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Culinary Corner August 29-September 3

Three Onion Soup

The soup of the week is Three Onion Soup with Croutons. Think of this one as a French onion soup without the cheese. Caramelized onions, sherry and herbs in a rich beef broth.

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops

The appetizer of the week is Seared Sea Scallops with essence of Olathe Corn and Poblano Pepper Salsa. Sea scallops are the large meaty ones, we use dry-packed 10-12 per pound flown in from the Gulf. The sauce is puréed fresh corn with a touch of cream and spices. The sweetness of the corn is offset by the lime and pepper in the salsa, but not strong enough to overshadow the delicate scallops. I recommend a buttery California-style Chardonnay with this, Kendall Jackson is a great choice.

The cheese this week is Camembert from Mouco in Fort Collins. Camembert is a soft rind Cow's milk cheese, similar to Brie, originating in the Normandy region. It is creamy and slightly nutty in flavor, the wheels being smaller than Brie and thus having a greater exposure to the rind and the outside air. We are serving this one with grapes and French bread. This cheese is great with a light red wine like Beaujolais, a good ale like our house brew, or even a glass of sparkling cider.

At Dinner we have Seared North Atlantic Cod with Saffron and Shallot Butter, Steamed Broccolini and Sun-dried Tomato Mashed Potatoes. Saffron is a very powerful spice, which is lucky as it is also the most expensive in the world. Three saffron threads are found in each blossom of the Crocus flower and must be harvested by hand. it takes 150 flowers to produce 1 gram of this precious substance which gives not only a floral and buttery fragrance but a brilliant yellow hue. Saffron adulteration was punishable by death in the Middle Ages, as anything this valuable is bound to have counterfeits. Cod, on the other hand was once bountiful and very common. The pursuit of cod stocks far from land drove maritime exploration and innovation, and the fisheries provided industry and employment for at least a millennium in Europe and America until the industrialization of fishing techniques nearly wiped out the fisheries in the Atlantic. Most of our Cod now comes from Iceland and Norway and are fished much more carefully. I recommend this with a good Pinot Gris.

I read a great book about it recently, Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky. [find it here]. It's fascinating to learn how much of our history is based on this mild but firm-fleshed fish, and what we can do to help the species survive. I recommend this book with a glass of Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch. No water, two ice cubes.

Our Farmers' Market Olathe Corn from Colorado

We have Honey and Peach-Barbecued Ribs this week, the sauce is sweet and tangy, the ribs are St Louis-cut pork, slow-cooked then finished on the grill. Olathe Corn and Coleslaw accompany this one and I hope you have a Colorado beer of your choice to round out the summer.

Speaking of Honey, we are glazing Cornish Hens with it this week. Served with Pearl Onions Au Gratin and Hatch Chili Cornbread, we hope you will enjoy not having to choose between white and dark meat.

Stuffed Peppers

For a Vegetarian special, we have Stuffed Peppers in House Marinara Sauce. We use Impossible Meat, rice, and fresh herbs to stuff these, and if you are looking for a low-fat, plant-based entrée this is a good place to start.

Campanelle Pasta

Don‘t miss the Cajun-Spiced Chicken and Andouille Sausage tossed with Campanelle Pasta. This one has a creamy sauce seasoned with garden thyme, garlic, and cheese. Of course, we serve this with garlic bread, and don't forget to ask your server for fresh grated Reggiano cheese.

For Dinner specials, look for Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, House Crab Cakes, Baked Halibut, Ribeye Steaks, finishing on Saturday with Shellfish Fricassée.

At Lunch try the Beef Sliders with Caramelized Onions, Shrimp Scampi, Carved Pork Tenderloin, and of course Bacon-Wrapped Lobster Tails.

I want to thank everyone for attending last week's Sip and Savor, we enjoyed the heck out of the Colorado beers paired with great food. Speaking of beer we still have house Brews on tap, and we have a Doppelbock coming up in time for Angie's Oktoberfest spectacular.

Keep your Calendars open for our Alzheimer's Awareness walk on September 9th. We will be following with a great party on the lawn, enjoying cocktails and wine and generally having a wonderful time. I hope to see you all there.

As always please attend our Culinary Corner on Monday at 10 am in the Dad Clark bar for more menu discussion and Anna's pastries. See you then.

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