August 21, 2001
Numerous years ago, before we discovered Spain, we took many a road trip to Northern California in the old Dodge van. We camped at Crater Lake, spent time in Mendocino, and loaded up the van with Zinfindels from Napa and Sonoma. So when we were invited to do a cookbook signing and paella demonstration at the Point Reyes Farmer’s Market last weekend, we couldn’t pass it up.
Point Reyes is located about an hour north of our Mill Valley shop. It’s a forty mile long peninsula jutting into the Pacific ocean and is populated with dairy farms whose placid bovines roam bucolic pastures and provide the raw material for the famous Point Reyes cheese.
The best part of making a paella at a farmer’s market, aside from the great breakfast choices like pork-tomatillo panini, is the array of incredible fresh ingredients.
We brought Zoe Meats chorizo with us, and added fresh onions, garlic, squash, peppers, green and purple beans, piquillo peppers, Ferrer brand Sofrito sauce, saffron, rice and chicken stock and finished it with squash blossoms. It looked amazing and the flavor was sublime! It was the best kind of make-it-up-on-the-spot recipe but also may be tough to replicate.
And the next time you’re in Point Reyes, make sure to dine at Osteria Stellina. It was fantastic!
Being close to our Bay Area locations meant that we also cooked paellas at each store.
Our Amontillado and Chicken Paella with Chorizo is always a crowd pleaser and the ultimate in simplicity, perfect for a paella demo. Recipe from The Spanish Table cookbook: (serves 4)
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
4 chicken thighs
Approximately 16 strands of saffron
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 links Spanish chorizo
2 cups Spanish short-grain Valencian rice, preferably bomba
1 cup medium dry Amontillado sherry
3 cups chicken stock
Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch paella pan and brown the chicken. Stir in the onions, sautéing until wilted, and then add the garlic, cooking another minute or two. Add the chorizo and cook until the fat is released. Then stir in the rice to coat and add the sherry.
Bring to a boil. When the sherry is absorbed by the rice, add the stock and saffron, reduce the heat, and simmer until the rice is done, about 20-25 minutes.
Jehan cleaned up the pan in front of our Berkeley store.
NEW WHITE WINES
2008 Cabriz Encruzado, Dao ($13.99) A single vineyard wine, Cabriz is made from the Encruzado grape, and produced in limited quantities. Aged 6 months in oak using the battonage process, it has flavors of crisp pear and buttered toast . A creamy texture with a dry and lingering finish make this a wonderful accompaniment to seafood in cream sauce.
2008 Sete Cepas Albariño, Rias Baixas ($17.99)
Very much a family project, Sete Cepas refers to the wine making team of 7 brothers. Produced near the coast, each sip has the tang of sea air with aromas of white peach. Loaded with minerality and lemon zest flavors, Sete Cepas has lively acidity with notes of stone fruit, pear and great finesse. Excellent with shellfish!
Luis Pato Maria Gomez Bruto Vinho Espumante ($14.99) The Maria Gomez grape (called Fernáo Pires in other regions of Portugal) has extraordinary aromas and capacity to produce distinctive wines with strong character. Maria Gomez Bruto is a light and crisp sparkling wine showing the delicate floral and orange-lime citrus flavors characteristic of the grape. A persistent, dry finish with soft bubbles make this a terrific choice for pairing with rich cheeses or seafood.
Luis Pato Casta Baga Bruto Rosé Vinho Espumante ($14.99) Luis Pato is one of the most respected oenologists in Portugal and has earned the nickname “King of Baga”. The Baga grape is complex, with powerful tannins and ripe berry flavors and Casta Baga Bruto Rosé exemplifies Luis Pato’s mastery of this grape. A crisp and dry sparkling rosé wine, it shows minerality along with its full fruit flavors. The typical structured tannins are subdued into a silky finish in this delightful rosé. Absolutely divine with roast suckling pig, the signature dish of Pato’s region.
NEW RED WINES
2007 Andeluna Malbec, Mendoza ($8.99) Hand crafted in collaboration with Michel Rolland, Andeluna Malbec has a touch of Merlot and Cabernet, and 7 months aging in French and American oak. Round and ripe flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry are rounded out by notes of chocolate. Lush black currant and coffee compliment the sweet tannins and produce an exceptional value. Serve it with grilled lamb burgers!
2005 Rondan Crianza (Rioja) $11.99 The new vintage of Rondan Crianza is one of our favorite value Riojas. Produced from 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, the grapes are hand picked and aged in American oak for 18 months. With intense depth of black cherry flavors and notes of pepper and musk, this is a traditional Rioja with clean fruit flavors. Ample but not overpowering tannins with balanced acidity make this a great food wine. Serve it with pork or rice dishes.
2001 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Rioja ($60.00) Just arrived! 2001 was a legendary vintage, and this wine was featured in last week’s New York Times Rioja article. “Impressively complex bouquet of dried red fruits, tobacco, cedar and potpourri. A spicy, subtly sweet midweight, offering lively redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors and very soft tannins. The smoky finish features a strong echo of cedary spice.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer
To read the New York Times article, follow this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/dining/12pour.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=rioja&st=cse
2006 Don Nicanor Blend, Mendoza ($17.99) A blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot, this Argentinean red is full-bodied with concentrated ripe berry and casssis notes. 12 months of aging in new French oak provide notes of vanilla and lush tannins. The pure finish has a touch of cherry skin and black tea. This is a complex wine, extremely well balanced and a fantastic match for grilled steak with blue cheese.
Zoe Meats Chorizo
New Sale Price $20.99
Our all time favorite chorizo is now on sale. These ‘food service’ size chorizos are over a pound and a half. They are the definitely the best value and the tastiest chorizo in our case. We recommend slicing and serving as a tapa or making Bocadillos.
Most of you are familiar with this artisanal Spanish cheese produced in Castilla Leon, in the Zamorano province. It is made with milk from the Churra Eve sheep which is high in fat and gives particularly high-quality milk. Complex, full bodied, moist and subtly tangy with lingering parmesan notes. Serve Zamorano with ham, melon, pears, tomatoes, crusty bead and a solid Spanish red wine.
Now available pre-cut in our deli grab-and-go case. Sale price: $17.99/lb.
The New Portuguese Table cookbook by David Leite ($32.50) Written by the American-born son of an immigrant Portuguese family, David Leite learned to cook hearty Portuguese dishes at his grandmother’s side. Traveling to Portugal, the author discovered the traditional ingredients reimagined in modern cuisine and was inspired to write this cookbook. Leite melds the classic and contemporary, introducing innovative modern dishes in over 100 recipes.
Dende Oil – Also called palm oil, it is an essential ingredient in moqueca, the sumptious Brazilian seafood stew
Homemade Plum Membrillo from Spain, made from quince and plum.
Valenciano crackers flavored with Rosemary
Reganas – Andalucian tapas crackers made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Guarana Brazilian soft drinks, now including Diet!
Wild Lavender Honey from Murcia Spain – Excellent with goat cheese!
SPANISH WINE DINNER
Join us at Taberna del Alabardero for a selected tasting of Jorge Ordonez wines, on Wednesday Sept. 2nd, 6 p.m. Special attendance by Sara Floyd, M.S. who will talk about the five wines, each paired with a separate course. $75.00 (tax and service charge not included). For reservations and information: 206.448.8884, for more details, click this link:
Saturday August 22nd Carmona Flamenco, featuring guest artist Ana Montes. 8:00 p.m., Solstice Cafe, 4116 University Way $20.00 information: 206.932.4067 http://www.fanw.org
Have a great week!
Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners
The Spanish Table