OMG She Cooked!
|Hello? Anyone out there? Remember me? Lisa from the suburbs? I'm baaackkkk! It feels like forever since I've cooked a meal! These last few weeks have kicked me in the arse, to say the very least. Gawd. As I now refer to this painful episode of my life, "Painapalooza 2006", I can't get over how it effected me. I am so incredibly exhausted that I haven't felt like doing jack shite since it all began. I do not even remember being this tired after the hysterectomy. And my God, the total lack of appetite has blown me away! Don't get me wrong.. I'm not complaining.. it's kind of refreshing as I've always had me a good appetite! ;) These thunder thighs and chunks O'hips certainly needed the break from the power noshing spell I'd been under the past few months! teee heeee!|
Hubbs has been wonderful during all of this.. but I could tell he was getting a lil nervous that I'd never get back in the kitchen. Poor man has survived on carry-out and frozen pizza for the past 3 weeks. Oh the shame! So against my so very tired body's wishes, I forced myself to get me arse back in my lovely little kitchen and make my man a home cooked meal. I'm glad I did.. I rocked this dish! I chose to make an Alfredo sauce. I don't really know why I did that, as Hubbs isn't particularly fond of cheese sauces. Way to go, eh? Finally cook him a decent meal and chose one of his least favorites to go with! Well you'll have that.. I added shrimp to offset his dislike of Alfredo, so I'm not all that bad, right? ;) When he asked what I was going to cook, I simply told him a pasta and shrimp dish, which made him happy. As I was cutting the cheese (no pun intended) into cubes, he asked to try 3 of the 4 varieties I was using and gave a thumbs up - so far so good! The sauce came together quickly and beautifully. It was incredibly silky and scrumptious.. a mild cheesy flavor with a nutty hit in the background - I assume due to the Gruyere. I chose papparadelle pasta, which I'd never had before, and I really liked it. The other highlight of this dish, aside from the outstanding sauce, was that FINALLY my grocery store is carrying wild AMERICAN shrimp. What a difference! My God, they were creamy and so tender without that too salty taste. Fabulous and about time, dammit!
I think the key to this sauce being so damn good was the cream cheese. I'd never heard of using it in an Alfredo but it definitely makes a difference. Seriously, kids, try this the next time you feel like Alfredo and/or are feeling naughty.. because this is not a figure flattering dish :D
1/2 c. butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. heavy cream (or milk)
6 to 8 oz. grated Italian Fontina cheese
6 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmiagiano Reggiano
1/4 tsp. white pepper
pinch of salt
1 lb. Pappardelle or Fettucini pasta, cooked al dente
1 lb. medium to large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
In a medium sized, heavy sauce pan melt butter. Add cream cheese and whisk with melted butter until melted and smooth (it will be hard to incorporate the cheese with the butter at this point and that's okay). Slowly add the heavy cream whisking to combine. Add the garlic powder, Fontina, Gruyere and Parmigiano stirring often until melted and incorporated. Add the pepper and salt. This sauce will thicken quickly, so keep an eye on it and stir often.
After my pasta had been boiling in salted water for about 5 minutes, I simply dumped the raw shrimp in with it. They took about 4 minutes to cook perfectly, which was just enough time for the pasta to be al dente. I drained the pasta and shrimp, placed it back in the pan and added 1/2 of the sauce to coat it. Served it family style, in a large bowl, with the remaining sauce on the side. Yum!
*Note: Hubbs not only gave this a thumbs up but said he'd eat this whenever I felt like making it again! Now that's a sign of a good Alfredo sauce ;)