Friday, August 28, 2009

Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo

Recipe #2:

I'm done with the soup thing for a while. One can only eat pea soup so many times in a row before deciding not to make another soup recipe next. I realized earlier today that I've accidently left my pea soup lunch in the fridge at work. Another time, I would leave it for the weekend and eat it on Monday, but I'm trying to turn over a new foodie leaf to silence my food poisoning critics so I'll retrieve it by tomorrow.

You'll be happy to know that today's ingredients were mostly fresh with the exception of the frozen chicken breast I added on a whim at the end. "Fresh ingredients?!", you say. Yep. SO not me...

I also modified the recipe very slightly by using whole wheat fettuccine which, by the way, does not seem to be the most popular type of pasta in the aisle. There are plenty of choices of spaghetti, macaroni, linguine, and virtually all the other types of pasta but, like me, if you're looking for fettuccine, you might get two choices. No idea why this is but at least I got a free reusable bag with my groceries.

Back to the house, discover moronic troll woman who lives downstairs has once again failed to comprehend how to park properly on HER side of the driveway. Pull car 2/3 up driveway so that I can open my door to get out. I'd go tell her to move her damn car but I just don't care right now and she's a piece of work to deal with. Lug crap upstairs, try to recall where I stashed the recipe, unpack what I'll need and stare at dirty pot from pea soup that I want to use for this recipe. Pot doesn't march over to the sink and wash itself as hoped for. Manhandle pot into sink, mutter curses at inanimate objects, realize I'm missing the iPod effect, dig said electronic device out of bottom of purse, ahhhhh that's better. "March of the Toreadors" from Carmen does have a soothing quality to it, doesn't it?

I'm almost ashamed to admit it (don't laugh, k?), but my pasta pot is an old camping pot that I filched from the camping cupboard at my parents house years ago. It's big, lightweight, and I'll know if you stole it because it's distinct. Put the water on to boil, begin to make sauce.

I've had this dish before so I vaguely know what to expect. I have to credit Sandra for making me this once and I loved it so when I came across the recipe one day, I decided I too could do this dish. With hindsight, I should have had Sandra's half-Italian genes to make it better but I'm out of luck with that one.

Luckily for me, I remember that when I'm making creamy stuff that has dairy and flour in it, I'm not supposed to turn the burner on high and walk away. I have to say, it's SO hard not to do that with everything. Cooking would be so much easier if you could just dump it in a pot, turn it to HI, and come back in 15 minutes to find your dinner ready. None of this "gently stir", "add gradually", "slowly come to a boil" crap that requires the cook to babysit the stove. I'm going to have to bring my laptop into the kitchen with me next time or I'll go nuts from stirring while staring at something that does not yet look like the picture on the website.

I got the sauce to the part where it's supposed to be cooked for two minutes until it comes to a boil and thickens. Yeah well, mine EVENTUALLY came to a boil when I kept increasing the burner heat level but it never really thickened enough to where I wanted it to be. Doesn't mean I was doing it wrong, just that it didn't match what my brain wanted it to look like. I cooked it at a bit of a boil for a while, stirring constantly as instructed, then eventually gave up and dumped it on a cold burner and put the lid on. There! Thicken yourself, stupid sauce.

Pasta finally ready, drain and get free facial. Add sauce to pasta, hmmm maybe those extra 40 grams of pasta really do make a difference.... there's an awful lot of noodles in here compared to the amount of sauce. Crap. Oh well, too late now and I'm not about to "whip up" some extra sauce to make it more plentiful. Please! I can barely talk on the phone and stir stuff without something going AWOL. I'll just have to like it as is.

Check email, remember that the chicken is partially thawed in the microwave partly through reply to friend's email. Finish thawing chicken, cut carefully and add to pot to cook. Back to email, notice sizzling sounds partway through replying to cousin. Oi! Damn bird. Nothing burnt, just a little stuck to the bottom. All is well and a good soak in hot water will get that off the pot. Add measly amount of chicken to huge mound of barely-coated pasta, stare at lunch creation while briefly considering how much a medium pizza costs to have delivered.

In the end, I'm eating it and it's edible. It doesn't look as much like the picture as I wanted it to, but it's food and I made it myself so I'm stuck with it. Carmen took some of my pea soup last night (no response on it yet), maybe I can convince her she should eat this pasta too?

Notes for next time I make this:
1) When it says 300g of pasta and you're a novice, DON'T add the extra 40g because you were too lazy to buy the right package at the store. You'll end up with tons of noodles and not much sauce unless you're smarter than me and can figure out how to adjust your sauce measurements to yield more. Good luck.
2) Add more than 1 chicken breast if you're going to the bother of cooking it. One chicken breast will look pitiful and lost in the heaps of fettuccine.
3) Don't attempt to grind pepper into the 1/8 tsp measuring spoon. Just grind it into the pot directly and guess at how much you're putting in. Otherwise, you'll end up with pepper everywhere and not much in the measuring spoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment