Monday, October 31, 2011

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Last night I had the problem where nothing I had meal planned for the week sounded good at all.  I was talking about just grabbing a box of macaroni and cheese when homemade alfredo with pepper steak popped into my mind out of nowhere.

I have never made alfredo sauce before.  It has always seemed so much easier to plop the pre-made stuff from a jar onto some noodles and voila, easy meal.  But, lately I've been finding that I feel a lot better when I don't use grocery items with a lot of preservatives in them.  The list of ingredients on the back of the jarred alfredo sauce in my cupboard is outrageous.  When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I got less things for a whole week of meals then the ingredients listed on the back of that jar.

I had a friend recommend the alfredo sauce from not too long ago, and I have always put it in the back of my mind to try.  I figured pairing it with pepper steak would be the perfect combination.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce
adapted from
1/4 cup butter
1 cup fat free half and half
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pepper

1) Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and wine and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and pepper and serve.

I thought this recipe had too much butter.  I spent forever trying to incorporate it into the sauce by whisking it and letting it simmer, but the butter just kept coming to the top of the sauce and wouldn't incorporate.  I think that it'd be better with maybe a tablespoon of butter instead of a quarter of a cup.  Just enough to add flavor and coat the saucepan, but not enough to feel as though you are drowning in butter.

I think that it turned out great though.  I loved the mixture of the cheeses in the sauce.  The gruyere gave it a little more complexity then parmesan alone would.  I thought it was great with the pepper steak too.  I reduced the amount of pepper I put into the sauce because I knew there would be enough on the steak, but I think I'd increase the amount if we weren't having such a heavily flavored meat with the dish.

It wasn't as easy as plopping jarred sauce into a pan, and heating it up, but it was pretty close, and much more delicious.

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