Hello! Welcome to the first week of summer! The corn is ripe, the strawberries are sweet and we are patiently awaiting word on Colorado cherries due to be available this week or next.
For those who have been asking, the bees are doing great. I checked the hives last week (we are up to seven), and tested for mites. The Varroa Mite is a big problem for bees and beekeepers. The species evolved as a parasite to a closely related bees species in Asia, but developed a taste for European honeybees sometime in the 1960's. This species has spread nearly worldwide, arriving in America around the late 1980's. These mites breed inside the developing egg chambers, so the bees emerge already carrying them and where they breed quickly throughout the hive. All domestic bees now carry some level of infection by this devastating parasite, but I am happy to say that having tested seven hives, I found only one mite which is wonderful news for our winged friends. Four of our colonies are already filling up honey boxes which bodes very well for our harvest this year as we still have most of the summer to get through.
The appetizer this week is a Chilled Soba Noodle Salad in a peanut and coconut dressing and lobster meat. This is seasoned with cilantro, ginger, mint, lime and will be a nice and refreshing summer treat. Soba noodles are used in Asian-style cooking, and are partially made with buckwheat flour, which gives a pleasant earthy undertone which will complement the peanut nicely.
The Cheese this week is Derby Sage, one of my favorites. We are serving it this week with apple butter and crackers.
At Dinner, we have Pan-Seared Grouper, with a ginger curry sauce, fresh peas and orzo pilaf. The sauce has coconut milk, lemongrass, lime juice and green curry paste. I think this one would be great with Riesling, tell Lora to break out the bottles she has stashed away in the wine closet. They are on the bottom shelf, on the left... Don't tell her I told you.
We have Carved Beef Tri Tip this week. Tri Tip is a great cut of meat, if you're from California's central coast, you are undoubtedly familiar with this one, also known as a Santa Maria steak or Triangle steak. The sirloin on a side of beef, ends in a point. If you are a butcher, this part was not worth the display space in your counter, as it looked different from all the nice steaks you cut. This is one of those cuts that was usually saved for ground beef or stew meat before the 1950's. Many different people and towns claim credit for popularizing this cut, and since there are only two tri cuts per animal, the price was already getting steep before beef prices went through the roof. The flavor is absolutely delicious, while the meat is quite lean. Sliced properly and topped with Horseradish Butter, this one will be my personal choice for dinner this week along with Au Gratin Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli. I recommend California Zinfandel wine with this one [once again Lora is hiding seven or eight bottles in her closet].
We have Chicken Picatta, this is pounded chicken breast, sautéed in butter and served with a lemon, wine and caper sauce and served with roasted Roma tomatoes and angel hair pasta. A classic and always popular, I recommend Sauvignon Blanc or maybe a Chardonnay.
Our Vegetarian Special is a Fried Rice with Broccoli and Kimchi, topped with Fried Quails' Eggs. Later this summer we will be experimenting with our own house Kimchee, but for now this is a pretty tasty option.
The Pasta this week is Saffron Tagliatelle tossed with Indian-spiced butter, pine nuts and grilled lamb medallions. The pasta is house-made by Samten, the lamb will be from the loin, and the dish will be very delicious.
For Dinner specials, look for Summer Shrimp and Corn Stew, Poached Salmon, Duck Confit Pasta, Bacon and Onion Quiche, Shrimp Putanesca, and finally Bacon wrapped Lobster Tails.
At Lunch, look for Fried Chicken, Rainbow Trout, Pepperoni Calzones, Lobster Salad, and Carved Beef Tenderloin
Sign up for our Tuesday Night Barbecues, they are growing in popularity and spots are going fast.
A special thanks to residents who have shared the bounty of their herb gardens with us this week. Our own garden is growing nicely, and residents are welcome to pick some if they need.
As always, I look forward to seeing you all at Culinary Corner in-person on Mondays at 10 am. Have a great week!