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Culinary Corner Week of May 16-20

Hello! Hope you all had a great week. For those who wanted to attend the Inaugural Brew last week we do apologize, the wind was simply too much on Thursday. We almost lost equipment, supplies and staff members trying to set up so we decided to put a pause on it. We will resume this week hopefully, and keep a closer watch on the weather. I guess all the advantages of brewing outside like fresh air, beautiful views, easy clean up need to be weighed against the disadvantages like wind, rain, sun, bees, locusts, hurricanes, etc. Anyway, we are still accepting suggestions for the name of our first beer, it will be a honey wheat beer with our own honey, and orange peels for flavor. I was thinking something like "Bee Sting Wheat" or "Kendall's Sunflower Ale", but I really want to hear what ideas residents want.

Anyway, the soup this week is Beef Chili. Nothing fancy, just good ground beef, tomatoes, spices and pinto beans. We will top this with sour cream and Cheddar unless you would prefer it plain. Not too spicy, and would probably make a good entrée if you were so inclined.

Mmmm. Beef.

The appetizer this week is Beef Tenderloin Skewer, seasoned and grilled, served with a bleu cheese cream. Here at Vi we go through a lot of Filet Mignon, and as this is the most expensive cut of beef out there, we hate to waste. We cut our own steaks, a medium sized Tenderloin will usually yield six or seven center cuts, and the tops and tails are just as good. we use these for appetizers like this one and occasionally for feeding the kitchen staff. The fatty and tough parts go into beef stock to make our Red Wine Sauce and even the rendered fat is seasoned with garlic and onions, to be brushed on the grill before cooking steaks.


The Cheese this week is Gruyère. Gruyère originally comes from Switzerland, and can be traced at least back to the 12th Century. The flavor is nutty and it is very aromatic. Think of this as a very fine Swiss cheese but without any holes. We're serving this with some crackers studded with sour cherries. This cheese would be really nice with a Spanish Brandy, if you ask Lora she could probably find some...

At Dinner we are serving Sautéed Tilapia over wilted Spinach and Cherry tomatoes drizzled with Lemon and Basil Vinaigrette. Tilapia is a freshwater fish originally from Africa but now found in tropical regions all over the world. The flesh is firm , but the flavor is mild and easily adaptable to many cooking methods.

Get ready for lots of garden fresh herbs

Speaking of Basil, we planted the gardens this week and are looking forward to a bumper crop of herbs. Anyone who would like to pick some is welcome to, just please wait until they are more mature, maybe late June or July. The Bees are so in love with the chive blossoms that I haven't had the heart to pick any.

We are serving Colorado Lamb Chops carved from the rack with honey and peach chutney. This will go with a chilled salad of white beans and roasted shallots, as well as a warm corn pudding. The corn we are getting right now is from Florida, and it's pretty nice. Not as good as Colorado Corn in August, but we will be patient.

Monsieur Le Empereur

We are serving Veal Strip Steaks à la Marengo. This is a version of a classic dish created for Napoleon after the battle of Marengo in 1800 where the French forces drove the Austrians out of Italy. After the Battle, Napoleon had left his food stores far behind but was famished. His chef found a few tomatoes, a chicken, some wine and garlic which he made into a simple stew. Napoleon declared that this dish was so fine that he wished to be feasted like this after every battle. Marengo became the food fashion of Paris for decades afterward, with adaptations into veal, beef and other foods. Basically this version is a Provençale sauce served over a grilled veal chop and we are serving this with asparagus and Berny potatoes--an apricot-shaped potato croquette with truffles.

The Vegetarian Special this week is called Pipian Verde Stew. This is an adaptation of a Oaxacan Mole sauce called "Pipian" made with tomatillos, spinach, and pumpkin seeds. this base is simmered with potatoes, green beans and zucchini to make a hearty plant-based stew that is still light and refreshing.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

As a pasta this week, we have Spaghetti and Meatballs. Yup. regular meatballs, classic spaghetti made with our house marinara sauce and served with garlic bread and shaved parmesan. Yum.

For weekly specials look for Herb-Crusted Trout, Pan-Seared Teriyaki Duck breast, Scallops Putanesca, Sam's Butter Chicken, and Beef Fajitas.

At Lunch we have French Dip Sandwich, Patty Melt, Carved Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze, Chicken Pot Pie, and classic Carved Meatloaf as specials.

As always, I look forward to seeing you all Monday for the Culinary Corner meeting at 10 am in the Dad Clark Bar.

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