Welcome to another week! It finally feels like summer, hope everyone has plenty of cool beverages and sunscreen.
I want to thank everyone who attended the Sip and Savor event last Wednesday, it was a lot of fun. Special thanks once again to Angie, Bob, Lora and Hannah for making everything run so smoothly.
A couple of people after the event asked me for the menu so they could recall the wines so here it is (at left).
The most popular choices seemed to be the California Blanc de Blanc, and
the Shiraz which I really want to have available on the menu. And, not listed was the delicious Wild Mushroom and Herb Focaccia with Extra Virgin Olive Oil served at the end.
Hope you enjoy these pictures from the event and that you'll join us next time if you couldn't make it!
The Soup of the week is Vegetable Beef. Diced Chuck, Vegetables and herbs with a rich broth. Gluten-friendly.
The appetizer is Maryland Style Crab Cake. We use lump blue crabmeat, vegetables, lemon, mayonnaise and bread crumbs. These are sautéed in butter, crispy on the outside, tender inside. We are serving this with a purée of avocado, lemon and garlic, pickled melon on the side.
The cheese this week is Brie. Now we all know Brie, but let's talk about it for a minute. I find Brie cheese fascinating, it is much different in its native France than it is here. Brie is made by fermenting whole cow's milk. The mixture is poured into molds to drain, then salted and allowed to cure. A soft downy rind is formed of mold, which protects the cheese and adds flavor and aroma. Now in France and the EU, unpasteurized milk is used. This allows the cheese to fully develop, and as this is a living cheese, it has a full life cycle, from a mild and firm texture to a soft aromatic and slightly runny consistency that is heavenly. The Brie we are serving here is French, but for exports to the US and Australia, they use pasteurized milk which results in a much more stable product. Anyway we are serving this with caramelized onion jam, and crispy French bread.
At Dinner we are serving Baked Cod, with a sauce made from sun-dried tomatoes, , lemon juice and soy sauce with just a hint of garlic. Saffron-mashed cauliflower and simmered green beans round this one out. On the subject of green beans, if you have a strong preference, such as very soft or very crisp, just tell us. Everyone seems to have a favorite way of eating green beans, and the subject can be controversial.
We have Grilled Skirt Steak, brushed with brown butter and honey. Skirt steak is a great cut, known not for its tenderness but it's flavor. Before the 1980's this was a cheap cut of meat, not commonly used, but as Americans grew more accustomed to Latin American cooking, the popularity and the price of this cut exploded, and this once humble ingredient is now one of the most expensive.
I recommend this one no more than medium-rare, of course we will cook it to any temperature you desire, but I really think if you prefer your beef to be medium-well or more, then the Filet Mignon is a better choice. We are serving this one with roasted rutabagas and grilled pears.
We have Pan-Seared Duck Breast sliced thin, with a Thai Salsa. Duck has a lot of fat, but almost all of it is under the skin, not in the muscle as in Beef. This means that quick cooking methods like searing can dry out if the meat is cooked all the way. We like to serve the duck medium-rare to medium and sliced thin. We are serving Ginger and Five- Spice Butternut Squash and Rosemary Potato Purée with this.
We are serving Orecchiette pasta with Pesto and Sausage this week. Orecchiette means "Little Ears" and that is roughly the shape of this pasta which dates back to at least the 12th century. The shape allows the pasta to pair well with ingredients, and we top this one with roasted eggplant and Parmesan cheese.
As a Vegetarian Special we are serving a stew of Chickpeas and Spinach with tomatoes. This is seasoned with smoked paprika, one of my favorite go to spices when cooking any legume-- especially meatless ones as the smoky flavor substitutes nicely for bacon. This is topped with breadcrumbs and toasted almonds.
Nightly specials include a Lemongrass-Braised Short Rib, Carved Turkey Breast, Chicken Fricassee, Carved Lamb Chops, and Seafood Scampi. At Lunch look for a Yellowfin Tuna Burger, Tacos al Pastor, Baked Snapper and Prime Rib.
As always, we are meeting Monday morning at 10 am in the Dad Clark Bar for the Culinary Corner, where I can go into more detail about the menu or anything you would like.