Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cupid's Gift that Keeps on Giving

    So on to Valentine's Day we go. In fact, some stores already began displaying the various candy boxes full of chocolates. Little heart with 5 chocolates, don't like you that much, but feel obligated to get you something. Big Heart with 30ozs of chocolate, I really dig you and want you stick around. Valentine's day for the Gould's are always crazy, my youngest son was born on Valentine's day, so as you can imagine it is one big Chinese fire drill. 

    In fact the day he was born, I was not even remotely ready. I was scheduled for a C-section on the 15th of February, because I did not want my child to have a birthday on a holiday. The best laid plans of mice and men. I spent two hours, the night before helping my kindergartner fill out his Valentines that never were given out. Donuts and plumbing were in store for him. He had more fun with his Uncle than going to school.

    There is one flaw to this otherwise perfect situation, my little Cupid signs me up every year for red velvet cupcakes for his class. Not because it is a Valentiney thing to do, it is because the teachers have gotten a taste of "a good cupcake". In fact, Cupid is a legend in the cupcake arena. For the "Welcome Back picnic", he signed me up for 24 red velvet cupcakes. Apparently the buzz was, the cupcakes were coming, and my sons were sneaking cupcakes out the back to their old teachers. Thank goodness for Jasmine, she has the patience to foo foo up cupcakes.

     I must confess a secret, I don't have the patience for cake decorating. I am used to having a whole lot of stuff going on, and to stop and switch gears, will most certainly give me a migraine. When frosting a cake, I start sweating and get all shaky. I received a degree in Culinary Arts, graduated Summa Cum Laude, worked in REALLY hot kitchens, where it was so hot that your eyelids would sweat. Worked 14 hour shifts with no breaks. Gave birth to two sons, survived night feedings, vomit in the eye and accusations that I am not fair. But, I get twitchy if I have to frost a cake. Go figure?

     My husband is putty in my hands, with a rich Alfredo sauce, and it is very versatile. This recipe is a sure fire way to impress the one that you are sweet on. Who needs cupcakes. Other than me, when I need sugar.

Alfredo Sauce

1 small onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 oz white wine
3 ozs butter
3 ozs flour
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons sour cream

In a saucepan, melt the 3 ozs of butter add the onion and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, deglaze with the white wine (deglaze means that the wine is added to pull the flavors from the sides of the pan) add the 3ozs of flour and mix well, turn heat down, just enough to not burn flour and high enough to get the flour taste to disappear. Add the heavy cream stock mixture and cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat, add the Parmesan, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix the egg yolk and sour cream, this is called the final liaison (a mixture of cream and egg yolks used as a thickening agent, but in this case it makes the sauce very rich) add a little bit of the Alfredo sauce to the egg yolk and sour cream, just enough to get everything about the same temperature ( this is called tempering) add the egg mixture to the sauce whisking quickly. Enjoy with your favorite pasta. My family likes fettuccine with chicken and broccoli, but the possibilities are endless. Good noshings to you.

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne


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Anonymous said...

MMM alfredo sauce... too bad my head is all stuffed up and i can't taste anything... i would love to make some!

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