Karine & Jeff Couscous Vegetables $10.49
French Ratatouille $8.99
Karine & Jeff is a family-run business based in Revel in the southwest of France. Sourcing produce from regional producers, Karine and Jeff focus on creating vegetable and grain based meals that are healthy, certified organic, and flavorful. We love the savory freshness of the ratatouille! Made from organic tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onions, olive oil and herbs, this mixture is terrific served warm on grilled fish or with rice and couscous. The couscous vegetables comes in a two serving jar, prefect for topping couscous or quinoa.
L’Explorateur $6.99 each
The French named this cheese in honor of the first U.S. Satellite, Explorer One. And what a tasty tribute it is! Extra cream is added during the cheese making process, resulting in rich and creamy cheese with 75% buttefat content. Made in Ile-de-France, this fresh triple cream cow’s milk cheese has a rich, buttery flavor with a slight fresh tang. Nestle this decadent mini wheel between crackers and fruit—pair with Champagne or Crémant!
Three from Yecla
Yecla is a Spanish appellation located around the town of Yecla in the northernmost corner of the province of Murcia. Until recent times, it suffered from its close proximity to Jumilla, just to the south, and a more famous Spanish wine region. As in Jumilla, the Monastrell (also known as Mourvèdre) grape is king, here. In fact, there was a time, at the end of the 19th century, when the region saw a brief resurgence due to French involvement on the part of wine merchants seeking to replace grapes decimated by the phylloxera outbreak in France. Official D.O. status was established in 1975. The climate is Mediterranean-continental, with long, hot summers and mild winters. As you will see from the wines highlighted below, other authorized grapes include Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Yecla wines tend to be tannic, concentrated, with wild game and earthy notes, as well as with the primary aromas associated with black fruits (blackberry, black raspberry, plum, black cherry, etc.).
2013 Castaño Hécula Yecla Monastrell $11.99
This wine from the Castaño family, has been a perpetual best buy for as long as I can remember; almost always scoring in the low 90s, vintage after vintage—it certainly is a lot of wine for the money!
“The 2013 Hecula, which comes from 60- to 80-year old non-irrigated vines planted in pure limestone soils, is a cuvée of 12,000 cases. The wine has fabulous texture, a deep ruby/purple color, plenty of chalky minerality mixed with blue and black fruits. The wine is rich, concentrated, quite savory and mouthfilling. This is a stunner that is remarkable for this price. In fact, it is probably too good, because most people that spend $12.00 would never believe a wine could be exceptional. But this certainly is. Drink it over the next several years.”
91 points, Wine Advocate.
2012 CVA Gordo Yecla $14.99
Another crowd-pleaser from Yecla. A blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a wine from vineyards planted in1970, tended in chalk and limestone soil, at roughly 2,300 ft. in altitude. The wine is aged for three months in French oak.
“A fabulous value from Patrick Mata, the 2012 Gordo is a blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from an organic vineyard planted in 1970. Aged three months in French oak, it showcases the brilliant quality of the Mourvèdre grape from this sunny appellation. The wine boasts an opaque ruby/purple color along with notes of lead pencil shavings, blackberries, black raspberries and a hint of blueberries. The sensational fruit characteristics are pure as well as vivid. This full-bodied, opulent, stunningly savory, expansively flavored 2012 can be drunk over the next 2-3 years.”
91 points, Wine Advocate.
2013 Castaño Solanera Viñas Viejas Yecla $16.99
Another serious value from European Cellars. Solanera is a custom, old-vine cuvée created under the direction of American importer, Eric Solomon, which blends low-yielding Monastrell grown on the rockiest soils of the D.O., with Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha Tintorera. This is a serious wine that over delivers given its modest price!
“Even better is the 2013 Solanera, a “Vinas Viejas” (old vines) that differs from the Castaño (100% Monastrell), as this blend is 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Grenache, aged 10 months in French and American oak. Another difference from the Hécula is that it was aged equal parts in tank and the other half in French oak. The Solanera, which comes from relatively high-altitude limestone soils at 900 meters, has a dense purple color, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and blackberry fruit mixed with crushed chalk, a full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, density and richness. The oak is well concealed by the lavish fruit–the wine just amazing. Drink it over the next 2-3 years, as these powerhouses are best consumed in their exuberant and extroverted youth.”
92 points, Wine Advocate.
Lamb Chops Sizzled with Garlic
Recipe from Food and Wine
Las Pedroñeras, in the Castilla–La Mancha region, is considered the garlic capital of Spain. These juicy, meaty lamb chops sizzled in extra-virgin olive oil with plenty of garlic cloves are Janet Mendel’s homage to the village
Eight 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds), fatty tips trimmed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of dried thyme
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 small garlic cloves, halved
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and garlic and cook until the chops are browned, about 2 minutes longer for medium meat. Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.