In preparation for the upcoming June Chef’s Dinner at Cafe Presse, I recently put together a Poule au Pot trial run using a chicken from Hungry Hollow Farms.
Here are some photos of the process:
Here is the chicken as received from Hungry Hollow Farms and delivered by owner/farmer Grant Jones. GMO free, pasture raised and left free to hunt lots of bugs and worms, these birds develop a different body shape than intensively farmed chickens: the breast is smaller, the legs larger and firmer and overall there is less fat. The smell and flavor of the flesh is much earthier, slightly gamey, just plain more chicken-y. They remind me quite a lot of poulet fermier that we buy at the weekly farmer’s market in Orthez. Continue reading
Café Presse and Le Pichet have both been nominated for awards in the Seattle Magazine Best Restaurants Readers Poll 2018. Both are nominated in the Best French Restaurant category and Café Presse is also nominated for Best Late-Night Dining. If you agree, Vote Early and Vote Often using the link above!
Fresh, live periwinkles ready to be cooked
Getting ready for tomorrow’s Quarterly Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse includes preparing periwinnkes. Know as bigorneaux in France, small sea snails are poached then picked straight from the shell using a pin and dunked in mayonnaise. Accompanied by a glass of pastis, preferable facing the Mediterranean. Ah, another time perhaps.
These beauties were beach gathered (they are a nuisance species to the mussel and oyster industries, so we can feel good about eating as many as we can!) so we took the extra step of soaking over night in sea water to get all the sand out. Next they are poached in salted water with parsley, bay and black pepper.
Finished cooking. still in their steaming broth
If you would like to give them a try, there are still a few places left for tomorrow’s dinner. Give us a call at 206.709.7674
Quarterly Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse featuring the food of Normandy
Tuesday March 20, 2018, 6:30pm.
This morning I made a trial run of cooking teurgoule normande, the dessert to be served as part of a menu of specialties from the region of Normandy at our Quarterly Chefs Dinner Tuesday March 20, 2018 at Café Presse.
Teurgoule is a traditional, grandmotherly dish made with raw whole milk, short grain rice, sugar and cinnamon, baked in a heavy earthenware dish for 4-6 hours in a low oven. Although not very photogenic, this was more than compensated by the wonderful aroma that filled our apartment all morning while the teurgoule slowly cooked. It smelled exactly as if I were baking snickerdoodles!
Although I had heard of teurgoule and am aware of its iconic place among sweet dishes from Normandy, this is the first time I have cooked it. Yum!
On Saturday, during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier HSC, Laurent Bourscheidt of PSG Fanclub Seattle presented Café Presse with signed jerseys from the two clubs. The PSG jersey had been signed by Brazilian former PSG man Maxwell, while the Montpellier jersey had been signed by the entire team.
Our thanks to Laurent and PSG Fanclub Seattle for this honor! And see you all at Cafe Presse on February 14th for Real Madrid v PSG.
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.