Grupo Hermi stewed Spanish rabbitWe now carry Spanish rabbit!   This crucial ingredient in Paella Valenciana and staple of the Mediterranean diet is a versatile and delicious low-fat protein.  Humanely raised by Grupo Hermi, who has been farming rabbits in Spain for 40 years, the rabbits are air chilled and blast frozen.  This method of production preserves the delicate flavor by not freezing it in water.  We stewed up samples of this rabbit last week and were blown away by its tenderness, and sweet, intense flavor.    Find these whole frozen rabbits (2.5-3 pounds each) in our freezer case.   See the recipe below for Sherry Braised Rabbit.

GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS PART III – Easy Prep Tapas class $55.00 per person, Sunday, Dec. 2, 9:30-11 a.m.
If you’re looking for new recipes to serve this holiday season or beyond, don’t miss our third and final class of the year.  In this hands-on session, you’ll learn how to prepare five savory tapas and one easy dessert, new recipes that weren’t featured in our previous classes. The preparation is easy and the results are stunning!  Price includes a copy of the cookbook “Paella” by Lorraine Turner.  To register, please call us at 206.682.0679 and confirm your place with credit card payment.    See below for details.

el almendro turronEl Almendro brand Spanish Turron Arrives!   The traditional holiday treats are rolling in and the newest arrival is Spanish turron made by El Almendro.  We’ve now got their Turron Duro and Blando in stock, as well as bite-size mini turrones, crunchy turron with orange, crunchy turron with sea salt, and Delaviuda dark chocolate bars with 30% almonds.   Don’t wait until the last minute to pick up your favorite treats, because some items do sell out.

saucisson lyonnais with potatoesNEW!  Saucisson Lyonnais with Pistachios.  Available in our charcuterie case for slicing.  A gourmet sausage very popular in the city of Lyon, France, that we adore.  French Chef Daniel Monneaux has been producing artisanal charcuterie in New York since 1999.  Daniel and his team handcraft traditional sausages and pâtés based on the recipes of his classical French culinary training.  His motto is “Good Food from Simple Ingredients.”   His Saucisson Lyonnais is a fully cured pork sausage studded with pistachios, salt, pepper and spices. Excellent served warm with potato salad, green lentils, mashed potatoes or in sandwiches.  Slice into 1/4 inch rounds, reheat by frying or grilling.  It can also be sliced thin and served on a charcuterie plate.  Give this a try!

dehesa la granjaDehesa La Granja, Vino de la Tierra Castilla y Leon 
2008 ($18.99)  Crafted by the same winemaker who produces the famous Pesquera wines in Ribera del Duero, except that Bodegas Dehesa La Granja is located in Zamora, near the Portuguese border.  The winery’s impressive cellar features extensive underground cellars dug out of rock in the late 1700’s.   These cellars, with constant temperature and humidity, are perfect conditions for aging wine.  Dehesa La Granja is 100% Tempranillo from 25-year-old vines, aged 24 months in American oak.  Its ripe red fruit has notes of balsamic and smoke.   Hearty and well-structured, it has round tannins with hints of spice and mushroom.  Flavors of toast and earth add layered complexity.  Best when decanted for 30 minutes before serving, and it is excellent with grilled beef.

cuca de llumSucces Vinicola Cuca de Llum, Conca de Barbera 2016 ($19.99)   100% Trepat, a grape indigenous to Catalonia, grown in 400-500 meter elevation vineyards located just 30 minutes inland from Tarragona.   The vineyards experience extreme daytime heat, but cool evenings with foggy nights and frequent winds, which preserves great acidity in the fruit.   Aged 5 months on the lees in stainless steel, Cuca de Llum clocks in at 13% alcohol, and offers up beautifully ripened red fruit with flavors of plum, berry and savory hints.  Bright and lifted with soft tannins, it rests lightly on the palate with a refreshing mouthfeel.   Excellent with poultry or savory seafood dishes.

Niepoort vertenteNiepoort Vertente Douro 2015   ($32.00)  Years ago at the Niepoort winery in Portugal’s Douro region we were treated to a tasting of their phenomenal red and white table wines.   I’ve been searching for a source of these impressive wines since our visit but as these are wines are limited, the prices seemed quite high.  But finally persistence has paid off, and we now have Vertente on the shelf at a great price.   “The 2015 Vertente is a field blend from old vines (30 to 60 years), with Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and others, aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak (the rest used in varying ages). It comes in at just 12.5% alcohol. This is often a nice value point in Niepoort’s lineup. That’s especially true this year. From the first taste, it went right near the top of my list of favorite Vertentes. To be sure, it isn’t the most concentrated Vertente ever (the 2011 might be considered there), but it is one of the freshest and most flavorful. In its elegant style, it is a very good value, combining high quality—including the ability to age—and good pricing.”  91 points Wine Advocate

Chateau pas de l'aneChateau Pas de L’Ane St Emilion Grand Cru 2010 Bordeaux ($71.00)  Chateau Pas de L’Ane’s vineyards are situated a mere 100 meters from storied Cheval Blanc’s property, one of the most prestigious terroirs of Bordeaux’s right bank. Pas de L’Ane is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc, aged 12 months in new French oak.     A rich and full-bodied wine with aromas of berries and tobacco, with bright acidity and spice notes.  Incredibly elegant and velvety, this delicious red is from a great vintage and would make a memorable gift or special occasion wine.   “The 2010 Château Pas de L’Ane offers generous crushed strawberry and cranberry on the nose, a little obvious perhaps, but sensual and charming. The palate is rich and intense on the entry, ebullient red cherry, kirsch and iodine notes matched by requisite acidity and a long and persistent, satisfying finish. This is a well-made, delicious Saint Émilion.”  90-92 points Wine Advocate

SHERRY BRAISED RABBIT  (Recipe from The Spanish Table Cookbook by Steve Winston)    Serves 4
Rabbit, called conejo in Spain, can go on the grill just rubbed with garlic and then dusted with coarse sea salt.  Brush a little olive oil over it as it roasts and serve it with a bowl of alioli on the side.  But here is an elaboration adapted for the BBQ from the signature dish that Amy McCray used to prepare at the sadly, now-closed Eva Restaurant.  We recommend using Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado when preparing this dish.   Braising is one of the techniques that clay cocotes and ollas are handy for since they can be used on the BBQ.   This dish can also be prepared on the stove top.

2 tablespoons    Butter
1                            Yellow onion, diced
2 cloves             Garlic, crushed
1                           Rabbit, quartered
pinch                 Salt
grind                  Black pepper
1½  cups           Dry Amontillado Sherry
Optional:   Add 1 cup chopped mushrooms; after browning garlic and onions, add mushrooms and saute until soft, then continue with recipe.

Over a bed of hot coals or medium heat on the stovetop, melt butter in a large cocote or olla then brown the garlic and onions.  Move the olla to a cooler part of the grill.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the rabbit and brown pieces on both sides over hot coals. Put the browned pieces in the cocote and pour the sherry over the rabbit and put cover on cocote.
Cover the BBQ and let simmer for an hour, turning the rabbit over once.
Remove lid and let cooking liquid reduce by half to a thick sauce.
Serve rabbit with the reduced cooking liquids.

Tapas Prep class details:
No refunds unless the class is canceled; however, if you are unable to attend, you may transfer your registration to another person.
Registrants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Must be 21 years old to taste the wine; a non-alcoholic beverage will be substituted for underage attendees or by request.
The cost of $55.00 per person includes a tasting of French bubbly. See below for more details and a list of dishes to be prepared.

Recipes to be prepared at Tapa Class on Sunday, December 2:
Morcilla de Bellota and Apple Montadito
Tapenade, cheese and jam on Torta
Piquillo Pepper stuffed with cheese
Patatas Bravas
Pocha Beans with Bereberechos in sherry
Bread, dark chocolate, olive oil
Cuvee Jean Philippe Blanquette de Limoux Brut 2016