The beginning of September brings to mind the darkening of evenings, heartier foods, and back to school. When I was studying in France this time of year, I would begin to notice mushrooms, chestnuts, and root vegetable veloutés creeping back onto bistro menus. The thought makes me eager for chillier evenings and warmer meals. In anticipation, we at Paris-Madrid Grocery are stocking up on French and Spanish ingredients for our favorite fall meals. Plan your next meal and swing by for supplies! For those of us more hesitant to let go of summer, we still stock a range of delicious rosés, or try a transitional wine, think red Burgundy. See you soon!
Pasamontes Manchego Artesano $23.99/lb Jose Andres’ favorite Manchego is now in stock. Truly exceptional, it offers up concentrated, tangy, nutty flavors and a creamy texture. Pasamontes is proudly made by Delores Palomares Pasamontes, who is the fifth generation cheese maker to carry on her family tradition. Produced on their farm in the La Mancha region of Spain, this manchego is made from the milk of their five flocks of sheep that graze on natural pasture. A full-flavored, raw milk manchego that is not to be missed!
Buenalba con Pimenton $26.99/lb
This is a flavorful and eye-catching addition to any cheese board! Buenalba con Pimenton is made from a blend of raw goat and raw sheep’s milk. The cheese makers at La Prudenciana infuse paprika from “La Vera” into the milk before setting it into curds. Along with a striking color, this gives Buenalba a deep, rich flavor that gently mellows over the 4-6 months of aging time.
NV Tio Pepe Fino en Rama, Jerez ($34.00) Just bottled in April, the “En Rama” version of this sherry means it is unfiltered. Tio Pepe is a classic bone dry fino with impressive depth and flavor. The En Rama bottling delivers amazing freshness and added complexity, compared to the filtered Tio Pepe Fino. The availability of En Rama is seasonal as it’s only bottled twice per year, so pick some up while it’s in stock!
Domaine Denis Berthaut Fixin Bourgogne Rouge 2013 ($31.00)
Cooler nights bring a hankering for red wine. Fixin Burgundy is a great choice to transition into fall’s harvest meals and the onset of mushroom season. Domaine Berthaut has been a family-owned estate for seven generations, located in the Côte de Nuits section of Burgundy, and Fixin was elevated to AOC status in 1936. This wine was made from Pinot Noir vines planted between 1960-1980, using organic and sustainable practices and no herbicides. Fermented with native yeast and aged one year in barrel, (20% new), this is a medium-bodied Burgundy with great structure and delicate fruit flavors. Well integrated earthy notes, red cherry and dark fruit notes have an elegance on the palate. Silky tannins and a lengthy finish round out this balanced and delicious red.
Candied Chestnut, Blue Cheese, & Fennel Salad
Recipe adapted from Nine Kitchen
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter*
150g cooked and peeled chestnuts*, quartered
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and halved lengthways (reserve fronds to serve)
1 small radicchio, washed and leaves separated
150g Roquefort or Valdeon* blue cheese, roughly crumbled
2 oranges, peeled, all pith removed and sliced into segments
Extra virgin olive oil*, to serve
Crusty bread, to serve
*Available at Paris-Madrid Grocery
To make the candied chestnuts, heat a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add sugar and butter and stir until butter melts. Add chestnuts and cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes until chestnuts are golden brown and evenly coated.
Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Separate chestnut pieces and leave to cool.
To make the salad, using a V-slicer or sharp knife, very finely slice fennel. Arrange fennel, radicchio, blue cheese, and oranges on a serving platter. Sprinkle with candied chestnuts and reserved fennel fronds. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season and serve with crusty bread.