LentilsWe are open regular hours on President’s Day (Monday February 19, 10 AM – 6 PM).   It’s a 3-day weekend for many, giving extra time with friends and family.  Of course, you’ll need good food and wine, and we can help put together a scrumptious repast.   It needn’t be expensive, just delicious…   A chilly winter weekend is forecast which cries out for comfort food.   See our recipe below for roast chicken, which reaches a beautiful crispiness when baked in a clay cazuela.  A side dish of lentils sauteed with carrots, chopped onion and herbs is a great accompaniment.

clay cookwareWe stock an enviable selection of clay cookware, ranging from shallow cazuelas with or without lids, rounded bean pots with lids (ollas), deep dutch-oven-style pots for simmering stews (cocotes) and frying pans with handles.  Depending on the style, they come in terracotta, red, black, and eggplant.  Measurements range from individual bread dipping size to an 18″ wide cazuela, which is big enough to roast a suckling pig over the fire.  Durable and versatile, they can be used on top of a gas or electric stovetop, in the oven, over a fire, and in the microwave.   Food looks mouthwatering in this cookware, and they also keep dinner warm.    Clay cookware is all-around fantastic.

LentilsWe’ve restocked our lentil selection for the winter soup season.  You can now choose from Le Puy A.O.P. French Lentils, which have been grown in the Auvergne region’s volcanic soils for over 2000 years.  Renowned for their slightly earthy and mineral flavor, they hold their shape well, making them great for salads, soups, or with duck confit.   Spanish Pardina lentils are high in protein, extremely flavorful and also hold their shape well after cooking. Serve Pardinas with grilled chorizo.  We carry lentils grown in Idaho, including Black lentils which are delicate in taste and size.  Canary (ivory-colored) and Red Chief lentils (reddish-orange colored) are both quick cooking and mild in flavor.  Large green lentils have a rustic texture and are a staple in Spanish stews.

petit pont l'evequePetit Pont L’Evêque cheese, 7.8 oz, $14.49 each This creamy, washed-rind cheese was created by Cistercian monks during the 12th century in Normandy. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, this golden-hued cheese has a supple, ivory-colored interior, aromas of hazelnut, and a buttery, savory, slightly tangy flavor. Choose one of these petit orange squares to make an autumnal statement on your next cheese plate! Pair with country bread, dried fruit, and cider or Viognier.

Estrella Damm beerEstrella Damm beer is now available!    Finally, we carry this popular lager beer again.  We also now have Estrella Damm Inedit, the beer developed by Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler and El Bulli’s sommelier’ team. Estrella Inedit is a unique coupage of barley malt and wheat, flavored with coriander, orange peel and licorice. Inedit is the first beer specifically created to accompany food.

Pago de los Capellanes wineBodegas Pago de los Capellanes in Ribera del Duero crafts some of my all-time favorite red wines. The vineyards are planted with 100% Tempranillo and are divided into 35 different plots which are harvested separately. The wines are aged for one to three years (depending on style) in 22 different types of French oak, and offer a full-bodied and balanced expression of the Tempranillo grape.   Some consider their wines a more modern style, compared to the wines of Vega Sicilia, which are renowned for their finesse.

Pago de los Capellanes 2016 Joven Roble, Ribera del Duero ($16.99)  100% Tempranillo, aged 5 months in oak.   Offers up ripe black fruit, which develops more depth with air.   Medium-bodied and fresh, it pairs well with all kinds of pork products.

Pago de los Capellanes 2014 Crianza,  ($30.00)  100% Tempranillo, aged 12 months in French oak, medium toast.    Best when decanted for one hour before serving.    “I loved this 2014, that showed very good balance and a nice combination of power and elegance, ripeness and restraint, fruit and oak. It’s 100% Tempranillo matured in 300-liter French barriques for one year. The palate was equally balanced, with elegant tannins and good freshness.”  92 points Wine Advocate

Pago de los Capellanes 2014 Reserva ($46.00) 100% Tempranillo, aged 14 months in French oak, medium toast.   Best when decanted for one hour before serving.  The Reserva is made from the same blend as the Crianza but is made from the finest fruit available.   Refined, full-bodied and elegant, the Reserva shows superb acidic balance with perfectly ripened fruit.   Notes of toast and vanilla are layered with spicy nuances, minerality, fine tannins and a lengthy finish.  This is a wine to serve with roast lamb or beef tenderloin.

This recipe results in a moist chicken with a crisp, colorful, golden-yellow skin and a wonderful Spanish aroma. There is very little prep time and it needs virtually no attention while roasting except basting once or twice.

Serves 4
1 Large, whole Chicken
4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch Saffron threads
1 teaspoon Spanish sea salt
1 tablespoon Spanish sweet pimentón
½ cup Spanish olive oil
1 Orange or lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 450º

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, salt and saffron until they form a paste, incorporate the paprika, then oil.
Brush this mixture over the exterior of chicken. Push orange quarters into cavity.

Roast in a Spanish terra cotta cazuela large enough to hold the chicken (32cm) in a very hot (450º) oven until done (40 minutes, or more).