Alfredo Sauce – What You Must Know About Cooking With It

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

– Parsley

– White Salt

– Pepper

– Butter

– 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.

Source by Ferdinand Okeke

Making Homemade Sushi – How to Make a Simple "Western" Nitsume (Sweet Eel Sauce)

Unagi, or freshwater eel, is one of my favorite ingredients used in sushi, whether it’s a western-style Dragon Roll, unagi nigiri or a simple eel makizushi. While creating my latest batch of homemade and somewhat improvised sushi I got the hankering for the sweet, sumptuous nitsume eel sauce and decided to whip some up, even though I didn’t have any unagi on hand to work with. Turns out I didn’t have very many Japanese ingredients on hand at all, so I had to “westernize” the recipe somewhat. The result, to my great surprise, was slightly different from conventional nitsume though no less delicious, and went very well with my makeshift Rainbow rolls.

This recipe is great to make if you don’t have a lot of Asian ingredients on hand to work with but still are in the mood for a sweet, yummy, easy-to-make sauce to use with sushi.

Recipe for “Western” Nitsume

  • 1 c. Dashi / fish stock / fish-flavored water
  • 1/4 c. Sake / Red wine
  • 1/8 c. shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4 c. sugar

Ingredients Explained

In all honesty, I don’t even know what “Dashi” is. I believe it is some kind of seafood-based Japanese cooking stock, but don’t quote me on that. All I know is that the original recipe that I based this one on listed this as the primary ingredient, but I didn’t have any on hand. As a substitute I took some Korean shrimp paste stuff I had in my fridge and mixed it with water, then strained the pieces out and used the flavored broth instead.

Since this isn’t traditional nitsume anyway, I imagine you could use anything “fishy” you have on hand to flavor plain water with if you don’t have Dashi (a small, minced piece of whatever fish you’re using in your sushi; the water drained off of a can of tuna; the tuna itself, mixed into the water and strained; perhaps even some chopped up nori.) We’re not connoisseurs here, we just want something that tastes good. If you don’t have anything suitable on hand, then just use plain water. It won’t ruin the sauce, it’ll just turn out a bit different.

Additionally, the original recipe used Sake but I didn’t have that, so I just used some of the cheap (REALLY cheap), boxed red wine that I did have. This recipe is also halved from the original because I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out, but now that I know how good it is I have no problem suggesting that you double the amounts listed here.

Cooking Instructions This is the easiest part — dump everything into a sauce pan and let it sit on low heat for about an hour. As far as I could tell mine wasn’t quite at a simmer, just steaming. Stirring is also probably advised, but I literally put everything in the pot and forgot to even stir the sugar in, and it turned out none the worse for wear. The original recipe advises reducing the original volume by about 80% but it’s really personal preference. It will not thicken until it’s taken off the heat and allowed to cool, at which point it will assume a viscosity similar to maple syrup.

I hope some of you have found this recipe beneficial, even if sushi “purists” may scoff at it. This is a very simple, easy and tasty sauce that you can prepare ahead or set on the stove and forget while you’re preparing the rest of your sushi.

Source by MJ Austin