Stuff

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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Really local radishes

Radishes March 2017

This bunch of radishes was grown super locally on an extremely small scale farmer…specifically it was grown in a pot in a SW facing window of our apartment on First Hill.  Next up: collards!

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New on the menu at Le Pichet

Socca april 2017

New for spring on the menu at Le Pichet!

Socca nissarda, Chickpea flour-olive oil pancake baked with melted leeks, topeed with green checkpeas, green chard and French sheep’s-milk feta cheese.

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New on the menu at Le Pichet, late March 2017

Millas March 2017

Now on the menu for both lunch and dinner:

Millas gascons au confit de porc, salade de cresson et oignons verts
Pan roasted cornmeal porridge cake with ground pork and pork confit, with grilled mushroom velouté and watercress-spring onion salad

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Bubbling Cassoulet

The recent Quarterly Chef’s Dinner at Café Presse that featured dishes and wines from the Midi-Pyrenees was a big success…we really enjoyed doing it and the fantastic feedback from guests was gratifying.  If you missed it, check out this link to video of the cassoulet coming out of oven:  Bubbling Cassoulet Video

And check below for a few photos of the event as well.  If you would like to receive info about upcoming events, watch our website or sign up for our newsletter.

Crispy spinach and Fourme d'Ambert croquettes

Crispy spinach and Fourme d’Ambert croquettes

Qut Dinner Feb 2017 trout

House smoked trout, apple-Napa cabbage salad and chestnut-duckfat puree served on grilled baguette

Qut Dinner Feb 2017 eggs

Eggs scrambled with confit of duck heart and gizzard, hedgehog mushrooms and foie gras fat and duck cracklings served on country bread dumplings

Houes smoked trout, apple-cabbage salad and chestnut-duckfat puree served on grilled baguette

Squid hoods stuffed with brown rice, nicoise olives and braised squid legs, served on green chard braised with saffron, pine nuts, white wine and lemon zest and persillade

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