Summer Wine Dinner
Friday, August 26, 2016
6:30 PM Isabela Room
The other day someone said I could
make ice cubes with left over wine.
I was confused….what’s left over wine?
Soft Shell Crab Tempura Rolls
Summer Shrimp Wrap
Nigiri Coconut ~ Cucumber ~ Sake To Me
Peju Sauvignon Blanc
Chilled Edamame Soup
Ginger Crème Fraiche
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier Blend
Tamarind & Soy Glazed Sable Fish
Braised Bok Choy * Shiitake Mushrooms
Stags Leap Wine Cellar Karia Chadonnay
Plum Sauce * Mandarin Crepes
Patz & Hall Sonoma Pinot Noir
Chocolate Kumquat Tart
Sandeman Ruby Port
$55.00 ++ = 70.50 per person
Reservations with Credit Card Required.
Everyone loves pineapple upside down cake. Now, add the drunken part and everyone LOVES pineapple upside down cake. Our Baker, Bianca Lugo, has that touch, that sense for when the batter is worked enough to rise light and airy instead of dense and thick. Chef Luke uses a special imported Bahamian Rum plus butter and caramel to produce a rich, buttery, creamy, alcoholic sauce that seeps into the cake. The pineapple and cherry are blistered and caramelized just before service adding new layers of taste. It’s an amazing treat. You deserve it. Add some vanilla bean ice cream!!
I kinda miss watermelon seeds. These seedless melons with bits of white seed which you don’t even need to pick out of the fruit are certainly a convenience but there was something to the hard, black seeds that makes me nostalgic for the ‘good ole days’. Everyone’s version of the good ole days is different, of course. I grew up in the late 60’s, early 70’s. It was a time of radical changes for many, many things…..and watermelon was one of those radical changes.
Watermelon was another seasonal fruit. Kids today don’t get that certain fruits were only available for certain days during the year. That, somehow, made them more special. The anticipation was exciting. In Louisiana, there were certain patches of ground well known for yielding up bountiful harvests of especially sweet watermelons. The place closest to my birthplace was called Sugartown. Appropriate. But, then folks in my area were not known for being imaginative. The big city was called Lake Charles, named after the lake around which it sat which was called Lake Charles. I lived west of the lake in a village called Westlake. So, naming a place known for sweet melons Sugartown does fall into the locals being masters of the obvious.
Watermelons were always put into an ice chest and covered with ice a day before the holiday so they’d be really cold. The adults never seemed to be in a hurry to slice the delicious treats up. And, heaven forbid, if they trusted any one under 20 with a big knife. When it did happen, it was a riot of color. Dark green rind with a strip of bright white, the deep red fruit with black spots of seeds in neat rows. It was fun eating watermelon with seeds. First, we were never allowed to eat watermelon inside a house and usually not on any porch or patio. Because, second, we never knew you could eat watermelon with a fork or spoon. Since, third, we just buried our faces into the melon and chewed till we had a mouthful. Which, fourth, sent juice and bits of melon flying in all directions especially down the front of our shirts (if you were a girl0 or bare chest (if you were a boy) or simply naked (if you were under 4 years of age.) So, we were put into the grass and then hosed off afterward before being allowed back where the adults habitated.
And with each mouthful, you learned to separate the seeds from the pulp and juice, accumulate a sufficient number of seeds before spitting them in a massive heave toward anyone who was near you. The more seeds you spit, the higher your worth was in the eyes of the cousins and neighbors gathered. Distance was a major factor. Accuracy counted. Quantity made a difference.
What we miss with year round seedless melons…..
Win Ritter, Food and Beverage Director, has gone wild! A Peach Maple Bourbon Whisky Infusion. OMG. Must be tasted to be believed.
Whisky is the ‘merican spelling. Whiskey in the poofy English spelling. We don’t need no damn ‘e’!
Whisky is a distilled spirit made from grain. Bourbon is whisky made from, at least, 51% corn. Straight whisky is whisky aged at least 2 years in new charred oak barrels.
And so, Maker’s Mark is Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky.
Now take that Gift From God and add real Vermont maple syrup and some Georgia peaches! Zippity Do Dah!!
Make an Old Fashioned using the Peach Maple Infusion and BABY, you’ve got a drink! Flavors in layers! Such a good cocktail.
Only at the Double Eagle Imperial Bar!!
Ginger beer is a wonderful non-alcoholic drink, like root beer. Not as cloyingly sweet, clearly more savory but just as delicious and refreshing! The tang of ginger shines thru with a touch of sweetness and the bubbly fizz of a standard soft drink.
But, let’s face it: root beer and liquor just never hit it off. It was a blind date turned, not bad as much as indifferent. Root beer pairings just never struck a spark like ginger beer, vodka and lime juice. That’s the traditional Moscow Mule. Everyone gets the connection of Moscow with vodka but how did a Carribean concoction of ginger beer and lime juice get to Russia? And, just who brought the Mule part? Who knows but everyone who tries one gets hooked. With spring weather warming, here are a few suggestions for other uses for ginger beer.
1.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz Cointreau or other premium orange liqueur
2 oz Cranberry Juice
2 oz Ginger Beer
over ice in a tall glass-garnish with lime
1.5 oz Vodka
.5 oz St Germain elderflower liqueur
4 oz Ginger Beer
over ice in a tall glass-garnish with cucumber
1.5 oz Gold Rum
.75 oz Grenadine
.75 oz Lime Juice
2-3 oz Ginger Beer
Shake rum, grenadine, juice and strain over ice into a martini glass,
slowly add ginger beer – garnish with lime
Double Eagle has a small bar and no real place to expand. All the other areas are productive and those 18″ thick adobe walls are kind of a holdback. So we need to make the best use of space available. So, that’s what Win Ritter, DE Beverage Manager, did. He pulled the wine bottle cooler back into one of two wine storage rooms and bought another cooler for beer keg storage. Then, convinced the General Manager to make the investment in a glycol cooling system for the beer lines AND European style beer dispenser towers. It did take some talking but he did it!
The result means there are between 5 and 7 beers always on tap. And, Win chose to NOT put domestics like Coors on tap but to let beer guys explore. One choice was offering micro brewery Left Hand’s Milk Stout. Stout beer infused with milk to soften the expected hard edge of overwhelming flavor profile and allow even beer guys inclined to lighter beers to enjoy the fruits of the darker domains.
The experiment, and that’s what it was, has proven itself successful. Customers are sipping suds like never before! And, enjoying the experience!
Crispy Fish Tacos with a sprightly jalapeno cream sauce and roasted corn salsa wrapped in a soft flour tortilla is perfect for celebrating Spring’s arrival. Crispity Alaskan Cod fillets offer a delightful crunch which yields to tender, steaming white fish flaky enough to satisfy even those who “don’t like fish”.
I’m not sure why Spring and Crispy Fish Tacos go together in my mind but they do. And, if I like it, everyone else should , too. Right?
I know shredded cabbage is a popular ingredient but the sweetness of the corn kernels brought to a peak by roasting and caramelizing the internal sugars really does send my taste buds soaring.
The sweetness of the corn posed against the zip of the jalapeno cream and the crunch of the fish. Heaven! And, don’t be afraid to ask for more jalapeno cream! Damn tourists…..have to baby proof stuff because Minnesotans think black pepper is an exotic spice. Let your chile flag fly, baby!
Popular since we added it to the Peppers Lunch menu, the Soup and Sandwich Combo for $9.95 is perfect amount of lunch without over indulging. Yesterday, I had to eat the Chicken Machismo Sandwich. Had to. Need to make sure consistency is there. Is kitchen putting out the same sandwich in the same way they did 2 weeks ago? Anyway, it’s always a calorie=palooza. I mean fried chicken breast, bacon, green chile AND chile on queso on a butter grilled brioche bun. Totally and amazingly DELISH! Great for ‘on occasion induglence’. I tried to stop half way thru the chicken but, chatting away at lunch, I kept finding myself slicing off just another bit of chicken, chile and bacon then sliding it through the queso and popping it in my mouth. Only when it hit my taste buds did I realize what I was doing. Well, by then, I had to chew and swallow. Could not spit it out, could I? That would have been rude!
Ended up eating all the chicken, all the chile, all the bacon, all the queso. I did manage to walk away from most of the amazing butter grilled brioche bun….most of it…..
Avoid the temptation and order the Soup and Sandwich Combo – available ONLY at lunch. different soup daily or choose the Posole for an extra buck. choice of three great half sandwiches. Wonderful stuff. Call ahead to find out what the Soup of the Day will be…
Colossal shrimp – I mean big shrimp, really big – are back on Peppers Café and Double Eagle Restaurant menus. One order gets you two shrimp – two – and those who have tried it swear it’s amazing. Great for sharing – one shrimp is easily plenty for one person as appetizer. And, the flavor! These mini-lobsters offer a sweetness that is palate pleasing.
Now, for Las Cruces, they ain’t cheap – 2 for 16.95 or 3 for 24.95 but I go back to the flavor and size – people, even in Las Cruces, perceive value! It does cost more to go first class but, baby, it’s worth it.