A taste of Morocco Wednesday, Jan 25 2012 

Paris Grocery News
January 25th, 2011

Have you missed us?We hope you all survived the great snow storm of 2012 and have been keeping warm. It’s certainly a time for hot food and good company. With the holidays past, I’ve had most of my ‘home favorites’ and am ready to branch out and try something new. It’s a new year, and time for explorations! This week, I headed to North Africa for inspiration and am attempting to cook a Chicken Bastilla

Warm, flakey pastry filled with the unorthodox but outstanding combination of chicken (traditionally pigeon but who has time to go pigeon trapping these days?), blanched almonds($7.99/lb), Moroccan spices, orange blossom water ($5.99) and powdered sugar. Warca, also known as Feuille de Brique ($4.29), is the secret to the puffed, airy layers that bring a lightness to the otherwise extremely rich, nutty and spicy dish. !

For lunch, pair the Bastilla with our new signature Paris Grocery Moroccan mint tea ~$2.00/16 oz

For dinner, pair it with the 2009 Alain Graillot Syrocco ‘Zenata’ $19.99

This 100% Syrah possesses lots of soft, jammy, berry fruit, licorice, pepper and meaty notes. Tasty, plump, and altogether hedonistic, this wine is ideal for drinking over the next several years.

Of course, we’ve got to rave about a few more wine at PG this week, as long as we’ve got your ear:

2010 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Vielles Vignes $15.99

“Wow, is this an exciting wine! A custom cuvee put together by importer Eric Solomon along with the brilliant oenologist Philippe Cambie and Costieres de Nimes’ up-and-coming superstar, Michel Gassier, this blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah (and there are 5,000 cases for the US) comes from the 70- to 80-year-old Grenache vines on the plateau of Domazan to the south of Chateauneuf du Pape. This sensational wine tastes more like Chateauneuf du Pape than just about any Cotes du Rhone one is likely to find. It is also another example of what looks to be another great vintage emerging from the southern Rhone – 2010. This is one of the greatest Cotes du Rhones I have ever tasted – wonderfully intense, deep ruby with some purple tinges, with a stunning nose of black raspberry liqueur intermixed with sweet cherries, licorice, pepper and Provencal lavender. Round, generous, opulent and heady, this fabulously intense, hedonistic wine should be drunk over the next 3-4 years. Bravo!” 93 points Wine Advocate

Georges Duboef Macon-Villages Chardonnay 2009 $9.99

This 100% chardonnay from Burgundy is un-oaked, making it fresh and floral with a beautiful nose. bright fruits are balanced by almond and a minerality that carries the lengthy finish. It’s a real treat at this price.

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook! Archives of this newsletter and other articles can be found on our blog.

Thanks for reading, stay warm, and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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Salt and oil and vinegar, oh my! Monday, Oct 3 2011 

Paris Grocery News
October 3rd, 2011
The days are getting cooler, the holidays are coming, and our palates are about to be overwhelmed by a season of cake, pie, cookies, and other sweets. We love them of course, but sometimes it seems like the entire world of salty, sour, smoky, and tangy flavors gets overlooked this time of year. This week, we want to talk to you about our amazing variety of salts, oils, and vinegars. The difference in even a simple meal between using basic salts, oils, and vinegars and high quality products is substantial. Quality oils, exotic salts, and special vinegars make beautiful hostess gifts as well. We’re going to start doing oil tastings here at the shop soon, so you can come in a taste the difference!
Les Moulins Mahjoub organic extra virgin olive oil from Tunisia

The secret of Les Moulins Mahjoub olive oil lies in the choice of methods of grinding and pressing the fresh, organic fruit, designed to preserve the full flavor of the olive: crushing time, grinding under cold conditions, use of scourtins (round pressing mats) in natural fibers, selection of oil according to pressing, decantation using a hand skimming process, storage and maturation. The oil is not separated by centrifugation, but by natural decantation. As the oil is lighter, it floats to the top, above the vegetable water, enabling it to be skimmed off. Before bottling, the oil is left to settle and mature for some time until its flavor, odor and acidity are perfect. 37 cl, $10.99 or 1 L $21.99.

Castelas extra virgin olive oil. A.O.C. Vallée des Beaux de Provence

These people really, *really* love olive oil. Expounding upon the terroir of their patch of Provence, the family-owned Castelas suggests tasting this oil as you would a fine wine. It smells of, freshly cut grass and the olives’ green fruitiness, typical of an oil extracted from freshly harvested fruit. On the palate, intense olive flavors develop into exquisite notes of raw artichoke and sweet almonds. On the finish, delicate sensations heightened by peppery aromas and an enlivening hint of freshness. Try a comparison between their signature oil and their ‘black fruit’ oil as well. The darker fruit is more earthy and stronger flavored, as it takes more of these olives to produce a bottle of oil. 500 ml $25.00, or 750 for $35.00.

Banyuls vinegar

Banyuls vinegar is like sherry wine vinegar’s more refined and delicate French cousin. Like Port and sherry wine, Banyuls is a fortified sweet wine. Made from grenache grown in and around Banyuls-sur-mer, Banyuls vinegar develops a walnut, coffee, licorice, and vanilla, flavor and aroma of fresh plums after being aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of five years. Like sherry wine vinegar, it makes a great vinaigrette, and mixes well with nut oils. Its natural sweetness also makes it an good choice for deglazing rich dishes like sautéed duck or foie gras. It can be difficult to find, but we have two kinds! a five year old, 500 ml bottle ($16.99) and a six year old, 750 ml bottle ($26.99).

Fusion Verjus

This vinegar alternative is made from vinifera grapes harvested and crushed in mid-summer when acid levels are high and sugar levels are low. This “must” remains unfermented and is delicately tart, refreshing, and versitile in cooking. Fusion vejus enjoys a natural affinity to wine. It has a milder, more wine-friendly acidity compared to vinegars, which actually helps to integrate the food and wine. Where you might be tempted to stick to fuller-bodied wines when cooking with vinegar, verjus allows a more delicate wine to retain its integrity when paired with a strongly flavored food. 750 ml bottle of Red- $13.99 or White- $15.99.

saltsaltsaltsaltsaltysaltysalt

This week we got in some brand new salts and replenished our old favorites. I couldn’t quite fit them all on the plate, but I think you get the picture; fine regional, smoked, and flavored salts aren’t just tasty, they make visually stunning additions to your kitchen and table. Put them on display with an adorable salt pig like the one shown here($13.99), or in any suitable salt cellar. We pack them out ourselves for you, and prices range from $3.00-$7.00 for 2-4 ounces, varying by salt type.

In this picture:

Smoked Cherrywood sea salt

Raspberry Chipotle

Culinary grade Dead Sea Salt

French Harvest Blend Sea Salt

Saffron Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Wakame Sea Weed Sea Salt

French Lavender

additionally, we carry:

truffle sea salt

porcini sea salt

fleur du sel

french grey salt

lemon sea salt

smoked gralic sea salt

garlic and onion sea salt

smoked alderwood sea salt

Wine

2003 Clos de Brusquieres $22.99

I know, I know, I keep talking to you about Chaeauneuf-du-pape. Call me obsessed, but we just got in the best deal I’ve seen through our doors yet, so I’ve got to gush.

To quote Robert Parker (who gives it 90 points), “The superb 2003 Chateauneuf-du-pape is a deep ruby color with a big, sweet, flamboyant nose of damp earth, ground pepper, kirsch liqueur, licorice, and spice box. It is dense, full-bodied with relatively elevated levels of glycerin, moderate tannin, and some noticeable alcohol in the heady, long finish”. This wine offers a rustic, burly palate, and is not for lovers of more polished, reserved wines!

Veuve Devienne rosé sec sparkling wine and Veuve Devienne brut sparkling wine $9.99

These sparklers are just plain fun. The white is light and refreshing with floral notes that stay away from being too sweet or gaudy. The rosé is juicier, with rhubarb and raspberry overtones. At this price, these are great sparklers to start off an evening out with friends or to bring to a larger gathering.

Thanks for reading and we’ll see you soon!

 

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!Ellen
and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
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About Us

A wine and cheese shop with a french mood1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.0679Monday-Saturday
10 to 6
Sunday
11 to 5

Colonial influences on French flavor, September 9th Friday, Sep 9 2011 

Paris Grocery News

September 9, 2011

French culture is often prized for its unique characteristics, and for centuries it has been a pinnacle of style and taste. While the influence of French culture cannot be overstated, part of that wonderful je ne se quoi comes from the influence of other cultures upon the French. From Viet Nam to Tunisia, Morocco to Algiers, the French Empire adopted and was influenced by aspects of each of the peoples it colonized. The result is an incredibly rich and varied french palate, a mosaic culture full of nuance and surprise. This week, we pay homage to the fantastic diversity of French culture by showcasing a few of our products that are undeniably French, yet undeniably exotic.

click on the picture for some information/inspiration!

Feuille de brick

Just in this week, we have White Toque Feuille de brick, ‘the finest and crispiest of them all’. Originally from Tunisia, brick pastry dough is impossibly light and flaky, and used for both sweet and savory appetizers and desserts, baked or fried. There are 10 sheets (12″ diameter) in each frozen package, so keep some around for the next time you entertain. They’re a real crowd pleaser. $4.49

Red Boat Fish Sauce

At least once a week we get a call asking if we carry Red Boat Fish Sauce. It’s simply the best fish sauce on the market, an essential ingredient in Vietnamese cooking. Western chefs have embraced fish sauce as a go-to ingredient that draws out a dish’s own flavors and adds a special complexity of taste. Red Boat is an artisan fish sauce that has had people raving. Read up on it here, or here, then come in and try some for yourself! 250 ml bottles are $4.99

Le Souk Tagines

Ghille Basan defines the Tagine as a ‘stew worthy of poetry’ in his book on the subject (which we do carry for $15.99). Tagines are truly an art, and are a meal inseparable from the beautiful container they are made in and served from. The conical shape allows steam to circulate inside during cooking, preserving tender flavors. We sell a few different styles of Tagine, so whether you’re a beginner or a professional you can appreciate the succulent and aromatic spice of Morrocco. From Le Souk we carry clay cooking tagines in small and large sizes, as well as hand painted ceramic serving tagines that are drop-dead gorgeous. $40.00-$60.00

Emile Henry Tagines

But for the true marriage of French and North African cooking, no Tagine can compare with Emile Henry’s Poterie Culinaire. The Burgundy Clay that Emile Henry uses is slowly disperses heat, can be put on direct flame, under a broiler, in the microwave and in the dishwasher. Emile Henry offers the highest quality products, and they guarantee their Tagines with a limited 10 year warranty. A beautiful investment or gift for someone who loves to cook. We have them in two sizes and four colors. $126.00

And of course, the drinks (As a side note, today’s ‘french phrase’ from our one-a-day calendar is “ça l’aide à se détendre” or ‘it helps him to relax’. We thought it was appropriate)!

2009 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-pape $55.00

Bright ruby. Spicy strawberry and raspberry aromas are lifted by a floral element and a hint of black tea. Fresh and precise, accented by silky texture and good breadth. Finishes firm and persistent, with attractive fruit and a slight dryness. this 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape has outstanding depth of dark fruit, and will be perfect to drink starting in November. What a wonderful investment for the holiday season.

2009 Cercius Cotes du Rhone Villages $16.99

The 2009 Cercius red, a Visan Cotes du Rhone-Villages, is composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah. It represents a naked expression of Cotes du Rhone as it is aged completely in concrete prior to bottling. This medium to full-bodied wine possesses a deep ruby/purple color in addition to copious black currant and black cherry fruit interwoven with graphite, crushed rocks, and spice, excellent fruit intensity, a full-bodied mouthfeel, good acidity, and light tannins. It should drink nicely for 3-4 years.

Clos Normand Brut French Fermented Cider $6.99

If you’ve ever been curious about French Cider, Clos Normand is a great introduction. If you’re already a fan, than Clos Normand is an old favorite. With crisp red apple notes and a hint of fresh bread, this is an inviting and uncomplicated cider sure to please just about anyone.

For the latest Paris Grocery news and musings, join us on Facebook!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Ellen

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery
A wine and cheese shop with a french mood

1418 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206.682.0679

Monday-Saturday
10 to 6
Sunday
11 to 5

Paris Grocery News 1/21 Friday, Jan 21 2011 

 

Wine decanter.

Wine @ PG

New to the shop: Wine accoutrements (seems to be the right word) for those of you who want to get the most out of your Champagnes and Bordeaux.

Stoppers and openers.

From True:

  • Wine decanter: a classic Italian design made with hand-blown, lead-free glass. The broad base of the decanter allows particularly heady red wines to aerate and open up (that means it’ll taste better). ($29.99)
  • Champagne cork remover: helps ease the cork out of high-pressure sparklers so you get the best presentation of bubbles. ($11.99)
  • Champagne stoppers: the stainless steel and silicone stopper offers a super-snug fit and a nice design. ($9.99); the cheaper chrome and rubber stopper works well, too ($4.99). I love being able to keep a bottle of sparkling fresh for days.

Vinturi wine aerator.

From Vinturi:

  • Wine aerator: Nothing worse than waiting for a wine to optimize. Our wine buyer, Sharon, swears by this very cool gizmo. Simply hold the aerator over your glass and pour; its design attracts and mixes air to the wine, so you get more intensity from the aroma and flavors of the wine. ($38)

From Private Reserve:

  • Wine preserver: A environmentally safe bottle of inert gas that blankets the wine’s surface and displaces oxygen, maintaining its freshness and flavor. Works for not only wine but also things like scotch, cognac, and port. ($10.50)

Craves @ PG

Roland anchovies.

The other night I went out to dinner at Cascina Spinasse on Capitol Hill, and the kitchen sent out an amuse-bouche that was utterly perfect: a slice of toasty bread smeared liberally with butter and an anchovy fillet. Savory, crunchy, and creamy, all at the same time. I’m so glad to see anchovies making such inroads into the culinary scene; it seems like they’re on every menu these days! We have lots of options for anchovies, in cans and jars. But the customer favorite seems to be these Roland brand anchovies in the flip-top glass jar. Packed in olive oil, these are ready to be added to salads, pasta, flatbread pizzas, or crostini. I think there is some interest in reusing the cool jar, as well. And: They’re good for you!

Gifted @ PG

Tagine and cookbook.

This week’s idea would make an excellent gift anytime of the year, but as a Valentine’s Day gift, it’s a unique choice for someone who likes to cook. We have these colorful tagines ($40) from Le Souk Ceramique in a wide range of colors (green, yellow, red, white, and blue), as well as simple glazed terra cotta. They are a fantastic addition to a cookware arsenal, and they’re also really pretty as objects. I’d suggest getting this excellent cookbook as well; many people who first start cooking with tagines need good ideas. “Flavors of Morocco” by Ghillie Bașan ($24.95) is simply laid out and full of bright, tantalizing pictures. Along with the classic meat and seafood tagine dishes, there are recipes for simple things like making your own harissa or bissara (a garlicky fava bean dip). She also includes background and stories for the recipes and traditions of Moroccan cooking, including instructions for a mint tea service. Finally, it might also be fun to toss in a jar of preserved lemons or ras-el-hanout, the typical spice mix for tagines.

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 7/15 Thursday, Jul 15 2010 

We understand, Betty Draper. We don't feel like cooking either.

Recipes from two cookbooks on our shelves
Items available in the shop are in bold.

This week we went to our bookshelves to find some inspiration for cooking in this hot weather. We were thinking of the fresh and savory flavors of seafood and shellfish in simple salads and sandwiches that can be made to share or made to take along for a picnic. Here are two that we found that also happen to involve many of our favorite pantry items (go figure).

Recipe from Rice Pasta Couscous: The Heart of the Mediterranean Kitchen By Jeff Koehler

 Rice Pasta Couscous

Camargue Red Rice Salad with Shrimp

Ingredients:

1 cup Camargue red rice
1 cup long-grain white rice
4 plum tomatoes, stemmed and chopped
2 cucumbers , peeled and chopped
36 green olives
3/4 extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
Pepper and dijon mustard, to taste
24 to 36 cooked jumbo shrimp or prawns, peeled
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise

In a large pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add 2 pinches of salt and the red rice and boil until al dente, 35 to 40 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, in another pot, bring an abundant amount of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the white rice and boil until al dente, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the rice, rinse briefly under cold water, and drain again.

In a large bowl, combine the two rices with the tomatoes, cucumber, and olives. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, add the oil and vinegar and whisk until cloudy. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and whisk again until blended. Whisk in just enough of the mustard to taste.

When ready to serve, toss half of the vinaigrette with the rice. Divide the rice equally among six bowls, mounding the rice, and then place the shrimp and egg quarters over rice. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top.

Serves 6.

Recipe from Nirmala’s Edible Diary by Nirmala Narine

Sardines Stuffed in French Baguettes

Nirmala's Edible Diary

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 small red jalapeño or cayenne chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 16-ounce can sardines
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
1 12-inch baguette (available Fridays and Saturdays!), halved crosswise and sliced open horizontally
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Slices of tomato (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sardines (along with whatever sauce they may be packed in), oregano, parsley, and lime juice. Stir well, mashing up sardines, and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with sea salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make sandwiches by spreading the sardine mixture on the bottom of the bread, adding the lettuce and tomatoes (if desired) and replacing the top. Slice into smaller sandwiches, if you like. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

2008 Domaine de Laballe Cotes de Gascogne ($9.99)

This Cotes de Gascogne is pure and bright, a reminder of the freshness of spring. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and French Colombard, it has the signature grassy, herbal aromas rounded out by soft grapefruit and lime. It is refreshing and pleasant, ideal as an aperitif but also a versatile table wine. Try it with shellfish, or with the mild heat of Vietnamese dishes.

2009 Domaine Le Clos des Lumières Cotes du Rhône Rosé ($9.99)

A fun, medium-bodied Rhône rosé, made from Cinsault (45%), Grenache(45%), Mourvedre (15%), and Syrah (10%). With ripe strawberry and floral notes, the wine shows nice persistence and a hint of spice at the end. You’ll want to drink it all summer, and long into the fall.

2007 Domaine Sainte Eugenie “Le Clos” Millesime ($8.99)

An unforgettable blend of Merlot (45%), Carignan (20%), Grenache Noir (20%), and Cabernet Sauvignon. From an estate in Corbières, this wine exemplifies the traditional, sun-drenched countryside wines of Southwestern France. Fairly full bodied but with an incredible suppleness, it finishes with freshness. Red fruit flavors are countered by aromatic spices, and a light presence of oak. Tobacco and cedar are integrated into the structure with elegance. Excellent with summer fare such as barbecued beef, flavorful sausages, and terrines.

Le Clos and Les Raisins Gaulois

2009 Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Gamay ($12.99)

Marcel Lapierre is one of the “Gang of Four” rebel winemakers in Beaujolais, a group of vitners dedicated to making natural, delicious wines and bucking convention and appellation when necessary. Despite his disregard for the system, he is one of the most respected producers in France, highly regarded by wine critics, importers, and fellow winemakers. His Raisins Gaulois Gamay is made from the young vines in his Morgon Cru Villages vineyard. Absolutely charming, it is grapey and fresh, with spicy back cherry notes a little dustiness. Though not an “official” Beaujolais, it shows how great these light-hearted wines can be. It is the perfect summer red.

2006 R. Dubois et Fils Cote-de-Nuits-Villages
($14.99)

An estate Pinot Noir from one of the top subregions in Burgundy. A lovely perfume of rose and cherry greets you as you open the bottle, and the bright cherry shows up again on the palate. The fresh fruit is supported by a bit of spice and earthiness, which linger pleasantly on the palate. Another great choice for the warmer days, it pairs well with charcuterie, smoked salmon, and washed rind cheeses.

Craves @ PG

Ketchup, with a twist!

The Dulcet line of ketchups comes in three flavors: Peppery Moroccan, Sweet Orange Chili, and Mild Indian Curry. They’re an easy way to spice up your hamburger and frites!

Powerhouse Pantry @ PG

Connetable Sardines

These multi-tasking sardines can be used in pastas, salads, hors-d’oevres, and the sandwich recipe at left. They are available in Olive Oil, Lemon, and Mustard.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery