1) a view of the North shore Mountains from our patio at dusk
Of course, every Canadian knows “Patio Lanterns” is the quintessential summer patio song by none other than Mr. Kim Mitchell. Summer is in full swing here in Vancouver and we’ve decked our itsy-bitsy patio with a view with lanterns as well …. though we’ve not yet played the song.
2) happy buddha brings luck to our boxwood; 3) we’ve room but for 2 chairs on the balcony up in the sky
I bought Mourad Lahlou’s excellent 2011 cookbook, New Moroccan, and have been busy immersing myself in all things Moroccan (though much of his approach is, indeed, french/modern takes on traditional Moroccan dishes). On the weekend I made a braised artichokes with cipollini onions, pistachios and cumin broth and am busy here now finishing off a batch of what will be – in a month’s time – preserved lemon. Next on my list will be those so yummy mini crumpet-like beghrirs, but I have to first buy an ebelskiver pan rather than risk my poor shaky hand dropping out the batter on our cast iron skillet.
4) the artichokes turned out lovely but I would tweak the cumin broth next time as I’m not sure I like the taste; 5) getting ready to preserve
6) here they are …. let them sit over night to soften before; 7) filling in a few more lemons and covering in fresh lemon juice
There is a very famous brunch place just around the corner from us called Cafe Medina. If you are a Vancouverite you will visit Cafe Medina at least once (eating there is akin to climbing the Grouse Grind and sort of makes you a ‘real’ Vancouverite); if you are a tourist you’ll probably find yourself making your way to their door as well. It is an institution. Cafe Medina is known for its lines (people stand out in all sorts of weather waiting for a spot inside), its lavender coffee, its cassoulet and its Belgium waffles. Of course, not to be outdone – and figuring we can do this classic meal as good if not better than the Medina folks – we decided last night to take up the challenge. And damn, were we successful! We started with spot prawns because … well, just because … and they are in season. We made our snap version of duck cassoulet (using *gasp* canned cannellini beans), I manned the Nepresso and made the lavender coffee and we had Belgium waffles in the freezer from last week. All in all a supreme success (*pats on back*) and why do Cafe Medina when we’ve got B&G.
8) jalapeno-butter fresh BC spot prawns were our appetizer last night (did you know that some 90% of the BC spot prawn catch does to Japan for sushi?); 9) bacon, duck confit and french sausage for the cassoulet
10) simmer for 40 minutes or so then; 11) top with breadcrumbs and bake till ooey gooey
12) serve with some micro-greens and a perfectly fried sunny side up egg … heaven!