Chicken Alfredo

One of the easiest dishes to make that gives the impression you’ve slaved away in the kitchen for hours, and probably one of the most popular items at the Olive Garden. 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes gets you a tasty (but extremely unhealthy) dinner.

Choose your favorite fettuccine. If you want to make your own from scratch go for it, but the cost of dried pasta makes it hard to pass up. If you HAVE to use something other than fettuccine go with spaghetti, or even better linguini, but stay away from rotini or rotelle as the shapes will soak up all of the sauce.

The chicken cut is up to you. I used to swear by breast, but recently have been converted to thighs as the most flavorful part.

Put 6 thighs, 3 breasts or equivalent (boned and preferably skinned) into a skillet with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of your favorite Italian herbs. I use garlic powder, rosemary, oregano and basil.

Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally. Start the water for your pasta.

About the time the water starts to boil the chicken should be done. Remove from skillet and chop into bite-size pieces.

The Alfredo sauce:
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter … not margarine, butter
1 cup cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese
garlic to taste

Melt butter (if you’re lazy like me just use the same skillet…one less thing to wash) and add the cream. Put the pasta in the water and set your timer.

As the cream starts to simmer add the cheese and garlic. I was out of fresh garlic so I used a spoonful of my in-case-of-emergencies roasted garlic and it came out great.

As the cheese melts it will thicken the sauce. Stir slowly but constantly. Add a bit of black pepper if you like. When it starts to boil immediately remove from heat. By now your pasta should also be done.

Mix the sauce and pasta and top with chicken. Garnish with additional Parmesan and green onions.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Note: Good additions are broccoli or peas & mushrooms.

Smartass Note: It’s Fettuccine, not Fettuccini.

Elote

In New York City and many other large US cities it’s pretty common to see hot dog vendors. In Mexico you will instead see elote vendors. Basically it’s corn on the cob, jammed on a corndog-type stick, covered in various creamy toppings, dredged in cotija cheese and sprinkled with spice. This is my take on this basic street food.

Not pictured: corn, butter, cheese and spices

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBS cream
  • 1 TBS lime juice
  • 1 TBS butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese

Mix wet ingredients in a bowl until it reaches a buttermilk consistency.

If the butter is not very soft, you will have lumps like you can see in this pic.

Cook corn as desired. I prefer shucking it and tossing it on the grill for 20 minutes.

Mix spices into sauce and put into corn tray. Fill another corn tray with cheese.

Corn trays can be found at most dollar stores.

The traditional way to serve the corn is on a stick, but I just got some new corn holders so just used those. Besides, I have no idea where you’d find corndog-style sticks other than making them out of dowels from a lumber store.

Roll the corn in the sauce until completely coated, and then into the cheese. Sprinkle chili powder/cayenne/paprika as desired.

Whatever you do, don't add salt! The cheese takes care of that for you.