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Culinary Corner, September 12-17th

Hello! Thank you to all who attended the Alzheimer's Awareness event last Friday. We had a great time, the weather was perfect, and it was all for a great cause. We all want to help find a cure for this debilitating condition, and the staff and residents of Vi rose to the occasion once again.

Please save room on your Calendar next Sunday for the Oktoberfest Celebration, Angie has some great music and lots of fun. For food and beverage, we will offer bratwurst, pretzels, sausages, desserts and of course we will have lots of beer-. We will be introducing our house-made Doppelbock.

Doppelbock style originated in the Bavarian capital city of Munich, Germany. Benedictine monks of the order of Saint Francis of Paola began brewing in Munich in 1634 with permission from the Duke of Bavaria, initially only for their use. But by 1780 they were also selling their brews as extra strong beer under the name of Salvator (Latin for “Savior”) to the public. Also known as “liquid bread,” this beer once helped the monks through the long fasting days of Lent, and was called the Salvator ("the Savior")for this reason.

Strong beer called bock (“Billy goat”) had been brewed in Munich since 1612, so the monks called theirs dopplebock (“two Billy goats”). It was later a custom to offer a mug of this strong beer to the duke of Bavaria, toasting in Latin: “Salve, pater patriae! Bibes, princeps optimae!” (“Greetings to you, father of our country! Drink, best of all noblemen!”). Paulaner Brauerei München' Salvator is still brewed today and most Doppelbocks brewed today pay homage to this history by ending their names in "-ator". Far be it from me to ignore tradition and so I have named our version "The Apiator" in honor of our house Apiary (beehives). I hope you like it...

Beef Tenderloin Skewer, Gorgonzola Cream

OK. so the Soup of the week will be Tortilla Chicken, with corn tortillas, chicken, peppers, tomatoes and herbs. The Cheese this week is a French Double Cream Brie called Brie d' Amir that we are serving with Crusty French bread and Grapes. Brie in all forms will always be my favorite, and this one is known for its earthy, almost mushroom-like aroma and rich creamy texture. I recommend a dry sparkling wine with this. The Appetizer of the Week is Grilled Beef Tenderloin, marinated in garlic, oil, and herbs, and served with a gorgonzola cream.

We use a lot of Beef tenderloin...

As you know, we serve a LOT of Filet Mignon, here at Vi. By cutting our own steaks we save money on this most expensive primal cut, and we make sure we use as much as possible. The off cuts, tips and tails of the tenderloins go to specials like this, the gristle and cartilage fortify our sauces, and we even render the fat, simmering it with garlic, onions, fresh herbs and spices to brush on our steaks as they cook. I recommend Cabernet Sauvignon, or even red Zinfandel with this.

At Dinner, look for Sautéed Haddock with Bearnaise sauce, jasmine rice pilaf, and roasted cauliflower. Haddock is a member of the Cod family and is often substituted as such when possible. Very young haddocks are sometimes marketed in New England as Scrod, a name applied to many similar looking saltwater fish when marketing to non New Englanders who know that no such fish exists.

Tri Tip

We have Sesame and Ginger-Rubbed Tri Tip Sirloin this week. Tri Tip is one of those cuts that butchers used to keep for themselves before the word got out and demand soared in the last 25 years or so. I recommend this one medium or less, as it is fully-flavored but lean. Served with green beans (tell us how you like them..), and butternut squash purée. This would be great with Pinot Noir.

Try the Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with a warm Mango and Tomato Marmalade, fondant potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Fondant potatoes, also called pommes de terre fondantes, are cut into cylinders, then pan-fried on both sides, then roasted in the oven in a stock and butter sauce. The result is a flavorful potato that is crispy and brown on the outside, but creamy and tender on the inside. Ask Lora if she has any more of that Oregon Riesling from last month, this would be a perfect pairing.

Cauliflower Steak

For a Vegetarian Special, we have Pecan-Crusted Cauliflower Steak with a sauce made from oranges and pomegranates, sautéed baby kale, and fava beans. Fava beans are just like lima beans but taste much better.

Finally we are offering House-Made Spaghetti with Brandy and Pesto Cream. Also inside is Tasso ham, fresh basil, tomatoes and pine nuts. Tasso ham is actually made from the pork shoulder, and is highly-spiced while curing. If you are sensitive to spicy foods, just ask the server to leave the ham off, this dish would still be great.

For specials at dinner, look for Beef Bourgignon, Coconut Shrimp, Blackened Salmon, Lobster Rolls, and Carved Beef Tenderloin. On Friday we will be having a Mexican- themed buffet. Both of my Sous Chefs are not only talented chefs in their own right, but hail from Mexico. I know when to stay out of the way and let them roll.

At Lunch, we will offer French Dip Sandwich, Grilled Salmon, Moroccan Lamb Stew, Crab Stuffed Lobster Tail, and Carved Ham. Yum.

I hope to see you all tomorrow at 10 am for the Culinary Corner meeting in the Dad Clark Bar. We drink coffee, enjoy pastries and talk about food, not a bad Monday if you ask me.


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