|Bonjour Les Amis,I’m sensing the holidays quickly approaching… I see folks on their lunch breaks jotting down Christmas gift ideas, our new Cassoles are finding new homes in American kitchens, & I’m keeping a stack of foie stocked in the freezer.
Tonight I’m making this autumn speck & apple salad for dinner from Suzanne Goin’s A.O.C cookbook… And I just discovered we sell apple balsamic vinegar next door at Spanish Table! This is such a lovely place for a cook to work.A Bientot,
CatherineDuck Breasts with Mout de Raisin
adapted from The Cooking Of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert2 Grimaud Farms boneless duck breasts
1 1/2 Tbs minced shallots
1 Tbs duck fat
3/4 cup red wine
Pinch fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbs Beaufor Mout de Raisin
1 Tbs heavy cream
Salt & freshly ground pepperWarm duck breasts in oven on low heat for 20 minutes (the breasts are already cooked, you’re just gently warming them). Remove to carving board & let rest.Meanwhile, add the shallots & duck fat to the skillet & cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine & herbs to the skillet & boil until reduced by half. Stir in the mustard & heavy cream. Adjust the seasoning. Thinly slice the meat crosswise on the diagonal & arrange overlapping on a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the slices & serve at once.Death at the Chateau Bremont by M.L. Longworth Sale $6.99
“Set in charming and historic Aix-en-Provence, France, Death at the Château Bremont introduces readers to Antoine Verlaque, the handsome and seductive chief magistrate of Aix, and his on-again, off- again love interest, law professor Marine Bonnet. When local nobleman Etienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family château, the town is abuzz with rumors. Verlaque suspects foul play and must turn to Marine for help when he discovers that she had been a close friend of the Bremonts. This is a lively whodunit steeped in the rich, enticing, and romantic atmosphere of southern France.”
Le Paradou Vionier 2013, Luberon $11.99
We were planning a Thai meal out of Pok Pok a week ago & I asked my husband to bring home a good white to pair with spicy Asian fare. I’ll admit I cringed a bit when he brought home a bottle of Viognier. I expected sweet & overtly floral, but boy was I wrong. Because this comes from high elevation vineyards, this has bright acid & fruit, and the pineapple & orange notes were superb with Thai noodles. Plus it’s a steal… One of my new favorite house whites.
George Vigeroux Gouleyant Malbec 2012, Cahors $11.99
I was reading a blog about the 2010 Duckfest with Kate Hill, & guess which wine came up?
French Malbec! Gouleyant translates roughly as “gulpable” & at this price I think you’ll agree. Wine from Cahors is known to be dark & rustic, & without the presence of oak, this Malbec is great Gallic fare. Meaty black plums, prune, & black cassis. Savory with a little violet nuance & a silty texture. This has old world charm.
Domaine Joseph Roty Cuvee de Pressonnier 2011, Bourgogne $35
“Roty wines are very distinctive. They are full, very intense, very perfumed and very harmonious. They are certainly immensely seductive.” -Clive Coates
His family has worked the same vineyards for over 300 years–they have a key advantage working with some of the oldest vines in the area. Known as an exceptional value, this is declassified Gevrey. One writer called it his “premium house glugger”. I’d like to be his neighbor!
These olive oils show a December 2014 expiration date, so we’ve marked them down to encourage you to try them out. Made in the heart of Provence on stone mills. These make great Christmas gifts!
Castelines Classic Olive Oil $9.99 (reg. $24.99)
Made with Vallée des Baux de Provence: Salonenque, Beruguette, Grossane and Verdale olives. Only slightly filtered, this has almond & artichoke aromas, grassy with a peppery edge. Cold-pressed within 24 hours after harvesting.
Castelines Fruite Noir Olive Oil $9.99 (reg. $34.99)
Salonenque, Aglandau, Grossane and Verdale olives. Cocoa aromas, with cured black olive & truffle notes.
Distillerie du Perigord Pruneaux a l’Armagnac $27.99
I learned something really interesting by reading this Chez Pim blog. These are the prunes they serve in Gascony after dinner – or as a side to a dishy conversation something most folks cart back in their suitcase after a trip to France. Pim calls these sweet, potent & delicious.
And if you want to follow her recipe & make them yourself, we also sell bags of Favols Pruneaux d’Agen.
Terre Exotique Trousse du Trappeur Pecheur $42
Put this under the Christmas tree for your hunter/fisherman, camper, or general weekend warrior. A collection of spice vials attractively packaged in a canvas & leather case. Comes with accompanying recipes & tweezers for de-boning your catch. Includes
Wild Herb Blend: basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram
Scandinavian Oil: olive oil, essential oils of fennel & dill, lemon extract
Viking Salt: salt, black peppercorns, onion, curry
Canadian Blend: sugar, onion, pink peppercorn, maple sugar