Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu Testing

Ok, got the menu done. At least for now, and though I've had it done for several months I've changed the concept from daily specials to a daily changing menu.  My plan now is to have a set menu for the first month for training purposes, and then go to a daily menu based on what's fresh in the market.  I had to make some design changes to the menu to make it more readable and look good.  The best news is that my awesome brother got the wine list roughed out, so I've input his preliminary list into the menu.  I have to submit the menu and wine list as part of the ABC beer and wine application, which I hope to submit this week.  The hard part is I have to locate all residences within 100 ft and all schools, churches & parks within 600 ft.  Got to go down to the city planning department to get that info.  Everyday, lots to do!

Sorry ya'll, I'm holding back the menu until a little closer to opening.  I've got to keep your anticipation high.... but I have been recipe testing.  Seeing as most of my cooking is without a recipe (a little of this, pinch of that, splash & scoop) I have to transpose them into recipes and then multiple them out for production amounts.  Thank God Charles is home for the week, I've a guinea pig with a hollow leg!

So here's my recipe for Caesar dressing which is an old family favorite that actually came from back in the day before Star's, we used it at Santa Fe Bar & Grill and it probably came from Jeremiah Tower originally, or maybe Mark's days at Ernie's.  Mark always said the secret ingredient was a pinch of whole grain mustard.

1T fresh lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1 clove finally minced garlic
1/2 t whole grain mustard
4 anchovy filets finely minced
1 coddled egg yolk
whisk together until blended then slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of virgin olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify.  This should make enough dressing to cover a 3 pack of Romain Hearts and feed about 6 people.

Did you know Mussels are an extremely healthy food with a delicate taste?  They are high in protein & low in cholesterol & fat.

A 3 oz portion of cooked blue mussels contains 20g of protein and only 147 calories. It is rich in iron, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, zinc and vitamins C and B12.

Mussels are low in fat, containing 0.7g of saturated fat in a 3oz portion. They are, however an extremely rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent cardiovascular and heart disease, promotes healthy brain function, and a healthy body. Mussels contain higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids than any other shellfish.

Mussels with garlic, fennel & chilies 
enough for 2
1 1/2 lbs mussels
2 T butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 shallot
1 c thinly sliced fennel bulb
2 sprigs thyme
1 dried cayenne chili
1/2 c white wine
salt & pepper to taste
Clean mussels. Saute shallots, fennel & garlic in butter till translucent, add wine, herbs and mussels. Cover & give a shake. Steam for 2-5 minutes or just until mussels open.  Salt & pepper to taste and plate into bowls, pouring the broth over.  Best served with some great crusty french bread, but I think I serve it with pizza bread!

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