Paris Grocery News 6/10 Friday, Jun 10 2011 

Snacks that do a lot of work.

Food @ PG

When summer comes, it’s nice give the stove and oven a break as much as possible. Grab a jar of something savory and add it to cold pasta, salads, and snack plates. Try a flavorful terrine or pâté for a simple sandwich that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor. Or consider a high-quality snack from the freezer. Here are our new favorite snacks that make life easy.

Grilled Fennel by Ritrovo

Set in olive oil with a bit of white wine, garlic, and parsley. Add to a tapas plate along roasted red peppers and some rustic charcuterie. ($10.99/10-oz. jar)

Marinated Carrots with Fennel by Arthur Épicerie Fine

Yep, we’re a little obsessed with fennel. Set in sea salt, these carrots and fennel taste unbelievably fresh. They’d be great with a plate of smoked salmon and a glass of cold white wine. ($6.49/10-oz. jar)

Balsamic Roasted Onions & Beets by Arthur Épicerie Fine

Made with a little red wine vinegar and a touch of brown sugar. Perfect with cold meat (maybe leftovers from last night?), salad, or a cheese plate. ($9.99/4.6-oz. jar)

Rillettes: Maybe the most savory stuff on Earth.

Rillettes du Périgord

A spread made from duck meat that’s been simmered in spices, juices, and fat, so the meat can soak up as much flavor as possible.  ($13.99/7-oz. terrine)

Last summer my friends and I had a particularly lovely picnic. To supplement the simple fruit, charcuterie, and salads we’d brought, we stopped by Café Presse for some rillette sandwiches. I remember thinking, are these gonna be a little too heavy for a hot summer day? Later, eating one, I thought, you shouldn’t be allowed to think anymore. They were awesome. Make your own baguette sandwiches with this terrine of rillettes from Fabrique Delices, a brand we like very much. I’d add quick-pickled red onion and shredded carrots, but classic accompaniments such as cornichons and mustard would also be great.

Frozen crepes: Making Sunday even Sunday-ier.

White Toque Frozen Crêpes

Now in the freezer case: ready-to-go crêpes for the lazy brunch chef. Made with just nine ingredients that are all extremely pronounceable. Just thaw and heat and pile on the spreads/protein/fruit/you know what to do. ($7.99/package of 6)

*Now on sale: White Toque 15 Organic Mini Fillo Shells were $5.99, they’re now just $1.99! Maybe you have some fillings looking for a home. They are flaky and fancy and delicious.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 6/4 Saturday, Jun 4 2011 

Cocchi Americano, Bonal, and Cardamaro: We've got a lot of drinking to do.

Aperitifs @ PG

Now at the shop: some of the latest must-have sippers. Check out this great New York Times article about the aperitif- and wine-based cocktails served at an East Village restaurant.

Cocchi Americano

Bon Appetit declared this to be the summer of Cocchi (pronounced “co-key”), and it’s popping up more frequently in local restaurants. You’ll need a bottle (or two) if you want to maintain your status as a Person of Good Living.

From yet another NYT article:  “This aperitivo – something along the lines of a vermouth – has been made since 1891 from moscato d’asti, a sweet white wine fortified with a touch of brandy, then flavored with gentian, cinchona bark and other bittering aromatics, along with orange peels and herbs. There are any number of similar products on the market, but what has cocktail enthusiasts excited about Cocchi is that it is secretly acknowledged to be the most similar product in existence to the old-formula Kina Lillet.”

The original Kina Lillet had more quinine, so it was more bitter than today’s Lillet, making it much more punchy and interesting when used in cocktails such as the Vesper and the Corpse Reviver. You can also do like the Italians and drink it on ice, with a dash of soda water and an orange slice. ($18.99)

Bonal

The bottles of this apéritif wine feature a picture of a key and the tagline “ouvre l’appétit,” or, open the appetite, which we love. It’s made with a base of Mistelle (partially fermented grape juice to which alcohol has been added) that is infused with quinine, gentian, and renowned herbs from the Grand Chartreuse Mountains. Try it neat, on the rocks with a twist, or use in place of sweet vermouth in cocktails, such as a Negroni, for an extra bitter oomph. There’s also a great cocktail out of Dalva in San Francisco (featured here in the SF Gate) that mixes it with rye and plenty of orange flavors. Yum! ($18.99)

Cardamaro

This Amaro from Piedmont is made with wine infused with cardoon (a relative of the artichoke), blessed thistle (a delightful weed once used to treat bubonic plague; now one of the flavors found in Benedictine liqueur), and other botanicals found on the Bosca estate. It’s reportedly less bitter than many other amaros (“amari”?), with a nutty, spicy, almost wintery quality to it. Try it neat or on the rocks. Showed up this past winter in an incredible cocktail at Poppy; look for it to start popping up on shelves of the more imaginative restaurants and bars. ($20.99)

Dolin vermouth, available in blanc, dry, or sweet.

As usual: We’re stocked with plenty of Dubonnet, Lillet Blanc and Rouge, and Dolin vermouths. Viva l’apéritif!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery