Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 1: Fettuccine Alfredo

Yesterday was my first homemade-meal-Tuesday.  Overall, it went pretty well.   For my first attempt, I chose p-dub's Fettuccine Alfredo.  Simple ingredients and steps sold me on this recipe.

Waking up with a pooch in my bed told me it was going to be a good day...or that she was cold.  Either way, I was excited for my evening of cooking and blogging.

This process was pretty painless.  I had to call my mom (of course) to find out where in Giant I could get fresh parmesan.

Who knew there was a fancy cheese section?  I didn't.  I don't buy fancy cheese.  I can't imagine what I must have looked like while walking around this giant bin of cheeses. to describe the look on my face...the word baffled comes to mind.  How is this thing organized?  Is this thing organized?  Whatever, on to butter!

When I wrote my shopping list, I neglected to write whether I needed salted or unsalted butter.  Not a big deal for you experienced chef, but a spur of the moment decision in Giant is not my thing - so I got unsalted.   Then when I got back to my apartment and checked out the recipe I saw PW had written this:
You need butter. Regular, salted butter.
FYI, I never use unsalted butter except in the occasional cake or cookie recipe. But cooking? NEVER!

I hit another speed bump when shopping for heavy cream.  Good thing I have my iPhone.  I do know that there are 8 ounces in a cup, but better safe than sorry.

Cooking the fettuccine proved to be my biggest challenge.  This is where my need for precise directions and timing throws me under the bus.  The recipe said "cook the pasta until al dente."  Confusion set in so I did this...

This search was very helpful.  I learned something I have never known before - how to cook pasta al dente.  Also, I learned this trick: 
When the pasta begins to soften, try tasting it. If you bite into a piece and see a thin, starchy line inside, keep boiling.
Thanks Bon Appetit, this really helped!  Though, biting plain noodles makes me sick.  I confess that I bit the pasta without letting it touch my tongue.  I took a close look at the noodle, saw the white line, and then I fed it to Charlie.  Bleck.

Aside from a little al dente confusion - cooking went very smoothly.

Not gonna lie, taking my first bite of this dish was pretty exciting.  

The fettuccine was pretty good.  One thing I have learned for the future - I am not a huge fan of parmesan.  I ate my meal thinking "I definitely did something wrong", so I called my sister.  After talking to my resident chef, I discovered that 2 cups is a lot of parmesan for one recipe.  Now I know for next time to leave some out.  I also think the strong taste is probably something I can get used to, at least it better be.  I'll be eating this for lunch at work for the next 4 days.

Charlie and I made a deal before this whole challenge began - if her life is ever in danger while I'm cooking, she gets a taste.  Well, when moving the boiling hot pasta from stove to sink, I almost stepped on her.  Then (because I almost stepped on her) I almost spilled boiling hot pasta on her.  Almost.  Needless to say, she loved the fettuccine alfredo. 

1 shopping trip
2 phone calls
3 iPhone searches
30 minutes
1 dinner
4 lunches

Update: I ate the fettuccine alfredo for lunch today and the parmesan taste was much weaker.  It was delicious when reheated.  Also, I could definitely have stretched it to 6 lunches.  Now I know for next time!


  1. I knew you could do it!!!!

  2. Great job Gin! For your next time, try adding some fresh cut up tomatoes in at the end right before you eat it. I think that would be right up your alley. Can't wait to see what you make next!