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Culinary corner, week of January 16-21

At this Thursday's "The Social" come enjoy a Baked Potato Bar. Yup, just what it sounds like, start with a piping-hot baked potato and top it with whatever you like-- smoked Gouda, flavored butters, crispy bacon, chives, scallions, and more.

Try the new beer this week! The ginger beer needed another week or two in the bottle, so we present an Irish Red Ale called Irish Goodbye. Very light in body, malty flavor, low bitterness, this one goes down easy.

The soup of the week is Ham with Leeks and Couscous. Couscous is a pasta that looks a lot like a grain, as it is so small. This dish will be broth-based, a bit salty and smoky from the cured ham.

The appetizer this week is Warm Pistachio-Crusted Goat's cheese, served over baby arugula, with toast points, and pickled Peruvian peppers. These small, sweet peppers are grown in the highlands of Peru, and look like little yellow or orange teardrops. When pickled, they have a sweet and sour flavor, and are not spicy. The sweetness should be a nice contrast to the tanginess of the goat's cheese and the peppery arugula.

The Cheese is one of my favorites; a triple-crème Brie called St André. Triple-crème means just what it sounds like, the cream is much richer when making the cheese, raising the fat content to "almost butter". This is a great choice to have with a glass of un-oaked Chardonnay, a nice prosecco, or even a pinot noir. We are serving this with caramelized onions and crusty French bread.

At Dinner, we are serving Grilled Tuna Steak, topped with a tamarind-chipotle glaze. Tamarind is a very sour and aromatic tropical fruit, and the chipotle will give an extra smoky and spicy dimension to it. This is served over a chilled salad of sesame rice noodles, edamame beans, julienned snow peas, and topped with crispy plantains. Try this one with a nice Riesling or even a Sauvignon Blanc.

We have a grilled Prime Sirloin steak. Now sirloin is much more flavorful than tenderloin, but not nearly as tender. We got the best sirloin we could find for this one, so it will be moist and delicious. If you are someone who likes their beef well-done, this one might not be the best choice for you though. This goes with a nice wild mushroom sauce, butter and herb tossed turnips, and Brie macaroni and cheese. I seriously recommend this dish with a cabernet sauvignon, or even better: a zinfandel.

We have a Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast topped with a tomatillo and avocado purée, this goes over house-roasted peppers, black beans and rice. Try this with our delicious house brew-- Irish Goodbye, you won't be disappointed.

For a vegetarian option, don't miss the Quinoa Cake, drizzled with maple and soy glaze, served over creamy peanut slaw, and shiitake mushrooms simmered in ginger butter. The cake is much like a crab cake, only with quinoa instead of crabmeat. It's sensational with a chardonnay.

The Pasta this week is Linguini tossed with Clams (and wine, butter, garlic, lemon and herbs). There will be plenty of clams in the mix, and we are serving garlic bread on the side.

For dinner specials, look for Shrimp Fajitas, Shepherd's Pie, Pork Chops, Biscuits and Gravy, Seared Sea Bass, Alligator Newburg, Calves Liver and Carved Ribeye.

At Lunch, we offer Teriyaki Salmon Skewers, Chicken Tacos, Scallops, Fried Chicken, Carved Turkey Breast, and Fried Walleye.

I will be away this week, so please Join Jesus on Monday for the Culinary Corner. I may be the boss, but he is the man that gets things done around here and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

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