Dear French Market Shoppers
I hope that you all enjoyed your Christmas parties with your families and close friends despite the drizzle outside yesterday. Our shop was incredibly busy in the week leading up to the 25th. I reckon we must have supplied hundreds of French cheese platters for parties and dinners in the last week. We certainly managed to get through a couple of hundred kilos of French cheese, pates and other delicacies. I have restocked, so that there is plenty left for the parties on New Year’s Eve including a new pate with walnuts.
New Year’s Eve is a major celebration in France and is traditionally celebrated with a large dinner amongst friends and families and of course it would not be the same without bottles of champagne. We have several different champagnes particularly the Pol Roger range ranging from half bottles of Brut Reserve up to the famous Blanc des Blancs from the 2004 vintage. I also have the Pol Roger Pure, a Zero dosage champagne which means that the sugar content is minimal. I have brought in a range of Massenez fruit liqueurs from Alsace such as Cassis (blackcurrant), vineyard peaches, raspberries, strawberries and griotte cherries. To make a great New Year’s Eve cocktail mix less than a teaspoon of the fruit liqueur to a glass of champagne to make a fabulous Kir Royale.
One of my favourite dishes for the New Year’s Eve festive dinner is Confit de Canard, not only does it taste delicious but it also is quick and easy to prepare. In the old days prior to fridges, in the South West of France there were a lot of ducks at certain times of the year only. In order to preserve the meat, it was cooked for 6 to 8 hours then preserved in its fat with some spices such as white pepper. Nowadays we have the prepared Confit de canard legs at our shop, all you have to do is to heat them up in a frying pan or in a pan in the oven. I use the duck fat in which they have been preserved to roast some potatoes and lightly fry some mushrooms. The duck has a lovely gamey flavour and I like to serve it with a predominantly Merlot wine from Bordeaux, such as the Chateau La Couronne St Emilion Grand Cru. You can view the recipe on the recipe page.
Tomorrow we re-open the shop and will stay open until 5pm on the 31st. We are closed on the 1st then back to normal trading after that. Thank you for all your support this year. I look forward to seeing you again soon and hope that you have a peaceful and prosperous New Year.