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Culinary Corner September 19-24

I want to make sure you all come and join us today at 12:30 for our Oktoberfest celebration. Angie has a stein-hoisting contest, pretzel-eating contest, face painting, lawn Jenga, corn hole, live music and a costume contest. We will be serving four different kinds of sausage, warm pretzels, apple fritters. Also, a Food Truck will be here!

Most importantly-- we will be introducing The Apiator-- our newest brewing collaboration. I tasted the beer on Friday, then I tasted it again. By the third taste, I decided that it was good enough for all of our residents to try so please come let me know what you think-the second one is always better than the first.

Italian Wedding Soup

The soup this week is Italian Wedding Soup. When I was a young cook, an older, more experienced cook told me that this particular dish was served at wedding receptions in Italy, because it was such a pain in the you know what to make all those tiny meatballs that they only served it for special occasions. Another, even older and even more experienced cook retorted that the reason this was served at weddings was that when the night would come, the nuptial couple would have enough….stamina for the evening's after-hours activity. Please keep in mind that I was about twenty and these "older, more experienced" people were probably twenty five... My response? "Wow! Um, can I help make the soup?". Ok. Settle down Chef... Like most culinary history, there are many different versions of the truth and this is no exception. What we have come to know and love as Italian Wedding Soup, is actually an ancient Neapolitan soup called minestra maritata, which translates to “married soup”, not wedding soup. It refers to the 'marriage' of bits of inexpensive meat and leafy greens which make up the main ingredients. Yeah, not as much fun. Probably a more realistic depiction of married life though. We make ours with ground pork, spinach, orzo, and lots of vegetables in a rich broth. What you do with this extra nutritional energy is up to you.

The Appetizer of the week is Warm Pistachio-Crusted Colorado Goats' Cheese served over baby arugula and sliced baguette. The arugula is really nice right now-- not too peppery-- and we dress it with a little extra virgin olive oil.

We are trying a new cheese this week. Toma is a farmstead cheese from the Alpine regions of Italy and Switzerland made with cow's milk.

Point Reyes Tomarashi is a new blend of Toma cheese flavored with Shichimi Togarashi, a traditional Japanese seasoning with hemp seeds, spices and chili flakes. Point Reyes cheeses are so much fun, I am really excited to try this one with you this week. We are serving it with sliced mango and crackers.

At Dinner this week look for Broiled Grouper with Pumpkin Coulis, creamy risotto and golden beets. The weather doesn't seem to want to make up its mind yet, but to us fall flavors are on the way.

Country-Fried Steak

We have David's Famous Country-Fried Steak this week, I say famous because no one else would use Filet Mignon to make country-fried steak, so we should get some notoriety at least. Inflationary pressures aside, beef tenderloin makes a really nice base for this down-home dish, we are serving it with country gravy, corn-on-the-cob and buttermilk-mashed potatoes

Speaking of down-home, we have a Pan-Fried Chicken Breast topped with Lemon Garlic Sauce. Serving this one with Crispy Belgian Endive, And Grilled Ciabatta bread.

For Vegetarians, be sure to try the Portobello Mushroom à la Française. The mushroom caps are battered in egg and then fried in butter, we serve this with a sauce made from lemon, white wine and garlic, as well as fresh Burrata cheese, sweet potato gnocchi, and roasted roma tomatoes.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Also available this week is our Shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo. The original dish was an extra-buttery version of an Italian standard, fettuccine al burro — fettuccine with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It was created in Rome in 1914 by Chef Alfredo di Lelio and served at his restaurant, Alfredo’s. Legend has it that in 1927, silent-film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks discovered this dish while honeymooning in Rome. Upon returning to Hollywood, they served it to friends; soon, fettuccine Alfredo was popular — but in a new, American guise-- since American butter and Parmesan cheese lacked the richness of their Italian counterparts, cream was added to the sauce to compensate. Our dish has lots of butter, and Parmesan cheese along with plump Gulf shrimp and a healthy dollop of garlic in the mix. Add a side of buttery garlic bread and we have a winner.

For nightly specials, we're offering Teriyaki Chicken, Vegetarian Lasagna, Pulled Pork, Salmon Wellington, Niçoise Salad and finishing Saturday night with Surf and Turf.

At Lunch this week, we have California Chicken Club, Grilled Ribeye Steak, Carved Turkey, Fish Tacos, Bison Tenderloin, and Smoked Pork Chops.

Update on the bees; Made a second harvest on Labor day, not as full as before. Once I spin the honey out we will know how much we will get. The bees seem pretty happy, there were two hives that I was worried about and the bees have left the hives-- presumably to join the other stronger hives which leaves us with five healthy beehives going into fall.

As always, please join me for the Culinary Corner on Mondays at 10 am for a more detailed discussion of the menu. come have fun with us!

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