Last week we received a pallet of French specialties, restocking products that customers have been asking for, including-
Bonne Maman fruit tartlets
Authentic Tarbais beans for making cassoulet
Fossier pink biscuits
Oui Love It Gluten-free Madeleines
Teisseire syrups – Grenadine, Mojito, and Blackcurrant flavors
Rougie duck confit in cans
Le Saunier Fleur de sel de Camargue
Black winter truffle oil
Large nougat bars
Côte d’Or Dark chocolate Connoisseur bars
And these new products came in!
Flageolet or Lingot beans cooked in goose fat: Make a quick cassoulet with these ready-to-eat beans by adding a couple of sausages and duck confit legs. Easy and delicious!
Acacia honey with almonds or walnuts – delicious over yogurt or with soft cheeses
Favols Black Cherry Jam for cheese
Calissons in a decorative tin, and also individual pieces
Rougie Duck Rillettes (pieces of seasoned duck cooked slowly until tender, then shredded) – serve with crusty baguette and a glass of wine!
Dried morel mushrooms
Comptoir du Cacao Ruby chocolate bars with raspberries
Marrons glacés in retro tin (candied chestnuts)
French chocolate truffles, plain or with pistachios
TAKING PRE-ORDERS for this highly rated Rioja! 96 points Wine Spectator – arriving at the end of December. LAN Culmen Rioja 2015 ($65.00) The jewel in Lan’s crown, Culmen comes from the oldest vines within the most expressive block (Pago El Rincón) of the Viña Lanciano vineyard. “Full-bodied and dense with flavor, this big red is a gentle powerhouse, remaining plush and approachable, with currant, quince, tangerine, cola and vanilla flavors, supported by well-integrated tannins and bright, citrusy acidity. Harmonious and complete, this delivers a successful blend of traditional and modern styles. Drink now through 2035. 100 cases imported. 96 points.” — Wine Spectator
To place an order, call the shop at 206-682-0679 or reply to this email. We’ll need credit card details to guarantee the order.
Recommended wines that pair well with cassoulet: Cassoulet is a famously rich dish from southwestern France, and pairs best with a high-acid wine. Below are some great options:
Château Moncets 2015 Lalande de Pomerol ($21.99) Established in 1770, the Château Moncets estate is the winery’s oldest vineyard. Purchased in 2012 by a French family-owned company, the vines and cellars have since been fully revitalized and the young and talented winemaking team is converting to organic viticulture. The 2015 cuvee is 82% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, aged 16 months in oak. Showing vanilla notes and deep red fruit flavors, this is a full-bodied wine with structure and grip. The tannins are balanced by bright acidity, notes of chocolate and spices with a smooth mouthfeel. It is excellent with hearty foods such as red meat or cassoulet.
Chateau de Saint-Amour Cru Beaujolais 2017 ($23.99) Light-bodied and lively, this 100% Gamay would be a delicious pairing with cassoulet. With earthy-mushroom hints, lift, great acidity and black fruit notes, it offers up a lot of complexity for the price. Spicy hints and delicate mineral notes on the lengthy finish.
Joseph Drouhin Gevry-Chambertin Beaune 2016 ($72.00) To make a cassoulet dinner even more memorable, serve this elegant and mineral-laden red Burgundy with it. Fermented with native yeast, aged 14-16 months in French oak, this is a velvety and layered red. “A polished red, this delivers cherry, strawberry, rose and spice aromas and flavors. Balanced and vibrant, ending with a mouthwatering aftertaste.” 92 points Wine Spectator
Cassoulet Recipe Adapted from Christian Constants’ “Everyday French Cooking”
The former chef at Hotel Crillon, Christian Constant’s Parisian restaurant Le Violon d’Ingres was awarded two Michelin stars in 1997, two years after opening. We discovered his more casual restaurant, Les Cocottes in the 7th ARR. loved the food, and bought this cookbook there. Search out his restaurants whenever travel to France is again possible. In the meantime, enjoy this fantastic cassoulet! Serves 6
As cassoulet is a hearty and upscale version of pork and beans, I freely substitute meats as noted below. Once the beans are soaked overnight, it will take 4-5 hours to prepare this recipe. Sharon Baden, Paris Madrid Grocery
8 ounces smoked bacon*
8 ounces pork rind, fatback, or Spanish ham hock*
8 ounces garlic sausage or Spanish Butifarra sausage*
1 onion, studded with 1 clove
1 pound white beans, preferably Tarbais beans, soaked overnight and rinsed*
1 tablespoon olive oil*
1 small shoulder of lamb, boned, excess fat removed (appx 1 ½ lbs), cut into 1-inch cubes, blotted dry
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
Fine sea salt*
Freshly ground black pepper
7 ounces of duck fat*
1 ½ pound fresh pork sausage links (Fabrique Delice Toulouse sausages)*
3 duck legs confit*
1 large onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 pounds canned crushed tomatoes*
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
¾ cup seasoned bread crumbs
*These ingredients are available at Paris-Madrid Grocery
Tie the bacon, pork rind, garlic sausage, clove-studded onion, and carrots together in a large double layer of cheesecloth and put with the beans in a large, deep heavy-bottom casserole. Cover with water at least 3 inches above the top of the beans. Bring to a boil, then turn the high down and simmer until the beans are almost tender about 1 ½ hour. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the beans, bacon, pork rind, and garlic sausage to a bowl, discarding the onion and carrots; cover loosely with foil and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat, add the lamb and brown on all sides. Add 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper, add about ¾ cup water, cover, and cook over medium heat until tender. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the duck fat. Add the sausage links and cook over medium heat until brown on all sides and no longer pink in the center. Keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Gently heat the duck confit in a skillet over medium heat. Remove the bones, chop the meat into large pieces, and keep warm.
Slice the smoked bacon and garlic sausage and set aside. In a large casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of duck fat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions, garlic, and pork rind and cook gently over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent and golden. Add the tomatoes, the remaining 1 tablespoon tomato paste, the thyme, and the cooked beans. Stir in the cooking liquid from the lamb and about ½ cup of the bean cooking liquid, transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley.
TO SERVE THE CASSOULET: Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Spoon the bean mixture into a large, deep ovenproof casserole. Add the lamb cubes, bacon, garlic sausage, duck confit, and sausage links and stir to combine. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top, drizzle on the remaining duck fat, and cook until the crumbs are nicely browned. Serve very hot.