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Culinary Corner Week of December 19-24

Hello! the Holidays are upon us! I'm sure that like me you got all your shopping and decorating done months ago and are calm and tranquil this season as you contemplate the mysteries of sugarplums and tinsel. My deepest apologies to all of you for my absence last week, I was down with the dreaded virus and needed to recover. Feeling much better now, thank you to all who were concerned. Speaking of which, please wear your masks. I know, it's a pain, but it does help.

The Highlander

The Sip and Savor will resume again in January-we will be exploring wines of the Piedmont region of Italy. I'm looking forward to it, we already have the wine, we just need the time.

Speaking of libations, we have a house-brewed Stout at the bar called The Highlander. I tasted it last week, (it's my job...), it is very rich, dark and pretty darn good. A good brew for a winter's day , supplies are limited so ask Lora or Bob for a glass. The name is one I picked, it's based on the name of our town-Highlands Ranch, but really it's one of my favorite movies -The Highlander (1986), about a Scottish warrior who discovers that he is somehow immortal and must battle for final domination with other immortals. My favorite part about the movie is that Sean Connery plays a Spaniard, but doesn't even attempt the accent. Just uses his regular Scottish brogue. That's what happens when you are Sean Connery, the audience just agrees that you are Spanish and accepts it. I want that kind of status.

We finally started bottling our beers instead of using a keg, it takes a couple of weeks longer but it makes it more convenient to serve and I found that I really enjoy designing the labels. We have another Christmas Ale coming out this week called Scrooge's Ale, made with just a hint of mulling spice. The labels haven't arrived yet but the beer is ready so if I don't get the labels soon we will just start pouring it as well. Our beers are made in batches of about five gallons which equals about two cases of bottles. When it's gone, it's gone-- so drink up.

Coming Soon will be an English Bitter, a hard ginger beer, followed by an Irish Red Ale sometime in mid-January. I've been putting away meads with the last of the honey as well, We will probably start serving them in the spring as they take a lot longer than beer to finish.

Ok. So the Soup of the week is Chicken Noodle. with Cold and Flu Season in full force, it seems like a good choice. Our soup is simple, chicken, vegetables, noodles in a rich broth.

The Appetizer this week is a traditional Latke topped with Ginger Applesauce and Sour Cream. Our latkes are made with shredded potato and onion, a bit of Dill, Matzo meal and egg.

Image courtesy of Laura Chenel

The Cheese this week is a Goat's Cheese marinated in olive oil and herbs. It is a domestic cheese from Laura Chenel (my favorite non Colorado Cheese maker), reminiscent of a French Goat's cheese called Cabecou, but much fresher and tangier. This cheese is soft, creamy and tangy, while the olive oil and herbs make the aroma irresistible. We are serving it with Beet Chutney and French Bread, please try it. Try this with Sauvignon Blanc-you won't be disappointed.

At Dinner, look for the Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs braised in red wine,with aromatic vegetables until it is fork tender. We're serving this with Buttered Corn and Saffron Potatoes. I seriously recommend the house Highlander Stout or a good Ale with this one.

Pan-Seared Wahoo with Caviar Hollandaise is here this week, Wahoo is a delicious fish that doesn't get enough respect. Also known as Ono, this fast, predatory, ocean fish has firm flesh similar to Mahi Mahi, but is a more sustainable option as they mature and reproduce much more quickly. Similar in appearance to to Mackerel, Wahoo steaks have none of the strong flavor, and are lighter in color. We are serving this with roasted carrots and potatoes. a good Chardonnay would work with this, particularly the Kendall Jackson as the buttery flavor would stand up to the sauce.

Roasted Duck

Roasted Duck is on the menu this week, with a Marsala and cherry sauce that will be a bit sweet and tart at the same time. We have roasted beets with this one, and stuffing studded with black truffles. Try a Pinot Noir here, preferably from Oregon or Washington.

Monterrey Jack Cheese-Stuffed Chili Rellenos are here as a vegetarian option. A relleno is a Poblano or Anaheim pepper that is roasted, peeled, and stuffed with cheese before being battered and fried. This is served with Corn Salad and Crispy Avocadoes, and honestly I think the best pairing with this might be a nice Prosecco. The crispy texture and salty cheese goes great with the acidity and carbonation of the sparkling wine. Try it.

For pasta we have Veal Bolognese-Stuffed Shells basically a rich sauce of braised Veal, tomatoes, wine and a touch of cream at the end stuffed inside pasta shells and topped with cheese. This goes with garlic toast and if you order a Chianti you will be pleasantly surprised.

For specials, look for Grilled Lobster, Swordfish, Tri Tip Beef, Cacciatorre, Pork Picatta, and Stir-Fried Tofu with Vegetables.

At Lunch, look for Scallops, Tacos, Grilled Salmon, Mushroom Swiss Burgers, and Grilled New York strip among others.

So Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, we will be having buffets on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, look for carved Lamb chops, Salmon, and Turkey. On Christmas Day, we are serving Prime Rib, Ham and Chilean Sea Bass along with more traditional brunch items like an Omelet Station and Waffles.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week. Come and join me at the Culinary Corner tomorrow at 10 am for more menu details

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