Recipe “tarte flambée” french ‘pizza’ of cheese & ham 

I was first introduced to tarte flambée, which comes from Alsace, with the explanation that it’s France’s answer to pizza. In fact, though, it’s not much like pizza at all

SERVES 4-12

DOUGH

250g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

½ tsp salt Continue reading “Recipe “tarte flambée” french ‘pizza’ of cheese & ham “

This stunning Loire Valley cabernet franc will set you back just $20


RECOMMENDED | Plus, two Australian reds, a French rosé and a Spanish white to sip and savor.

The Loire Valley in France produces some delicious red wines from cabernet franc grapes. Here’s a terrific example from Couly-Dutheil, along with two wines from Australia, a tasty French rosé and a rich Spanish white.

GREAT VALUE

Couly-Dutheil Les Gravieres d’Amador Abbé de Turpenay Chinon 2017

Loire Valley, France, $20

Wow — tobacco smoke, white pepper and old leather accent the dark cherry flavors. There’s energy here and a lot going on to carry though a meal. Alcohol by volume: 12.5 percent.

Imported and distributed by Elite: Available in the District at Eye Street Cellars, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Rodman’s, Whole Foods Market (Foggy Bottom, H Street, P Street, Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Mills Fine Wine and Spirits in Annapolis, Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore, Wine Bin in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at the Bottle Stop in Occoquan, Market Street Wineshop in Charlottesville, Whole Foods Market (Arlington, Richmond, Tysons). [ . . . ]

Continue at WASHINGTON POST: This stunning Loire Valley cabernet franc will set you back just $20 – The Washington Post

How Red Wine is Made 

Wineries make red wine today much the same way they did 6,000 years ago in Greece and Persia. Dark-colored grapes are harvested, crushed, fermented, stirred and separated from the skins by a press. Voila! Red wine.

Better containers, presses and cellars have increased quality and efficiency of red wine production many times over, but it’s still essentially a simple process. Red wine production requires no cooking or ingredients besides grapes, yeast and, usually, sulfur dioxide as a preservative.

Red wine is made on the skins

Red wine is made like white wine, but with one major difference. Generally, it ferments with the grape skins and juice combined in a tank or vat. White wines are pressed before fermentation, separating the juice from the skins.

The skin contact in red wine production allows color, flavor and textural compounds to be integrated into the juice, while the yeast converts sugar to alcohol. The skins contain most of the good stuff that gives red wine its color, while the pulp mostly provides the juice.

Harvesting red-wine grapes and the crush

Red wine grapes are ready to harvest in late summer to early fall, several weeks after the initial green color of the grapes has turned to dark red or blue-black, a period called veraison.

Vineyard crews cut the grape bunches or clusters from the vines. That’s either done by hand or a self-propelled machine that shakes or slaps the grapes off their stems and collects the individual berries and juice.

Delivered to the winery, winemakers can also sort out mildewed grapes, unwanted raisins, leaves and debris. Clusters then go through a destemmer/crusher that removes the whole grape berries from the stems and may squeeze them slightly to get the juice flowing. Any juice created at these stages prior to pressing is known as free run. Machine-harvested grapes are already ready to ferment. Continue reading “How Red Wine is Made “

Where to Eat in Paris: The Best 13 New Restaurants to Try Right Now

To make choosing where to eat in Paris as painless as possible, we’ve done the “hard” graft for you by testing out 13 of the newest, most talked-about places in the city. From creative cuisine hailing from Israel to the chef that’s shaking things up at the Eiffel Tower, we’ve got you covered.

1. Shabour, A (Michelin) Star In The Making

Every dish here is testimony to the chefs’ inexhaustible inspiration. And teamed with hospitality that’s rarely seen in trendy Paris restaurants of this caliber, Shabour certainly packs one mighty punch.

With several restaurants under their belt in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, London and Paris, Shabour, meaning ‘hangover’ in Hebrew, is the clan’s third restaurant and first independent endeavor in the French capital.  Alongside the enigmatic Assaf Granit is his clan, Dan Yosha and Uri Navon in the kitchen, and Tomer Lanzmann as head host and all-round ambiance-setter en salle.

As far as the décor goes, it’s simple. And that’s the way they wanted it. A former jazz club, the space is entirely candlelit. The stone walls and waxed cement floors provide the backdrop for an open kitchen encased in a marvelous jade-green marble counter for diners to perch at, giving the restaurant a perfectly achieved result.

In a silent ritual of swift movements and the occasional hint of a smile in his icy blue eyes, lead maestro Assaf deposits utensils in front of diners in preparation for each dish, his hands, covered in cryptic black tattoos, sporadically emerging from the shadows.

He lays dinky forks on the counter. An oyster appears adorned with zata herbs (similar to wild oregano), apple and shallot juice, all laid on top of a wooden stand like an artwork, ready to be blowtorched before we swallow it, reeling from the burst of flavor as it slowly imparts its notes in our mouths.

Another stand-out dish includes scorched leek plunged in vegetable stock and filled with labanais (yoghurt-like drink) and porcini mushrooms accompanied by a halloumi crumble and stock that’s meant to recall a journey through the woods. And what a journey it is, each dish pulling us deeper into a world unknown where flavor becomes all that matters.

Next up, Assaf lays out a porcelain egg cup, ready to be filled by Dan with four types of egg: poached, marinated for 48 hours in black tea with ginger, relish of carrots and onions, raisins, tahini, Egyptian spinach, salmon eggs, and poutarde. Explosive. As is Uri’s exceptional amuse bouche of escargot-shaped apple roasted with olive oil and arak, and pickled pink and white beetroot stuffed with brie and plum purée, prepped like a “small tower of Babylon,” as he describes it while he rolls it into shape behind the counter in front of us.

A flurry of dishes, each one more sophisticated than the next and interwoven with accents from a faraway land; the genius behind each mouthful is the scattered positioning of the ingredients on the colorful mismatched porcelain plates. The result is that no mouthful is ever the same.

Here, time stalls as the experience takes you to places you’ve never wandered before. When we left some hours later, we were floating – merry from the wine (which flowed) and not uncomfortably bloated from the food. The next morning however, starting the day proved a little less smooth, but then again, we were warned – the restaurant isn’t called Shabour for nothing.

Shabour – 19 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002 Paris Continue reading “Where to Eat in Paris: The Best 13 New Restaurants to Try Right Now”