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Culinary Corner, week of November 7

So-- my apologies to the brew crew, I realized very quickly that standing outside for 3-4 hours in November is not really as appealing as it seemed in April when we started. I will reschedule for next week, and we may have to find room indoors. More to come!

Chicken Noodle Soup

The soup of the week is Chicken Noodle. Perfect for this weather, warm, filling, lots of chicken, noodles, vegetables. Yum.

The appetizer of the week is Coconut-Crusted Fried Shrimp. The shrimp are U-12s. When chefs order shrimp and scallops, there is a size associated with them so that they know what they are ordering, Simply asking for "Jumbo Shrimp" can lead to a lot of misunderstandings as of course size is relative and Jumbo is just Dumbo's mom in the Disney cartoon. So when I order shrimp I might specify 25- 30 or 16-20, or U 12. What this means is that by the pound, this is how many shrimp there will be. U12 means that there will be less than 12 shrimp per pound, so they are fairly large. These shrimp are served with a glaze made from orange marmalade and Dijon mustard.

Moody Blue Cheese (image courtesy of Fromagination)

The cheese this week is one of my all time favorites. Moody Bleu Cheese is a smoked cheese from Wisconsin, made from cow's milk and it goes with almost everything. We are serving it with warm grilled flatbread and dried pears, but if you want a real treat, try it with some honey and single malt scotch. I happen to know that Lora keeps a bottle of Glenfiddich hidden from Bob. Don't tell Bob please and definitely don't tell Lora it was me who told you. An angry redhead is the last thing I need in my life!

At Dinner, we have Orange Roughy Veracruz Style. Veracruz is a sauce made from tomatoes, capers, olives, and oregano, originating from the Veracruz region on the Gulf of Mexico. The sauce is most famously served with snapper in its home state, where snapper is plentiful (and presumably cheap). All I can tell you is that in Colorado, snapper is not cheap. Not at all. Orange Roughy is not cheap either-- but is more affordable and in this case is a perfectly acceptable substitute. The flesh is mild and very flaky, if you don't like fish much you might still like this one. We are serving it with Yukon Gold potatoes and green beans.

Please try the Grilled Ribeye Steak this week. Now this is certified Angus beef, cut by

in Denver; that's a higher standard than most restaurants can serve and we're pretty darn proud of that. Our steak gets bleu cheese butter, gallete potatoes, and steamed asparagus. Don't miss this week's Grilled Chicken Breast topped with Crisp Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese. Pretty straightforward, the chicken is brushed with garlic and olive oil before grilling and we have green chili-mashed potatoes with this one and crispy fried avocados on top.

Cutting some Basil in the garden.

The Vegetarian Special is Spinach and Ricotta cheese Cannelloni with Yellow Tomato Sauce. Much thanks by the way to Isabelle Stern for picking the very last of our tomatoes from the garden. Jesus will use some of these in the sauce, it's always nice to know where our food comes from! We are topping this with a pesto cream sauce and basil fava beans.

We are serving spaghetti and meatballs this week (no curveballs here: just regular meatballs made with beef and pork) served with house-made marinara sauce and garlic bread. Don't forget to ask your server for hand-grated cheese at the table.

For dinner specials we have a really fun one on Monday: Vi at Aventura's own Chef Mark Dawson has sent us his recipe for Bahamian Shrimp Salad, with mangoes, lime juice and what sounds like a bit of heat... I, for one, am looking forward to it.

On cold days like this I do miss the warm Caribbean breezes, hammock on the beach, a splash of rum...

Anyway we also have Seafood Cioppino, Pistachio-Crusted Trout, Duck Tacos, Korean-Barbecued Ribs, and finally Surf and Turf on Saturday.

At Lunch we have Chili-Glazed Salmon, Carved Beef Tenderloin, Shrimp Stir-Fry, Grilled Ham Steak, Chicken Livers, Chili Relleños and of course, by request, we have New England Lobster Rolls.

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