Thursday, Jan 22 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

January 22, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis!

If there is anything I’m passionate about in life, other than my husband & poetry, it would have to be cheese. In fact, on my lune de miel in France, after my husband was dragged to umpteen markets, farms and frommageries, my betrothed looked at me and jokingly asked, “Honey is this about me, or is this about cheese?”

This is a picture of me ten years ago in our Paris apartment. On the last night of our trip it was raining cats & dogs, so my husband ran across the street to buy a Poulet Rotie while I took all my cheese leftovers from the trip & concocted a gratin of macaroni & cheese in our toaster oven. Parfait!

A Bientot,
Catherine Reynolds

FOCUS ON FROMMAGE

Le Crottin D’Antan, Poitou-Chevre $6.50

I get fresh Crottin in frequently, and their taste is definitely seasonal. This batch is slightly younger and moister, full of that goaty goodness one can expect. One morning two French gentleman strolled in & ordered a Crottin each for their breakfast. Tres Francais!
Do you know the meaning of Crottin? It translates to ‘road apple’ if you get my drift…
These Loire Valley goat cheeses pair beautifully with whites from the same region.

Brillat Savarin aux Truffes, Ile de France $15.49

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was a renowned gastronome, and Henri Androuët created this majestic tripe creme in his honor. Take an amazing cheese & layer it with Winter Black Truffles.. Mon dieu! Pop open some Champagne & Valentine’s Day has just arrived.

El Trigal 1 Year Manchego, La Mancha $21.99


Being the sister store to Spanish Table, we carry the largest selection of Manchego in town–trust me. From 3 month to 1 year old, raw milk to pasteurized. El Trigal’s One Year happens to be my favorite. 
The Corcuera Family was the first in all of Castilla La Mancha to make and commercialize Manchego Cheese, and they use same day milk resulting in an ultra-buttery taste. I know these days you can even get Manchego at Trader Joe’s, but it just can’t compare. Go Rioja!

Vacherousse d’Argental $27.99 lb

We love Brebirousse so much that we decided to bring in the “Red Cow” as well. Made in Lyon, this is a creamy, salty delight. The annatto rub gives it a washed rind appearance, but without the funky side. A crowd-pleaser for sure. Pair with neighboring Beaujolais.

Fleur Verte, Perigord $32.99 lb

The ‘green flower’ is one of the absolute favorite cheeses we offer. It tastes like Provence, with a spring carpet of tarragon, savory thyme, and pink peppercorns. Aged for only 4 days before being flown over, this goat cheese has a lemony tang. A stunner on a cheese plate. Pair with sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc.

NEW BABY CIE!
We just got a new shipment in from Baby Cie… These illustrated plates are absolutely adorable & tres Francais. We have sippy cups, silver ware, plates & bowls, all made in dishwasher-safe melamine. Here’s a couple of the cute new patterns:

Jungle Animals

Fork/Spoon Set $4.25
Sippy Cup $8.99
Suctioned Bowl $8.99
Sectioned Plate $11.99

Princesse
Fork/Spoon Set $4.25
Sippy Cup $8.99
Suctioned Bowl $8.99
Sectioned Plate $11.99

Pirate

Fork/Spoon Set $4.25
Sippy Cup $8.99
Suctioned Bowl $8.99
Sectioned Plate $11.99

Bonal Gentiane-Quina $18.99

We have had a run on Bonal as of late, which got Kelsey & I curious as to what everyone was concocting.
Bonal is an infusion of herbs such as gentian and chinchona bark (also called quina, the source of quinine) in a fortified wine base that was first made in 1865. I learned that Bonal serves to aid your appetite, but it is also said to stave off exhaustion. One writer calls it “Gatorade for Gourmands”.
You can serve it neat, but we also found these tasty recipes for you…
The Unfinished Business Cocktail
Daniel Shoemaker, Teardrop Lounge, Portland, OR

2 oz Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength Gin

3/4 oz. Cocchi Americano

1/2 oz. Bonal Gentian Aperitif

16 drops kumquat-cinnamon bitters

LIGHT dash agave nectar (available at Spanish Table)

Absinthe to flame over the top

Combine all ingredients in an empty cocktail  shaker and stir well to combine.  Strain over a large ice cube into the chilled cocktail glass.  Flame absinthe over the top and serve.

Bonal Sparkling Cocktail
Horus Alvarez, Vinoteca, Washington, D.C.

1/3 oz. Bonal Gentiane-Quina
¼ oz. Aperol
¼ oz. St. Germain
¼ oz. simple syrup
¼ oz. fresh grapefruit Juice
4 oz. dry sparkling wine

Thyme sprig, for garnish
Combine Bonal, Aperol, St. Germain, simple syrup and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker, and chill for few minutes. Pour into a chilled Champagne flute and top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with a thyme sprig.

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Friday, Jan 16 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

January 15, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis!

Thank you for reading my newsletter last week. I debated about sending one out, what with much sadness in our hearts. But as Charlie Hebdo resumed publishing (selling a record five million copies!), we too refuse to to let this violent act stop us from living & celebrating life to its fullest.

We appreciate your community & friendship. And thank you for being a part of the Paris Grocery family. 

A Bientot,
Catherine Reynolds

French Onion Soup With Comté by Mimi Thorrison

This is ultimate comfort food, & who couldn’t use a little comfort in the world right now. Thanks Mimi!

SERVINGS: 8

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter or duck fat
6 large onions (about 5 lb.), thinly sliced
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 slices ¼”-thick slices country-style bread, toasted
8 ounces sliced Comté cheese or Gruyère

Special Equipment:
Eight 10–12 oz. ovenproof bowls

Heat butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, shallots, and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and dark brown, 60–70 minutes. Add vermouth and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with kitchen twine; add to pot along with broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 8 cups, 35–40 minutes; discard herb bundle.
Preheat oven to 450°. Place ovenproof bowls on a large rimmed baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls and top with toasts (cut to fit if necessary) and cheese. Bake until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 6–8 minutes.
Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

TWO NOTEWORTHY NEW WHITES

Berthier Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Coteaux du Giennois $16.99
I am in love with this new white. Coteaux du Giennois is situated on the Loire River, just around the bend from Sancerre. The flinty limestone hillsides of the Giennois produce Sauvignon grapes with mouth-watering minerality, but at a lower price than Sancerre, making this my new favorite everyday white. Rich & round, with notes of quince and delicious lemony acidity.

Domaine de la Crouze Tradition Chardonnay 2012, Pouilly-Fuisse $22.99
A direct import I can’t say enough good things about. Winemaker Pierre Desroches left a lucrative tech career to follow his heart & family traditions. This small producer in Southern Burgundy uses organic methods & only mildly oaks so the true flavor of his Chardonnay shines through. Beeswax & honeycomb aromas with juicy golden delicious apples abound. Wow.

THE REDS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE
Discover these delicious wines that often come with a low price tag.
Take Minervois for example– a small AOC established as recently as 1999–food-friendly & full of character and often a bargain. Think craggy mountains along the Mediterranean coast, perfumed with wild rosemary and lavender bushes.
Put together a selection–remember any 6 bottles gets a 10% discount!

Famille Gonnet La Jeanette 2013, Ventoux $8.99
A direct import steal. Etienne Gonnet works in Chateauneuf de Pape, but now buys wine from other appellations to bottle under his own label. Mount Ventoux is the most gruelling leg of the Tour de France. 60 % Grenache, 40% Syrah, this is peppery & lithe and explodes with juicy cherry fruit. Pair with tapenade, charcuterie and bread with truffle oil.

Les Capucins 2012, Coteaux du Languedoc $11.99

Jerome Calmes decided to move UP in the world, literally… The coast was too hot to make his wines, so he planted his vineyards on the highest plateau above the Minervois. The microclimate has a long growing season, but also the benefit of cool breezes in the evening, AND rabbits love it here. Syrah & Grenache that ain’t shy, this has smoky tar in spades along with plump and spicy cherry/berry fruit. Take a trip to France & serve with gardiane de taureau, or Rancher’s Beef, made with bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.

Les Carderes 2012, Corbieres $11.99

The ‘cardoon’, is another killer table wine & a charming Corbieres. Syrah, Grenache & Carignan blended in a Mediterranean style that begs for grilled lamb chops & cured black olives. Mineral nose, with raspberry & rosemary.

Kermit Lynch Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2013, $12.99

After so many years in the biz, Kermit was able to convince the Leydier family into creating this value label for export. From vineyards next to the village of Beaume de Venise, grapes & wine were either used for the family’s personal consumption or sold to the local co-op in Vaucluse. “Explosive red fruit is gracefully harnessed
by a clay and limestone mineral structure, notes of violet, licorice, and garrigue. So delightfully drinkable, you’ll
wonder where the rest of the bottle went.”

Bastide Miraflors Rouge 2012, Cotes Catalanes $13.99

This is made by one of my favorite wine-makers, Jean Marc Lafage (the same guy who makes Evodia), who crosses the border working in both Spain & France. Lafage crafts this as a custom cuvee for importer Eric Solomon and is a genius with old-vine Grenache. Delicious, ripe, smoky & a downright bargain. Seriously, buy it by the case for your vin de la maison.
” The 2012 Bastide Miraflors is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache aged in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and demi-muids (for the Syrah). It went through a six week maceration, which no doubt explains the wine’s seriously intense fruit. Notes of violets, forest floor, black cherry jam and blackberries make an appearance in this medium-bodied, high-toned, dense, rich, complex, well-delineated red wine. ”
-91 points, Wine Advocate

marcillacDomaine du Cros Philippe Teulier

Lo Sang Del Pais 2013, Marcillac $14.99
Ever heard of Marcillac? Put this rarity on your wine map.
In the western part of Auvergne & a mountain range called the Massif Central, lies a remote valley where Philippe Teulier makes his wines—with Fer Servadou, one of those European varietals that monks tended in the 10th century. Gotta love those monks! 
One of the reasons why I sought out “The Blood of the Countryside” is because it’s a recommended pairing with washed rind cheese–a notoriously difficult pairing. Try with one of these from our luscious cheese case:
Delice du Jura
Epoisses
Petit Livarot

Likable & offbeat. Rustic, extremely earthy, peppered with spice, this is something for rare wine lovers.

Chateau Sainte Eulalie Plaisir d’Eulalie 2013, Minervois $14.99

A bargain grown in chalky soil on the south side of Montagne Noire in western Languedoc. A sultry Carignan/ Grenache/Syrah blend brimming with black fruit & licorice. Pair with Mediterranean dishes like slow-cooked pork belly & fennel.

La Baronne Coste Liste 2011, Corbieres $14.99
This is brought in by Indie Wineries from a 16th century family estate. The Baronne family’s mission:

“To translate this passion and respect for the land, reflected in our organic farming methods, showcasing the terroir of this priviledged corner of Languedoc – Roussillon”.
Carignan, Syrah & Mourvedre expressing wild berry, herbs & earth with smoky cedar & pink peppercorns. Try with Puy lentil & sausage soup.

L’Oustal Blanc Cuvee K11, Vin Francais $16.99
Don’t be fooled by the name, this is a lush southern red. “One of Minervois´ premier producers who make consistently outstanding AOC wines and distinctive vin de table.” -Wine Spectator
Sink your teeth into fresh blackberry juice from a Minervois partnership with CdP consultant Philippe Cambie. Inky pure fruit, 100% Carignan with 20% barrel-aging.

Le Pigeoulet en Provence 2011, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse $16.99 (reg. $18.99)

The Brunier family’s holdings include Vieux Telegraphe (perhaps the most celebrated cru of the Southern Rhone.) This affordable, everyday Vin de Pays is fresh, rich & fruity and terroir-driven. 35-year-old vines grown in rich clay soil, Le Pigeoulet comes from the foothills of the noble La Crau plateau. Grapes are grown on the warm flats around Chateauneuf de Pape and the cooler foothills of Mt Ventoux. Hand-harvested Grenache with a small balance of Syrah, Carignan & Cinsault–silky & clean with the essence of fresh strawberries. A new staff favorite!

Tuesday, Jan 13 2015 

Paris Grocery seattle

January 8, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis!

And Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 is off to a great start…

I took off for a brief visit to San Juan Island, and knowing that we wouldn’t arrive until 11:30 pm, I packed a New Year’s Eve picnic. I bought a Jacquard Francais tea towel & laid it out on the ferry table, for an impromptu table cloth.

Then I served fennel vichysoisse, gooey cheese from the Jura, & Rosette de Lyon with a sliced baguette. A curious ferry attendant said, “That looks amazing! All you’re missing is the wine!” Little did she know we were drinking Champagne out of our blue Duralex tumblers… 🙂

I hope to see you soon and send you my very best wishes for the New Year. And hey–tomorrow is National Cassoulet Day!

A Bientot,
Catherine Reynolds
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Cassoulet (de Paris Grocery)
Celebrating Le Fete des Rois, Three Kings Day (or Epiphany) is an annual Spanish Table tradition. Spanish Table/Paris Grocery owners Steve & Sharon always host a party for the staff & close family friends. This year things took a French twist… Pictured is Sharon’s magnificent Cassoulet, which even included a little leftover Christmas goose.

Serves 20 or more, depending on the appetites

1 pkg Poitrine Salee or Iberico smoked Pancetta
16 oz Toulouse Sausage
8 oz Bistro Sausage with herbs de Provence
3 onions, studded with one clove each
6 carrots
3 lbs dried Tarbais/white beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
14 oz duck fat
5 lbs pork shoulder roast
Two smoked duck breasts
1 large onion, sliced
18 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds canned crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons Provencal thyme or Serpolet
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups bread crumbs

Tie the clove-studded onions and carrots together in a double layer of cheesecloth and put with the beans, sausage, and bacon in a large, deep, heavy-bottom casserole. Cover with water at least 3 inches above the top of the bean mixture. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the beans are almost tender, about 1 ½ hours. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the onion and carrots in the cheesecloth. Transfer the beans and meat to a bowl, cover loosely with foil, and set aside. When cool, slice the sausages and cut the bacon into bite-size pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roast the pork shoulder in a shallow roasting pan until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove and when cool enough, cut into cubes. Cut the duck breasts into bite-size slices.

In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of the duck fat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and cook gently until the onions are translucent and golden. Add the canned tomatoes, thyme, and cooked beans. Stir in about 2 cups of the reserved bean cooking liquid, transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the meat, stir to combine and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle with the remaining duck fat, and cook until the crumbs are nicely browned and the cassoulet is very hot.
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DUCK FAT–THE BETTER FAT
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions regarding healthier habits. Luckily, more & more experts are expounding upon the benfits of using good fats as part of our cooking regime. Here’s two ways from D’Artagnan to get your vegetables in, along with some great flavor. (I can’t wait to try the kale chips.)
D’Artagnan’s Oven-Roasted Veggie Fries

Ingredients: 

Assorted root veggies, such as parsnips, turnips, carrots, and beets; scrubbed, peeled and cut into ¼ inch sticks

Duck fat, softened

Coarse salt

Fineley chopped parsley

Preparation 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss veggie sticks with a few generous drizzles of duck fat. Make sure each stick is evenly shiny with fat. Season with salt.
  3. Spread evenly, in a single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, flipping halfway through baking time. Fries should take about 15-25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, taste for seasoning and season with salt if needed. Sprinkle with parsley (if using), and serve immediately.

D’Artagnan’s Duck Fat Kale Chips

Ingredients 

1 bunch kale, washed and dried

2 tablespoons duck fat, softened

Fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Piment d’Espelette

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove tough kale ribs and discard. Tear kale leaves into chip sized pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle with duck fat, toss to evenly coat.
  4. Arrange kale in a single layer on a ribbed sheet pan, being careful not to crowd or overlap.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and piment d’Espelette to taste. Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 9 to 12 minutes, or until chips are crisp and gently browned around the edges, turning the sheet pan once. Remove kale chips to a bowl, serve immediately.

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Confiture de Cerises Noires $7.99 (reg. $13.99)
When I was doing our year-end inventory, I noticed that these had just expired. Our loss is your gain! These are small-production cherry preserves from the Itxassou Valley in the Basque Country of France. Use to make Gateau Basque, serve with Idiazabal cheese or top vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
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Le Pigeoulet en Provence 2011, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse $16.99
The Brunier family’s holdings include Vieux Telegraphe (perhaps the most celebrated cru of the Southern Rhone.) This affordable, everyday Vin de Pays is fresh, rich & fruity and terroir-driven. 35-year-old vines grown in rich clay soil, Le Pigeoulet comes from the foothills of the noble La Crau plateau. Grapes are grown on the warm flats around Chateauneuf de Pape and the cooler foothills of Mt Ventoux. Hand-harvested Grenache with a small balance of Syrah, Carignan & Cinsault–silky & clean with the essence of fresh strawberries. A new staff favorite!

Domaine de la Pepiere Clos des Briords, Muscadet de Sevre  et Maine 2013 $18.99
Marc Olivier is a legend for good reason. His scintillating whites actually get better with age. In fact, they can hold up to 30 years, taking on the qualities of a great Riesling. I once partook in a tasting of old vintages of Pepiere at a beach on Camano Island that blew my mind. Young, this still made me want to take a bottle home with its honeyed apple nose, and an impressive balance of being both vibrant and rich. I plan on bringing home a bottle, and serving it with oysters and a granita made with our Belberry Green Cucumber Vinegar.

Chateau Pegau Cuvee Maclura 2012, Cotes du Rhone $19.99
Made by the legendary Laurence Feraud of Domaine du Pegau, this is an newer 100+ acre estate  named after a type of orange tree found on the property. 60% Grenache with Syrah, Mourvedre & Cinsault blended in a succulent fashion. Boysenberry nose, with tons of garrigue, cassis & a sun-kissed fig finish.

89-91 Points | Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate