Chateau pas de l'aneWe will be open regular hours (11-5) this Sunday, June 16 which is Father’s Day.  If you haven’t shopped for Dad in advance, stop in on Sunday and get him something special.  Some ideas:
For Dads that appreciate a great bottle of wine, we’ve got plenty of amazing reds that have aged to perfection, such as Pas de L’Anne St Emilion Bordeaux Grand Cru 2010 ($71.00), a nuanced and elegant red wine from a superb harvest that would be fantastic with beef tenderloin.  La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Rioja 2009 ($77.00) is another stellar choice, rated 95+ points by Wine Advocate.  Serve this with lamb chops and make Dad really happy.
Spanish vermut aperitifA selection of Spanish or French vermouths will expand Dad’s aperitif choices, and give him fresh flavors for Manhattans.   Or he can simply enjoy a glass of chilled vermouth on the rocks with an olive or slice of orange, which is incredibly refreshing in hot weather.
A fine Madeira or Port is always a treat and we’ve got one of the largest selections in Washington state, including vintage Madeiras (one from 1920!), vintage ruby ports and tawny ports.
If Dad likes to cook, get him a Paella pan and ringed burner. He will have a ball, cooking this Spanish rice dish outdoors for family and friends.   He can also use the gear to make fideau, a Spanish pasta dish (see recipe below).Jamon Iberico on stand
Who wouldn’t like their own bone-in leg of jamon iberico or serrano?    We’ve got one of each in stock and Dad would probably share some.

Frying Pan 3 recipesIt is also graduation season.  Grads moving out of the house or going off to college will need cookware and pantry basics.   Pick up a clay “frying pan” (cazuela with lid and handle) while they are on sale at 50% off, to encourage cooking healthy food at home.    Another great gift is our inspiring “Paella” cookbook ($4.99) which includes easy-to-prepare recipes for tapas and desserts, perfect for new cooks.  An assortment of spices and salts will be necessary for someone moving into their own home, and we also stock ceramic or wooden mortars and pestles for grinding spices.   Staples such as olive oil and vinegar are basic to good cooking and we can help you select a flavorful assortment.

salmorejoJust arrived – La Tejea Salmorejo.  Similar to gazpacho but thicker, salmorejo is a mixture of tomato, bread, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.  It is typically served cold topped with slices of hard-boiled egg and jamon serrano.  Make a light meal by serving it with fresh garden greens.  We’re just putting it on the shelf now, along with a new shipment of paella rice and cured meats.

MorbierFromage Morbier ($20.99/lb) is back in stock.  Morbier was traditionally made with a layer of ash running through its center to separate the morning milk and the evening milk.  Today, it is made from just one milking, with a layer of grape must running through its center.  Made from pasteurized cow’s milk cheese, it is supple and creamy with hints of caramel and nuts.  It has a touch of peppery spice on the finish.

Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society Paella class is June 25.  Sharon’s talk about paella with Tom Douglas and Theirry Rautureau was recorded at the Hot Stove Society, where the Tom Douglas cooking classes are given.   It’s an impressive space, with more than a dozen gas ranges and tables for participants to spread out and learn new cooking techniques.  The paella class has a waiting list, so if you don’t get in you can listen to our discussion of paella on the show’s podcast available here.

Save the date:  The annual Spain Association’s paella cooking contest will be Sunday, July 21 at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.  Details will follow, but start perfecting that contest winning paella now!

Alvear 3 Miradas Alvear 3 Miradas Blanco 2017, Sierra de Montilla ($17.99) This is such a cool wine!  Made of 100% Pedro Ximénez, it is vinified dry.  A style of wine served in traditional establishments, an order of “un moriles” will get you a small glass of white wine to sip with a plate of olives or jamon serrano.   Bodegas Alvear, well known for its range of fantastic sherries has introduced this exceptional “moriles” made from two single plots of old vine PX.  Each plot is fermented separately, then finished in 4800 liter concrete jars (tinajas)  and aged for 8 months under a veil of flor (yeast).  It is not a sherry, it is a fresh and aromatic white wine with a bouquet of white fruit aromas.   The palate is expansive with great mouthfeel and a hint of yeast.  Nutty flavors have dusty undertones with traces of vanilla and oak.  With a very dry finish, this complex and versatile white pairs well with tapas and seafood.

Chateumar Perles de RoseDomaine de Chateaumar Perle de Rosé 2018, Côtes-du-Rhône ($18.99) This rosé is made in limited quantities from an estate established in the 11th-century.  Made of 90% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre from 30-year-old sustainably farmed vines.  It offers up aromas of berries and peaches on the nose, with a round creaminess on the palate.  With superb balance and freshness, it delivers bright fruit and minerality on the lingering finish.   This elegant rosé is excellent just for sipping or accompanied by shellfish. This is really delicious!

Fideuá is usually cooked in a paella pan in an intensely flavored fish stock so that it absorbs the flavor.  The stock can be based on fish, prawns or clams.  The clams give this version a briny tang I particularly like (although often I make a stock using halibut trimmings the fishmongers in the Public Market will give to me if I ask for them early in the morning when they are cutting the fillets and steaks for the day.  If you get a lot of meat with the trimmings, you can use that instead of clams).  Fideuá is always served with garlic mayonnaise, alioli.

For six:

1                                              Ñora dried pepper (or substitute ½ tablespoon pimentón)
pinch                                     Saffron
½ cup                                    Dry white wine, such as Barbadillo Palomino Fina
¼ cup                                    Spanish Olive oil
2 cloves                                Garlic, finely chopped
1                                              Onion, chopped
1 pound                               White fish such as Red Snapper, chopped up.
1 tablespoon                      Sweet Pimentón (1½ tablespoon if not using a ñora)
1 large                                   Tomato, grated (cut tomato in half, shake out seeds and grate flesh, discarding skin)
1 pound (500 grams)       Fideo pasta or spaghetti broken into one-inch lengths
5 ½ cups                               Clam juice, Aneto fish broth or homemade seafood stock
1 pound                              Clams

Discarding the stem and seeds, put the ñora pepper in a small saucepan covering with hot water.  Bring to boil and set aside to steep for half an hour.
Put the saffron in a small saucepan, add white wine and heat to just below the boiling point (microwaving for one minute works great).  Set aside to steep.
In a 14 inch or larger paella pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil until limp.
Add garlic and continue cooking until soft.
Add the chopped white fish and cook for five minutes.
Stir in pimentón, grated tomatoes and the saffron.
Cook for a few minutes.
Remove from heat.
With a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor, puree the ñora pepper with its soaking liquid.
Add the cooked mixture and blend well.
Measure the resulting puree adding the bottled clam juice or fish stock and water to make 6 cups.
Pour into paella pan and bring to a boil, add pasta and then clams, hinge down.
Cook until liquid absorbed, and clams open, about 12 minutes.  It can still be caldosa, soupy, as the pasta will absorb liquid during the ten minutes of dormir (resting) before serving.

Easy Alioli:   A quick way to make garlic mayonnaise is to mash up some chopped garlic, adding a little Spanish extra virgin olive oil until a rich paste is formed, then stir in commercial mayonnaise.   One clove of garlic per cup of commercial mayonnaise and 1/8 cup olive oil makes a flavorful sauce; add more garlic if desired.

We are hiring for either a part-time or full-time position.  Please e-mail for further details.