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Culinary Corner, Week of November 14-19

Hello! Hope your weekend is going well. pretty quiet week coming up, but of course Thanksgiving is coming soon.

The soup of the week is Senate Bean Soup. Basically this is a Navy Beans, Ham, and Potatoes. Very rich, hearty and delicious, especially in the chilly weather. Senator Dubois from Idaho (D) is credited with passing a resolution in 1904 that the soup be always available to the U.S. Senate, but of course some sources credit Senator Knute (R) from Minnesota for this resolution reminding us that disputed facts have been a part of our government for some time. Modern versions of this soup do not contain potatoes, but ours still does. I guess the current senator from Idaho doesn't have as much influence on the recipe as Senator Dubois.

The Appetizer of the week is Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with marinara sauce. We season pork sausage with sage and garlic, add bread crumbs and fill large mushroom caps with it before baking. Our Marinara sauce is simple but delicious, and keeps everything moist.

Image courtesy of Tipperary Irish Cheddar

The cheese of the week is Tipperary Irish Cheddar. This cheese is sharp and crumbly, aged one year before packaging. We are serving this with apples and crackers, I suggest a rich ale like 90 Shilling with this one.

At Dinner, I suggest the Broiled Halibut, served with a coconut curry sauce. Fresh halibut season is drawing to a close soon, so I thought we would get this delicious fish on the menu at least once more-although to be fair, halibut is one of those fish that does freeze well. This one goes with steamed cabbage and quinoa Pilaf. Tell Lora you want some Gewürztraminer to go with this, she probably has a couple of bottles stashed.

We have David's Famous Country-Fried Steak this week. Why is it famous? Because rather than using cube steak we use beef tenderloin. Why is it David's? because David gets to cut and pound all the steak this weekend to prepare for the upcoming week so he gets the credit. We are serving this with a creamy gravy, buttermilk-mashed potatoes and buttered corn.


Chicken Confit is on the menu this week! Now confit was an early French method of cooking and preserving meats. The legs, usually duck or goose (but chicken works too), are salted overnight to draw off excess moisture. The salt is washed off, and the meat is layered with onions, garlic, herbs and fat. The whole thing is cooked at very low heat until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. When serving, the leg is pulled out of the fat, and placed under a broiler until the skin is crispy and delicious. In the past, chefs used goose or duck fat, but now we usually use olive oil. This dish is served with almond-mashed potatoes, and tomato-asparagus ragout. The sauce is lemon beurre blanc. This may not be the heart healthiest item on the menu, but I, myself, will probably have it at least twice. I recommend a Pinot Noir for this one.

As a Vegetarian dish, we have Tofu and Vegetable Stir fry, served over rice noodles. The sauce is made from soy, ginger, garlic, sesame and mirin, and the whole dish is gluten-friendly.

The week's pasta is Cajun Chicken and Sausage in a cream tossed with penne pasta. The chicken is boneless breast, seasoned with blackening seasoning and the sausage is Andouille. This would go great with a California Chardonnay, like Kendall Jackson.

For Dinner specials, look for Broiled Scallops, Bison Burgers, Beef Short Ribs, Roast Duck, Lobster Ravioli, and Dijon-Crusted Rack of Lamb.

At Lunch, look for Honey-Garlic Salmon, Buffalo Flank Steak, Beef Tacos, and of course, Prime Rib.

I hope to see you all Monday Morning at Culinary Corner, have a great week!

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