Here’s a bit of a change of pace. I actually remembered to take pictures this time!
I usually get into a sort of creative trance when I cook.
It’d be pretentious to call myself an artist, but the trance is similar to that of a musician really getting into a song, or a writer really when the story is flowing.
I just don’t really see the world outside of my saucepan. Grabbing a camera, even if it occurred to me (I’m not a visual person), would be an unwelcome intrusion.
This is my apology to you for the paucity of photographs in my normal blog entries.
This time around, I was visiting my parents. They have attractively matched cookware and a better-lighted kitchen than I do; so I took a handful of pictures.
Please pardon the quality– this was a mobile phone.
Alfredo is a lot simpler than most people think. This version is not terribly genuine (roux and mozzarella) but it is quick and simple. If I were cooking for date night I’d’ve gone for the full traditional recipe, but this was a quick dinner with my parents and a chance to try out a new recipe.
The recipe comes from Delish, a site that Mattfood dreams of being when it grows up. It’s called Garlicky Shrimp Alfredo Bake. I used the recipe as inspiration, changing a few things because I like garlic (and I forgot to buy tomatoes).
- 1 lb penne
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella plus 1/2 cup saved aside
- 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons saved
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta to al dente, which is just a bit firmer than most folks prefer to eat it. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the shrimp, garlic and two tablespoons of parsley. Sautée until shrimp is pink, about two minutes per side, then remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and save them. Leave the rest in the pan.
- Add the rest of the butter. When it has melted and stopped foaming, whisk in the flour. Keep stirring until the mixture has darkened a bit (about like coffee with a lot of cream), then add the milk and chicken broth. Mix well and bring to a simmer.
- Add cheeses (saving out the extra 1/2 cup of mozzarella) and stir. Once the cheeses are well melted and combined, return the shrimp to the mix and add the cooked pasta. Stir well (but gently) and spread the mixture evenly around the pan.
- Sprinkle the reserved cheeses on top of the pasta mix and bake for 5-7 minutes.
- Set oven to broil, and broil the mix for 2-3 minutes. Check often, because there is a fairly short period of time between ‘nicely browned’ and ‘looks like a lava rock.’
Serve with something green and bold- broccoli is a traditional alfredo favorite but a salad with spinach or mustard greens would work too.