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Old 02-18-2011, 03:50 PM   #1
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Trying to cook for first time. This recipe...

I know this probably doesn't sound like a big deal to many of you but this is my first time trying to make something that isn't a sandwich in the kitchen. I'm open to constructive criticism and any tips.

I used to play on a sports team and after the games a lot of husbands & wives would go out to dinner. I had this about 3 years ago in a San Francisco restaurant and am just now getting up the nerve to try the recipe. If you can think of anything that would make it better please let me know. It’s a bowtie pasta in alfredo sauce with grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, black olives, capers, pinoli, garlic and roasted red peppers. I’m using alfredo out of a can since I don’t know how to make it fresh.





I will sauté all the ingredients in a skillet then pouring in the alfredo sauce. If you can think of anything that would be good to add, or any cooking tips please let me know. This is the first I’m trying to make......and I'm nervous as hell.



If this is posed in the wrong place I apologize…..still getting the hang of things around here.
Thanks.

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Old 02-18-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
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Don't over cook your ingredients before you put in the sauce. All of those ingredients other than the garlic don't need much cooking, only heating through. Give the capers and artichoke hearts a good rinse so you don't get too many strong flavors in with the sauce.

I'd add some oil or butter, saute the garlic for a few minutes then add the other ingredients. Let them simmer for a minute or two and then add your sauce. Use a big enough pan or pot so you can add your cooked pasta right in with it. Don't overcook the pasta. Pull it while it still al dente. It will continue to cook in the sauce while you bring it to the table and on your plate.

Good luck and bon apetit!!!
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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The chicken has to be grilled separately. If the artichokes and peppers are canned/jarred, they, along with the olives, pine nuts and capers just need to be heated through.

I would sauté the garlic in some butter or oil (don't let the garlic burn), add the other ingredients to heat them through then toss with the cooked pasta. Plan so the pasta is finished cooking just as the rest ready then drain and combine.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Two identical opinions - we must both be right!
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Two identical opinions - we must both be right!
You noticed the chicken. I didn't even see it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. The chicken is on the grill separately now. Didn't think about rinsing the capers.....makes perfect sense though. I have some good olive oil to do the garlic first. Then I'll add the rest of the stuff just to heat. I was told earlier by a woman who boards a horse with us to never boil the alfredo, even if it is from a jar. Is that correct?
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:28 PM   #7
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You risk curdling the Alfredo if you boil it.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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Ok. Thank you both so much for the help. Wish me luck....
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:52 PM   #9
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Add Parmesan to the sauce. In my experience, bottled Alfredo sauce doesn't have much punch. Parmesan will add that.

FYI: The easiest mock Alfredo sauce is equal parts:

Grated Parmessan
Evaporated Milk
Softened Cream Cheese

Tastes great!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:22 PM   #10
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Luvabigdog - hope it was yummy, but if not, you are not alone. I had an amazing scallop dish once at Jake's in Portland Oregon. I was desperate to recreate it, since Pacific northwest dining isn't a big part of life here in Middle Tennessee. It took me half a dozen tries before I could get it right. Now, I make an entirely different dish, based on the flavor balance I learned in perfecting the one I had.

Hope you had great success with your pasta, but don't give up, ever.
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