paella over fireToday, March 27 is National Paella Day and it’s the perfect opportunity to make a paella. See our classic recipe below, which can be prepared for any number of guests as the portions shown are per person.  Paris-Madrid Grocery is fully stocked with paella rice, chorizo, broth, saffron and other essential ingredients including paella pans for making this special dish.

French BunniesParis Madrid Grocery will be closed Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, so shop early for brunch or dinner ingredients such as cured sausages, cheese, duck confit and festive sparkling wines.  Serving a charcuterie platter for Easter? Order in advance at so there is no waiting while we prepare it.(Click on the order & pick up button on the home page to bring up the menu). And, we’ve still got a few Easter bunnies and hens made of chocolate, nougat eggs and carrot-shaped chocolates from France to make the holiday special.  Happy Easter!

Brie FermierFerme de la Tremblaye Farmstead cheeses – Located about an hour southwest of Paris, this tiny farm has 150 Jersey + Holstein cows and 350 Alpines Chamoisees + Murciana Granadina goats. The farm is certified biodynamic and is also full circle in its energy requirements, self-sustaining for the farm’s needs but also providing electricity for 600 houses in the village of La Boissiere Ecole.
Brie Jouvence Fermier, made exclusively with milk from the farm’s own animals, is produced and aged in the traditional manner all on their farm.  Certified biodynamic, it is one of the only farmstead Bries available in the U.S.   Sweetly earthy with a soft, creamy texture it has buttery mushroom notes with a more intense & nutty finish.   Ferme de la Tremblaye produces authentic Brie, which although pasteurized is the closest that you can get to a raw milk Brie of old.
Camembert Jouvence Fermier, This smaller-format Camembert Fermier echoes the mushroom and butter flavors of the Brie Fermier but with the vegetal notes toned down. Its aroma is mustier, with a suggestion of herbs. The texture is more uniform, on the springy side but still creamy.   Give these cheeses a try!

EpoissesOther favorite cheeses back in stock:
Epoisses – This famously pungent cheese from Burgundy is soft, with a luscious, palate-coating texture.  The creamy center is earthy and rich with a pleasant bite and a lingering finish, while the rind is salty and aromatic due to multiple washes with brine and Marc de Bourgogne.  Makes a stunning finale to a cheese course!
Gros Gres des Vosges – Munster fans, your prayers have been answered.  This Alsatian cheese has the garlic, mushroom, barnyard washed rind you love, with a little bit of crunch.  Smear on walnut bread and pair with a Trimbach Alsatian Pinot Gris.

Jambon de Bayonne, 4 oz, sliced and packaged.  This authentic IGP Jambon de Bayonne is produced in France. A classic, this salty cured mountain ham is excellent on a charcuterie plate or on sandwiches.
Saucisson Lyonnais Tranche, 4 oz, sliced and packaged, made in USA. We discovered this saucisson at a farmer’s market in Lyon, and order it whenever it’s available.  A pork sausage imbedded with sliced green pistachios, it is excellent served warm with sliced, boiled potatoes, chopped parsley and French butter.

J. Laurens Cremant de LimouxNV J. Laurens Rosé Cremant de Limoux – $15.99   This tasty sparkling rosé is my pick for a festive Easter bubbly.  A blend of 60% Chardonnay, 30% Chenin Blanc, and 10% Pinot Noir; this rich and elegant Cremant is a delightful thirst quencher. With a lovely fragrant raspberry nose, it has fresh strawberry flavors and yeasty hints on the palate.  Weighty, vibrant and complex, red fruits are lightly present and Pinot Noir brings all the fullness. The bubbles are delicate and the style is fresh, and vigorous.

Whether you are making paella or roast leg of lamb, one of the following Spanish Tempranillos is the perfect accompaniment.
vina alberdi reservaViña Alberdi Reserva Rioja 2015 ($20.99)  100% Tempranillo from 40 year-old high elevation vineyards, aged two years in American oak.  Clean and bright aromas of red fruit with nuances of cigar box spice and cedar from barrel aging.  Flavor-packed, very fresh, with smooth, friendly tannins. Medium to full-bodied, the 2015 Alberdi shows excellent balance, ripe fruit and harmony.     This is one of the best vintages of Alberdi Reserva that the winery has produced.

Goyo Garcia Viadero Joven de Vinas ViejasGoyo Garcia Viadero “Joven de Viñas Viejas” Ribera del Duero 2018 ($27.99) Fresh and complex, this mediuim-bodied Ribera is naturally made without any added SO2.   “This is Goyo’s only non-oaked red wine, from a dry-farmed vineyard planted entirely to Tempranillo at high elevation.  The grapes are fermented with wild yeasts and aged entirely in tank before being bottled without fining, filtration or any added SO2.  This is a classic, young Ribera del Duero with an extra shade of vibrancy and fabulous tension between dark fruit, florals, minerals and acididty.”  92 points Wine Advocate

Vina Arana GRViña Arana Gran Reserva Rioja 2014 ($46.00)  Viña Arana is now an aged Gran Reserva and it is simply mind blowing!   It’s a new style with freshness, intensity and aging potential made of 94% Tempranillo and 6% Graciano. “… This was aged in American oak for three years.  It offers crushed strawberry, mushroom, clove and singed leather on the nose, hints of vine tomato and balsamic following with aeration.  The palate is medium-bodied with supple, lithe tannins that lend this Gran Reserva its smooth veneer.”   91 points Vinous, 96 points Decanter

paella valencianaPAELLA!
There are many, many “paella” recipes. Originally paella was a dish made in Valencia using chicken, rabbit, snails and three kinds of fresh beans.  Now, paella is almost always associated with seafood, chicken and vegetables.   There is no right or wrong recipe, only the recipe that pleases you.   Paella ingredients vary from place to place, and time to time, depending on local traditions and the ingredients available.  Anything from fresh garden produce to holiday left-overs can inspire a cook to create an original version of this one-dish feast!  The dish was named after the pan it is cooked in, a paellera, which is also used for a variety of rice dishes, such as arroz negro, as well as the Spanish pasta dish: fideuá.  This is only one recipe, use your imagination and the ingredients at hand, varying the ingredients can make paella an everyday dish:

½ cup uncooked Valencian rice per person* 1/3 cup Bomba rice
1 cup chicken stock per ½ cup of rice, more if using Bomba 3 part 1/rice
5 threads saffron per person, dissolved in ½ cup white wine (1/2 cup total, not per serving)
4 tablespoons, or more, olive oil, to cover bottom of pan
1 piece of chicken, such as a thigh, per person
½ to 1 soft chorizo, such as Bilbao or Palacios, per person
½ teaspoon Spanish sweet or bittersweet pimentón (paprika) per person
1 clove garlic per person, minced
¼ cup chopped onion per person
⅛ cup grated tomato (cut in half, grate and discard the skin) per person
2 shrimp or prawns per portion
2-4 small clams and/or mussels per portion
red piquillo peppers cut in strips
artichoke hearts, green beans or peas
cooked Granja beans (optional)
lemon wedges for garnish

Heat stock and keep warm.  Toast saffron gently in a small pan.  When aroma is released, add white wine.   Allow to come to a boil then remove from heat.
Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry chicken.
When chicken is golden and the juice runs clear, add garlic and onions and saute until translucent.  Add chorizo and cook until heated.
Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil (about one minute).
Add the paprika and grated tomato.  Stir, add saffron flavored wine and hot stock.
Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of pan, then add piquillo pepper and artichoke hearts, green beans, cooked garrofón beans or peas.
Adjust heat to maintain a slow boil.  After about five minutes, add the seafood.  Cook another 15 minutes, or until rice is done.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

(To ensure proper cooking, clams may be steamed in a separate pan, then added to the paella with their nectar substituting for some of the chicken stock).

Traditionally, paella is not stirred during the second half of the cooking time.  This produces a caramelized layer of rice on the bottom of the pan considered by many to be the best part.  With a large pan, it is difficult to accomplish this on an American stove and you may prefer to stir the paella occasionally or move the pan around on the burner(s).  Another alternative is to finish the paella by placing it in a 350º oven for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.  Paelleras can also be used on a barbeque, over an open fire (the most traditional), or on a counter top grill.