Wednesday, September 5, 2007

In the past I have always wondered how to make that wonderful Alfredo Sauce that I have seen many people and even gotten it myself from time to time. All I really knew was there was milk and cheese in the mixture and my past success with making it on my own has been to say the least disappointing. Well, now that I have found the official Olive Garden recipe for their Alfredo sauce I enjoy it more often and it's not only a time saver, but it's lighter on your wallet without loosing that great taste.

Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce

1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Heat milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.

2. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).

3. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Eating out by your self or with family and friends has become big business in the modern world. Not only is it more convenient to go some place and sit down while someone else does all the work for you, but it allows you to take a break from the usual fare that you can make for yourself at home. I know personally you can only eat the same home cooked meal so many times in a row before the very thought of preparing it let alone eating it again drives you from the house in the search for new taste’s. I’m not saying that those time tested dishes you learned from mom are bland and boring, but even mom had to throw every one a curve ball at the dinner table once in a while to keep everyone happy.

One of my favorite places to eat out at is the Olive Garden. For many years I have enjoyed their Soup, Salad and Breadstick lunch special. But a recent move has made it almost impossible for me to enjoy it on a more regular basis. The last time I was eating there before the move I was just saying to myself “If only I knew what was in this. How they cook it. I really wanted to know some of Olive Garden’s recipes.” Needless to say I was unable to find out from either the wait staff or anyone else there. Their refusal to give me any information annoyed me. But I understood that if they let people know that they would loose their edge on what brought the people to them.

Recently I found myself thinking about those once enjoyed lunch meals at Olive Garden. I found myself searching online for any information I could find. Luckily I stumbled across a web site advertising a copy cat cookbook that included Olive Garden and many more famous restaurants recipes. When I saw the product I immediately purchased the book and was able to download it immediately. I ran out to the local Super Wal-Mart, gathered my ingredients and set to work making my minestrone soup. It was late at night, but when it was finished I was able to actually sit down and once again enjoy the soup I had missed for so long.

Here is a sample recipe of what the book has to offer you as well:

Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese
8 thick slices of vine-ripened tomatoes
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 medium fresh basil leaves
*12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 8 slices
Dry oregano leaves to taste
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1. ARRANGE sliced tomatoes on a large platter.
2. PLACE one basil leaf on top of each tomato slice.
3. PLACE one slice of mozzarella on top of each basil leaf.
4. SPRINKLE oregano, salt and black pepper on cheese and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Finish with drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Over the next week or so I went through the book, trying out many of the other recipes from other popular chains such as:
Red Lobster, Applebee's, Chili's, Olive Garden, T.G.I. Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks and many many more. Not only was I able to enjoy all the food from the best places to eat out, but in the end I was amazed at how much money I was able to save without having to pay their prices. All I know is that now, when I have a taste for that Soup, Salad and Breadstick lunch I don’t have to drive anywhere. All I have to do is bring it with me to work from home in the morning. I know your going to enjoy the Olive Garden and other recipes as much as I have.