June Thursday Themes!

My wife Jenny and I had a splendid time on our vacation to south Florida and Grand Bahama, and, as promised, I intend to recreate some of the dinners we enjoyed. Regular readers of this missive know that I often speak of my love for the upper Great Lakes and the north woods; I have to admit I had forgotten, after ten or twelve years, how much I also enjoyed the trade winds and turquoise, warm waters of the tropics. We hope we can return again next year.

We'll begin the month with a Cuban dinner. I will slowly roast a brisket of beef in a marinade of citrus juices and warm island spices. Potatoes will be added, and, as I like to do in the summer, the entrée will be garnished with a small salad of arugula, tomato, and queso fresco. We'll fry up some codfish fritters for the first course, but, at this writing, Pastry Chef Pat Doherty and I haven't decided on the dessert.

June 8th, we will have a dinner from Key West. We'll offer a cold soup as the appetizer, a classic Vichyssoise embellished with fresh cucumber. Very refreshing on a summer evening! I am looking forward to the entrée, which is a saute of scallops as prepared by a chef down there. Pat will prepare, naturally, the Key Lime Pie for dessert. I can't say enough about how I appreciate Pat's friendship and contributions to Thursday Themes.

The third Thursday of June will take us to the Bahamas. We'll make the island style chowder, which includes tomatoes, and a little heat. I will be gentle with the heat; the two servings I tried to enjoy were good, but too spicy for me. The entrée will be Hill Family Farm leg quarters of chicken, marinated and roasted, and served in the traditional manner with 'peas & rice'. We'll have a coconut rum cake for dessert. The coconut rum was procured on the island!

June 22 is inspired by a dinner we had in Pompano Beach, Florida. An excellent scarlet snapper item that was served with a lemon beurre blanc sauce; I will garnish the fish with a nice pasta primavera. The chicken roti is a street food item ubiquitous in the West Indies, and I thought it a nice first course for this dinner. We'll make an excellent banana and toffee trifle for dessert.

We finish the month in Thursday Theme traditional fashion, with a menu inspired by the Independence Day celebrations. We all really enjoyed this dinner last year, so I present it again. The dinner will begin with another cold, refreshing soup, the Peach Melba soup. Fresh peaches, raspberries, and champagne! The entrée will be pork, slowly roasted and sliced, served open face with a savoury barbeque sauce on a slice of grilled focaccia from Rahn's Bakery. Pat will make his Red, White, and Blue Cheesecake for dessert. This one sold out last year!

Thanks so much for your interest and patronage, and I hope to see you at Christopher's! Enjoy the summer!

Summer Beers!

As fresh local ingredients become more abundant with the onset of early harvest season, we’ll be looking forward to delicious summer fare and are delighted to introduce some of our favorite beers for pairing. Summer brews are those that taste best cold and pair well with the picnic food we love.  

Bell’s Oberon is perhaps the quintessential example of summer wheat ale.  It’s refreshing and smooth drinking on it’s own or with a slice of citrus.  It’s a simple, four ingredient recipe, but imparts a subtle spice and fruit character attributable to Bell’s signature house yeast.

Founder’s PC Pils demonstrates an American twist on a classic German style pilsner.  Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops give this beer a decidedly new world piney and citrusy character with traditional pilsner malt and structure.

Fruit laden beers are also fun for summer and we’ve taken a shining to Shiner’s Strawberry Blonde, a blonde ale brewed with homegrown strawberries in Poteet, TX and only available during spring and early summer.