April 30 2010

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to Saturday
9 am-6 pm

10 am-5 pm

Spring's weather may be uncertain, but one thing is for sure: The Seattle Cheese Festival happens in May -May 15 and 16, to be exact. For our sixth year, we'll take over Pike Place Market and present Seattle and the Northwest with the largest festival of cheese in the country.

This year's Festival will be packed with events familiar to many. Our Seminar Series is especially exciting this year as we feature many of the pioneering women in the field. We're pleased to announce presentations by Debra Dickerson, Laura Dubouloz, Allison Hooper, Mary Keehn and Daphne Zepos. In addition, the men will be represented remarkably by Laura's father and affineur, Jacques, as well as winemaker David Paige and Jasper Hill Farms' own Matteo Kehler. Registration is simple on the Cheese Festival web site.

We'll again present Mozzarella- and Burrata- making demonstrations by our very own, Shane Wahlund. You'll also have a chance to witness some of the finest chefs present their favorite recipes with cheese at our Chef Demonstration tent. Our line-up includes: Jacquelyn Buchanan, James Beard Winner Leslie Mackie of Macrina, Daisley Gordon of Campagne, Brian Cartenuto of Cantinetta, Seis Kamimura of Artisinal, our very own Garrett Abel, Diane LaVonne of Diane's Kitchen and finally, the winner of our Grilled Cheese Contest will present his/her recipe. Speaking of Grilled Cheese Contest, there is still time to enter this year's contest. Submit your recipe to me at pat@delaurenti.com. The winning recipe will also be served all weekend long in our café!

The real stars of the Festival are the cheeses. You'll have a chance to taste cheeses from the Northwest, the United States and around the world. There will be hundreds of cheeses to try, so be sure to arrive early ( 10 AM). When you're finished tasting cheese, head over to the wine and beer garden for samples of northwest beers and wines.

It's all part of the Seattle Cheese Festival held May 15-16 in the Pike Place Market. Hit www.seattlecheesefestival.com for more details.

See you at the store


What's New on the Shelves

I gave Nate the opportunity to pick only five new products for this newsletter. No problem, right? Wrong. Nate's been working hard to keep things fresh and current while faithfully preserving the traditions that have made DeLaurenti excel for over 60 years. It was no easy feat for him so, together, we pared the list to the following :
Pomi Strained Tomatoes now come in a 1500g tetra pak box. Not only are these tomatoes wonderful, but the packaging is also fantastic. When style and taste matter, Pomi's your tomato. Olio Verde is easily one of our favorite extra virgin olive oils from Italy. Every year, this powerful, complex and balanced oil proves that it is world class . That's why we were excited to hear of their Olio di Oliva al Limone. That's right - lemon infused olive oil from Olio Verde. Next time you cook fish, you really should try this oil - it's spectacular.

More and more we have requests for gluten-free products. In response, Nate found Italian gluten-free crackers from Galbusera. Made from corn and rice, these crackers are a wonderful platform for cheese and charcuterie. You have read of our love affair with La Vecchia Dispensa products before. They continue to amaze us with a new line of accompaniments including a Balsamic Mayonnaise, a Bruschetta spread, a Carmelized Onion in Balsamic Vinegar spread and a Modena Salsa Verde. Again, when style and taste are important... Finally, we present a Black Truffle Dijon Mustard. Now before you think we've gone off the deep end because truffles are "so last year," I implore you to reconsider. The perfect application for KL Keller's truffled mustard is with paté . Think about it.

What's New in the Deli

We're happy to announce many of our Cheese Festival Seminar speakers' cheeses are currently in the case. In particular, we have Ms. Zepos' L'Amuse Gouda (an aged, crystallized number), Comte and Wilder Weide (a very firm, caramelized gouda). From the Caves of Jasper Hill (and Matteo Kehler), we have Oma, the mercurial Winnimere (bark-wrapped, washed rind cow that's all at once pungent, rich and mushroomy), the Bayley Hazen Blue and their Landaff (a n ode to Caerphilly from England, this cow's milk cheese has spicy cheddar notes that would be great with a porter.) Kurt Timmermeister brings us his Dinah's Camembert (from Vashon Island). You'll be familiar with Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove's signature cheese, Humboldt Fog and their relatively new Truffle Tremor (t he Fog without the ash but with black truffles ). And finally, from Port Townsend, Mt. Townsend Creamery's Red Alder (little firm disc of cow's milk), the Scotch Ale (you guessed it: washed with Pike Brewery's Scotch Ale) and their ode to Monterey Jack - New Moon.

Most everybody was a fan of Fra' Mani salami. What wasn't to like? They use beautiful ingredients , expertly cured. The challenge was getting their salami here in the store. We will continue to work on procuring their salami, but we're proud to offer yet another handmade salami to our assortment: Creminelli Meats. You may remember these guys as they had a little counter outside our store for about a year. They recently closed the retail part of the operation here in Seattle, but they continue to cure their salami in Utah. We'll bring in their Barolo, Tartufo, Piccante, Wild Boar, and Sopressata. They are delicious and we hope you like them as much as we do.


What's New in Wine

New releases from Buty Winery include The Beast. Despite the horrible pun, the Beast is a remarkable second line for Nina and Caleb. It's their chance to sow some wild oats, make some interesting, unusual wines. Their decisions in these regards differ from year to year so the Beast can never be pinned down. When you run out of the Buty Rediviva or Conner Lee Chardonnay, reach for a Cinsault or Rosé from the Beast. You won't be settling.

Upcoming Wine Tastings
In honor of the Cheese Festival, we will present free wine tastings each Saturday during the month of May upstairs in the wine department. Saturday tastings happen from 2- 4 PM, as usual. So what's the big deal? It's Cheese Festival Month!

Here's what's in store shortly...

01 May
Spanish Wines including a 100% Mencia and a chilled Sherry

08 May
Italian wonders from Noble's Naomi Smith's trip


Recipe: Spot Prawns with Crazy Water
(Gamberetti nell'Acqua Pazza)

You may remember Justin Lyon. Justin ran our café for a time a few years ago. He's moved on as a private chef and travels between Hawaii and Indian Wells, California with his beautiful wife and two children. Needless to say, the guy can cook. He made this dish for a Family Dinner here at the store (we do family dinners ever so often here. They're fun and exclusive and the crew gets to show off a bit when the inspiration hits them.)

Spot Prawns are perfect right now in the Market - if you believe the fish guys and we do most of the time.

Blanch tomatoes 20 seconds until skins soften. Peel skins, core, deseed & chop. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in large sauce pan. Add 3 garlic cloves, onion and shells and cook on med/low heat for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato paste - cook until tomatoes release juice. Add wine & reduce by half. Add enough water to cover prawn shells. Let simmer 45 minutes. Strain broth and reserve. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large sauce pan. Add 2 garlic cloves and cook until just slightly colored. Add fennel and cook until translucent. Add capers, olives and chilies just to heat through. Add the reserved fish stock to pan and let simmer on med until reduced by 1/4. While stock reduces, slice baguette and toast until golden. Rub bread slices with last garlic clove and portion on serving plates. Add spot prawns to "crazy water" and simmer for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through. Add Italian parsley and mix. Portion on top of bread slices and pour crazy water over the top to slightly cover bread. Finish with extra virgin olive oil and garnish w/remaining parsley.

A nice Vermentino from Pala' sounds perfect with this.

Serves 4

  • 1/2lb Spot Prawns (shelled - reserve the shells)
  • 4 large Tomatoes
  • 6 cloves Garlic - thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion - chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 4-6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups water - apx.
  • 1 bulb Fennel - white part only - shaved
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup pitted Sicilian green olives - halved
  • 1 tsp chili flake
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 rustic baguette - sliced & lightly toasted

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