Seattle Snow

This is what West Seattle looked like during last February’s snowstorm.   While meterologists can’t predict if we’ll get snow this week, play it safe and stock the larder now with hearty foods from Paris-Madrid Grocery.    If you’re new to the area, know that most Seattleites drive terribly in the snow so if the white stuff does fall, be prepared for traffic snarls, hours-long commutes and long lines at grocery stores.    Plan ahead so if the worst happens and you’re snowed in for a few days, you’ll have plenty of delicious meals to enjoy.   And don’t forget to get wine.

cucina-amore-whole-artichoke-hearts-in-brineBaby artichokes in jar:   We love these trimmed and ready to eat artichokes that can be added to rice dishes, made into soup, or tossed with pasta and grated cheese.   For a fast and tasty meal for 4, sauté 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic in 1/2 cup Spanish olive oil, then add 1 quart broth (vegetable or chicken broth, depending on your preference) and bring to a boil.  Add 1/2 pound pasta and cook until al dente, then add 13 oz. drained artichokes and cook until warm.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated, aged Manchego cheese.

LentilsSoup and stew ingredients:  There are so many fantastic recipes for soup and its heartier cousin, stew.  If you’re cold and wet from making a snowman or walking in the snow, a hot bowl of caldo verde (Portuguese kale soup) or French onion soup will taste phenomenal.  Or cook beans, lentils or cured meats in broth to make a heartier stew.  Paris Madrid Grocery has a wide selection of dried pulses and cured meats, along with ready-to-eat beans, chickpeas and lentils in a jar. We’ve got Compango in stock (a variety pack of meats needed to make Fabada Asturiana) and the authentic Asturian fabes (beans).   We have Toulouse Sausage and Saucisson à l’ail (garlic sausage) back in stock, both essential ingredients in cassoulet.

paella valencianaHopefully the power won’t go out but if you have a gas barbeque or propane paella burner, you can make a hearty Valencian paella.  Just get ingredients in advance.  We’ve got whole, frozen Spanish rabbit in stock, snails in a can, paella rice, broths and piquillo peppers.  Cook the ingredients with Aneto Valencian paella broth and enjoy a great meal which sure beats eating a cold cheese sandwich in the dark.

Chocolate and ChurrosIf any excuse is needed to indulge in Churros and chocolate, have them during a snowstorm.   Thick, Spanish-style hot chocolate is a superb treat with crispy churros dunked into it.  Churros are long and thin fried pastry, in the broad category of a donut, but fried until crisp.   At Paris Madrid Grocery, we’ve got several brands of Spanish hot chocolate in stock and also Barry 100% cacao, unsweetened chocolate powder.   We carry frozen purras made in Spain (purras are thicker  then churros) that just need to be baked at 350 degrees for 3-5 minutes before serving.   They will delight any chocolate or donut fan.

Red Wines:   You’ll want full-bodied reds on these cold nights.
Celler Vall Llach winesVall Llach Embruix Priorat 2014 ($24.99)  We’ve got three outstanding wines in stock from Spain’s outstanding Priorat producer Celler Vall Llach:  Embruix, Idus ($49.00) and Porrera Vi de Villa ($71.00).  Embruix is made from the youngest vines (20-25 years old) made of 42% Garnacha, 24% Cariñena, 22% Merlot and 12% Syrah.  It is fermented with indigenous yeast and aged in a mix of clay amphorae, oak foudre and barrel.  This is a concentrated red wine that offers aromas of flint and ripe red fruit.  A powerful mineral texture has dusty notes and grip.  Smooth on the palate, it offers up savory hints of white pepper on finish.

Xavier Chateauneuf-du-PapeXavier Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015 ($44.00) Xavier Vignon is an oenologist and a consulting winemaker for several illustrous Rhone valley estates since 1995.  In addition, he selects the very best fruit for his own wines.  The 2015 Chateauneuf-du-Pape is 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah, aged in old barrels.  An elegant and powerful wine with excellent balance, it offers up notes of black olives and red fruit.  Smooth on the palate with mineral notes and a hint of mocha, it has a lingering finish. And it is drinking great right now!    91 points Wine Advocate