America Eats Tasting Menu-October 6
We enjoyed a wonderful evening at America Eats and had a fantastic tasting menu. The History of America with the voice of renowned chef José Andrés. Below is our meal from start to finish. Just amazing!
HUSH PUPPIES WITH HOMEMADE CORN BUTTER
A Southern fisherman’s favorite, fried over an open fire with the leftovers to keep the dogs quiet. At some point, humans figured the corn cake was a perfect match with freshly caught fish.
GRILLED BUTTER OYSTERS
Thomas Downing, New York City, 1825. A Downing specialty beloved by the power-brokers, financiers and socialites who made his oyster cellar so successful: Smoky oysters on the half shell, touched by the flame that rises from a drop of butter and a bed of oak charcoal.
SHRIMP IN GRAPEFRUIT COCKTAIL
Irma Rombauer, Joy of Cooking, 1931. Rombauer was a St Louis widow who self-published The Joy of Cooking as she struggled to support her family. The book sold in the millions through the 20th century, with its simple, conversational recipes. This fresh salad, from Rombauer’s first edition, reflects the great journey of the American grapefruit. A century before the Joy of Cooking, they traveled from Barbados to Florida, and then – — with the help of Spanish missionaries – — to Texas, where the Ruby Red was born.
George Washington Carver, 1914. Carver published his peanut research to show how poor African-American farmers could prosper from an unpopular crop. Peanut butter quickly grew from a delicacy to a commercial success. We take crushed peanuts, peanut praline and mace to recreate something close to the recipe of Rufus Estes. Estes was born a slave but rose to become executive chef of the Pullman Railroad Car Company in Chicago.
FRIED CHICKEN WITH CATSUP
Gordonsville, Virginia, 1869. Deep-fried foods, first introduced by Spanish and Portugese slave-traders, are the living history that links the South and the Mediterranean. During the civil war, women sold fried chicken from trays balanced on their heads to soldiers along the C&O railroad in Gordonsville.
SHRIMP ‘N’ ANSON MILLS GRITS
Native Americans first taught the colonists to hull corn into hominy, creating one of the first truly American foods. Here we use creamy Anson Mills grits, carefully milled from rediscovered heirloom corn.
SHRIMP AND PORK JAMBALAYA
Sarah Josepha Hale, New Household Receipt-Book, 1853. The origins of jambalaya are as mixed as the dish, with its flavors from Africa, France, Spain and the Middle East. Mrs Hale, who is credited with making Thanksgiving a national holiday, published the first known recipe in 1853. In Provence, in the south of France, a jambalaia at that time was a mixed stew with rice. But in Louisiana it became something bigger in the original American melting pot
1700s. Originally called ‘‘paccans’’ by many Native American tribes, signifying all nuts requiring a stone to crack, pecans are one of the truly indigenous New World foods. The term pecan first appeared in print in the late 1700s, as a misspelling. The nut was favored by both George Washington, who planted pecan trees at Mount Vernon in 1775, and Thomas Jefferson, who cultivated the trees at his Monticello residence starting in 1779.
Update: since this posting America Eats is closed in the original location downtown. They are now opened in Tysons Corner, VA.