Paris Grocery News 5/20 Friday, May 21 2010 

One for all, and all for meat!

Lyon is such a meat market. Literally.

Like the musketeer, D’Artagnan Meats make a dashing addition to your dinner plans. The founder, Ariane Daguin, started the company to meet the demand for quality duck in the U.S.A. Moulard duck is the backbone of Gascony cuisine, Ariane’s (and d’Artagnan’s) homeland, where the locals have a special region of their brain reserved for duck recipes, traditions, and folklore (or so Ariane claims). Today, their lineup still includes duck confit, luscious slices of fresh foie gras, rillettes, and smoked duck breast. But they’ve expanded to carry amazing sausages, salamis, and terrines from duck, goose, rabbit, wild boar, beef and lamb. Now that the days linger deep into the evening, there’s nothing better than popping open a bottle of wine, tearing up a baguette, tossing crunchy greens and serving it a savory platter of meats while the sunlight slips away.

Wine @ PG
Get 10% off any six bottles

Gascony is not just a land of duck fat dripped cuisine; Côtes-de-Gascogne consistently produces some of our favorite whites and red at our favorite price point: $9.99!

2007 Sichel Rouge Côtes-de-Gascogne ($9.99)
We were all impressed at just how well-made this Vin de Pays showed to be. The Sichel family has properties in several regions of France, and they brought the expertise they’ve garnered to Gascony. Primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with some Tannat and Syrah, the Cotes de Gascogne is quite well-balanced, with medium tannins and a lovely persistence. The unusual blend is perfectly melded, its inky color hinting at the aromas of full red fruit, herbs and a hint of pepper. Great for merguez, smoked duck breast, and duck salami!

2008 Domaine de Mirail Colombard Côtes-de-Gascogne
($8.99)
An unbelievable value! This zippy white comes from a family farm in the heart of Armagnac. Cold-pressed to preserve the French Colombard grape’s fresh, fruity aromatics, the wine is then aged sur-lie for four months for added complexity. With loads of verve, this wine is great for salads; try it with a frisée salad with crispy ventrèche.

2009 Domaine de Cassagnoles Côtes-de-Gascogne ($9.99)
From a 76ha estate in Gascony come this blend of the local white trifecta: French Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Gros Manseng. The first two grapes bring a crisp acidity, limestone, and citrus notes, while the Gros Manseng rounds out the wine with flavors of ripe stone fruit. A versatile, pleasurable wine that complements patés and cheeses.

2007 Seigneurs de Monbazillac ($11.99) 375mL
North of Gascony and east of Sauternes you can find the small appellation of Monbazillac. Like Sauternes, the wines produced here sweet, noble rot wines that are incredibly balanced. The fungus that covers the grapes after they begin to ripen not only imparts lovely aromas, it preserves the natural acid of the grapes even while the sugar content rises. Like clean honey, this blend of Sauvignon Blanc (30%), Semillon (60%), and Muscadelle (10%) has a vivid nose, with delicate floral notes, ripe apricot and honeysuckle. Surprisingly fresh, it is phenomenal with foie gras and bleu cheese.

Cheese @ PG

Look at these kids!

Fromagerie Picandine sits in the heart of the Périgord Blanc, a lush region of limestone plateaux, wide valleys, and rolling meadows. They produce some exquisite and adorable goat cheese specialties. While you can’t always judge a cheese by its packaging, or even its appearance or smell, with the Picandine cheeses, you definitely can. Their fantastic logo, a sinuous line drawing of a buck and doe nuzzling, lets you know that their cheeses come from the milk of happy goats in love. Le Picandou ($2.99 each) has that perfectly sweet-yet-sour flavor you look for in a fresh chèvre. It’s incredibly fresh-tasting and divinely creamy. We wrap the 1.4 ounce disks up individually, and they’ve become a customer favorite for a quick, convenient, and delicious snack. And I’m probably a little too thrilled about Picandou à Tartiner ($7.99 each), the same cheese in a 4.4 ounce resealable package. Now you can save a little for later. Finally, we have Bûchettes Picandine ($6.79 each), individually-wrapped packages of three “little logs” of aged goat cheese that would be perfect for a picnic. They have just enough age to offer some nice acidity and nuttiness, but still possess the subtle tang of a fresh chèvre.

The Picandine goat cheeses make great on-the-go snacks, but you can also ooh-and-ah over them at home. Broil it on rustic bread, mix it with pasta, or dollop a bit on top of a salad. Oh, and did I mention that they’re really cute?

Charcuterie @ PG
It rhymes!

Duck: D’Artagnan’s slices of Raw Duck Foie Gras ($98/lb) are so plump and creamy looking, they’re like silk-sheathed down pillows in your mouth! We also have a ready-to-eat Foie Gras Terrine ($24.79). Don’t forget about Duck Leg Confit ($11.99ea) and the peppery Smoked Duck Breast ($30.99/lb), both are delicious on salad.

Sausage: Both the dry Pork Saucisson Sec ($8.99/8oz) and the gamey Wild Boar Saucisson ($6.49/4oz) are luscious. In fresh sausage, we have too many awesome flavors to list… you’ll have to come see for yourself! And don’t forget about Ventrèche — once you start using salted pork belly, it is mighty hard to stop.

Terrines: We have three kinds of terrine in convenient 8oz molds: Mousse Truffée, with chicken and turkey livers and truffles; Mousse Basquaise, from duck liver, Port, and red bell peppers; and the chicken and turkey liver Peppercorn Mousse. They are all only $10.99!

Pantry Items: It’s always good to have Duck Fat ($7.99/7oz), Veal Demi Glace ($8.99/7.5oz), and Black or White Truffle Butter ($9.99/3oz and $12.99/3oz) on hand! They add an easy elegance to the simplest dishes.

Confits & Chutneys

A little bit of relish is a great way to balance a cheese and charcuterie platter. Try L’Epicurien’s Grape Must Mustard ($12.99/7oz) on the Rabbit, Pork and Ginger Sausage, or the Shallot Confit (S10.49/7oz) with Saucisson Sec. Boat Street’s Pickled French Plums ($9.99) are delicious on Foie Gras and all kinds of Pate. We have mile-high shelving with all kinds of preserves: come mix and match at your pleasure!

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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!