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Culinary Corner week of March 13-18

Hello! Hope you are all having a great weekend. Thank you to everyone who attended the Rhone Blend Sip and Savor on Friday. we had a lot of fun, and tasted some pretty fantastic wines too.

On Thursday this week, come to the Social in the Dad Clark Bar.

We are having sushi rolls, pot stickers, and delicious seaweed salad.

I suspect that Lora has some Japanese whiskey stashed somewhere, if you are nice maybe she will break it out...

On Friday this week, we are introducing our first Steam Beer called "Workingman's Steam". Properly known as a California Common Beer, this is one of a very few beers that can truly claim an American Heritage.

After the Gold Rush in the mid 19th Century, a population boom in California had brewers working hard to satisfy a lot of very thirsty working class men. Steam Beer was a rough and ready brew, meant to be filling and cheap, and was in great demand. The beer was likely not as clear as our modern brews, and batches certainly varied in quality by establishment, but it did the trick and was probably safer than the water at the time.

Clean-tasting lagers were all the rage back east, but they need to be aged in ice houses, not easy to find in the San Francisco area in the 1860's. Using readily available grains (often just grits) and added sugar for boosted alcohol, the brewers tried the lager yeast anyway, fermenting the beer in open vats on rooftops so be cooled as much as possible by the chilly bay fog rolling in.

The Lager yeast fermented at Ale temperatures created a very distinct flavor profile, and the steam rising off of these open containers gave us the name Steam Beer as the breweries were wreathed in rich fragrant clouds at night. Some claim the name is actually the result of demand far outstripping the need to properly age the beer, kegs were sealed too soon ,and the high pressure from the not-quite- finished beer sealed in kegs made a loud hiss when tapped- not unlike a steam engine.

Shenanigans from last year's St. Patrick's Day cóisir

Jack London and Frank Norris included Steam Beer as part of their characters' California life, and the iconic brew is still around in a much more refined form, most notably by the Anchor Steam Brewing Company which has copyrighted the name "Steam Beer" so that the rest of us brewers have to use the more descriptive but less iconic label "California Common Beer".

21st Century Steam beer has only a loose connection to the historic brew, is rich in malt flavor, but with a stiff dose of hops and highly carbonated, it is one of the most flavorful recipes out there. Try ours at at Angie's awesome St Patrick's Day celebration.

The soup of the week is Pork and White Bean with Kale. This one could be a pretty hearty meal in itself, the weather is still kind of blustery so make sure you get a warm bowl of this in you before heading out to face the day.

The appetizer this week is Jumbo Coconut Crusted Shrimp, served with Dijon and orange sauce. This item has been recurring on our menus for a long time now, because everyone seems to like it. It's usually one very large shrimp, but if you would like two, go ahead and ask.

Sage Derby image courtesy of Bolton Farms

Try the cheese this week: Sage Derby with Barolo salami and French bread. Now a Derby cheese is very similar to a Cheddar in flavor, but before pressing the curds together they add a healthy amount of sage and parsley, which adds to the aroma as well as giving the final cheese a beautiful color of green and white. The salami is flavored with Barolo wine, and this whole dish would go great with a 90 Shilling Beer.


Our Broiled Walleye offered this week is served with a lemon-garlic sauce, wild rice and roasted mushrooms.

Walleye is a mildly-flavored freshwater fish, largely described as a Pike or Pickerel, the fish is actually the largest member of the Perch family and not a Pike at all.

I like using this fish for simple presentations like broiling or frying, the flesh is kind of delicate and doesn't hold up well to grilling. Try this dish with the white Rhone blend we tasted on Friday, I think it would be nice.

We have a Grilled Sirloin this week with a Green peppercorn sauce, au gratin potatoes, and roasted roma tomatoes. Now this dish is our take on Steak au Poivre- a classic French dish with a healthy amount of black peppercorns prepared tableside. We make ours with green peppercorns that are harvested unripe and are not quite as spicy. We still use a healthy amount of brandy but keep the flames in the kitchen. The Sirloin is so much more flavorful than the filet mignon, but of course, not as tender.

If you're not sure about it ask your server to give you the same dish but with a filet mignon, we would be happy to substitute. Try this with Syrah or Zinfandel.

Don't miss the Seared Duck Breast with blackberry sauce, green beans and truffle-mashed potatoes. As this is seared duck and not roasted, it will be served medium rare unless otherwise specified. Merlot is the best choice for this, I think. Ask Lora what is available.

As a Vegetarian option, I suggest the Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Cheese Roulades, served with carrot coulis, and garnished with crispy slivers of garlic. The carrot has orange juice and ginger blended in, and the whole dish is light and fresh for spring.

The pasta this week is Stir-Fried Beef Tenderloin and vegetables, served over rice noodles with a vegetable spring roll on the side. The sauce is made with soy, ginger, sesame, garlic, mirin and the rice noodles are gluten free. The best accompaniment to this would of course be a nice Gewürztraminer or even a Riesling. If Lora has any of that Greek Assyrtiko that might be nice too.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

As nightly specials, look for Blackened Catfish, Lasagna (with lots of marinara), Beef Burgundy, Fried Chicken, Pot Roast, and Carved Ribeye. Of course on Friday, we will be serving traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage, or Crispy Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar Aioli.

At Lunch this week, look for a good old fashioned Patty Melt, Barbecued Ribs, Lobster Crepes, Chicken Quesadilla, Salmon Wellington, and on Friday a Shepherd's pie.

Jesus will be doing Culinary Corner meeting this week, please don't hesitate to ask him the same questions you would me, I will see you all soon!

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