Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

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Axman
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Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby Axman » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:49 am UTC

I've been asked to make this so many times, I've finally written it down. People love this shit, which is understandable, this is real restaurant food, so it's all fat and salt. Mmm, fat and salt. The problem is that Alfredo is easy to cock up, and then you end up with noodles in epoxy like a rubber band ball swimming in (tasty) milk. So I found a bullet-proof method of making this killer stuff. Seriously, when you're done with this, you'll want a cigarette, you've just shortened your life anyway.

My measurements are imperial, which is ironic, since they're French. Anyway:

1 or 1.5 pints heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 or 1 stick(s) butter

You can go heavy on the butter, or heavy on the cream, different tastes, still heart-stopping

1/2 lb (one wedge) good, hard Parmesan, grated (coarsely is OK, you're gonna melt it)
white pepper (black is a fine substitute) to taste

Eventually, you'll want

1 1/2 lbs/boxes of disembodied noodly appendage

Bring the cream to a simmer, and reduce to about 2/3ds. Add the butter, melt and continue to reduce. You'll stir this a lot, but it's not intensive, so you can definitely make a salad, toast your bread, whatever. You'll do this for at least an hour, because the cream needs to reduce to the consistency of country gravy. Somewhere in this window you'll boil 3-4 quarts of water, with a little salt (less than you'd normally add, if any) for your spaghetti, linguine, tortellini, whatever. You'll also pepper the reduction.

With practice, you'll finish your noodles right when the cream is ready. But once it's super-thick, you can let it sit. You can even prepare the reduced cream/butter the day before. It so doesn't need refrigeration. (Within reason, you sophists.)

When the pasta is done (don't drain it, use a scoop, you'll need some of the hot water) add the cheese to the cream reduction (stove on very, very low). It will turn to rubber, but don't over-stir it. Scoop in all the pasta, folding it while adding small amounts of water until, bam, just like boxing: Alfredo. You

--CANNOT--

let this sit on the stove. It will turn into it's base elements of awesome stolen straight from God's wallet and chewed gum.

I like to save about a fifth of the grated cheese and let people sprinkle it on and adjust their cheesiness.

Modifications (from here on out, it's "Alfredo" in scare quotes):

Simple, vegetarian shit: Before serving you can mix in: chopped or whole, bruised basil, with quarters of Roma or cherry tomatoes, or minced sun-dried tomatoes. Garlic in any fashion and quantity. Red onion chunks are good, so are capers, pine nuts OK (if you're into that sort of thing). Drizzle it with olive oil, because people fucking love to drizzle. Oh, and baby spinach, blanched in the pasta water for a few decaseconds mixes in great.

Men (I've never met a single, dude vegetarian, and I don't think this is coincidence): There's an extra step in adding meat to Alfredo, because meat fats can discombobulate the chessification of the cream reduction. Basically, cook it separately, and, with the pan not super-hot, add the Alfredo, pasta and all, into the meat skillet. You don't want to go the other way, because then the meat candy at the bottom of the skillet stays there, and you've gone and wasted perfectly good meat candy. Since it's going to get stirred and heated a little extra, you might have to add a little more pasta water.

Shrimp and scallops: If they've ever been froze, don't use them for this. It's rude. Also, you're about to add these to fairly hot noodles, and over-cooking them is a real risk. Get an aluminum or steel pan hot like the surface of the sun, add some heavy oil (nubile olive oil is OK) and cook them about 2/3rds on one side. That's it. Add the shellfish to the Alfredo with a spatulate implement immediately before serving. Don't pour that fat into the pasta hot, it'll fuck it up.

You can do this cool trick with shrimp, where you cut them in half down the centers. (This is a good way to stretch shrimp money.) When you fry them, they curl up like corkscrews, and they don't over-cook (unless, you like, try). It's pretty and fits thematically with tortellini. Do this and add some sliced, fried snausage, and you're in like Flynn.

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b.i.o
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Re: Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby b.i.o » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:30 am UTC

Excellent, I'll have to try this sometime. I love alfredo :D.

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Re: Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby Mathmagic » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:51 am UTC

Wow, thanks! I tried making my own alfredo sauce once... it really didn't turn out well. At all.

Great post and tips. I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe.
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Re: Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby dubsola » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:04 am UTC

I made this last night, it turned out very, very well. It tastes like the way sex feels.

Being a person who treats recipes as a guideline, I made a few modifications: Firstly, I reduced the amounts drastically. I used 300ml of cream for four large servings, and about 80 grams of butter. I could have used more cream, to be honest, but the supermarket sells it in that amount, and I didn't want to DOUBLE the cream. It still tasted amazing.

Secondly, instead of heating the cream first and then adding the butter, I melted the butter first. I wanted the cream to have a garlicky aspect, so I added finely chopped garlic to the butter (two cloves) and cooked it very, very gently. I then added the cream and reduced it for about an hour. On the lowest setting, the cream didn't bubble, but steam gently rose and a skin formed, which I periodically stirred back into the mixture.

Thirdly, once the pasta was ready, I took everything off the heat. I didn't want to risk it. I added the cheese to the cream, then folded that into the pasta.

I had other ingredients: I roasted chopped portabello mushrooms and courgette (zucchini), which was great - the courgette became sweet and refreshing. I toasted pine nuts in a dry fry pan. I chopped up sundried tomatoes which added a great saltiness. And I added butter beans, which gave it a nice bite and a bit more body.

Overall it was amazing and really, really easy. Nothing I did required any advanced cooking techniques, you don't have to make a roux, it's great. Just treat everything gently and you will come out fine.

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Re: Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby iChef » Thu May 17, 2012 2:19 pm UTC

Good basic guidelines, but man if you are doing this in a place that makes Alfredo dishes to order and it's that delicate somethings up. (Note: from here on out I will be using a creole of Kitchenese and polite English which I think I still remember how to speak). At a very nice place I worked at Alfredo was our badge of honor on the line if you could make it well you were on of the crew, if not physical violence and ridicule were in your future. Start warming a pan with clarified butter, add garlic and shallots. After the garlic just begins to turn light brown hit it with a couple ounces of dry white wine and let it reduce au sec. Add your heavy cream and bring it to a strong simmer. Start stirring like you never stirred before and add shredded parm. The cheese should finish thickening your sauce. By this time check your sauce for lumps of cheese if there are any go drown yourself in the river. Now you may add your past of choice, wide flat noodles hold the sauce well and if you are not using fresh pasta as opposed to dried in a cream sauce see the note about the river above. A teaspoon of chiffonade basil over the top and you win. Exact measurements are left as an exercise to the reader.

There is nothing wrong with the first recipe, but man that's a lot of oil in one pasta dish it may be delicious but you might have to change your pants on the way home. Also doing rich sauces right you shouldn't worry about them breaking. Our hollandaise was checked by placing a spoonful on the flattop grill, if it broke rather than forming a little hollandaise cake you got a swirly in the deep fryer (or at least were threatened with one)
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Re: Uncockable Alfredo Ree-cype

Postby Bakemaster » Sun May 20, 2012 11:02 pm UTC

That's very similar to the procedure used where I used to work. Instead of starting with clarified butter though, my boss would start with a bit of oil and add a lump of butter later on—don't remember if it was before or after the cream. He would dunk the lump of butter in some flour first. I always assumed this method of delivery of the flour was intended to prevent lumps in the sauce but I don't think I ever asked.
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