So it definitely feels like February out there, lots of snow and getting colder. I was hoping that if we put a few tropical-sounding items on the menu last week, that it would lead to warmer weather but of course it didn't work. Or maybe we just need to look for a more accurate weather predictor than groundhogs. It's ok, spring will be here soon no matter how hard winter tries to hang on.
The soup this week is Chicken Tortilla, a good cold weather soup. This is roasted chicken in a base of tomatoes and peppers, thickened with corn tortillas which also add a distinctive taste.
Not too spicy, gluten-friendly [e.g. made with no gluten ingredients].
As an appetizer, try the Coconut Crusted Shrimp with orange sauce. The shrimp are U/12 meaning that they are an average of under 12 shrimp per pound (pretty big!).
They are crusted in shredded coconut and bread crumbs, then deep-fried and crispy. The sauce is made from orange marmalade with sweet chili sauce, lime and soy. [This dish is not gluten- free.]
The Cheese this week is Stilton, one of my favorites. Stilton is a very flavorful bleu cheese from England, that pairs well with the 5 year old Malmsey Madeira that we used at the chocolate tasting. Seriously, try these two things together, and we have some dried figs that will round it out nicely.
At dinner we have Fresh Halibut topped with fresh dill and lemon butter, then wrapped in filo pastry and baked. Filo is the very thin pastry used in baklava and spanakopitas, which crisp up nicely without being too heavy. This is served over Feta Cheese Mashed Potatoes, and asparagus sautéed in olive oil and garlic.
If you like Bison, you are in luck. We will be braising Short ribs -one of my favorite cuts. After the ribs are tender, we strain off the cooking liquid, remove the fat, and then reduce it with Marsala wine to make a rich and flavorful sauce. Bison tastes similar to beef, but with a richer flavor and less fat. This dish goes with baby carrots, and mashed redskin potatoes.
If you prefer beef, we still have you covered. Grilled Tri-Tip sirloin is on the menu with our own house-made Worcestershire sauce. The sauce has tamarind, honey, garlic, beer and lots of flavor. We are serving Brussels sprouts roasted with grain mustard, and we have twice-baked potatoes made with Brie cheese to round out the plate. Tri-tip is a great cut of meat that used to be the one that butchers kept for themselves, but nowadays word is out on this triangle-shaped steak and prices have gone way up.
For a Vegetarian special, we have Flautas-Corn tortillas stuffed with corn and green chiles, topped with refried black beans, fresh cheese (house-made), and served with chopped lettuce, salsa, and guacamole.
The Pasta this week is another of my favorites: Shrimp Puttanesca served over Samten's fresh pasta and house-made focaccia bread. We might as well get it out of the way.... The name is a sexual innuendo referring to a not- very- nice name for the famous courtesans of Naples. Some say that these ladies were so busy that they needed a dish that was easily thrown together with common ingredients around the house. Others say that the rich aroma of garlic, pepper, and anchovies would be enough to attract hungry customers from the street. Still another theory is that the ingredients are all so aromatic that the name actually refers to spicy, salty and sweet smelling women themselves. I really couldn't say. My one rule in cooking is to never let the truth get in the way of a good story, so I won't attempt to dispel any of these theories. I myself love the sauce made with lots of garlic, tomatoes, capers and olives. Shave some aged Reggiano cheese over it and I am in heaven. Check out this video we made a couple of years ago. I definitely needed a haircut... and a diet.
For Specials this week, look for Poached Salmon, Bacon Wrapped Quail, Pistachio Crusted Steelhead Trout, Sausage Lasagna, and my famous Menudo.
At Lunch we have a Turkey Burger topped with Boursin cheese, fresh sprouts and lingonberry sauce. Lingonberries are used in European cuisine a lot and taste similar to cranberries in my opinion. This is served on a whole wheat bun with Sweet Potato Fries.
We have a Grilled Ribeye Steak served with a creamy red wine reduction, roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes. Speaking of Beef, there is also a sliced Beef Tenderloin served on a Ciabatta bun with sweet pickled red onions and roasted garlic aioli to try. This goes with our house-made potato chips, let us know your preference for temperature.
On Tuesday I am doing a cooking demo with another of my favorite things-Honey. I hope you can attend, I am looking forward to it. As always don't forget to join me for the Culinary Corner in the Dad Clark Bar on Mondays at 10 am.