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Old 02-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #41
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i don't understand the objection to adding a favorite seasoning, or several, to one's personal alfredo sauce recipe. i do believe staunch rules imposed on "sacred" recipes are misdirected when applied to family cooking, howver....
+178 (I have many opinions)

Folks, in this thread alone Alfredo Sauce has been made with variations including cheese, wine and garlic on top of the basic cream and butter. Methinks it is the secret ingredient that makes a meal fantastic... and of course that will be different for everyone!!

I've never thought of the mustard thing though - might try that tomorrow :)
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:34 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by vitauta View Post
i don't understand the objection to adding a favorite seasoning, or several, to one's personal alfredo sauce recipe. the original alfredo sauce had no cream in it. when americans liked our alfredo sauce better with cream added, i suppose the case could have been made that it was no longer authentic. does meatloaf cease being meatloaf when hundreds of different variations (beginning with the meat mixture itself) are created?...
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Originally Posted by DampCharcoal View Post
...Try assigning one and only one chili recipe as the only authentic chili recipe and you'll have a civil war on your hands...
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Well, let me put it this way. Recipes are by and large evolutionary...

I feel like I started this so I'll chime in to explain myself.

Yes, many traditional recipes are evolutionary and come in a variety of styles and types. Meatloaf and chili certainly fall into that category. They were created by many people simultaneously over a period of time.

There are also recipes that can be reliably identified as coming from a single source. Alfredo sauce, Cesar salad and Nachos are three well-known ones. Guys named Alfredo and Cesar and Ignacio (Nacho) created these recipes relatively recently in food history.

Granted there are variations of all of these from the originals.

If you read back on some of the discussions on this site for Alfredo sauce, you will see a very wide variety of recipes. Some call for egg, flour, cream cheese, corn starch, milk, as well as a host of flavoring agents such as hot sauces, "baking spices" and more.

If you make a cheese sauce with cheese, butter, flour and milk and serve it over fettuccine, it's not fettuccine Alfredo. It's pasta with mornay sauce.

Historical perspective is important. Alfredo sauce should mean the same thing to everyone.

Some of the add-ins you guys have posted sound good to me and are worth trying. My original point is that changes eventually change the sauce enough to make it too different to be called the same name. Certainly there is not a clearly defined line you must not cross.

Just my opinion. No disrespect intended to anyone here.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:34 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by vitauta View Post
i don't understand the objection to adding a favorite seasoning, or several, to one's personal alfredo sauce recipe. the original alfredo sauce had no cream in it. when americans liked our alfredo sauce better with cream added, i suppose the case could have been made that it was no longer authentic. does meatloaf cease being meatloaf when hundreds of different variations (beginning with the meat mixture itself) are created? do we insist on renaming every recipe that most every good cook tweaks in order to give it her own special touch?

and i don't really care about the nomenclature all that much as it relates to this alfredo sauce question. i do believe staunch rules imposed on "sacred" recipes are misdirected when applied to family cooking, howver....
That's nice. Now....
NO ALFREDO SAUCE FOR YOU!!
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:52 PM   #44
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"Historical perspective is important. Alfredo sauce should mean the same thing to everyone."

That's a good point. There is a fundamental aspect of it that should be preserved.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:53 PM   #45
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So, what's in Alfredo Sauce, then?
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #46
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So, what's in Alfredo Sauce, then?
A basic mornay sauce using parmesan but nowadays I'm not so sure.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #47
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A basic mornay sauce using parmesan but nowadays I'm not so sure.
Sorry, this is not correct.

Mornay sauce contains flour and milk. Neither is a part of Alfredo. Also, the cheese is not usually Parmigiano Reggiano.

The original Alfredo consisted of butter and Parmigiano Reggiano. The cheese and melted butter were whisked together then the cooked pasta is added to it and tossed. A little extra pasta water helps make the sauce.

Since that time, widely accepted variation includes heavy cream reduced with the butter before the cheese is added.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:30 PM   #48
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I call them "cookie spices": nutmeg, cinnamon, dry ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamom, vanilla. DH doesn't get it. I tell him to look with the cookie spices. The only one of those I haven't used in a savoury dish is dry ginger, but I do use fresh ginger with savoury.
I think you could use anything in a savory dish, depending on your judgement. I'm speaking as an amateur chef whose audience is my friends and family.

I don't use dried ginger, I guess because I consider it a cookie spice and I don't generally make cookies. I use tons of fresh ginger in my Asian cooking. Of course Asian cooking also uses cloves, allspice, cardamom...

Just curious, what savory dish would you use vanilla in? I'm intrigued...
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:40 PM   #49
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Just curious, what savory dish would you use vanilla in? I'm intrigued...
I never have done it myself, but I could imagine it being used with duck.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by vitauta View Post
i don't understand the objection to adding a favorite seasoning, or several, to one's personal alfredo sauce recipe. the original alfredo sauce had no cream in it. when americans liked our alfredo sauce better with cream added, i suppose the case could have been made that it was no longer authentic. does meatloaf cease being meatloaf when hundreds of different variations (beginning with the meat mixture itself) are created? do we insist on renaming every recipe that most every good cook tweaks in order to give it her own special touch?

and i don't really care about the nomenclature all that much as it relates to this alfredo sauce question. i do believe staunch rules imposed on "sacred" recipes are misdirected when applied to family cooking, howver....
I think it depends on the chef. An amateur cooking for friends and family is free to interpret recipes any way they want and the price for failure is friends and family requesting dining out more often.

I can understand why a renowned famous chef or a teaching chef at a haute cuisine cooking school might be critical of defining exactly what Alfredo sauce is.

As an amateur I can add guinea pig to my Alfredo sauce, and if my guests like it then I guess it's Alfredo!

I'll accept the advice from the scoffers and I'll try the purest Alfredo sometime soon. I hope it will be okay if I add some shrimp to my pasta. This isn't like carbonara where you get only bacon/prosciutto etc. is it? Is it okay to add shrimp/chicken/etc. to your pasta Alfredo?
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