Alinea, Ambrosia and The Hot Brown

We are starting our journey through the “1000 foods to eat before you die” book and our first stop is going to be right in the American/Canadian region and the top two to begin with was the restaurant Alinea named one of the best molecular gastronomy restaurants located in Chicago. Chef Grant Achatz is the man behind this top restaurant which offers up food that looks both delicious and funky fun.

This is one of those places I would visit for a very special occasion and of course have the money saved up for the bill (smile). They do have a cookbook out and I hadn’t plan on getting it but I think I will just have to add it to my collection this coming pay period. Since I don’t know when or if I will ever get to Chicago to try this little place first hand, I did send an email to see if they would do a Triple D kind of special and overnight me a meal, so we shall see what they say.

Next up in this journey was a dish called Ambrosia which came about in the 1800’s and it was said to be what the Ancient Greek gods ate for immortality. The original recipe only called for navel oranges, coconut, and sugar. It was not like it has evolved into this crazy concoction of oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, whip cream or even mayonnaise, “ugh”. 

I finally found a recipe that was as close to the original that I found from one of my cookbooks I have on hand, “The Gone With the Wind cookbook” as well as the e-book “Dixie Cookery”. I did make a minor change on my part because I couldn’t find fresh coconut or sherry flavoring, so I used real sherry and canned coconut, which meant no need for sugar. 

For our Saturday date night meal we made the Hot Brown Sandwich, made famous in 1920 at the Brown Hotel by Chef Fred Schmidt, who was looking for something different to serve the guests for the dinner dance. This was a nice filling sandwich and pretty easy to make, so we both liked this one and we will be making this one again.

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