I hope you all had a great week! Happy holidays if I haven't seen you in person. This week at the bar, we will be offering a flight of Sherries and Tapas. Sherry doesn't get enough respect in my opinion, I think we all picture some dusty bottle of sweet cream sherry in our grandmother's cupboard and shudder when we should be thinking of the beautiful Solera-aged libation that goes so well with food that it seems to have been born that way.
Sherry is always served with food, it really does need that accompaniment to be truly enjoyed. Spanish Sherry has too great a history to go into here, Fino Sherry is dry and mild in flavor-slightly acidic, but with an amazing aroma; Amontillado Sherry is more robust in flavor with hints of fruit but still dry and beautifully aromatic. Dry Sack is an older term for sherry, but today refers specifically to a blended sherry, slightly sweet. Cream Sherry contains no cream, it indicates a sweeter more dessert style that goes very well with cheese.
Order from the bar or your server, this menu will be six dollars.
The soup of the week is Three Onion with Croutons. Sweet onions, red onions, and leeks are slowly caramelized until they are a rich golden brown, then deglazed with sherry and simmered in beef broth until very tender. Croutons are added, this is very similar to a French Onion Soup, but without all the cheese.
The appetizer this week is what we call Midwest Meatballs. I have to confess, when this dish was first described to me, I was skeptical. Pork and beef meatballs are simmered in a mixture of grape jelly and chili sauce for several hours until tender and delicious. Trust me, it's very good. Several residents have told me that this was a staple of potlucks and church meals all through the fifties and sixties, and I have to admit they are delicious and a bit addictive. The name is the best we could come up with, I know it's always popular when we serve it so please enjoy.
As a cheese this week we have Sage Derby. Derby Cheese is English, and is similar to it's more famous cousin Cheddar, but is softer and milder. The cheese maker folds bruised sage and other herbs into the curds before pressing. The color is very striking, a sort of green and white marbling, and the herb flavor is more subtle than you might expect. We are serving this with apricot preserves and crackers.
At dinner try the Potato-Crusted Cod with teriyaki-ginger glaze. Rice noodles and Sesame snap peas.
We are having an old favorite, Brie-Crusted Filet Mignon with our signature red wine sauce, steamed fresh broccoli and creamy scalloped potatoes.
We have Pork Marsala this week, sliced pork loin, pounded and dredged in rice flour, then sauteed in butter. The sauce is made from mushrooms, Marsala wine and veal stock; we are serving it with green beans and mashed potatoes. A note on green beans; many people like them bright green and crisp, while others like them cooked fully and tender. If you have a preference, please let your server know. Sometimes individual tastes are easier to address than changing a whole menu.
For a vegetarian option, try the Impossible Cannelloni, with our house marinara and garlic bread.
We have Spaghetti tossed with Tasso Ham, Fava Beans, pesto, cream, garlic and topped with crispy potatoes. This one is hearty, and Tasso ham can be a little spicy so be careful. If you want any of these ingredients omitted, just ask.
For specials this week, look for Bacon-Wrapped Lobster Tail, Chicken Fricassée and Seafood Newburg. At Lunch, try the XVOO-Fried Soft Shell Crab, the Pan-Seared Sockeye Salmon, Fried Chicken, and Barbecued ribs.
Desserts this week are fun, with Banana Split Trifle, Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, and of course the pie this week is Cookies and Cream. Serious Yum right there.
On Monday night, if you are attending the Movie feature, enjoy a Nacho Bar, with beef, chicken, cheese, guacamole and salsa to load onto your fresh cooked nacho chips. Bob says he will provide free beer to anyone who asks, so don't be shy with those jalapenos...
I hope you all have a great week. As always, please join me Monday morning at 10 a.m. for the Culinary Corner in person where we will get more in depth into all of these and more.