Paris Grocery seattle

November 13, 2014

Bonjour Les Amis,

I was just speaking with my adopted family on San Juan Island, as we are finalizing our Thanksgiving menu (we’re much better off bringing ingredients from the mainland.) Can’t wait to sip some Champagne by the wood stove!

We decided to mix things up a bit this year–if you feel like doing the same, you might want to read this article on French holiday meal suggestions from Patricia Wells.

A Bientot,
Catherine Reynolds

Duck Fat Popcorn from Diane, A Broad blog

This is one of the best uses for duck fat I’ve seen. So glad I found this blog!

Yield: one big bowl of popcorn

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons duck fat, divided
  • 7 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped finely (about 1 tablespoon leaves)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, smashed (1 is lovely and balanced, 2 is more heady)
  • 1 1”x2” strip orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
  • 1/3 cup popping corn
  • Fine salt, to taste
  • Grated orange zest, to taste, for garnish

Directions

  1. In your smallest saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the duck fat with the thyme sprigs, about 2/3 of the chopped thyme leaves, the garlic, and the orange zest over very low heat. Allow to infuse for about 15 minutes. It should only sizzle the tiniest bit. Remove the pan from the heat for a few minutes if it gets too hot.
  2. In a large pot (at least 3 quarts), heat the vegetable oil and the remaining 2 tbsp of duck fat over medium heat. Once the duck fat has melted, drop in four kernels of popcorn, put the lid on, and wait for the four kernels to pop.
  3. When the kernels have popped, immediately remove the pot from the heat and add the rest of the popcorn. Wait thirty seconds, then put the pot back on the fire. The corn should start popping almost immediately. Shake the pan every few seconds to make the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom of the pot. When popping slows to about 5 seconds between pops, remove from the heat and pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
  4. Remove the thyme sprigs, garlic, and orange zest from the infused duck fat. Drizzle the infused duck fat over the popcorn, stirring between additions. Season: toss with three pinches of salt, the remaining thyme, and orange zest.

Notes

Adapted from Gilt Taste.

I know, I know, five tablespoons of duck fat. Just do it. You’ll thank me.

Also, have you ever poured real melted butter on top of popcorn only to have it completely deflate and turn into a soggy mess? It won’t happen here. It’s the water content in butter that causes popcorn deflation, so the pure duck fat will just slick the outsides of the kernels with flavor, not sink into the fluffy corn.

If you have an air popper, feel free to pop the corn in there instead of on the stove.

FRENCH SWEETS ARRIVE!

Bovetti Chocolat Noir Fleur de Violette $9.49
Bovetti Chocolat Lait Petales de Rose $9.49
Bovetti Espelette Chili $15.99

Despite the Italian name, Bovetti’s chocolate factory is in Correze. Once we opened the boxes, Kelsey & I had a hard time deciding which of these we were going to buy for ourselves. Dark chocolate with violet, milk chocolate with rose petals, or spicy Basque Espelette flavor…

Yves Thuries Chocolate Sardines $13.99
A dozen shiny milk chocolate sardines come packaged in a little red tin. C‘est trop mignon!

Yves Thuries French Macarons Chocolates $15.99
Confectioner extraordinaire Yves Thuries was born in the south of France & left Tarn at age 14 to begin a culinary career. He went on the win numerous awards for both his pastries & his chocolates and went on to create the Musee des Art du Sucre et du Chocolat. These whimsical chocolate macarons come in a macaron-shaped container making them a terrific gift. Flavors include Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline, Dark Chocolate & Chocolate Ganache, Dark Chocolate & Caramel Ganache, plus Milk Chocolate & Almond Praline. (Pictured here on one of our French confections tea towels.)

Lars Belgian Pearl Sugar $7.99
Belgian pearl sugar is the key to making real Liege-style Belgian waffles. Waffles are traditionally sold from trucks or shop windows & the key to a real Belgian waffle is this sugar. The sugar caramelizes on the waffle iron, producing  a crunchy sticky glaze. I like one chef’s idea of adding a little saffron to the dough…

Jacquard Francais Tea Towels $14.50/$16/$19.50/$22
We recently got even more patterns! Made in France since 1888, these towels are simply gorgeous. 100% combed cotton in vibrant colors–they can also double as place mats. I was at a friend’s house for dinner recently & marveled at how well the colors held up & how soft they became over the years.

Mas de Boislauzon ‘La Chaussynette’ 2011, Vin de France$14.99 
From 6th generation winemakers, Daniel & Christine Chaussy, at the tiny estate of Mas de Boislauzon in Chateauneuf de Pape. La Chaussynette is known as ‘the estate’s secret’ & Wine Advocate says, “superb, sells for a song.” 40-year-old organic vines of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault & Mourvedre. Soft, easy, & inky–raspberry, garrigue, fig. 

Domaine la Tour Vielle Banyuls Reserva $29
Instead of finishing your holiday meal with port, treat your guests to a glass of Banyuls. Kermit Lynch calls these “the ultimate meditation wines at the end of a meal.”
Banyuls is French Catalonia, & grapes are grown on steep schist terraces overlooking the sea. Constant winds make for low yields, and grapes are carried up & down the mountain in baskets. This is 35% Grenache, 35% Grenache Gris & 30% Carignan. The new wine is aged outside in glass jars & then blended with older vintages aged in barrels, making the average age 5 years for the Reserva. Spicy chocolate & raspberry notes–serve chilled–pair with chocolate desserts or blue cheese.

aMaurice Cellars Artist Series The Cummings 2009, Columbia Valley $34.99
Want to drink American wine on Thanksgiving? Check out this Bordeaux-style blend from WA. The only wine from the US that we carry & that’s saying something… We can’t quit this wine, because you keep coming back for it.
“Each wine in this series is named for an artist, this one for Northwest School painter William Cumming. The Bordeaux-style blend of 47 percent cabernet sauvignon, 33 percent merlot, and 20 percent cabernet franc creates a wine with earth, abundant dark raspberries, and spice. The palate is fresh and loaded with red fruit flavors with enough structure to lay down in the cellar.” -“Best Washington Wines”, Seattle Met Magazine

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