More holiday deliciousness arrived this week.   Whether you’re hosting a holiday gathering or planning the Christmas menu for family, take a look below to see what is new in stock:

Pablo Garrigos Ibanez almonds & pine nutsPablo Garrigós Ibáñez Spanish holiday treats are here:   This renowned company is known for its superb quality of traditional Spanish holiday treats and we now have these items in stock:
Almendros Rellenas
Turron de Yema Toastada
Turron de Chocolate de leche y Almendras
Peladillas (sugar-coated Marcona Almonds)
And, La Mallorquina de Astorga brand Puff Pastry, Sequillos, and Hojaladres de Astorga are now in stock.

EscargotNew French products:
Buckwheat flour from France for making crepes.
Gingerbread spice mix from Provence Epices
Giant white beans, Soissons-style for making gratins or bean soup with lardons
Burgundy snails in a can (18 pcs per can)
Meteor Blanche Alsatian beer – A tasty unfiltered wheat beer

Holiday Cheese Arrivals
Picta Fleur cendre goat cheesePicta Fleur Cendre – These stunning individual pasteurized goat cheese rounds are coated in ash and wrapped in a dried chestnut leaf. Tangy and soft, this cheese begins to run after spending a few minutes at room temperature. Medium-salty with spicy hints the center is creamy and luscious while the outer edge offers a goaty note. One of these cheeses will make a gorgeous centerpiece to a cheeseboard.  150-gram pieces.
-Stinky cheese lovers, rejoice!   We now have a 2-pound wheel of this flavor-packed Burgundian cheese.  Made of pasteurized cow’s milk, the rind is washed with Marc de Bourgogne.  It offers a creamy texture with a pungent, salty, and unforgettable flavor.
Brillat Savarin Frais – Luscious sums up this triple cream cow’s milk cheese.   Fresh and soft, made of pasteurized cow’s milk with a hint of earthy tang.  Stunning with fresh or dried fruit on a mixed cheese plate.
Chabichou- One of the great cheeses of the world with a delicate complexity of flavors. This young cheese sports a wrinkled rind and is sweet-cream fresh.  Tender, flavorful and scrumptious, it is excellent on its own with a cracker and some olives.
Finca Pascuelete La Retorta –  Vegetarian.  A 4.9 oz round of unpasteurized sheep’s milk, produced with thistle rennet and salt.  This is one of the glorious soft cheeses where the top is cut off and the interior is eaten with a spoon or spread on toasted bread.  Flavors of a field due to its vegetable rennet, and it has a very creamy texture, almost liquid, the result of daily and continuous care.  It melts deliciously on the palate.  Awarded World’s Best Spanish Cheese, 2017-2018.

Decadent pairings:
Chateau Haut-Mayne SauternesSauternes
, with their high acidity, pairs well with rich foods such as Foie Gras.  And its sweetness makes it a great accompaniment to strong-flavored cheeses such as Epoisses or Cabrales Blue cheese.  We carry four Sauternes in 375 ml bottles, all under $30.00, plus a Rieussec Sauternes 2016 ($70.00; 375 ml)  “Quite fresh, with acacia and honeysuckle notes out front, followed by a stream of mirabelle plum, yellow apple, pineapple, and white peach flavors. Offers an unctuous feel on the finish while staying on the brighter side. Among the top efforts in the vintage.”  93 points Wine Spectator

Amontillado bread pudding ingredientsAmontillado sherry ranges from dry to sweet and its nutty complexity is delicious with salty foods such as Jamón Serrano, Jamón Iberico, tinned seafood, hard cheeses, and dried fruit.  A dry Amontillado such as Sangre y Trabajero Amontillado ($15.99; 375 ml) is fantastic with a fresh seafood platter, charcuterie, steamed clams, or garlic shrimp.  A sweet Amontillado such as Valdespino Contrabandista Amontillado ($19.99; 750 ml) is excellent with a triple cream cheese such as Brillat Savarin, Dios Baco Amontillado is great in a chorizo bread pudding, and is also a fabulous match for Musician’s Nut Tart (see recipe below),

I am drawn to nut pastries and bought a slice of Musician’s tart in a bakery in Barcelona’s old quarter in 1986.  When I returned home, Marimar Torres had just published her cookbook The Spanish Table which had a recipe from which this one was adapted, evolving over the years.  By the way, when we opened in Seattle, Marimar wrote to say that our store had a nice name.

1 Pie crust, blind baked
2½ cups Mixed dried fruits: Figs, dates, raisins, prunes and/or apricots all pitted.
1½ cups Sidra (Apple cider or juice)
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Flour
½ cup Orange blossom honey
1 cup Milk
2 Egg yolks
½ cup  PX Sherry
¼  cup Lemon juice       (less if fruit mixture included apricots)
1 ½ cups Mixed nuts:  Hazelnuts, Marcona almonds, walnuts pecans

Preheat oven to 350º
Blind bake the pie crust in a ten-inch tart pan with a removable rim.
While the empty crust is baking, put the dried fruit in a small saucepan with the apple juice and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan then whisk in flour.
Then add the honey, then the milk, whisking it all together.
Beat together the PX and egg yolks and whisk them in.
Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens to form a custard.
Puree dried fruit in a food processor and add to custard.
Taste and add lemon juice to balance the sweetness.
Fill the baked pie crust with the custard mix and then the nuts, pressing them down into the mix.

Bake for 45 minutes.   Cool before serving.