Stuff

Now on the menu at Le Pichet, June 2017

Ribs 2 June 2017

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!

Tripe june 2017

Crispy semolina fried beef tripe served on a ragout of artichokes, escarole, garlic and white wine.

heart june 2017

Smoked pork heart, thinly sliced and served on butter lettuce with sauce gribiche.

 

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It’s Columbia River crayfish season

Crayfish June 2017

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.

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Too hot to cook?

 

Roast-Chicken-Jul-11-2

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!

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First of the season cherries

Special today at Café Presse

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.

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Faisselles a la confiture

Faisselles may 2017 3

Very simple and quick dessert: faisselles with home-made red muscat grape jam.

Fromage blanc a la confiture is one of the simplest desserts there is and to my mind one on the most satisfying.   The frequency with which one finds fancied up versions of Fromage blanc a la confiture on the menu at high end restaurants throughout France testifies to this dessert’s ability to evoke memories of childhood.  Its like chocolate pudding for us…you just never grow out of it.

Consisting simply of  fromage blanc served with seasonal jam, honey, or, in a pinch, with a spoonful of white sugar, the success of this dish is clearly dependent on the quality of the cheese and of the garnish.

On a recent visit to Lait P’tits Bearnais, an organic dairy outside Orthez,  a container of faisselles caught my eye.  Faisselles, like its cousin fromage blanc, is a simple, fresh cheese made by adding  bacteriologic culture to fresh milk, waiting for the milk to curdle then draining some of the whey.  Fromage blanc is often made using a mix of whole milk and cream, resulting in a higher fat content cheese that has a smoother, richer mouth feel.  Faisselles is usually made with just whole milk, resulting in a slightly curdier cheese that has a slight acidic bite.  Why not try using faisselles a la confiture?

As there is no AOC for faisselles (or for fromage blanc for that matter), the exact method for making it varies from dairy to dairy.  At “Les Petits Bearnais”, whole milk is used.  The fresh curds are scooped into perforated cups and sold while they are still draining. One arrives home with four cute little cheeses and half a cup of whey in the bottom of the container (I save the whey and add a little to dried beans or grains when soaking them before cooking.  The extra action of the live culture makes them more digestible).

Organic faisselles from le Ferme Lait P'tit Bearnais.

Organic faisselles from le Ferme Lait P’tits Bearnais.

Fresh cheeses in their mold or 'faisselle".

Fresh cheeses in their mold or ‘faisselle”.

Having secured some good cheese, all that’s left is to select your jam.  I picked one of the last jars of red muscat grape jam from a batch I made a few years back.  Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

 

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We’re open on Memorial Day

Cafe Presse and Le Pichet will both be open regular hours on Memorial Day, Monday May 29, 2017.

Cafe Presse open from 7am to 2am
Le Pichet open from 8am to midnight

Stop by and see us!

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Lending a helping hand to the Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch 2017 3

Café Presse and Le Pichet were very proud to have been asked to be a part of the 2017 Premier Chef’s Dinner to support the great work they to that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  The gala dinner, that featured guest speaker and culinary icon Alice Waters, as well as a host of top Seattle chefs, took place last Sunday May 21.

For their cocktail hour hors d’ouevre offering, Café Presse chef de cuisine Patrick MacWhorter and Le Pichet chef de cuisine Dave Cooper chose a mini-version of the classic Parisian sandwich, the jambon-beurre.  The ultimate in simplicity, the jambon-beurre consists only of good bread, salted butter and jambon de Paris.  Their version featured house-made Paris-style ham, sea-salt butter from Brittany, house made brioche and a garnish of cornichons.

Partick MacWhorter (left) and Dave Cooper (right) with Café Presse sous-chef James O'Hern lurking in the background.

Partick MacWhorter (left) and Dave Cooper (right) with Café Presse sous-chef James O’Hern lurking in the background (and doing most of the work by the looks of it).

Fred Hutch 2017 2

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Dog loves cheese (who doesn’t?)

Dog love cheese 2017

Seen in the Saturday market in Orthez:  a dog who really loves cheese.  Clearly a learned behavior, as,right after this photo was taken, he was rewarded with a bite of cheese by the vendor.

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New desserts for Spring at Café Presse

Dense chocolate cake square served with Earl Grey-lavender ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Dense chocolate cake square served with Earl Grey-lavender ice cream and chocolate sauce.

The new menu for Spring has started at Cafe Presse.  As promised, here are photos of the new desserts from the Staff Tasting…enjoy!

Frozen terrine with vanilla and lemon ice creams, served with rhubarb compote and crispy baked merengue.

Frozen terrine with vanilla and lemon ice creams, served with rhubarb compote and crispy baked meringue.

Vanilla scented tapioca mousse, with macerated Washington State strawberries and a langue de chat cookie

Vanilla scented tapioca mousse, with macerated Washington State strawberries and a langue de chat cookie

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Spring Menu starts at Cafe Presse

WA state asparagus with scallions, house-smoked arctic char, butter fried croutons and Basque cider vinaigrette

WA state asparagus with scallions, house-smoked arctic char, butter fried croutons and Basque cider vinaigrette

The new spring menu started today at Café Presse and it is filled with tastes of the season.  Here are some photos of the savory dishes from today’s staff tasting.  Look for photos of the new desserts soon.

And by the way, yes, Steak Tartare is back! Continue reading

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