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Culinary Corner Week of April 4- April 9

Hi Everyone! Welcome to a new week and new month. As this is the first week of the second quarter, we have some changes to the Always Available menus, and some fun seasonal items.

a Beautiful Lion's Mane Mushroom from Hazel Dell

At dinner, the salads have changed a bit, we are introducing a Spring Salad, with baby lettuces, shaved asparagus, fennel, baby carrots, and tomatoes. The whole thing will be tossed with a house made cucumber-mint vinaigrette. By the way, if you want any salad tossed with the dressing, you just have to ask. On takeouts we don't recommend this.

We have a Chopped Chef's Salad as well, with finely chopped iceberg, bacon, Gorgonzola, egg, avocado and tomatoes with your choice of dressing.

The cheese plate this week is Port Wine Cheddar, we are making some house made crackers to go with this, and serving with dried figs and almonds.

The appetizer of the week is a Lump Crab Cake with avocado purée and pickled melon. Basically a Maryland-style crab cake with lots and lots of lump crab.

The soup of the week is a Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup. Miso is a flavorful soy paste and the wild mushrooms are oyster, shiitake, lion's mane, cremini and portobello. This is seasoned with ginger, and a touch of truffle oil. Very delicious.

We have Orange Roughy on the menu this week. Orange Roughy is a mildly-flavored flaky white fish mainly harvested near New Zealand. We are serving it broiled with a brown butter sauce, mashed cauliflower, and stewed okra with bacon.

We are serving Carved Lamb Chops with Apricot Chutney. The chutney is composed of dried apricots stewed in sugar and vinegar, then liberally seasoned with spices. Roasted root vegetables and Hasselback Potatoes are served alongside. Hasselback is a baked potato that has been sliced several times about halfway down and slathered with garlic butter before baking.

Cape Gooseberries

We have a beautiful Grilled Pork Chop this week. We use Sakura Pork which is Japanese for Cherry Blossom. Even though these come from Iowa, the meat is pink before cooking, and has more flavor and marbling than the more common Duroc hog. We make a honey-lemon sauce, and serve with fresh Cape gooseberries, steamed caulini, and quinoa pilaf. Cape gooseberries are different from true Gooseberries, a native to Peru, they were cultivated for centuries before Europeans planted them in South Africa in the early 19th Century where they got their European name. The flavor is sweet and tart, with a very faint aroma of tomatillos- a close relative. Caulini is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli, having the delicate flavor and color of cauliflower, with the shape and beauty of broccoli.

For a Vegetarian Option we have Ratatouille Stew- chunky Eggplant, squash, tomatoes, onions and garlic in a rich sauce.

The pasta special is a Cajun Chicken and Andouille Sausage ragout served over penne with garlic bread. As I discussed in Culinary Corner last week, you could request shredded Parmesan over Shaved Parmesan if you prefer, we just really love the way it looks on the plate.

Prickly Pear

On the always available entrées, we have changes some of the sides and sauces, notably the Salmon now has Chef Jesus' Grand Marnier and Prickly Pear Reduction. Please Don't tell Bob, but I'll be stealing his Grand Marnier for a few months.

The Entrée Salad is changing to mixed greens, with crispy tortilla strips, roasted spring corn, sweet peppers, and avocados.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

For Dinner Specials this week look for Lasagna, Lobster Risotto, Pignolia-Crusted Chicken, as well as a Thursday special of Roasted Lion's Mane Mushrooms from Hazel Dell Farms in Ft Collins (I love these guys...). Lions manes have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, but are now very popular in Western medicine and cuisine, as they are not only delicious, but are being researched for their potential as a boost for cognitive function, and a potential weapon against dementia. exciting stuff! The flavor is very mild, so we are serving this with caramelized onions and bacon in a garlic cream sauce.

At Lunch, we have decided to keep the Lobster Tail on the menu, so please enjoy it. We are reintroducing the Daily Cook's Special in addition to the Daily Chef's Special. For those of you who are new, this is a verbal, dining room-only special that is created-not by the chef but by the cook working lunch that day. they are allowed to use whatever ingredients they want and are encouraged to be creative. Ths not only gives us more variety (I have been creating the menus for 14 years...), but allows the cooks to express themselves and show off their skills. I can tell you that some of the best food I have ever eaten is the food that these guys make for themselves out of leftovers and scraps, I am excited to see what this will bring.

Elote (Mexican-style corn)

For Chef's lunch specials, look for Colorado Hemp Burger- a vegetarian locally-produced burger patty. Hemp seed is very nutritious and is a complete protein much like quinoa. We also have a Savory Rice Pudding with Grilled Chicken, Asparagus and Fresh Basil- the cook made this for me last week, and it was the highlight of my own lunches. We also have Denver Ribs for the first time in a while, these are Lamb Ribs glazed with a mango barbecue sauce and served with David's Famous Elote Mexican Corn.


Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Ok, one more thing. Available at the bar, we are offering a Flight of Single Malt Scotches paired with foods to enhance them. Single Malt scotch just so happens to be my favorite style of whiskey, and I have tried to vary it a bit to give a representation of the Lowlands, the Highlands, and the Islands. This will not be a regular menu item, and will have a cost associated. Depending on the popularity, we will be offering these flights regularly with a variety of selections of wine, spirits and beers.

As always, please join me for a deeper discussion of food, beverage, and all things that are good every Monday at 10 am in the Dad Clark Bar.

Until then!

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