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Culinary Corner, Week of November 21-26

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

With the last few years of difficulties and loss, I am very grateful that we are able to come together with friends and loved ones for a shared meal and give thanks for what we have. As always, the day will be celebrated with a large buffet featuring carved Turkey, Ham, King Crab legs, and traditional accompaniments.

The takeout menu for the day will be mostly identical to the buffet menu with the exception of the crab legs.

The soup of the week is Tomato Basil. Just exactly as it sounds, a house-made tomato soup, heavy on the basil (and if I'm being honest a little heavy on the garlic too.)

The Appetizer is a Pan-Seared Sea Scallop with a prickly pear and pomegranate reduction and persimmon vinaigrette. Prickly pear is the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, which grows in warm and temperate regions across the country. The flavor is sort of like cranberry, but a bit more sour. Pomegranate is similar in flavor but softer and sweeter, which makes it a nice pairing with the prickly pear. Persimmons are a bit sweet and sour as well, we use the Fuyu variety which is less astringent than the American variety. If I were to recommend a wine for this one, it would probably be a Sauvignon Blanc-California is good, French is better, New Zealand being the best.

Cabra Al Vino image courtesy of Marky's Store []

The Cheese this week is Cabra al Vino, a Spanish Goat's milk cheese from Murcia. The Cheese is soaked in red wine for 72 hours before being aged for 3 to 5 months, which is why it is known colloquially as "the Drunken Goat". The wine adds to the flavor of the cheese, while aging softens the tangy flavor. This cheese would be perfect with a Spanish Rioja.

Vi Honey at our Summer Farmers' Market

At Dinner, we have Seared Trout with Pumpkin Honey Butter. This is not our own honey, as I only have about a gallon left and I know some of you are waiting patiently for more jars. I hear you all waiting patiently and I promise we will bottle them on Monday.

We have a Grilled New York Strip Steak , with chimichurri sauce, steamed broccolini, roasted fingerling potatoes. The steak is center-cut, about 8-10 ounces. Chimichurri sauce is a bit like a strongly-flavored pesto. Ours is made with parsley, garlic, cilantro, lime and olive oil, and it is really good for full-flavored cuts like this one. Broccolini is like a very long stemmed broccoli. It is actually a cross between Kale and broccoli, and it is delicious with just butter and salt.

Cherry Blossoms

Try the Grilled Pork Chop this week, with beet applesauce, carrot purée and fava beans. The pork we get from Lombardi's in Denver and it is Sakura pork. Sakura means Cherry blossom in Japanese, and it refers to the soft pink color of the meat. This is a cross between the Duroc and Berkshire breeds of pork, and I like it because the beautiful marbling cooks into a mouthwatering bite every time.

As a vegetarian option this week, we're offering grilled Portobello Mushrooms and Cheese on Rye Bread with Bean Sprouts and Avocado. This is served with a light pasta salad, and would be a great accompaniment to a glass of Pinot Noir.

Chef David

We have David's Famous Fresh Spaghetti tossed with smoked chicken, fresh basil, yellow tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a really nice French olive oil. You are probably wondering why David has so many famous dishes at his young age. All we know is that when someone's name is added to the menu, they get to prep all the ingredients for that dish and make sure it's top quality all week. As you are reading this David is probably laboriously making pasta with our hand-cranked machine and thanking the Chef for granting him this honor.

For Dinner Specials, look out for Crispy Catfish, Seafood Bouillabaisses, Filet Wellington, Pot Roast, and of course, Turkey à la King on Friday.

At Lunch we'll be offering Poached Salmon, Carved Pork Loin with Rosemary Gravy, Fried Chicken, Grilled Lobster Tail, Meatloaf, and of course, Open-Faced Turkey Sandwiches on Friday.

On Tuesday, please join us for our Sip and Savor event. We have settled on Bourbons, and I suspect that this one will be a lot of fun. Maker's mark 46, Angel's Envy, Elijah Craig, and Basil Hayden will be represented. If you don't like Bourbon come anyway.

Seriously, we have a lot of fun and it's a great way to meet your neighbors. Some people who attend don't even drink. I of course am on the clock and only pretend to taste, as I would never break any Vi rules.

As always, please join us Monday Morning at 10 am for the Culinary Corner meeting in the Dad Clark Bar. We will discuss this menu and others, the coffee is free and so are the pastries.

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