Wednesday, 18 February 2009
The secret to good Alfredo sauce is a combination of ingredients and technique. Unlike many Italian dishes, Alfredo sauce is extremely rich, with the base ingredient being cream. This makes this dish an excellent alternative to the standard red sauces and meats normally associated with Italian meals.
When you go to make your Alfredo sauce, you should make certain you have all of your ingredients prepared in advance. The process of making the sauce goes by very quickly, so you will want to make certain you have everything nearby so that you do not risk scorching your cream as you cook. As scorching the cream is the most common cause of ruin of an Alfredo dish, this simple preparation can prevent disaster.
The common ingredients of standard Alfredo sauce are:
- Heavy Cream
- White Salt
- Parmesan Cheese
Cooking times and amounts may vary from recipe to recipe. Also, ingredients may be altered depending on whether or not there are attempts at making the Alfredo more healthy. As Alfredo is so heavy on cream, butter and cheese, it is often viewed as a treat or avoided on many diets.
Once you have your ingredients prepared, there are several things that you can do to prevent ruining your dish.
1: Prepare your Pan
Scorching Alfredo is only the first of the risks. By properly preparing your pan by preheating and cooling the pan slightly with water, you can prevent the cream from scorching. When the cream is added to the pan, it should be done off of the heat, with the cream being returned to the heat after it has been warmed in the pan.
2: Remember to stir frequently
Reducing cream by half requires patience and dedication. Alfredo is not a sauce that you can leave alone for long. Plan to make your Alfredo sauce when you can dedicate time to it. This will prevent your cream from burning.
3: Do not add cheese while sauce is on the burner
A common mistake is for individuals to add the butter and cheese to the sauce while it is still on the burner. Do not make this error unless the recipe calls otherwise. The most common recipes do not add cheese or butter while the cream is on the heat, as this can cause the cheese to stick to the pan or the butter to cause the cream to separate. While mainly affecting aesthetics and lengthening cleanup time, it can also affect the flavor of the dish.
4: Have your pasta pot prepared in advance
Alfredo sauce is best eaten immediately. Before you begin cooking, have your water for your pasta already prepared, and the amount of pasta you want cooked put to the side. Start boiling the water part way through the sauce making process so that your Alfredo sauce and pasta finish at the same time.
5: Add toppings
Alfredo sauce is flexible. Great with meats and seafoods, as well as with vegetables, you can easily turn Alfredo into a one course meal. Prepare any toppings in advance, and warm them on a grill prior to serving. In the case of zucchini and other vegetations that do not sit well, put them on the grill or in the frying pan just as the sauce is nearing completion.
Ferdinand Okeke is the author of the Beginners Guide To Cooking With Seasonings http://www.seasoningz.com also he has released a new book How To Make Gourmet Sauces At Home http://www.seasoningz.com/Sauces