Author Topic: Alinea (at home)  (Read 2085 times)

Offline biskuit

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Alinea (at home)
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:49:10 PM »
the Alinea cookbook is flat out gorgeous, and flat out ridiculous as a home cookbook. i've been wanting to tackle a few dishes, despite not having the desire to order some "Ultratex 3" or soy lecithin (I already had some agar agar sitting around though!). on this particular night, i took on four recipes - 1 exactly per instructions, 1 significantly dumbed down technology wise but still spot on flavor/ingredient wise, 1 significantly dumbed down in all respects, and 1 close but no cigar due to the lack of soy lecithin.

this is the one that was spot on flavor-wise but lacking the whiz-bang factor of "grape sponge" filled with almond milk - i replace the grape sponge with... grapes! still did the almond milk below it, and managed to approximate an "anti-griddle" with a frozen piece of armetale (serving tray) to help create Maytag bleu powder.did the port gelee as instructed, oh, and added toasted pine nuts to the celery seed salt (i think this was a surprisingly inspired move actually!). this turned out phenomenally well, the texture of the bleu cheese powder, the punch of the almond milk (puree really), the crisp celery, the crunchy walnuts tossed in grape reduction. wow. and with a 89 Chateau Soucherie Couteaux du Layon, heavenly.

next course, exactly per instructions - "salad" granita with red vinegar granita, drizzled with olive oil. WAY too strong at first, though as it melted and blended together it did get better. very bitter, very acidic, in your face. and a wine killer too. but kinda cool nonetheless.

really really reduced the complexity of this one, but it was still fabulous. no sous vide. no ultratex 3. dropped the sauces from about 8 to 3. otherwise great. lamb, yogurt garlic sauce (made that one up), mint puree (hacked that one together), and pomegranate syrup. the braised mustard seeds are a nice touch. served this with the same 04 Clarendon Hills grenache that Alinea paired with this dish when we ate there - I'm really not one for over the top Aussie wines, but this was really nice - it has a crazy raspberry liqueur quality to it, but it works.

ok, this was fun to make, basically turning popcorn into a warm soup topped with warm caramel. no lecithin meant the caramel was liquid rather than frothy (i actually tried frothing some milk and mixing it in, but the caramel basically flattened it). very interesting. delicious, and ingenious, if not quite a knock out dessert.

i don't see myself tackling this book again, i much prefer the french laundry cookbook as a home challenge, but it is definitely an interesting book to inspire ideas.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Alinea (at home)
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 06:25:03 AM »
Great looking stuff!

Offline bettylouski

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Re: Alinea (at home)
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 06:53:43 AM »
WOW - very impressive!

Offline AndyBoy

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Re: Alinea (at home)
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 07:00:29 AM »
Beautiful food and it looks delicious.

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Alinea (at home)
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 07:46:08 AM »
Beautiful.  I would never have the patience to do that sort of thing.

I couldn't resist looking up "Ultratex 3."  Aha.  Modified food starch from tapioca--a thickener.


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