Thursday, July 1, 2010

Beer Hopping!

First, an update.  I know I haven't blogged in awhile, but summer is here and my schedule is all over the place.  So, I won't be cooking a dish every weekend that I can blog about nor will I be doing a Thursday Thirteen every week.  I'll do what I can, when I can.  Just check back when you can!  Until then, have a wonderful, fun-filled, adventurous and safe summer!  Now, on with the Beer Hopping!

I happened upon a beer pairing dinner being held at our local Whole Foods and thought it would be something my husband would enjoy attending for our anniversary.  I'm not a beer drinker (I really don't drink much at all.  It gets in the way of my workouts.) but my hubby likes Samuel Adams beer and this was the beer they were featuring.  Plus, the menu looked divine.

There were 15 people in attendance.  We were seated in the tapas area of Whole Foods, which is somewhat enclosed so that shoppers weren't gawking at us while we were there.  Below are pictures of the meal taken with my cellphone, so the quality is so-so.  I've also listed the beer paired with each course along with its link (you'll have to verify your age before it brings you to the linked page).  My thoughts on each course and beer are also included.

First Course
Salad of Fresh Peaches, Laura Chenel Goat Cheese, 365 Pine Nut and Mixed Greens with Citrus Vinaigrette.  Paired with Samuel Adams Imperial White.

I love salad so I liked this even before I tasted it.  The beer was light with a hint of citrus which paired well with the salad.  The goat cheese cut any acidity in the dressing and the peaches brought out the fruitiness of the beer.  We were off to a great start here.  This was my favorite beer.

Second Course
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese made with Emmi Gruyere, Wisconsin 3 Year Cheddar, and Imported Asiago with Buttered Breadcrumb Crust.  Paired with Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA.
Okay, I'll admit before I made reservations for this dinner it was this particular dish that caught my eye.  I have mac and cheese maybe once a year, usually on Easter for some reason, but drool began to pool in my mouth when I read the first five words of this meal description.  This dish was melt-in-your-mouth succulent good.  So good, in fact, that when we were done with the first portion they offered a second helping because everyone raved about it.  I offered to take the tray home!

The beer was a bit too strong for me, but went really well with the mac and cheese.  But then again, I was too enamored with the dish to pay any real attention to the beer.

Main Course
Blackened Filet of Beef, Roasted Shallots, Mashed Potatoes with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herb Cheese, Corn Souffle and Stout Butter.  Paired with Samuel Adams Cream Stout.

First the beer.  At this point, being a light-weight when it comes to alcohol, my cheeks feel numb and "chipmunk like" and my eyes are just a bit glazed over!  Ha!  But the beer is pretty tasty.  It went down smooth and was excellent with this dish.  The filet was done perfectly and the corn souffle was a delightful surprise.  I may make it for Thanksgiving!

Whole Foods Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes with Cherry Compote.  Paired with Samuel Adams Cherry Wine.

If you look at the picture you can tell that I've probably had enough beer.  I think I had the equivalent of two bottles.  Too much for me!  I took a couple of bites from the cheesecake before I realized that I forgot to take the picture.  Still, it was tasty and just the right portion after all the previous courses.  You could smell the cherries in the beer, but oddly couldn't really taste it.  Otherwise it would be like cherry flavored cough medicine.  Sort of.  This was my second favorite out of all four.

I know it wasn't a typical anniverary dinner in an intimate candlelit restaurant, but that's not my style.  My husband said that the fact that I thought of him, that I thought it was something he would like and wanted to enjoy it with him but gave no regard to the fact it was in the middle of a market is the true romance of it all.  He said it was his epiphany.

I say this was my favorite anniversary dinner.


R#4 said...

LOL... when it got to the chocolate cheesecake part... before I even read your description... I said, "Oh shoot. She's totally tipsy." :]

That mac and cheese looks crackin'. Add that to the list of foods I'm gonna have you and Ed make when I'm there. :) Yum. Mac and Cheese.

Welcome to 10x desserts! said...

Oh drool. Mac n cheese is one of my favorites. Now I'm gonna have to find out how to make pulled pork to go with it. I'm hungry now, thanks to your delish post ;)