At Le Pichet and Café Presse, we love featuring lesser known, little fishes that are both sustainable and good for you. Pollock is one of these, a fish that never really gets the respect it deserves. A smaller cousin of Alaskan true cod, pollock in the past was often considered too small for filets and therefore ended up as processed fish sticks or surimi. Which is a shame because it is not only very tasty, with characteristics much like true cod, but it is also very environmentally friendly. Alaskan wild caught pollock is one of the most abundant wild seafood species in the world, it’s harvest is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council and rated “Good” by the Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch.
Now on the menu at Cafe Presse and featured at both Le Pichet and Café Presse during Wild-caught Alaskan Pollock week, February 28 to March 8, 2020.
Just added to the Le Pichet menu by chef de cuisine Vince Hall:
Calamari, Penn Cove clams and mussels seared with parsley, garlic, jambon de Bayonne, piment d’Espelette and olive oil, with duck fat fingerling potatoes and a lemon wedge.
Fresh seafood simply seared on a plancha then tossed with persillade – a mixture of parsley and garlic ground with fat from jambon de Bayonne, olive oil, basque chili powder and a squeeze of lemon – is one of the trademark dishes of the French Basque Countries. Chef Vince adds local fingerling potatoes simmered in duck fat to round out a tasty winter dish.
Just added to the menu by Café Presse pastry chef Allyson Lanter: Canelés de Bordeaux. Made with fresh eggs, butter, sugar and a touch of vanilla and rum, these little treats are known for their crispy, caramelized exterior and creamy, eggy interior. Perfect with your morning espresso or latte. Baked fresh daily and available while they last!
Le Pain de Coin is what happens when an iconoclastic personality takes up the art of bread baking. We first encountered artisan baker Etienne Leroy at the Wednesday farmers market in the little Bearnaise walled town of Navarranx, where a queue of eager shoppers were waiting to snap up the last of his offerings. His most popular bread is the round whole-wheat country loaf known as miches but his market table was also covered with breads made with barley flour, others of whole wheat dotted with raisins or olives or rye flour with walnuts. We secured half of a giant country loaf, the only choice remaining by the time we reached the front of the line, and, immediately tearing off and tasting a hunk, found it excellent.
It turns out that all these lovely breads are made by Etienne in a bakery of his own construction on his farm nestled in the wooded slopes above the town of Salies de Béarn. In his fournil (or baking workshop) he takes an uncompromising approach to baking the best bread he possibly can. His ingredients come largely from the area within 10 minutes of his oven, from farmers working organically to raise ancient varieties of wheat requested by Etienne. The wood that fuels his oven he secures from the forest lands of the farm. His approach to bread baking is decidedly old fashion and artisan: he uses only sour starters, and favors very long, slow fermentation. And he only makes traditional styles of bread, refusing to offer a baguette.
Café Presse chef de cuisine James O’Hern will be the featured Guest Chef at Farestart on Thursday September 12th. Make your plans (and reservations!) now to attend! It’s a great bargain, it’s fun and all proceeds support Farestart in the great work they do helping people with barriers to entry into the job market acquire the skills to succeed!
Contact Farestart to purchase tickets or purchase on-line.
It’s time to celebrate Bastille Day! At Le Pichet, get our limited edition Bastille Day T-Shirts, featuring an illustration by local artist Kyle Wendt, made in America and 100% cotton. Supplies are limited so come by today!
In April 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the Fromagerie Ecologique Agour Irati located high up foothills of the Basque Pyrenees. A quick word about Agour (I also noticed it spelled Agur, which I believe is in Euskera, the Basque language? You Euskera speakers, correct me if I am wrong). If you are a fan of French cheeses, and especially of Basque sheep milk cheeses, you have likely heard of Agour. They are the largest family run independent cheese maker in the French Basque countries and have been exporting to the U.S. for over 20 years. We have featured their lovely cheeses on the cheeses boards at Le Pichet and Cafe Presse for as long as they have been open.