Tag Archives: aioli

Piment d’Espelette

Piment d'espelette

Piment d’espelette AOP

Piment d’Espelette
This iconic Basque pepper was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 16th century. It must be said of the man, although he caused no end of trouble he unwittingly gave a much needed burst of energy to Europe’s insipid cuisines. I mean, think about it: tomatoes, chocolate, all manner of chili peppers and squash…the list is extraordinary. Anyway, this pepper found a particularly hospitable environment in the area around Espelette, nestled in the foothills of the French Pyrenees.

Strung into garlands and hung on long cords to dry in the sun outside houses, this slender, bright red pepper became an emblem of Basque culture and cuisine. It was first used to flavor and help cure meats, but soon found its way into sauces, simmered in oil, or flaked and sprinkled over all manner of savory dishes. It is a classic ingredient in Pipérade, a Basque specialty, and a common addition to pâtés, fish, and seafood dishes. The flavor is sweet, fruity, and slightly spic; it is mild, delicate and complex with notes of sundried hay and warm summer dust.  In a pinch you can substitute other types of red pepper flakes but they generally fall short of this tantalizing spice.

This pepper is considered so exceptional that in 2000 it was granted its own protected denomination of origin. Since then cultivation and processing of piment d’Espelette has been regulated for sustainability and quality. Cultivated on small plots, irrigation and pesticides are strictly controlled and respect for the environment is maintained.

Piment d’Espelette aioli
Enriched with sweet, slightly spicy piment d’Espelette, this aioli catapults your burger to a whole new level. It also makes a fantastic accompaniment to shrimp, calamari, or grilled asparagus. If you don’t have the time to make aioli, there are many decent store-bought versions; simply stir in piment d’Espelette, ½ teaspoon at a time, to taste.

Piment d'Espelette aioli

Piment d’Espelette aioli

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A Tasmanian Brit takes on Spanish Paella

mybasquecuisinecover

“My Basque Cuisine” by Ash Mair

One of my lazy weekend pleasures is listening to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, a habit picked up while living in London. I potter about the kitchen making stock or trimming beans with half an ear cast towards the radio. It is an estimable program in which you find a satisfying balance of the serious and silly, the real and raw. From solemn discussions of women in politics to giddy gossips about the latest and greatest shade of lipstick, Woman’s Hour has it all. Among it’s many discussions, one of my favorites is a continuing segment entitled “Cook the Perfect,” in which  the presenter interviews a variety of chefs and takes the listener though the preparation of a chosen dish.

Recently, Woman’s Hour presented “Cook the Perfect Paella” with the Tasmanian born, Britain-based, Basque-loving chef Ash Mair. Click the link below for Mair’s tasty take on seafood paella with prawns, fennel, and aioli. Que rico! 

Cook the perfect….Paella

 

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Filed under Basque, Food, Paella

Spanish Table Seattle & Paris Grocery Newsletter

February 18, 2010

Our shelves are groaning with pleasure at the abundance of new ingredients that have arrived in the last week. At both The Spanish Table and Paris Grocery, a veritable flood of gastronomic specialties have arrived! We tasted, we slurped, we fell in love and generally worked our way around The Fancy Food Show in January and these latest products are the result. Add scrumptious new flavors to your meals with these culinary delights!

At Paris Grocery:

Riz Rouge (Camargue Red Rice) – serve this nutty Provençal rice with roast game hens or pork.

Pates and Pork Rillettes in 4.5 oz tins and 2.8 oz jars – perfect for porkaholics!

Red Pepper Chutney with Esplette Chili – the Esplette gives this Chutney a kick.

Provence Black Fig Jam – divine with goat cheese.

Lemon Curd – spread this creamy goodness on scones or use as a tart filling.

Sauce Aioli and Bernaise – great with poached eggs, wonderful with oven roasted halibut.

Truffle Mayonnaise – this will really take your sandwich up a notch!

E. Guittard Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers – use for baking or snacking.

Dark Orange Chocolat Fondue: Warm for two minutes in the microwave and then start dipping strawberries, orange slices or just your fingers into this chocolate deliciousness!

At Spanish Table:

Cod Crumbs (Tacos de Bacalao): Tired of having to soak salt cod for hours on end? These cubed up pieces of bacalao take about 30 minutes. Soak, rinse and sauté in olive oil. If you’re a purest, you can have them as is. Toss them with cooked lentils and chopped piquillo pepper if you want to be fancy.

Dried Mulberries: High nutritious and highly addictive. Looking for a quick breakfast idea? How about yogurt, mulberries, chopped walnuts and honey to start off your day.

Tomato Jam: Everyone starts acting strange when you tell them how sweet tomato jam can be. I first tried it on salmon. All it takes is heating the jam up tossing in a little bit of chopped cilantro and topping a piece of sauteed salmon. Be adventurous and try it on a slice of toasted bread with butter.

Ajvar: This savory Bulgarian pepper and eggplant sauce is packed with flavor. Simply heat and spoon over meat loaf or toss with spaghetti and chopped parsley.

Picon Azul: Deliciously blue! This creamy Asturian cheese starts out strong but ends with a soft and subtle salty finish. When I tasted this cheese I couldn’t help but to want spread it on a baguette topped with grilled tenderloin and arugula for a spicy peppery note.

PARIS GROCERY WINES

On a bizarrely bright and mild Monday afternoon in January, we arrived at Campagne restaurant for “Vin et Cassoulet.” The bar was loaded with French wines and a chance to sample them with the eternal comfort food of southern France, cassoulet. The portfolio of wines did not disappoint, and tasting them with the hearty bean and meat stew only strengthened our feelings on the importance of the compatibility between what you eat and what you drink. We have brought to Paris Grocery two wines from that tasting that delighted us. – Rachel & Abi

2007 Les Restanques de Cabassole “Roucas Toumbas ” Vacqueyras ($40.00) Between Chateauneuf-de-Pape and Gigondas lies the high and stony plain of Vacqueyras, planted with old vine Grenache and Syrah. Vinter Eric Bouletin eschews all chemicals, commercial additives and synthetic material in his 3ha vineyard and in the winery, and his passion for this terroir comes through in his wines. Roucas Toumba is pure and poetic, full of red fruit and blackcurrant, supported by silky tannins. Notes of Provence herbs and spice round out the nose and it maintains a beautiful acidity and lift. Incredible with cassoulet! Only 300 cases produced.

2008 Domaine Castera Jurançon Sec ($16.99) This dry and lively white from Southwestern France is made from two native Basque varieties- Gros Manseng (95%) and Petit Manseng (5%) and is aged on the lees. Though relatively unknown in the New World, Manseng has a storied past in France: it is rumored that the lips of King Henry the IV were rubbed with Jurançon, and Colette claimed, ” I was a girl when I met this prince; aroused, imperious, treacherous, as all great seducers are.” We certainly have been seduced by its aromatic, refreshing qualities and lovely body. Bright and tangy, with green apple, tropical fruit and limestone notes; try with scallops in a light cream sauce!

SPANISH TABLE WINES

2008 Las Brisas, Rueda ($10.99) Las Brisas boasts a wonderful range of refreshing aromas, with lovely intensity. Made of 50% Verdejo, it is charmingly complemented by 30% Viura, and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The result is a balanced and focused white with fresh aromas and notes of citrus. Clean and fresh, it has energetic acidity and a slight prickle on the palate. Excellent with ceviche!

2006 Valle Perdido Cabernet-Merlot, Neuquen Patagonia ($11.99) This suave and bold red from Patagonia, Argentina is an excellent choice to serve with burgers or steaks. Rich and earthy, it has tannic grip, brims with ripe black fruit and notes of coffee. The finish is smooth, elegant and long. An excellent value, it also makes a great sipping wine.

2007 Mano A Mano Tempranillo, Tierra de Castilla ($9.99) Mano a Mano was a best seller here at Spanish Table before it disappeared from the market. We happily jumped on it when it reappeared last week, especially since the 2007 vintage may be the best yet! Slow fermentation is followed by gentle aging in French oak, producing an extremely balanced wine. Expressive bright red fruit with notes of cigar box, vanilla and spice make up this robust red. A rich and dry persistent finish make this an all around great value. Recommended Value Wine (Under $25.00) Wine Advocate

2007 Castelo do Sulco Reserva, Estremadura ($8.99) “Well-balanced, showing plenty of elegance to the crushed red fruit, blueberry and wild plum flavors. Finishes with focused minerality that is accented by a subtle creaminess. Drink now through 2013.” 88 points Wine Spectator

Shop from home on The Spanish Table’s websites! The Spanish Table wine website has wines from Spain, Portugal, Madeira, or South America. Orders are shipped from our Berkeley CA store which may have different inventory and prices than our Seattle store. For products other than wine, click on The Spanish Table to purchase food, books, cookware and other products.

Visit Paris Grocery’s Facebook Page for the latest news from our sister store.

Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table, 1426 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.2827

Hours: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.0679

Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. Paris Grocery is closed on Mondays

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Filed under Argentina, Cheese, Chile, Fish, Food, france, Meat, Recepies, Red Wine, Spain, Uncategorized