Saturday, June 18, 2005

Acting Like a Real Chef

One of the reasons I so love the AJC Thursday Food Section is because of my favorite column, "From The Menu Of," in which the newspaper tracks down a restaurant recipe for a reader's favorite dish. I've pulled some of my most-used recipes from this column, including tonight's main dish: Fettucine Alfredo from Capo's in the Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta. I haven't ever eaten at that restaurant (though I have heard wonderful things about it), but fettucine alfredo is one of my favorite dishes for eating out, mostly because I've always been so intimidated by cooking it.

We used to have a restaurant here in Athens called Provino's and I ate there from time to time as a child. I think that is where I first had fettucine alfredo. The only way I ever had it at home was from either a frozen entree (argh!) or the one time I tried making it out the alfredo sauce you can buy by the jar. 'Twas the nastiest crap I've tasted yet.

The carnivorous husband, back when he still cooked, tried making an alfredo sauce for me a few times, but was never able to get the sauce to stick to the noodles. It inevitably turned out too watery.

Capo's Fettucine Alfredo
  • 12 oz fettucine (I prefer whole-wheat)
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Prepare fettucine noodles to al dente
  2. In a large skillet (I prefer cast-iron; I'm positive non-stick Teflon skillets will give you cancer even though most people would laugh at me for it), melt butter.
  3. On low heat (extremely low!), add one egg, whisking constantly to blend. Add the remaining egg, continuing to whisk constantly.
  4. Gradually, add cream, stirring constantly.
  5. When well-blended and warm, gradually add parmesan.
  6. Turn heat up just a little and stir until well-blended.
  7. Add the fettucine a little at a time and toss until well-coated.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

This dish doesn't take much time to cook, and it is very easy, as long as the LOWEST possible heat is used when adding the eggs. The first time I tried this, the heat was too high and the minute I put the eggs in, it started to look like egg-drop soup (yummy stuff, but not what I was going for). The dish still tasted great, but it wasn't all that pretty. It will taste fabulous AND look the same when eggs are added at the lowest possible temperature.

Tonight I served the fettucine with steamed broccoli & cauliflower (tossed with butter, parmesan, sea salt, and a lot of freshly ground black pepper ) and garlic toast (made with whole-wheat English muffins).

Above and beyond dinner though, the culinary highlight of today was that my superb mother got THREE cookbooks for me when she was at yard sales this morning: The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine, Italian Kitchen La Pastasciutta Pasta Dishes, and A Flavor of Tuscany. VERY excited to have new sources for recipes.

JOKE OF THE DAY (courtesy of Comedy Central):
Two blondes are on opposite sides of a lake. One blonde yells to the other, "How do you get to the other side?" "You are on the other side," the other blonde yells back.

No comments: