Chateau Royal Pheasant SausageParis Madrid Grocery will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 21. Stop in today or tomorrow for brunch or tapas ingredients such as cured meats or cheese assortments!  We’ve got a huge assortment of sausages including frozen lamb merguez, pheasant-bacon-cognac sausage, veal-porcini and more.   Grill these up and serve with eggs for an incredible brunch spread.  We’ve got churros and hot chocolate for the post-Easter egg hunt, and French macarons to tuck into the Easter basket.  Frozen Spanish rabbit is in stock — don’t miss our favorite conejo recipe below.   To view our selection of charcuterie, cheeses, and our most popular shelf groceries, go to and click on the “Order & Pick Up” button.   If time is short, place an order online and it will be ready for pickup at your designated time.

Padron peppers with bunnyPadrón pepper plants are still available!  It’s still too early to plant outside (wait until it’s consistently 50 degrees at night).  Keep them indoors in a sunny window until it’s planting season.

French Easter chocolatesIn Spain, Easter (or Pascua) is celebrated during Semana Santa.  This week-long festival begins Palm Sunday with processions of religious brotherhoods carrying figures of saints through the streets. In Andalucia, women often wear black mantillas and bars fill with spectators after the procession, to share tapas and socialize.  Easter in France (Pâques) is also a major religious holiday, celebrated with Easter egg hunts.  French patisserie windows are filled with incredible chocolates in the shape of rabbits, chickens, and other animals.

The ghastly fire at Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral this week chilled us to the bone.  On our honeymoon, we climbed Notre Dame’s bell towers, fell in love with the gargoyles and savored the centuries-long history of the church.  This magnificent cathedral is the backdrop of many of our honeymoon photos.  We’re grateful that the fire was extinguished, preserving most of the landmark architecture, priceless artworks, and centuries of rich history.    Vive Le France!

Reuilly Pinot GrisDomaine Denis Jamain Reuilly Pinot Gris 2017
($21.99)  I was fortunate to meet charming Denis Jamain recently, and we talked about his winemaking and family vineyards.   Denis Jamain has always considered that the land he inherited is a gift and should be cared for as best as possible for future generations.  The protection of this land and its environment is at the heart of his daily concerns and his vineyards are now certified organic and biodynamic.  The Kimmeridgian soils of Reuilly, comprised of limestone, shells and sea fossils, produce wines of character with a sublime expression of terroir.   He uses indigenous yeasts in fermentation and a minimum of sulfur.   The 2017 Pinot Gris is a pale salmon color, characteristic of the varietal and is unique to the Loire Valley.   It offers up rich floral and white fruit aromatics.  Intensely mineral, it shows weight and roundness on the palate.   With superb finesse, texture, and harmony, it is lifted and crisp.  Excellent with asparagus or sweet and savory dishes.

Granit Manganese Cru BeaujolaisGranit & Manganèse Moulin À Vent Cru Beaujolais 2013 ($21.99)   100% Gamay from a 2.5-acre plot of granite and sand bedrock with a high proportion of manganese.  The grapes are farmed sustainably and hand harvested, and the wine ages 15 months in neutral barrels.    Granit & Manganèse is a serious Cru Beaujolais, with delicate black cherry fruit notes  With a hint of oak and a balanced, silky mouthfeel, it is bright and mineral-laden.   Complex and elegant, it was fantastic with our Asian-style clams and spicy noodles.

Grupo Hermi stewed Spanish rabbitRoast leg of lamb is a classic choice for Easter dinner, but serving rabbit is not only OK, but it’s also an exquisite choice, especially when prepared with the following recipe.

SHERRY BRAISED RABBIT (from The Spanish Table cookbook by Steve Winston)

Rabbit, conejo, 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 Amy McCray prepared at now-shuttered Eva Restaurant, along with the accompanying Chorizo Bread Pudding.  Braising is one of the techniques cocotes and ollas (covered clay cookware) are handy for since they can be used on the BBQ.   Serves 4

2 tablespoons    French Butter
1                                              Yellow onion, diced
2 cloves                                Garlic, crushed
1                                              Rabbit, quartered, or 4 hind quarters (available at Paris Madrid Grocery)
pinch                                     Salt
grind                                      Black pepper
1½  cups                               Amontillado Sherry, such as Lustau Los Arcos or Dios Baco

Over a bed of hot coals, 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, pour the sherry over the rabbit and cover the 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.

Amontillado bread pudding ingredientsAMY’S CHORIZO BREAD PUDDING

l                                               Loaf of crusty bread, cut into cubes
2 cups                                   Cream (you could use half milk)
3                                              Eggs
2 tablespoons                   French Butter
1                                              Medium yellow onion, diced
¼ pound                              Semi-cured Chorizo, diced
½ teaspoon                        Salt
¼ teaspoon                        Pepper

Preheat Oven to 350º.  Butter a clay cazuela dish.
In a sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Sauté the onion, but do not brown.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and cream.
Add the bread and toss to coat.
When the onion softens, add the chorizo and toss.
Stir the onions and chorizo into the bread and cream mixture.
Add salt and pepper.
Pour into the prepared casserole and bake until custard is set and the top is slightly brown.