A particularly interesting find
Sitting in my warm apartment in Seattle, an early December mushroom outing in the SW of France seemed like a great idea. So I contacted the Sociétié Mycologique du Béarn and invited myself along on their next outing, which happened to fall during our upcoming stay in France. What I failed to consider was how cold it could be on the French Atlantic coast at that time of year!
In truth, despite what would turn out to be temperatures in the 20’s as we set out in search of mushrooms, the event was a lot of fun, in equal parts because of the chance to meet some very nice fellow mushroom lovers,because of the beauty of the forested coastline and because of the large amount of mushrooms to be found, in spite of the lateness of the season.
Light supper in Orthez…Merlu de ligne from Saint-Jean de Luz pan sautéed with a compote of fennel and leeks from the garden and sauteed spinach.
On arrival in late November, found the garden still held a few winter veggies…some sad looking Brussels sprout, a fine row of leeks, one or two gigantic cabbages and a whole bed of black radishes fully 2 inches around and nearly a foot long. The radishes we have planted under a sheet of spring mulch mainly for their ability to break up our clay-heavy soil. Despite their size, the radishes were still firm and peppery. Had the greens sauteed with garlic the first night with a nice confit de canard and the radishes in green salad ever since.
Here is a link to a Washington Post article entitled “If you can only eat three meals in Seattle, make sure they’re here”. Spoiler alert, Café Presse is one of them!
Camembert aged 20 days in Normandy cider, served wit caramelized onion-pork cracklin’ brioche
The November 2017 version of our Chef’s Dinner took place last Wednesday and welcomed a sold out crowd to the back room at Café Presse. The theme for the dinner was Tout est bon dans le cochon (every part of the pig is good) and the menu for the event was designed to highlight the different possibilities in taste, texture and experience possible using the humble hog. We hope everyone who attended enjoyed the experience.
Here are a few photos of the different dishes for your enjoyment…and look for info about upcoming chef dinners on this blog or on the Café Presse website!
Terrine de tête de porc served with house-made dark rye bread and mustard creme fraîche
Priceless heirloom in a family of butchers
As noted in an earlier post, last week, in preparation for our November Quarterly Chef’s Dinner, Café Presse had a visit from artisan butcher Darron Marsolf, who showed us the proper way to break down a pig. In addition to being a top-notch butcher, Darron is a affable fellow, and he took the time to tell us about how his family became butchers and how he personally learned the trade. He even brought along a technical butchery manual called “The Meat We Eat” which had been passed down to him by his grandfather.
Here are a few photos of the demonstration.
Darron talks tactics before starting to remove the primal cuts from our half hog
Slow roasted pork ribs, salad of red oak leaf lettuce, corona beans, shaved fennel, bing cherries and roasted fennel purée
Check out the new dishes that Le Pichet chef de cuisine Dave Cooper has recently added to the menu for early summer!
Crispy semolina fried beef tripe served on a ragout of artichokes, escarole, garlic and white wine.
Smoked pork heart, thinly sliced and served on butter lettuce with sauce gribiche.
The Columbia River crayfish season has started and we have them at Café Presse!
This freshwater delicacy is usually more closely associated with the bayous of Louisiana than with the Pacific Northwest, and the Colombia river season is short. But the cold waters of the Columbia yield up crayfish that are particularly sweet, firm and fresh tasting.
Today at Café Presse, we are offering them in a simple and traditional French: poached in a court bouillon, then served cold as an appetizer with lemon-tarragon mayonnaise.
Available while the supply lasts.
When the thermometer is topping 90 degrees, its way to hot to cook! Instead of turning on the oven,why not let us do the cooking? Most of the items on our menu are available to take home including our famous roasted to your order Poulet Roti.
Give us a call and we will have your bird ready when you arrive. Choose with frites or plain, maybe even add a salad and a nice bottle of rosé to round out your meal.
Or even better, grab a table and enjoy our air conditioning!
A classic Basque combination: sheep’s milk cheese, cherries and piment d’Espelette
Special today at Café Presse:
First of the season Burlat cherries, with Brebis de Pyrenees sheep’s milk cheese and piment d’Espelette grilled baguette slices.
The Burlat cherry is an early-ripening varietal similar to a Bing. Maybe not quite as sweet as a bing but more fruity, firm and delicious. These organic cherries came from todays Farmer’s Market on Broadway.
In the French Basque countries, sheep’s milk cheeses are traditionally served with cherry comfiture, sometimes enlivened with the kick of the famous Basque ground chili, piment d’Espelette.