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 1/14 Thursday, Jan 14 2010 

The Spanish Table bid adios to 2009 by flinging open the pantry doors and throwing a party last week. In theory it was a small staff and friends party, but turned into a Bacchanalian feast with wines flowing and plate after plate of party foods. In a nod to our new sibling Paris Grocery, Spanish and French bites were served, including Galette des Rois and Cassoulet (recipe follows):

Serves 20 or more, depending on the appetites

8 oz D’Artagnan smoked duck bacon
8 oz Zoe Meats Bacon
16 oz Toulouse Sausage
8 Oz Fabrique Délices Bistro Sausage with herbs de Provence
3 onions, studded with one clove each
6 carrots
3 lbs dried Emergo 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 (app. 1 lb) Fabrique Délices smoked duck breasts
1 large onion, sliced
18 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds canned crushed tomatoes
3 teaspoons pebrella
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, pebrella, 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.

WINE

2005 Chateau La Grange Clinet, Cotes de Bordeaux ($13.99) 62% Merlot and the rest a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, this is one of the best, ever, vintages for this property. Peak ripeness led to beautiful grapes, and a sleek wine showing freshness and great balance. Awarded a Gold Medal at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris with these laudatory comments: “fruity, well balanced, ample”. Exactly the type of wine you’d be served in a French bistro, it pairs beautifully with game hens and charcuterie.

FROMAGE

Charolais Affiné: From the granite plains of the Charolais region in Burgundy comes this beautiful raw goat’s milk cheese. Affineur Herve Mons achieves a harmonious balance of saltiness, sweetness, and acidity in this aromatic cheese. A must-try! $16.99/each

Cantalet Doré: One of the oldest French cheeses, Cantal was reportedly enjoyed over 2000 years ago in ancient Rome. Named for the mountains of the Auvergne region, this AOC cheese is often referred to as the “French Cheddar.” When young, it has a mild, buttery flavor that develops into a pleasant bite. $15.99/lb

Fromager des Clarines: Made in the mountainous region of the Haute-Savoie, this cow’s milk cheese by fromager Jean Perrin displays earthy, white truffle flavors. Rich and unctuous, this cheese tastes best at room temperature- served along with some sparkling wine! $17.99/each $3.99/quarter lb

Les Orphelins de Fromage : Help us find a home for our smaller pieces of cheese. Indulge in just a bit of your favorite cheeses, or give something new a try. Adopt a cheese orphan today!

MEAT

Rillettes: A rustic pâté made from meat that’s been poached in its own fat, simmered in spices and juices, then shredded and stored in some of that fat. Pounded into a delicious spread, it’s traditionally served with cornichons and mustard, along with some crusty baguette!

Alexian Duck Rillettes, $11.99 Rougié Goose Rillettes, $12.49 Also new to Paris Grocery: Andouillette Sausage Back in stock: Duck Leg Confit!