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Culinary Corner, week of July 10-15

Hello! Welcome to the second week of July. It has been a weird weather summer so far, I haven't had my sprinklers on at home for a full week yet but of course hot weather is on the way. We are really enjoying the summer produce-- the corn has been amazing!

Many of you have commented to me over the years that the takeout menus are too large, causing confusion, backups and disappointing results. A change is coming this week. In response to resident feedback, the entrée salads will only be available in the dining room. We get so many negative comments, and some people are simply so upset that I really feel this is not a great choice for takeout anymore. We may find a better alternative in the future, I am open to suggestions and ideas. Please see me if you would like clarification, and understand that we do respond to feedback.

Another upcoming change, we are scheduled to have the Sip and Savor on July the 25th, but it looks like the construction crews will be in there that day, and there's not another easy day to do it. We are going to skip this month, and in August we will focus on some great Colorado Proud libations and food.

The soup of the week is Black Bean with Ham. Black beans are a great source of proteins, fiber and vitamins, and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world dating back at least 7,000 years in Mesoamerica. Coincidentally this is the same time that the Chinese developed a method of curing pork with salt brine across the world and so it seems like Ham and Black beans were just made for each other.

The appetizer this week is a Sausage-Stuffed Mushroom served on our own marinara sauce. The stuffing is seasoned with sage and breadcrumbs, and the dish is served hot.

Our cheese this week is Dill Havarti, with apricot jam. Havarti comes to us from Denmark, where it was first produced in the 19th century. The texture is soft, and the flavor is buttery and mild. Fresh dill is added before pressing, giving it an interesting new element. This would be awesome with a good beer.

At Dinner, we are serving Sole Picatta, with broccolini and steamed potatoes. The type of sole we use is Pacific Dover which is confusing because there is another fish called Dover Sole found in the North Atlantic and which has no relation at all. Pacific Dover is a delicious fish, very mild and flaky making it perfect with the picatta sauce. my favorite part of the Pacific Dover is that it is sustainably-harvested, and is a highly-recommended fish for chefs concerned about the impact on fisheries. Try this with the Pinot Grigio.

Don't miss our Grilled Lamb Chops this week with fresh apricot chutney, green beans and Hasselback potatoes. We use New Zealand Lamb for this, which is grass-fed and smaller than domestic lamb. I have found that our residents prefer the smaller size but especially the leanness of the NZ lamb, and quite frankly it's less expensive to buy lamb from around the world than lamb raised in Greeley. Colorado lamb tends to be fattier, which can be good or bad depending on your preference. if you would like to see more local lamb, let me know-- I love the larger cuts myself and would be open to switching. Either way, this would be great with Zinfandel.

Pan-Seared Duck is also featured this week, with a sauce made from Port wine and Washington Cherries, and served with mashed cauliflower and buttered peas. The type of duck we use is called White Pekin, and usually comes form the Hudson Valley region, although I believe they do source it elsewhere when they need to. When duck is cooked-to-order like this, it's necessary to not only render the fat from the skin, but keep it more or less medium-rare. Duck is both fatty and lean at the same time, which is great for slow roasting but can be rubbery and hard when cooked quickly. You can have your duck cooked any temperature you like but if no preference is stated, expect to see some pink and for it to be thinly sliced. Great with Pinot Noir or, of course, Port wine of you prefer.

As a vegetarian option, look for a Portobello Mushroom, stuffed with chopped apples, breadcrumbs, and butter, This is baked golden-brown and served with a cider reduction and fried sage from our garden. Gewürztraminer would be a great choice here.

The pasta is Spaghetti and Meatballs, tried and true. one note; we do use pork in our meatballs, my apologies to those who don't eat it. We definitely serve garlic bread with it, the more garlic the better.

For nightly specials try the Baked Halibut or our Stuffed Shells; we also are offering Pork Schnitzel, Grilled Shrimp, Butter Chicken and Carved Beef Tri Tip. I am particularly looking forward to the Butternut Squash Raviolis and the Seared Scallop Appetizer.

At Lunch we have a Caprese Panini, Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Lobster Tail, Flank Steak, and Salmon Kababs.

Come to the Culinary Corner on Monday and hear more detail about the menus or anything else you would like to discuss, we meet at 10 am in the Dad Clark Bar!

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