Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Marche Jean-Talon

Recently Jim and I took a drive to Montreal for a music and food filled overnight. We set out to try a (new to us) restaurant, called "Le Taj", specializing in Indian food. We enjoyed fresh out of the tandoor nan bread, crisp and flavorful samosas, perfectly spiced channa masala (spiced chick peas), and so much more. The service was friendly and attentive and I was happily surprised at the long wine list. On weekend evenings you dine while listening to live tabla music. So, if you have a taste for Indian food while in Montreal try "Le Taj".

Then, after dinner we hailed a cab and went off to hear live music.
After a good nights sleep we found ourselves in a culinary dream come true... strolling around Marche Jean-Talon.

Even in early spring, the center of the market is colorful, packed high with fresh fruits, vegetables, and gardening must-haves.

The market perimeter is a Canadian celebration of local meat vendors, cafes, French bakeries, and cheese shops. Don't forget the detailed spice store with a fine selection of olive oils and vinegars all available to taste. The Middle Eastern street food is fabulous and not to be missed. I love the lamb and green olive pressed sandwiches with hot sauce! You will even find a small tortilla factory, with made to order tacos and tamales.

A visit to Marche Jean-Talon is a must and plan on eating great foods while strolling around.

Cilantro Coconut Lime Sauce

4 cups cilantro leaves washed and chopped (approximately 2 bunches)
1-2 seeded green chilies (optional)
3/4 cup flaked coconut, unsweetened
¼ - 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup warm water (as needed)

In a blender add all the ingredients to make a smooth paste. Add water slowly as needed to keep the blender running (you may also use the food processor). Taste and adjust seasoning.

*Use this sauce with all grilled fish, pork, and lamb. Fabulous with Samosas and spring rolls. Serve with cashew ginger rice!


Chef Courtney Contos said...

Hi Chef Courtney,
How are you? Gail Schultz here, Steve Schultz's wife (the former VP of Hr at NECI)
You also did a fun private dinner for us which we unfortunately didn't get to finish because the power went out at the Inn at Essex that night!! Wow-A blizzard in October-I think that was 3 years ago.
Anyway I happened across your blog from my Sweet Clover Market emails, and I have a question for you about Marche Jean-Talon, which sounds like a wonderful place- would it be feasible to hang out there all day and shop in this cold weather? Is some of it indoors as well as the outdoor stuff? And how long of a drive is it from here in Essex?
Thanks-hope all is well at the Essex!

Chef Courtney Contos said...

Hi Gail,

Great to here from you! Yes, wild to think of that big snow storm in October years ago. I do miss seeing Steve's smiling face around the Essex but I am very happy for his new opportunities. Seems he left at a good time.

The market is open year round but in cold winter they shut down the outer perimeter for warmth. So what I recommend is to walk Jean Talon, have coffee, crepes, bison on a stick and then walk the outside little shops (bakeries, Mexican and Persian shops and more). I encourage you to visit the market this season but then again in June when it is covered with local strawberries and asparagus. Depending on the boarder you can make it to the market in 1 1/2 hours. Parking at the market is easy as they have a lower level parking garage.

Thank you for your questions, I very much like to be thought of as a culinary resource. I
am planning on being available in some new ways so stay tuned and sign up to receive my updates.