than New York. Is it true????

Sui Mai said...

Most definitely!

Bagels and smoked meat is to.die.for. My next post should be enough but warm bagels just out of the oven.....mmmmmnnnn...

You must visit.