Paris Grocery seattle

June 4, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

If you asked me, “What was the most memorable meal you’ve enjoyed at a Pacific NW restaurant?” I wouldn’t need to think long. Definitely the Willows Inn on Lummi Island.

The June/July issue of Saveur pays tribute to Blaine Wetzel, a young chef destined to return to his home state after working at the ‘World’s Best Restaurant’ Noma in Copenhagen. Wetzel took everything he gleaned from working under Renee Redzepi and now applies it to his native ground.

I hope this week’s recipe rates a few stars in your own kitchen… Buy the best pork chops you can afford & one of our good bottles of verjus.

À bientôtj’espère,
Catherine

VERJUS-BRINED PORK CHOPS WITH MARINATED LEEKS from Saveur

We sell a few types of Verjus (one from France, one from Oregon wine country), a sadly underrated pantry staple. The word verjus refers to the pressing of  high-acid, low-sugar grapes that winemakers thin from the vines just when the crop is beginning to ripen. ‘Verjus’ comes from the French termvert jus, literally “green juice.”Gentler than vinegar, its combination of sweet & tart adds an extra layer of complexity in sauces & marinades. Gentler than vinegar, Verjus’s combination of sweet & tart adds an extra layer of complexity in sauces & marinades.  Bon appetit!

1/2 cup whole juniper berries

2 cups verjus

1/3 cup plus 2 Tbs kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup sugar
5 sprigs flat leaf parsley
5 sprigs marjoram
4 1 1/2″ thick double-cut pork chops ( 1 1/4 lbs)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
12 baby leeks or scallions, cleaned & trimmed
Freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

Toast juniper berries in a small skillet over medium-high, swirling, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor & blend with verjus, 1/2 cup salt, the sugar, parsley, marjoram, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add pork chops, Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile, marinate the leeks: Stir remaining 2 Tbs salt, olive oil, and vinegar until emulsified. Add leeks, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate 2 hours.

Drain pork chops & set aside for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.; reserve the marinade. Build a medium heat fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium. Grill the pork chops, turning & basting every 5 minutes with reserved marinade, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 140, 40-45 minutes. Trabsfer the pork chops to a cutting board & let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove leeks from vinaigrette & arrange on a sheet of foil. Pour 2 Tbs vinaigrette over leeks, and then fold and close foil into a packet; reserve remaining vinaigrette. Place packet on grill & cook until leeks are soft & caramelized, 8-10 minutes.

Open packet & transfer leeks to serving platter; discard foil. Drizzle leeks with some of the remaining vinaigrette & season with pepper.  Slice pork chops & serve with grilled leeks.

CHEESE OF THE WEEK:
Delice d’Argental $27.99 lb

“Of all the triple creams I’ve had in my travels, Delice d’Argental is possibly the most luxurious cow’s milk cheese I’ve ever eaten, beating out its similarly named and textured cousin, Delice de Bourgogne. (It might even surpass my longtime favorite, Brillat Savarin.) The velvet qualities of this cheese are made possible by the addition of crème fraîche, providing not only an extra silky mouthfeel, but a seductive tang that plays on your lips like a careless whisper.” -Stephanie, Stiavetti, Serious Eats

Jill Butler Design Dipping Dishes $5.99

We just got in these super-sweet ceramic dishes. I may buy a few just to put underneath my olive oil bottles as well as for serving.

Chateau d’Estoublon Picholine Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vallée des Baux-de-Provence $23.99

This Provencal olive oil is packed with Mediterranean flavor. All the olives on this estate are hand-harvested, & while the AOC requires fruit to be pressed within 3 days of harvest, Chateau d’Estoublon does this within a day of picking. Ultra-flavorful, fiery & pungent–I like the suggestion to use this to spike your tartare.

Villa des Anges Old Vines Rose 2014, Vin de Pays d’Oc $9.99

As far as I’m concerned, the more $10 dry rose’s I have to choose from, the better. Villa des Anges is the project of Jeff Carrel & Jacqueline Menard de Ginestous, who envisioned a winery situated in the ruins of an ancient Roman Villa. This is pale pink with light fruit, strawberry essence, & a dry demeanor. Perfect with a little bowl of olives, cheese & smoked cured ham. The angels won’t steer us wrong at this price!

Le Paradou Rose 2014, Vin de France$11.99

Made by two young brothers whose family makes wine for venerable Chateau Pesquier. 100% Cinsault, this is almost too easy to drink. The project started in the Luberon, but over time the Chaudière brothers decided to avoid the rigours of the AOP to be completely free to create fresh and sexy wines.”
S
anté!

Commanderie de  la Bargemone Rose 2014, Cotes de Provence $14.99
Just scored 90 points by Josh Raynolds of Vinous…This estate dedicates 2/3rd’s of their production to rose, which of course Provence is famous for… Bargemone comes from Coteaux d’Aix which is a fine-wine district within the whole of Provence. Bargemone
has a tradition of making wine for 800 years, & this estate was passed on to a local Provencal family in 2006. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has a citrusy nose & a sprightly repose. Very dry, with lots of acid & lick of salt, this disappears quickly on our table, but always brings back fond memories of drinking on a summer porch in the moonlight.

Triennes Rose 2014, Mediterrainee $16.99

The Rose with the wild boar on it… Cinsault is the star of this near-perfect rose. Flavorful without being over-ripe, showing minerality from the limestone soil.

Nicole Chanrion Domaine de la Voute des Crozes 2013, Cote de Brouilly $24.99
This is cru Beaujolais at its best. Made by the ground-making Nicole Chanrion,  President of the Cote de Brouilly appellation, respectfully considered by her peers to be “La Patronne” or “the Boss” of la Côte.
“Youthfully lurid ruby. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of red and dark berries and floral oils. Spicy, penetrating and emphatically fruity, offering intense, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry flavors along with notes of rose pastille and allspice. Closes silky and very long, with building floral and mineral notes and supple tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s juicy fruit.Drink: 2016-2024.-92 points, Josh Raynolds

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