Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Daughter's Birthday Dinner

I decided that I wanted to make something very special for my daughter's birthday. Basically, my daughter's food tastes follow this general flow chart:
As you can see, I had a lot of room to pick things.

In fact, I just replaced 'my daughter's' with her name and printed it out. I think I'll slip it into one of her college books, or notebooks, to find. I'm sure she's going to wonder where it came from.

I just showed it to her brother, who said it fit her perfectly!

I'm such a bad mom!!! *snickers evil snicker*

Anyway, so after much thought I did realize that there are two types of ethnic foods she absolutely adores. Chinese, which I suck at, and Italian, which I can be very good at.

Well that narrowed down the possibility. I wasn't about to insult her, and my family, with cooking comfort foods such as lasagna and spaghetti. Oh no, no, no. I had to try something I had never done before, that would be very VERY yummy.

Like my enchiladas I cooked the other day, I decided that I'd do a little research. I wanted to learn about Alfredo sauce.

I learned that a lot of historians try to claim that Italian restaurateur (sic) Alfredo di Lelio, sold a sauce made of butter and cream, then named it after himself. Never mind that the sauce was a traditional one. That's kind of like me grilling up a burger and calling it a magnoliasouth.

As it turns out, according to Italian chef and expert Giuliano Bugialli, Alfredo sauce is actually either called alla panna (cream sauce) or doppia burro (double butter) and Lelio only popularized the sauce. Well thank you Mr. Lelio.

That said, I did find a number of authentic dishes. They all sounded really good too. Googling either of those recipe names yields some marvelous results. However, I wanted something with a bit more flavor and, well, pizazz. Not that the authentic stuff isn't amazing, it's just that for whatever reason, I wanted some basil in it darn it!

Not to mention, I live in Mobile, AL. It's a pain in the neck to find anything unusual here such as Parmigiano and reasonably priced. In comparison, Parmigiano is about the same price as my car here! I'm only half joking as well.

So I set out to combine a few dishes to make a magnoliaosouth sauce. ;)

As it turned out, it only had a very tiny similarity to - what I will term from here on out - Alla Panna. Let's just say it had milk, butter, cheese and pepper. That's where it ends.

In any case, I have to admit that my dish was a hit. I'm talking grand slam home run, out of the stadium hit! It was just amazing. I will definitely make it again and you know what? It was SO easy and fast! Well... the sauce and noodles were. If you want extras I can't promise anything on that.

My daughter and the entire family were very pleased indeed. This is a keeper recipe. 

Interested in the recipe or want to take a peek? The menu (with links) follows.
  1. Garlic Butter
  2. Balsamic Chicken
  3. Basic Mock Alla Panna

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