September 23rd Sunday, Sep 25 2011 

Paris Grocery News
September 23, 2011
September 25th is our two year anniversary, can you believe it? To those of you who have been with us from the start, a special thank you! It’s also an exciting week because we just received our copy of Food and Wine Magazine for October 2011, and the Paris Grocery is featured on a national list of best places to buy French wine. Check us out on page 106. To celebrate both occasions, we’re transitioning from our summer rosé six pack special to a fall red six pack. Take a tour through France with this grab-and-go six pack, and keep our Paris grocery reusable wine tote bag as a souvenir! Six tasty reds include wines from Bordeaux, Rhone, Cahors, and the Loire Valley, with a selection of different varietals. It’s a great way to jump-start the fall season and try some new wines! $58.00 includes sales tax.

 

Also this week we were nearly overwhelmed with two huge shipments, mainly of the glorious meaty and cheesy variety.

 

Take a long look at the brilliant, decadent little amuse-bouches above. Sweet, dark prunes soaked in armagnac (a distinctive brandy from gascony) and stuffed with foie gras. They’re called french kisses, and are a total knock-out. With such intense sultry flavor, these are the perfect size to get a mouthful that lingers on the palate. $15.49 for a set of six or $2.99 each.

Uncured Smoked Duck Bacon.

Yes, it’s back! a fresh batch of duck bacon. Made from moulard duck breast, this unique bacon can be enjoyed on its own for breakfast, or can be used to enhance other dishes. Try it on a salad, in a pasta, with haricot vert, or any other place you would normally use bacon to bring a richer flavor to the table. Or for a muskier, wilder flavor, try our wild boar bacon! duck bacon-$16.49, wild boar bacon- $9.49.

Foie Gras Mousse

Buttery texture, sumptuous flavor, this foie gras is perfectly fatty and perfectly fresh. light and creamy with a hint of good Sauternes wine added to the baked terrine to enhance the luxurious taste of the foie gras .Whether you want to spread it on baguette or, as many chefs are doing these days, try pan frying it, you’re in for a real treat.

But we’ll save some meats to talk about next week. In the meantime, we have two amazing cheese specials. We accidently ordered too much of two great soft cheeses, so we’re pricing them to move quickly. Our mistake is your windfall!

Purple Haze Cyprus Grove Chevre (left)

This is a beautiful soft goat’s cheese from California. The unexpected marriage of lavender and wild fennel pollen distinguishes Purple Haze and makes it utterly addictive. Delicate and sophisticated, this cheese is the winner of Best of Show, California State Fair Cheese Competition, 2009 and Best of Class, U.S. Cheese Championship 2011. I’ve eaten two of them already. You won’t find a price like this anywhere else. $1.99
Smoked Mozzarella (right)

The smoky outer layers of this cheese peel back to a sweet, soft center. This is a great little cheese for snacking on, and is perfect for kids or others who don’t appreciate your pungent gooey bleus or camembert. Melt it over mushrooms or asparagus for a perfect pairing of earthy and smoky flavors. Again, a steal at just $1.99!

Thank you for reading and we’ll see you in the shop!

Ellen

Paris Grocery News 8/6 Saturday, Aug 6 2011 

This is my last newsletter for Paris Grocery. I’d like to say thanks to all of you who came into the shop (sometimes with color printouts of the newsletter, ready to use as a shopping list) and said nice things about the writing. It was always really pleasing to hear that you liked it. To say goodbye, I’m going to feature my all-time favorite things here in the shop. You can bet I’ll be stocking up before I leave.

Thanks for being such fun customers, and bon appétit,

Rachel

Will always be in style, will never break: the Picardie salad bowl.

Duralex “Picardie” Salad Bowl

I love this stuff, especially the iconic Picardie tumblers, which to me represent the Platonic ideal of a glass. We carry the tumblers in four sizes, and we also have ramekins, bowls, and plates. Before I leave today, I’m picking up the salad bowl (only $9!) for all my summer salads and for a never-break mixing bowl.

Trust me, these are delicious.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry

The only Vermouth that has earned an AOC designation. Dolin has none of the cloying sweetness or overly bitter qualities found in bottom-shelf Vermouths. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained, and elegant nose with a subtle, complex, and bittersweet palate. I love this on its own with ice and a hefty piece of lemon peel, but it’s also great in cocktails. $13.99

André Neveu “Le Grand Fricambault” Sancerre Rosé 2010

André Neveu’s vineyards are located in Chavignol, on the silex soil of Sancerre’s hillsides. This exquisite, highly aromatic pinot noir rosé reflects this flinty terrain. Light yet concentrated, it exudes aromas of fresh strawberries and offers unbelievable minerality. While any day of the week, you might find me sipping any one of our incredibly tasty value roses, this is the one I’d really like to treat myself to. $24.99

Alpha Loire Domaines “Sables Blonds” Touraine Rouge 2009

This 100% Cabernet Franc is loaded with minerals and notes of earth and dark berries. It’s juicy and lightly tannic, making it ideal for a range of dishes, from pizza to vegetable tarts to flank steak. This is one versatile red, and is a great entry level choice for those wanting to try out cab francs. $9.99

Domaine Pierre Sparr Marquis de Perlade

Made in the traditional method, this sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Macabeu and Chardonnay from the wonderful Alsatian producer Pierre Sparr. Crisp, with lovely notes of green apple and a touch of honey and toast, this sparkling wine complements a big sweet and savory spreads, such as charcuterie, cheese platters, fruit, and nuts. While working here, this became my go-to festive sparkler, so now when I taste it, it reminds me of Christmas, birthdays, and raucous brunches with friends. $9.99

Lovely boxes, amazing teas.

Kusmi Tea

This stuff is so good! FloFab recently sang its praises, noting its beginnings as “the tea of the czars in 1867 in St. Petersburg.” Kusmi is now based in Paris, and its lovely black tea blends, often scented with flowers, citrus, or vanilla, have many fans. The packaging is really pretty, and each box comes with 20 muslin tea bags for $15.99 In stock now:

  • Russian Morning: a classic breakfast blend of China, Ceylon, and India teas.
  • Prince Vladimir: a Russian-style blend of China black teas with lemon, grapefruit, and spices.
  • Anastasia (as in, the princess): Earl Grey with lemon, lime, and bergamot.

Tarragon, Walnut, and Piment d'Espelette.

Mustards!

Oh, yes. Mustard sells like crazy here at the shop, because it is delicious. My favorites are Edmond Fallot Tarragon Dijon (awesomely vivid green and excellent with meats, vegetables, or in potato salad) and Walnut Dijon (so good on ham and cheese sandwiches). A new item that I’ve been enjoying is the Parfum des Oliviers Mustard à la L’Ancienne au Coulis de Piment d’Espelette (grain-style mustard with Basque pepper). It adds texture and spices to meats. Vive la moutarde!

You can look forward to future newsletters and updates from the rest of the staff of Paris Grocery and the Spanish Table!

Thanks for reading,

Rachel

and

Steve Winston and Sharon Baden

Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 4/22 Saturday, Apr 23 2011 

A picture of an Easter window display taken by the bosses last year while vacationing in Burgundy. Chocolate creatures sort of blur the line between charming and creepy, don't you think?

Wine @ PG

For Easter (or just taking advantage of a lovely spring day) brunch, I recommend pink and/or bubbles. (Surprise, surprise.)

Pink and/or bubbly.

Jean Paul Trocadero Brut Rosé Vin de Savoie ($9.99)

A vivacious sparkling rosé. Fruit forward, tasting of strawberries and cherries, with immense effervescence, this wine combines the best qualities of rosés and sparklers. A great pick for bridal showers, deck parties, or just lounging on the “beach” (whatever strip of backyard, park, or mini-porch you call your own). Peppery and fun.

Domaine Balivet NV Bugey Cerdon Méthode Ancéstrale ($22.99)

Very fresh and zesty, this sparkling rosé from Savoie complements a varied brunch spread. It’s made in the same process as artisanal cider, meaning only one fermentation as opposed to two fermentations  (as is done with champagne and most crémants). 100-percent Gamay, it’s off-dry and unique, with flavors of cherry and ripe apple with a touch of sweetness. It has low alcohol (8-precent) and shows good minerality and acidity in the mouth, with fresh grape aromas in the nose. Really tasty and a pretty, delicate pink color in the glass.

2010 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy “Terre de Maimbray” Sancerre Rosé ($24.99)

Sancerre is usually known for its chalky white wines. Pinot Noir also grows there, however, and the cool climate makes for elegant, lacy rosés that are mineral-driven. Located on steep hills, this family-run estate is thought to be one of the finest Sancerre producers in France. From old vine Pinot Noir, the wine is a lovely faded pink, with a perfumey, floral nose and strawberry and cherry on the palate. While cheap rosés from the Rhône and Provence are wonderful, if you’re a rosé lover, you owe it to yourself to try this exceptional rosé from the Loire.

Food @ PG

Last-minute brunch necessities.

Canterbury Naturals Crepe Mix ($4.99/14-oz.)

You asked for it, and now it’s here! Crepe Mix. Just add eggs and water. And nutella and berries (not really, that’s just my serving suggestion).

Comté de Fruitière ($4.25/quarter lb.)

The crowd-pleasingest cheese ever. This raw cow’s milk cheese from the Jura is aged 5-6 months. It offers a fruit nectar aroma and a more delicate nuttiness than more aged Comté. Almost sweet and bursting with flavors of fresh milk and butter. Great melted,  in salads, or with fruit.

D’Artagnan Duck Bacon ($9.99/8-oz.)

This stuff is insanely delicious. Regulars drop by on weekend mornings to grab a package, along with a bottle of sparkling, and it always gives me a serious case of brunch-envy (it’s a thing, look it up.) Made from Moulard duck, with no nitrates or nitrites or growth hormones or anything. A smoky and rich flavor, with a lean texture. Duck. Bacon. Yum.

There are so many things in this shop for brunch, it’s silly. Jams and honey and cheese accompaniments and olives and chocolates and on and on. We ought to rename ourselves the Brunch Store. Come by and see us for all your weekend snack attack needs!

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 3/18 Friday, Mar 18 2011 

 

(Serving Suggestion.)

Sweets @ PG

Yet another bonanza of goodies, just arrived from France. (We’ve got the excess of packing peanuts to prove it.)

Fig and Walnut Caramels

Some insane trifecta of deliciousness is achieved here with this combination of caramel, fig, and walnut. They’re so earthy and sweet and chewy and crunchy, all at the same time, that you’ll feel deeply satisfied with even just one. (But you better get a few, you know, for later.) (79¢)

Calissons

A traditional treat from Aix-en-Provence. A chewy paste of almonds, sugar, and Cavaillon melon with a touch of orange rind and just the right amount of royal icing. (99¢)

Chocolate Truffles

Supremely creamy dark chocolate truffles, dusted with cocoa powder. Yep. The gold-foil packaging is pretty great, too. (60¢)

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne Drinking Chocolate

This amazing drinking chocolate made with raw cane sugar and the finest cocoa beans won the NASFT Outstanding Beverage Award in 2002. With undertones of fruitiness and natural vanilla, this mix makes a mean cup of hot cocoa. (75¢/sachet or $14.49 cube of 14 sachets*)

*The cube was mistakenly priced at $5.99 and listed as such in the newsletter; $14.49 is the correct price. Sorry for any confusion!)

Marshmallow Ropes

Do like the cool enfants and eat these adorable marshmallow ropes right out of the package! Or cut them into comically large squares and float them in a bowl of drinking chocolate. Pick your favorite flavor: lemon, raspberry, or violet. ($1.99)

Dunk 'em.

And: cookies!

Biscoff

The demand for speculoos spread continues apace here at the shop, so we thought it wise to bring in the original cinnamon-stoked cookies as well. These are a Flanders tradition, known stateside for being served on Delta flights. Make a cup of coffee and sit back like you’re flying Delta first class, unless that sounds awful, in which case think about how you’re enjoying the cookies without having to go through the hassle of air travel. ($3.99)

Fossier Biscuits Roses

These airy yet hardy biscuits from Reims, near Champagne, are infused with a touch of vanilla and dressed with a coat of powdered sugar. They’re meant to be dunked, in anything from milk or tea to wine, an aperitif, or even a glass of Champagne, which is so charming we just can’t stand it. Also, the Fossier website offers recipe ideas for tower-like cakes using the cookies like Jenga pieces that are quite ornate and ladies-who-lunch. ($6.99)

Gavottes Crispy Crepe Dentelles

These biscuits from Brittany are made of many many crispy layers, wound around each other like “the dance that lends them their name.” (A gavotte was, obviously, a Breton dance involving lots of spinning and twirling). Available in regular flaky goodness, as well as with milk or dark chocolate coating. ($4.99)

Wine @ PG

Newest of the new.

This just in! (As in, I just put these new wines on the shelf five minutes ago.)

Domaine Força Réal Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2005 ($8.99)

Crazy good price. This medium-bodied southern red has some intense rusticity, with notes of graphite and dark fruit. A good quaffer, especially with something particularly meaty or savory.

Enclos du Petit Chien Cheverny Blanc 2009 ($12.99)

Another fantastic value from the Loire Valley. This 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay is, to quote Sharon, “yummy.” Expressions of herbs and minerals, and a nicely round creaminess in the mouth, revealing that the seemingly tiny edition of Chardonnay makes for an excellently balanced quencher.

Domaine des Braves Régnié 2009 ($14.99)

This 100% Gamay from Régnié, the most recently recognized cru of Beaujolais (1988), starts out with some residual sugar and floral hints of violet, but then deepens into dark berry notes and a smooth, refreshing minerality. We’ve noted the exceptional quality of Beaujolais wines from this vintage, and this one is no exception.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 2/2 Wednesday, Feb 2 2011 

Bright, chilly wines for bright, chilly days.

Wine @ PG

Looking to some whites and a sparkling to lighten the mid-winter stretch.

Chidaine Touraine 2009 ($16.99)

This is a perfectly executed and endlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Very aromatic, with fresh citrus notes, it has a chalky texture and a brilliant minerality. It drinks well above its mid-teen price point, rivaling some Sancerres. With the hints of sunshine, we’re starting to look more to crisp whites, and this is one of our favorites. Pair with Le Chevrot.

Domaine Pierre Sparr Marquis de Perlade ($9.99)

Made in the traditional method, this sparkling wine is ideal for festive gatherings.  It is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Macabeu, and Chardonnay from the wonderful Alsatian producer Pierre Sparr.  Crisp, with lovely notes of green apple and a touch of honey and toast, this sparkling wine complements cheese platters, fruit and nuts beautifully.  It’s also a super value! Pair with Chaource.

Domaine de l’Idylle “Cruet” Vin de Savoie 2009 ($11.99)

Savoy is a region better known for its landscapes and cheeses than its wines, and that’s a crying shame. Just west of Burgundy, in a cool climate with steep terrain, grow a range of rare grapes, aromatic and bright. Domaine de l’Idylle has been making wines in the village of Cruet since 1840. This one is 100% Jacquère, a native variety that is vivacious and fragrant. Exuding pear, citrus, and floral notes, with bursts of green apple and minerality. The short period of sur lie aging gives a nice complexity and sleek body. A perfect foil to the richness of fondue and raclette, it also makes a wonderful choice for Kir (white wine with crème de cassis). Pair with Raclette.

Cheese @ PG

Old favorites, back in stock.

Le Chevrot

Try this full-flavored goat cheese with a Loire Valley white. Le Chevrot is produced in the Poitou region. It’s wonderfully “wrinkly” rind is fully edible, and the interior is creamy. Le Chevrot displays sweet, nutty flavors with a zesty, almost lime-like finish. ($11.99)

Chaource

The ultimate party cheese! This triple cream cow’s milk cheese from the Champagne region has a slightly fruity taste and a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Creamy and buttery, it’s amazing when paired with sparkling wine. ($11.99/each)

Raclette

This is an incredible value! A raw cow’s milk cheese with a supple texture and a full, beefy flavor. Even better when melted to make the traditional warm-you-up dish, raclette savoyarde. ($12.99/lb)

Craves @ PG

J'adore le saucisson.

We love products from Fabrique Delices because you know you’re getting a minimally processed product made without artificial ingredients. Rosette de Lyon is a dry salami made with all-natural pork raised with no antibiotics, no added hormones, and 100% vegetarian feeds. Slice it roughly and snack on it with some crusty baguette, hard cheeses, and olives or pickles. Francois, one of our wine reps, knows this is the real deal, Lyon-style saucisson, and he always grabs one or two when dropping by with wines for us to try.

Gifted @ PG

All dressed up and nowhere to go (thankfully).

This week’s suggestion for a Valentine’s Day gift: make your sweetheart dinner, and make it in 10 minutes. We love this black and white bowtie pasta from Donne del Grano; it’s an artisanal durum wheat pasta that looks as good as it tastes. For sauce, we prefer San Marzano arrabiatta sauce, because a little spice never hurt anybody.

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 1/29 Saturday, Jan 29 2011 

The milk of Tarine cows is used to make luscious Alpine cheeses, such as Beaufort, which is our choice when making French onion soup! Picture from Olive White Photography.

Food (& Cheese!) @ PG

“The onion is the truffle of the poor.”

French Onion Soup (Adapted from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells)

I find this version one of the lightest onion soups I’ve tried; perhaps it’s because the onions are roasted first. Be sure to use good white sweet onions (yellow onions can turn bitter). If this is likely to become a family favorite, it’s worthwhile to invest in traditional onion soup bowls. Makes 2 servings.

1 very large (1 pound) white onion (such as Bermuda), thinly sliced

10 sprigs thyme

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup dry sherry

32 oz unsalted chicken stock, preferably homemade

2-4 slices crusty baguette

2 cups (about 5 ounces) grated Beaufort cheese

1. Heat olive oil and butter in large sauté pan. When butter has melted, add onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook slowly over very low heat for at least 30 minutes until onion is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add the sherry, turn the heat to high, and simmer for a few minutes until most of the sherry has been absorbed.

2. Turn on oven broiler. Bring the stock to a simmer in a large nonreactive saucepan.

3. Evenly distribute the cooked onions between 2 soup bowls. Pour in the simmering stock. Place a round or two of bread on top of each; evenly distribute the grated cheese. Place the soup bowls under the broiler and broil just until the cheese is melted (2 or 3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Wine @ PG

Yay, wine!

St. Cosme Little James’ Basket Press Rouge NV ($12.99)

Another example of a high-end producer (in this case, Louis Barroul, a 14th generation producer of Gigondas) making a delightful low-end wine that we can’t resist. This 100% Grenache is made using the solera system; it’s bright and juicy with moderate tannins. A great, easy-drinking wine!

Domaine de la Chanteleuserie “Cuvee Alouette” Bourgueil 2009 ($14.99)

Another example of a supremely drinkable 100% Cabernet Franc. This Bourgueil exhibits pure fruit flavors, with a delicious earthiness. Low tannins make it quaffable but it still offers great length and power.

2008 Philippe Raimbault “Apud Sariacum” Sancerre ($22.99)

There is no more beautiful expression of Sauvignon Blanc than the wines of Sancerre. The cool climate, chalky soil, and passion of the small producers bring this grape to the height of its aromatic, austere elegance. Philippe Raimbault, a ninth-generation producer, puts enormous care into his small family of wines. This Sancerre has flavors of limestone, crushed rocks, and a heady, enticing florality that is nevertheless retrained. An excellent, refreshing texture for a pure finish.

Craves @ PG

Gratin bowls

We love ceramics from Graupera; the Spanish Table offers many of their pots, tagines, and casserole dishes large and small. New to Paris Grocery are these stout soup bowls ($11.99), perfect for individual servings of French onion soup. The quality of the glazes and materials means they’ll stand up to heating, dishwashing, and even microwaving for many years to come; we also love how these ceramics tend to look better with a bit of use (we think food even TASTES better when cooked in well-used ceramics).

Gifted @ PG

Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells

This week’s recipe came from this classic, easy-to-follow book of bistro favorites by Patricia Wells. She’s an incredible authority on French cuisine, and this book offers up some choice bistro-culture knowledge as well. I want to try Oxtail Terrine (pg. 125), Leek Terrine with Truffles (pg. 82), and Zucchini Crepes (pg. 92). Her recipe for Riz au Lait (pg. 250) looks promising, as well; it calls for orange and lemon zest which always makes things taste better.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 1/15 Tuesday, Jan 18 2011 

The cassoulet the boss made for our holiday party. Yum!

Wine @ PG

New to the Shop Reds.

Domaine de Andézon Côtes-du-Rhône 2009 ($13.99)

From the importer: “One of the first custom cuvées created by Eric Solomon. Based around the idea that extremely old-vine Syrah in this zone could produce a spicy, full-bodied red wine of incredible value for the U.S. market, Eric worked with the winemaker to fashion a bottling that exceeded everyone’s expectations.” From Robert Parker:  “It offers explosive notes of smoky bacon fat, cassis, and blackberries, a deep, rich, chewy style, and an exuberant, flashy personality. 91 points.” From us: “Yum!”

La Pépie Cabernet Franc 2009 ($14.99)

Just a delightful bistro red. A transparent violet in the glass, this Cabernet Franc is light and flavorful, yet earthy and persistent, with a delightful minerality that makes it a stupendous everyday wine. We think it would go just as well with salmon or pizza as it would with red meat or roasted vegetables.

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières “Les Moures” Gigondas 2007 ($17.99)

This wine absolutely flies off the shelf. We have very smart customers; nothing warms you up with such lovely Rhône intensity as a well-made Gigondas. “An outstanding effort. This deep ruby/purple-tinged Gigondas offers notes of spice box, incense, crushed rocks, red and black fruits, and no evidence of wood. It exhibits good sweetness on the attack, a medium to full-bodied mid-palate, an endearing texture, and a long, pure, convincing finish.” —Wine Advocate, 90 Points.

Meat @ PG

As evidenced by the recent blustery wind and somewhat-crystallized rain (and may I just say, as someone from Spokane: CHILL OUT, it’s not that bad), it’s clear that winter is nowhere near over. George, our resident cheese nerd, insisted that I insist that you make a cassoulet. One of lovely wine reps supplied her Robuchon-inspired recipe, and we’ve (of course), got all the fixings; I’ve bolded the items we carry in the shop.

Cassoulet – inspired by the recipe in The Complete Robuchon, by Joel Robuchon

2 lbs dry white beans, soaked overnight

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

4 onions, peeled, 2 stuck with 1 whole clove each and 2 sliced into rounds 1/8 inch thick

10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½ pound fresh pork rind

1 bouquet garni

1 garlic sausage, about ¾ pound

1 pound uncooked pork sausage (typically Toulouse-style)

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ to ¾  pound lean pork belly

3 to 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks

3 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (you could use canned San Marzano tomatoes)

1 ½ pounds goose or duck confit

1 ¼ cup dry bread crumbs

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, minced

1. Cook the beans. Put them in a large pot with the carrot, the 2 onions stuck with cloves, 6 cloves garlic, the pork rind, and bouquet garni. Cover generously with cold water and put the pot over high heat. Lower the heat before the pot starts to bubble, add salt to taste and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour. Add the garlic sausage and uncooked pork sausage, and simmer 15 minutes more or until the beans feel almost tender. Remove the pot from the heat and taste for salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the meat. Put the pork belly in a large pot, cover it with cold water, bring to a boil and cook at a bubble for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and put it in a colander. Rinse under cold water and leave to drain.

3. In another pot, melt 4 tablespoons fat from the confit. When the fat is hot, brow the lamb chunks all over for about 3 minutes over high heat; if necessary, work in batches so the chunks are not crowded and so that all end up beautifully golden.  Remove them to a plate. Cook the sliced onions in the same pot for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring with a wooden spatula. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 4 cloves garlic, and 10 tablespoons bean cooking liquid.  Let the pot bubble for 10 minutes over low heat.

4. Fish the bouquet garni, onions, pork rind, and sausages from the bean-cooking pot.  Discard the bouquet garni and leave everything else on a plate.  Drain the beans over a bowl so that you keep their cooking liquid. Add the drained beans to the pot of onions and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, with a rather gentle touch.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Slice the garlic sausage into rounds ½ inch thick.  Line a large terrine with the pork rind. Fill the terrine with alternating layers of lamb, pork belly, small sausages, sliced garlic sausage, and the bean-onion-tomato mixture.  Finish with a layer of the beans and top them with 2 tablespoons confit fat spread evenly over their surface. The liquid in the terrine should reach the top layer of beans and just barely cover them; if it does not, add some bean-cooking liquid.

6. Bake for 3 hours. If necessary, add bean-cooking liquid to the cassoulet as it bakes to maintain a high level of liquid.

7. After the cassoulet has baked for 3 hours, push the duck or goose confit into the pot.  Mix the bread crumbs with the minced parsley and sprinkle the cassoulet with this mixture. Put the terrine back in the oven for 1 hour to brown.

Craves @ PG

Pave du Nord

Check out these adorable samples of one of our favorite cheeses, Pave du Nord. It’s a vividly orange cheese from the north of France with a deeply nutty flavor, making it eminently snackable and fantastic when melted in pasta or on a tartine. We’re always willing to offer a sample of any of our cheeses; we suggest that you resolve (hardy har) to come in and find a new favorite.

Gifted @ PG

More like FUNdue.

I’ve decided to keep the “Gifted” section of the newsletter going, seeing as there’s one more holiday on the horizon with which I feel we could be particularly helpful. Yup, the granddaddy of all the winter holidays, the most awful or most wonderful (depending on your perspective): Valentine’s Day. I’ll be featuring a great gift for your sweetheart from now until then, and then I promise, we’ll all go back to normal. This week: Fondue. I know, I know, but: FONDUE. You’re welcome.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 10/9 Sunday, Oct 10 2010 

We love you, Cab Francs. No matter what they say.

Wine @ PG

This week we’re featuring some fantastic values in Loire Valley reds. These are all 100 percent Cabernet Franc, a grape that is quite popular in France, especially in the Loire Valley, but is better known stateside as a grape used in blends, particularly those from Bordeaux. Depending on production practices, the grape can produce fruitier or more herbal/vegetative flavors than other varietals. It’s also noted for a certain floral quality, especially violets. Some palates, unused to these qualities, may find themselves off-put by a Cab Franc wine, but we think they’re worth getting to know better. They are typically medium-bodied and easy to drink , but with a cerebral, what-is-that-exactly quality. And at  these prices, you can’t go wrong.

Sables Blonds Touraine Rouge 2009 ($9.99)

This Cabernet Franc is loaded with minerals and notes of earth and dark berries. It’s juicy and lightly tannic: perfect for flank steak. We liked this wine so much that we brought in a case of it to compete with our larger buys of Côtes du Rhone and Bordeaux; like those more typical options, this is one to grab for any simple cold-weather dish.

Saumur Rouge “Les Epinats” 2009 ($9.99)

This Cab Franc uses grapes from a single vineyard that is abundant with silex, giving the wine a dense backbone of minerality. A lovely transparent ruby color in the glass, with delicate aromas of violets. Bright and lively on the palate, with a hint of cherries and licorice. Just enough grip and a supremely balanced finish:  this wine really offers bang for your buck.

Bourgueil  Rouge “Beauregard” 2009 ($10.99)

We tasted this directly after the Saumur, and while it had some similarities in terms of texture, its flavors were slightly more complex. Dark notes of blackberry brush up against something like pencil shavings. Bourgueil is known for being a bit more rustic than its neighbor Chinon, but we sort of like that: this wine really sings when paired with the right foods. The bright acidity and herbal notes of tarragon make it a natural with lamb sausages.

Cheese @ PG

Rogue River Blue

This cow’s milk cheese from Sonoma is aged for one year in “Roquefort-like” caves. It has vibrant hints of hazelnuts and sweet pine, with a clean, woodsy finish. Each wheel is wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in pear brandy, giving the cheese a supremely creamy texture.

$38.99/lb

$9.75/quarter lb

Fleur d’Aunis

This washed rind semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Charentes-Poitou is rich, creamy, and slightly nutty. The rind is brushed with Pineau des Charentes, a fortified wine made with Cognac. A easy cheese for snacking, with just enough complexity.

$15.99/lb

$3.99/quarter lb

Folie Bergere

A fresh goat cheese from Belgium with a savory coating of herbs. The dense texture is similar to a dry ricotta, and it has a less mild tang than other chèvres. Earthy and delicious!

$32.99/lb

$8.25/quarter lb

Back in stock: we have fresh wheels of Morbier (the washed rind classic with a center line of ash), Cantalet Dore (the “French cheddar” that’s so good with apples), and Gabietou (the dreamy cow’s and sheep’s milk cheese created by Herve Mons).

Craves @ PG

Candied Orange Peel Strips

Imported from France, these have a fantastic balance of sweet and tangy flavors and a delightfully toothsome texture. Packed in a touch of syrup to retain moisture and freshness. In addition to myriad baking and confectionary uses, candied orange peel strips make a fantastic accompaniment to cheese or dark chocolate. People have also been known to just eat them, one by one, until they are all gone: but these tales may just be the stuff of sweet tooth legend.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan

This attractive and rather huge book promises over 300 recipes from Greenspan’s classic “French dinner table” repertoire . The book is organized extremely well, with nibbles, vegetables, and desserts getting just as much attention as beef, chicken, and seafood. The recipes are surprisingly simple. In fact, Julie Child once told Greenspan,  “You write recipes just the way I do.” High praise from a true master!

 

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

Paris Grocery News 9/3 Saturday, Sep 4 2010 

A most delicious bivalve

September. Please note the last letter. Yes, it’s an r. Get your shuckers ready because it’s oyster season! A group promoting the wines of the Loire Valley has ingeniously paired up with local restaurants and oyster farms to bring us Muscadet Seattle. This event spotlights the fantastic natural affinity between the crisp, mineral-driven Muscadet wines and the sublime sea flavor of oysters. Both are also incredible adventures in texture. Eric Asimov of the New York Times recently revisited Muscadet, and he suggests that it’s actually a quite versatile wine that could also pair well with other seafood dishes, poultry and pasta. We say: when it comes to Muscadet and food, we’re fine with trying out every combination possible (in the name of culinary exploration, of course).

Wine @ PG

2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV $16.99

While there may not be a more natural pairing than Muscadet and oysters, straying from the beaten paths will bring delightful surprises. The high acidity and low alcohol brighten flavors and refresh the palate, enhancing and marrying the flavors of seafood, herbs, and seasonings. This one comes from an old vine planting, and the wine is aged on the lees for 18-24 months. With the exquisite minerality that is typical of Muscadet, the wine exudes fresh notes of limestone and sea breeze. The slight salinity is off-set by a touch of creaminess on the palate. It is one of my favorite whites in the shop.

“Bright straw. A piercing, energetic array of citrus and floral scents, complicated by strong minerality and a note of white pepper. Bitter lime pith and quinine flavors gain flesh and weight with air, taking a turn to sweeter tangerine and quince. Strikingly balanced and precise, with a long, spicy, mineral-dominated finish. This should be even better with a couple years of bottle age.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Bonnet-Huteau “Les Dabinières” Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $14.99

Run by Rémi Bonnet (president of the region’s Maîtres Vignerons cooperative cellar) and his brother Jean-Jacques, the estate is based around the ruins of a château dating to the Middle Ages and has 48 hectares under vines, with some 42 ha planted with Muscadet. This particular cuvée has loads of finesse and a bright texture on the palate.

“Demurely scented with under-ripe honeydew melon, white peach, fresh lemon, clover, and a hint of chalk dust. Soft in feel and expansive on the palate for its genre, yet tingling in its bright citricity, it offers generous refreshment. The strong personality of this cuvee comes in its terrifically long, animating finish, with saliva-inducing salinity and citric juiciness.” 91 points Robert Parker

2008 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie $12.99

Bernard Chéreau owns three separate estates within the house of Chéreau Carré, which occupies one of the most privileged positions in Nantes. Chateau de la Chesnaie represents a 25-year old parcel in the heart of Sèvre-et-Maine. Chéreau uses only indigenous yeasts and ages his wines on the lees for four months, putting him at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of Muscadet production. We found the 2008 vintage to have a wonderful freshness, with notes of seashell and lime. Mineral-laden and with a dry finish, this wine would be excellent with any delicate preparation of shellfish or oysters.

Craves @ PG

Casali Choco-Bananas

These little chocolate-covered banana candies are enormously popular. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cheap (they are), or because of their must-look-and-touch packaging (reptile brain), or because they’re delicious (yep, that too). Try them frozen! You will thank me.

Feed Your Mind @ PG

About Alice by Calvin Trillin

This book is not about food or wine, although it is written by the illustrious Calvin Trillin, who has often taken food as his subject. This slim little hardcover book is, obviously, about his wife, Alice, written five years after her death. It’s just a divine little book. He creates a glowing portrait of a hilarious, complicated, engaged, and uniformly charming woman with whom he made a long, lovely life. The picture above is taken from the back cover, and I think it’s worth the $6.99 price alone to be able to take the book down from time to time and get some ideas about how to live with grace, and maybe to complain about how people don’t dress like that anymore.

Paris Grocery Newsletter 6/24 Sunday, Jun 27 2010 

Even if it keeps raining, just pretend like you're in a French movie.

Singing in the rain

I lack, desperately, any form of vocal talent. My dancing skills are questionable at best. So what’s a body to do in a gloomy June, when the first day of summer looks a lot like the longest winter day? If you can tap dance over couches like Donald O’Conner, you’re all set. But for those of us who might risk life and limb in attempting such feats, we suggest coming in for some French treats and inviting a few friends over for an indoors picnic. Grab some travel guides and start planning your next travel adventure, or pop in a movie like Les parapluies de Cherbourg, a film that is both frothy and wistful. All of these activities are made extra delectable with some good food and wine, so read on for our suggestions for the summer-but-not dilemma, neither too light nor overly rich.

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

2009 Marc Plouzeau “Rive Gauche” Chinon
($15.99)
This young Cabernet France is tart, with juicy pomegranate and morello cherry notes. Spicy herbal notes lead to a taut, minerally end. From an organic estate in the Loire Valley. A delicious bistro-style wine that pairs nicely with a range of foods.

2005 Chateau Capion “2C” Coteaux du Languedoc ($12.99)
This is a clean, well balanced blend of Syrah (60%), Grenache (30%), and Mouvèdre (10%). A savory, ripe palate of cherry, black currant, and pepper lies beneath the smoke-tinged nose. Medium bodied with a lovely concentration, this wine was aged for 14 months in new and used barrels. It is always a hit, no matter the occasion!

2005 Domaine du Fontenay “L’Authentique Gamay” Côte Roannaise ($13.99)
Situated on a latitude south of Mâcon, Domaine du Fontenay has more in common with Beaujolais than with the more northerly Loire vignoble. The grapes for this wine are picked later than the rest of the domain’s crop, to optimize phenological maturity. The wine is built around a structure of ripe tannins, with particular attention paid to airing the wine at strategic moments to maximize fruit flavors. The result is a serious Gamay with balanced acidity and flavors of cherry and black licorice. Some earthy notes will emerge with bottle age. Pairs well with rich seafood dishes or charcuterie.

2007 Domaine Michel Juillot Mercurey ($23.99)
For four generations, the Michel Julliot Estate has been cultivating 30 hectares of vines in Mercurey, a village in Burgundy, and producing a large selection of the best “climats” the appellation has to offer. This superb chardonnay offers a savory and minerally nose with a round mouthfeel. Notes of lemon and well-integrated oak combine with a restrained hint of sweetness that is nevertheless refreshing. Serve with shellfish and grilled asparagus.

Cheese @ PG
Some real “cheese spouse” candidates

With all the exciting new cheeses there are to get to know and love, sometimes we can forget about the cheeses right under our noses. Here’s a cheese plate lineup of five of the hardest working cheeses in, well, cheese business: easy to like, always available, and constantly delicious. Let’s try not to take them for granted anymore.

St. Marcellin
A tender cow’s milk cheese from Dauphine in the Rhône-Alpes region. Savory, nutty, and slightly tangy, this cheese makes an excellent snack or starter for a cheese plate. Pairs well with Rhône reds. $8.99/wheel

Grès Champenois
Silky, oozy, nutty, rich, tart, and moist. We could go on and on! This deliciously creamy triple cream cow’s milk cheese comes from the Champagne region- meaning it’s fantastic when paired with fizzy. A treat for yourself, or for a gathering. $9.99/wheel

Fourme d’Ambert
A semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Auvergne. Richly savory and nutty flavor, yet mild and creamy. A bit of pungent earthiness on the finish. Melts or crumbles well- an absolute classic! $3.99/quarter lb

Abbaye de Belloc

A semi-hard cheese from the Pyrenees made from raw Manech sheep’s milk and aged 4-10 months. Abbaye is mild and nutty with an unique “lanolin” and toasted brown sugar characteristic. Rich, smooth, and buttery! $7.49/quarter lb

Tomme de Savoie
A cow’s milk cheese from the mountainous Savoie with a distinctly raw milk flavor– beefy, hazelnutty, and pleasantly milky. With about 30 percent fat content, this is the most creamy “low fat” cheese out there. Enjoy with liver-stoked pâtés and light red wines such as Beaujolais. $5.25/quarter lb

Craves @ PG

Provençal Candies

Feed your Mind @ PG

In the Merde for Love

You don’t need the beach to indulge in this light cultural satire! It’s the familiar but quite funny tale of the misadventures of a British expat who must win over the French woman he loves.

Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel

and
Steve Winston and Sharon Baden
Owners, Paris Grocery

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