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. 

20200812_170151The recipe I used came out pretty good and  the only difficult part was getting those orange sections to come out so nice and pretty and yep a lot of them didn’t come out pretty but it did make a great dessert for my next recipe which was not a part of the book collection but a sandwich that the boyfriend wanted to try. 

6 Navel oranges
1 can of Grated Coconut (drained)
2 tablespoon Sherry

Peel or cut the outside removing all
the white pith on the orange.
Cut out each section of the orange
Alternate a layer of orange and coconut
Once finish, sprinkle with the sherry.
Place in refrigerator to chill

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 each to make, so we both liked this one and we will be making this one again.

The only change I made to this recipe was the type of bread I used because we couldn’t find Texas Toast at the store, but we found a nice hearty white by Pepperidge Farm that worked out really well for this sandwich. The only part that I didn’t understand was the addition of the slices of bacon, maybe it was the saltiness factor or to give it a little pop, but I can do the sandwich with or without the bacon.


Hot Brown Sandwich

1/2 stick Pure Butter Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of Flour 8 slices of thick Roasted Turkey
1 cup Heavy Cream 4 slices of thick White Bread
1 cup Whole Milk 4 slices of cooked Bacon
1/2 cup shredded Romano Cheese 2 Roma Tomatoes cut in half
Pinch of Nutmeg Paprika & Parsley

Mornay Sauce
In medium pot, create a roux by melting the butter and whisking in the flour.
Let this cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Whisk in the heavy cream and milk, and continue to cook over medium heat
for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
Add the nutmeg (1 teaspoon), salt and pepper to taste.

For the Sandwich
Place two slices of bread with the crusts cut off in a baking pan. Cut the
remaining 2 slices into triangles.
On the full slice place 4 slices of turkey on each.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place both the tomatoes and toast points
at the base of the sandwich.
Pour half the sauce completely over the dish, sprinkle more cheese over top.
Place pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, once the cheese
melts put under broiler to get the cheese nice and brown and bubbly.
Once done, cross two slices of the bacon over each sandwich.
Sprinkle with paprika and parsley, serve immediately.

I was really impressed with my sauce I made and wondering what else can I use that nice rich sauce on.  I think sandwich should have made it into the the book (smile).

Stay tuned for next weeks food that we will discover and make as we continue our journey through our 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die book.








About Princess

Hitting the big Five O, and time to do something new in my life!
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