The most memorable Thanksgiving trip we ever took was to Santa Fe, NM, on a flight connecting in Denver. It was Thanksgiving morning, pre 9/11, and many of the passengers had casseroles, stuffing, pies and other deliciousness that they brought on board with them. It was the only time I’ve ever seen an airplane’s overhead bins full of food, not luggage. What a festive holiday flight that was! Sadly, TSA rules probably don’t allow pies and cranberry sauce to be carried on board anymore….
Here at Paris-Madrid Grocery, we’d like to add all kinds of deliciousness to your Thanksgiving holiday. For the cocktail hour, pick up a cheese and meat platter from us, accompanied by olives, almonds and dried fruit. Our standard platter assortment includes Jamon Serrano, Chorizo, and a Genoa-style salami with black pepper; cheeses include a double cream Brie style fromage, a Spanish goat cheese and a Manchego style sheep milk cheese. The price is $5.90 per person with a four person minimum; a two person platter is $15.99 total. Or, choose a custom assortment of meats and cheeses and we’ll put it together for you. A complete listing of meats and cheeses in stock, available for slicing, is shown on our website parismadridgrocery.com. Click on the “Order and Pick Up” button to view what’s available. To save time, place an online order and it will be ready for pick up when you arrive – we have a loading zone right in front of the store. We’ve got many other tapas ingredients as well, from pickled Basque peppers and cornichons to white anchovies, sardines and more. Then nibble on these snacks while savoring the aromas of roasting turkey, ham, or whatever is being served for Thanksgiving dinner. (Many customers love serving paella for Thanksgiving which is a stellar choice and we have all of the basic ingredients in stock for making paella). This time of year is also citrus season, and a Clementine Orange Salad is a refreshing start to the holiday meal. (See recipe below).
Cocktail ingredients: Take your drinks up a notch with great ingredients! Our selection of artisanal vermouths from Spain and France include vermouths made from a base of wine, several made from a base of sherry and one made with a base of apple cider. A new arrival is the Pedro I from sherry producer Bodegas Yuste, that offers up spectacular flavors of ginger, gentian, baking spice, cola, burnt caramel, vanilla, nuts and maple. Drink it chilled with a slice of orange, or mix it into a Manhattan.
Our extensive line of bitters includes orange and lemon citrus, cardamom and cranberry. Teisseire sirups from France are iconic for their fresh, intense fruit and berry flavors. Need a cherry for your drink? Why use a Maraschino cherry when you can finish your cocktail with a Griottine, a Morello cherry soaked in kirsch? And for Bloody Marys, use our celery flavored sea salt to season the rim of the glass.
Upcoming Saturday wine tastings, from 2-4 p.m.
Saturday, November 30 – Vermouth tasting
Saturday, December 14- taste Rioja wines from Bodegas El Coto
Our staff’s favorite white wines:
Valerie’s pick – Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, Alsace 2016 ($22.99) – I tell anyone willing to listen how much I love this wine! It smells of fresh apricot, white flowers, green apple, beeswax and honey but don’t let the aromas fool you. This wine has a clean, dry finish. It is luxuriously rich and round on the palate. I love to drink this while snuggled up on my balcony and snacking on 3 month Manchego. It is my go-to “hang out” wine!
Ethan’s choice – I really like the Martínsancho Rueda Verdejo 2017 ($15.99). It’s dry, balanced and crisp and tastes great with cured or grilled meats. The gentle spice at the end makes it a nice choice for a fall shakshuka.
Mercede’s favorite – Sketch Albariño, Rias Baixas 2017 ($79.00) I love the initial saline notes in this wine. It reminds me of how I miss swimming in the sea… Sip this wine slowly and enjoy how it evolves on the palate. It is very fresh, with a mineral-laden texture, perfect with fresh seafood. This is a special wine that is best when shared with friends.
Sharon’s selection: Oremus Mandolas Furmint, Tokaji, Hungary 2017 ($32.00) I hear your question – why does Paris-Madrid Grocery carry a wine from Hungary? It’s simple. In 18th century Europe, this wine was so revered by French Kings and Princes that Louis XIV pronounced Tokaji the “Wine of Kings and the King of Wines”. Bodegas Vega Sicilia of Spain founded the Oremus winery in 1993, in Hungary. That is the French-Spanish connection. Oremus Mandolas is made from the Furmint grape, which develop botrytis, or noble rot, a beneficial mold that shrivels the grapes and concentrates the juice, resulting in a rich, complex and honeyed flavor. In the case of Oremus Mandolas Furmint, the grapes are only slightly botrytized, giving the wine rich nuances of flavor while maintaining freshness. Notes of pineapple, tropical fruit and citrus explode on the palate. With bright acidity, the wine is weighty, clean and it offers up an incredible length on the finish. This is a wine that wakes up the palate with fantastic flavors and textures. Delicious with a soft double or triple cream cow’s milk cheese.
CLEMENTINE ORANGE SALAD Serves 6
Boxes of little Clementine oranges from Spain appear in our markets around Thanksgiving. They are easy to peel and after the segments are dressed with a drizzle of orange blossom honey and topped with toasted almond slices, they can be served as a festive salad or as a dessert, the sweetness adjusted accordingly. Or if available, add slices of blood orange for a gorgeous color contrast.
8 Spanish Clementine Oranges
1 tablespoon Cepa Vieja Reserva PX Sherry Vinegar*
1 teaspoon Famille Perronneau Orange blossom honey*
2 tablespoons Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
2 tablespoons Sliced Marcona almonds, roasted*
Gently toss the segments in the dressing then top with almond slices.
* Available at Paris-Madrid Grocery