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Culinary Corner, week of May 1-6 2023

Hello! What a week that was. We had so much fun with the Sip and Savor, the Dork Dancing, The Social, and of course the Titanic Dinner on Friday night.

The Soup of the week is Tomato and Dill. Summer is steadily approaching, and as the weather warms up we start thinking of our fabulous herb garden and the fresh offerings we will be getting soon such as the dill and oregano we find in this soup. Speaking of the gardens, the herbs are starting to sprout. I took care last year to plant the mint in a container so it wouldn't escape and take over. If you take a look at the garden you will see that it did in fact escape, and now we will have as much mint as we can handle. The oregano and thyme are back, as well as some plucky cilantro that must have reseeded itself and the chives are not only growing but beginning to flower. Much thanks to Isabelle Stern for her help in reeling in some of the overgrowth, we will be planting basil and parsley soon as well as nasturtiums, calendula and of course dill.

The Appetizer of the week is a fresh Tomato and Basil Bruschetta drizzled with Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar. This one is always a favorite, good tomatoes are starting to arrive so we will be seeing this one a lot more soon too.

Queen Bee Porcini Cheddar [image courtesy of]

The Cheese this week is a Porcini Cheddar Called "Queen Bee" from Beehive

dairy in Utah. Check them out at . If you were at the Sip and Savor last week, you tasted this one with the Carmenere wine from Chile. This sharp Cheddar is aged in a rind of powdered porcini mushrooms which give added flavor and depth. If there's anything I love more than mushrooms it's a good cheese, so this one is my current favorite. To be honest though, they had me at "beehive".

Ask Lora if she has any of the Carmenere left for this cheese, or of course a famous house- brewed beer like the Chinook Amber....This one is pretty good, there's about a case and a half left. Up next will be a farmhouse/Saison style that I am looking forward to as well.

Arctic Char

At Dinner this week, look for Crispy Arctic Char with Avocado and Lime Sauce. Think of Arctic Char as somewhere between Trout and Salmon for culinary purposes. It has some of the richness of Salmon, but still leaner and more delicate in flavor. Ours is served with grilled asparagus and coconut basmati rice. This fish is listed as a "Best Choice for Sustainability" by the Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch. (If you haven't heard of this you should really check it out by clicking the hyperlink). As a Chef, I try to focus as much as possible on the sustainability of seafood and how it is harvested, in my lifetime I have seen a decline in the availability and quality of our seafood, and I want to make sure that the bounty of our seas is protected.

We have Grilled Lamb Loin Chops this week, with tomatillo mint sauce, roasted red peppers and quinoa. Now a loin chop is basically a T-bone steak but of course lambs are much smaller than cattle, and so are the steaks. If you have a hard time getting the meat from the nooks of the bone, feel free to pick it up with your hands and bite it right in the Dining Room. No one will judge you, and if they do what do we care at our age? The tomatillo sauce is sort of a sweet-sourand the mint is not yet from our garden. I recommend a Pinot Noir for this one, or if you are feeling bold there is still some Malbec that would complement this nicely.

Don't miss the Carved Turkey Breast this week, with pan gravy, roasted Brussels sprouts and butter-herb stuffing. Yes, I know that Turkey in Spring is not the most seasonal menu offering, but I bet it will taste delicious. Seriously, consider trying your turkey with a glass of Chardonnay, it really works well together.

We'll also offer Eggplant Parmesan this week, with house marinara sauce and pasta. This one is served with garlic bread, and it is our plant-forward option which makes it not only sustainable but delicious. try it with Chianti.

Another dish that would be great with Chianti is this week's pasta: a house-made Saffron spaghetti tossed with Gresh Basil, Olive oil, Tomatoes, Garlic and topped with Fresh Mozzarella. David is making the Pasta this weekend, so if you like it be sure to tell him.

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