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February 13, 2008
Alfredo Sauce With the Mix Master
is a definitive statement – if you cannot properly mix, you will never
be a good cook. You may know all there is to know about the proper
application of heat, and you may understand with great depth the value
of freshness. But, at the heart of food the greatest utility is found in
the ability to properly introduce ingredients together.
Mixing leads to mixing, which often leads to additional mixing.
example starts with steamed fresh asparagus. No doubt this raises a red
flag. How does one put down the value of freshness, and start with
freshness? The answer is that no one put down the value of freshness,
but only placed it second to the ability to mix things together.
asparagus must be steamed ahead of time to soften it up for other,
greater things . . . namely an Alfredo sauce.
Herein, we begin the lesson on mixing. You make an Alfredo sauce by
melting butter and mixing into it some heavy cream. Make sure the two
are properly mixed, because this is the base of your sauce.
properly stirred together, we have yet more mixing to do. We minced some
garlic and chop some fresh parsley and add both of those. Finally, as
you stir with a whisk, add Parmesan cheese.
suggest that fresh Parmesan cheese holds the key to Alfredo sauce. They
are wrong. The key is whisking the cheese into the sauce, and here is
There are times when you can add all of your ingredients and then begin
the process of stirring.
is not true with a sauce involving cheese. Done improperly, what results
is a gooey island of cheese in the middle of a sea of garlic-infused
cream. In some places, that might be considered haute cuisine, but
people never talk about them for obvious reason.
together until thoroughly mixed, and still warm. Once created, stir into
it your steamed asparagus. Include a little of the juice to help spread
the flavor throughout. It will add a greenish tinge to your Alfredo
sauce, which will perhaps alarm anyone whose expectations of added color
is the green of chopped parsley.
your asparagus Alfredo sauce is thusly prepared, it is ready for
application to actual pasta.
Served over nothing but pasta, it is enough to stand as a meal in
itself. But, here we take one more twist. Invoking the pasta rule of
proportionality, we serve it over hot penne and also thawed imitation
might ask yourself why not mix the imitation crab into the Alfredo sauce
while it is heating.
answer to that is that heat unravels imitation crab, and you wish it to
remain as whole as possible. So you add it at the end, where the dangers
of unraveled imitation crab are minimized.
have mixed, and then we mixed. And, at the end of things, there is a
final act of mixing – turning the Alfredo and asparagus through the
noodles and imitation crab.
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