Monday, November 26, 2007

What comes after deviating from the original recipe?

One of the advantages of keeping an e-group is that members get to exchanged ideas about any subject raised that interests anyone from the group. The subject could include family life, work, sentiments, rants, jokes, movies, men, women, travel experiences, kids and of course, recipes. The last subject gives me the highest interest especially if it is something that I can cook out from my kitchen. In one of my e-groups discussions, we talked about pasta recipes and some of the members mentioned about Fetuccini Alfredo. Since the dish name sounded complicated to me, I didn’t put much attention to it until after my last week’s search for an easy to prepare dish for dinner. With combinations of tiredness from my own dishes, riddance of take aways, excitement over a new recipe and short requirement for dish preparation, I googled what came out to be a delectable serving.

Google search took me to where I looked for various recipes and ended up choosing from 2 pasta dishes. With quick preparation in mind, I opted for the “Broccoli Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo”. Original recipe is shown below but with limitations of supplies in the grocery store, I did my usual variation style which turned out to be "Broccoli Ham Spiral Alfredo" (My modifications are shown in italics).

1/2 pound dry fettuccine pasta (500gms spiral pasta)
1 cup fresh chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons butter
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast (4 regular ham slices)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup [2 regular cans cream of mushroom soup (Campbells)]
1/2 cup milk 375ml fresh milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water (and cooking oil) to a boil. Add fettuccini (spiral) pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente, adding broccoli for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain.

2. Cut chicken breast meat (ham slices) into bite size pieces, trimming any fat off in the process. In a large skillet melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add chicken (ham) and saute until well browned. Add soup, milk and cheese and stir all together. Add pasta/broccoli mixture and heat through. (I didn’t heat through the mixture anymore, I just mixed the sauce in the separate pan) Serve hot.

The ham being sauted

Cream of mushroom added

Fresh milk added and started to boil

Sauce, pasta and broccoli all added and ready to eat

Preparation time: 5minutes, cooking time: 15 minutes and there the dish is actually ready in just 20 minutes.

Over the weekend, I got curious as to how the dish got its name. Instead of getting the information I wanted, I ended up reading more and more variations of this famous dish. Only today did I eventually have the chance to know this famous pasta’s origin and true to my hunch, it got its name from the cook who invented it. And guess what led the cook to this dish? To please his pregnat wife! What a romantic act.
Source: Wikipedia
Fettuccine alfredo is a pasta dish made from fettuccine pasta tossed with Parmesan cheese, butter, and heavy cream. As the cheese melts, it thickens the liquids to form a smooth and rich coating on the pasta.

When butter was added both before and after fettuccine was put in the serving bowl, the butter was known as doppio burro (double butter). Di Lelio's original contribution was to double the amount of butter in the bowl before the fettuccine would be poured in, thus a triplo burro (triple butter) effect instead of double. And why did Alfredo double the amount of butter? His young wife was pregnant and was unable to keep any food down. Alfredo tried every dish he could imagine, but his variation on the fettuccine worked. When his wife began eating again, Alfredo added the new dish to his restaurants menu, but it was not perceived as being anything special until a couple of Hollywood movie stars stumbled across it a decade later.

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