Good eats of late

IMG_3452 (2) (1024x412)1) 49th Parallel Coffee

Our Sunday cycle took us to Main and 13th to visit 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters which is a coffee-house built in the Seattle-style, by which I mean a contingent of grunge-rocker staff serving – every so slowly it must be noted – a clientele decidedly ‘hip’ in a laid back, west-coast-vibe surrounding (think long tables, earth tones and lots of wood). Forty-ninth of late has taken to baking donuts (which they in oh-so-English style spell doughnuts; how quaint) to complement their coffee. Donuts here are thoroughly of the yeast raised variety – of which G is a fan; me, well, not so much. I’ll take the cake donuts of Cartems Donuterie pretty much nine times out of ten. That said, I was intrigued by the notion of their PB&J donut as I’ll eat anything peanut butter-ish and hence over we cycled.

Did I mention 49th – I suppose to confuse things – calls the donut shop inside their coffee-house, Lucky’s Doughnuts.  Go figure.

G opted for an earl grey tea and a maple bacon donut; I opted for a cafe latte (that took far too long to construct I’ll add again) and a peanut butter and (disappointingly) raspberry filled donut. I abhor raspberry anything and wanted strawberry but hey, such is life. Interestingly, and quietly happily I’ll admit, Lucky’s fills their donuts not as tradition has it in the middle, but rather pipes the raspberry in each of the corners. Prompts for that indeed. And the verdict? … coffee is fabulous and worth the trip in itself. Maple bacon donut is superb with a delicious bacon-forward flavour that puts the Voodoo Donuts (in Portland – see here) to shame. PB&J is … well, fine. And insomuch as fine is never really fine probably tells you everything you need to know.

IMG_3449 (2) (765x1024)2) top – my PB&J donut; bottom – G’s maple bacon donut

IMG_3451 (2) (1024x765)3) coffee is freaking amazing here!

For a Sunday dinner, we decided rather last minute to make a cold seafood tower. We’ve had these in several establishments and hotels (most notably at the Pacific Rim during a stay [see here]) and having prepped it certainly can understand the cost involved when ordering such a smorgasbord: it’s a crapload of work! However, the perseverance is worth it. For our version we prepared a snowcrab; salmon sushi; pacific mussels that G did up in what was the best broth ever (white wine, shallots, butter, garlic, parsley and cilantro); a small japanese-style iceberg lettuce salad with a daikon radish soy dressing I mixed up; cold smoked tuna (which we bought!) and Ecuadorean shrimp. Fabulous, fabulous!

DSCN0744 (3) (1024x768)4) the wee salad

IMG_3458 (2) (765x1024)5) here’s our tower, granted perhaps more a tier but still gorgeous

IMG_3457 (1024x765)6) the snowcrab and shrimp with a home-made cocktail sauce I made … with real horseradish I grated myself, of course

DSCN0745 (1024x768) (2)7) the mussels, sushi and cold smoked tuna

I continue to be enamoured of Mourad’s “New Moroccan” cuisine cookbook and made his version of kefta with custardy egg yolks last week. Kefta is a mixture of ground lamb  and beef that is usually served in one of three ways: rolled into balls and served in a sauce (as I did below); stuffed into peppers and baked; or served as cigars on metal skewers on the street. The sauce is very good probably thanks to the addition of carrot juice (sort of like in a Bolognese), preserved lemon (which I made awhile back) and the sprinkling of urfa chile power when you serve it. Urfa is a chile from a very specific place in Turkey and has a rich, earthy, raisin-like taste with a hint of heat. I suspect it would go very good in desserts as well.

IMG_3348 (765x1024)8) gathering the ingredients – thyme, cilantro, parsley, onion, cumin, preserved lemon, sweet paprika, tomatoes, garlic, urfa, water and cayenne

IMG_3350 (1024x765)9) prepare the meatballs – they ar about an inch in size – and have a ton of spices – cumin, paprika, cayenne, white pepper, salt, cilantro

IMG_3352 (1024x765)10) let your sauce reduce down a lot!

IMG_3353 (1024x765)11) brown the meatballs

IMG_3349 (1024x765)12) here’s the urfa up close

IMG_3354 (1024x765)13) the finished dish at table – you simply crack in egg yolks before serving, cover and let them warm a minute or so

And let’s not forget G’s superb lemon poppy-seed cake with lemon custard. It was great!

IMG_3356 (1024x765)14) G`s cakette

IMG_3357 (1024x765)15) dig-in!

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