Last week was the sort of week you think to yourself: Why didn’t I just stay in bed this morning? After midterms kicked me around and College Avenue was sent to press I needed a break so I decided to cook on Sunday instead of my usual Wednesday.
Turns out this is a much more relaxing solution and I can make foods I normally wouldn’t have time for during the week like fettuccini alfredo. This creamy, decadent meal takes a little extra effort because I hand-grate all of my cheese. The rest of the meal comes together in minutes but the alfredo takes some attention.
On my weekly trip to the grocery store I brought Jeremy with me for some company. We picked up fresh Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses from the refrigerated section in front of the deli and sliced chicken breast from the meat department. Heading south we picked up green onions and broccoli from the produce section. To my surprise I didn’t have to buy bagged broccoli this week – the crowns, though selection was limited, looked pretty good. We also picked up fettuccini noodles from the “pasta” aisle and heavy cream from the dairy section.
I pulled out my pasta pot, a sauce pot, and saut/ pan and started cutting everything into bite-sized pieces for my mis en place – that literally means everything in it’s place in French. This extremely organized way of cooking actually will reduce stress, a theme this week, even when cooking a more complicated recipe.
With my water boiling, I started browning my chicken in a little olive oil. At the same time I melted my butter and added cream and garlic for my sauce. Once the chicken was brown I added the broccoli and green onions, put a lid on the saut/ pan and left it alone, off the heat, until everything else was ready.
Once my butter, cream and garlic mixture was simmering I tossed my fettuccini in my pasta pot and started adding my cheeses to the sauce pan. Adding the cheese gradually incorporating in between portions will help keep the alfredo creamy.
Just as a point of interest this is where I saw an interesting variation to the standard Parmesan-Mozzarella Alfredo. Some people recommend substituting cream cheese for mozzarella to create an even creamier sauce. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds both tasty and logical.
I drained my pasta after cooking it to the bag’s specifications and then combined everything in my pasta pot. Be sure to keep the pot on the stove set at low heat so that the sauce stays creamy and the meal stays warm for seconds.
Everything came together when Hailey showed up with a loaf of bread that we brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with cheese and tossed in the oven to toast for a bit. Great food and good conversation ensued as we enjoyed our afternoon of gluttony only to be finished off with mini chocolate cup cakes also provided by Hailey.
L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well).
Staff writer Liz Sunshine can be reach at email@example.com.
1/2 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella or cream cheese
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 crowns broccoli
3 green onions
1 box fettuccini pasta
Slice chicken and broccoli into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Chop green onions and set aside. Set up pasta pot on medium-high heat with enough water for your amount of pasta. Melt butter in saucepan and brown chicken in olive oil at the same time. When butter is melted, add garlic and cream and bring to a simmer on medium heat. When the chicken is browned, add broccoli and green onions, cover the saut/ pan and take off the heat – the steam from the chicken will cook the broccoli.
Once the sauce is simmering, add pasta to your big pot and begin adding cheese to the sauce. Add small handfuls at a time and combine well in between handfuls. Once all of the cheese is added let the Alfredo simmer for three to five minutes to thicken.
Drain pasta and combine all ingredients in the pasta pot. Enjoy!