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Test Kitchen: Alfredo is fancy but easy to cook

By Jessica Rodrigo
July 24, 2013 at 2:24 a.m.

Homemade Alfredo with herbed pasta and stuffed, rolled chicken - it's worth the hard work.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Serves 3-4

• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

•  1 tsp. butter

•  11/2-2 cups cheese of choice, shredded or grated

• 1 tsp. butter

• Salt and white pepper to taste

In a glass or nonstick pot, heat heavy cream over medium heat. Add butter to melt in the cream. When little bubbles begin to form, turn heat down to medium low and begin to add cheese in small batches while mixing with a spoon or whisk. Mix slowly to allow the cheese to melt. Once the cheese is no longer stringy or clumping on the spoon or the whisk, add the cheese to your desired taste and texture. If it gets too chunky, add more cream, and if it is too runny, add more cheese.

Rolled Chicken Breast

Serves 2-3

• 2 chicken breasts

•  2 cups fresh spinach, rough chopped

•  2 cloves of garlic, diced small

• 1 Tbsp. of fresh thyme

• 1 tsp. of butter

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Red chili flakes (optional)

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add spinach leaves, garlic and thyme. Saute lightly until spinach is wilted and garlic is fragrant. Turn off heat and set aside to cool. To prepare chicken for stuffing and rolling, take a sharp knife about one-third the thickness of the breast and cut about halfway through. Open breast like a book; if you've cut deep enough, it should lay almost flat. Make another cut from the inside outward to the thicker side of the breast. This will open up the breast to three times its original width. Season outside of breast with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin layer of spinach mixture inside the chicken breast, beginning on the thick end, staying a safe distance from the edges. Once neatly rolled, and stuffing is all tucked away inside the chicken, tie with butcher's twine. Cook over medium heat, and cook with a lid and some cooking wine on the stovetop or use indirect heat on the grill. Cook on each side about five to six minutes. To test doneness of the chicken, use a thermometer or your finger; the chicken should feel firm and tight but still a little soft under the pressure. Once cooked through, remove from heat and allow to rest for at least five to seven minutes for each breast. Cut away string and slice into medallions. Serve with Alfredo sauce over pasta of choice.

Can't make it? go get it.

Toscana Artisan Bakery and Bistro

Address: 5210 N. Navarro St., Victoria

Phone: 361-580-3000

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday

I learned how to make homemade Alfredo sauce when I was in college, but I must admit that it's not often that I have a chance to make it. That is, of course, unless I remember to buy the ingredients when I am shopping.

Heavy cream and Italian cheeses aren't regulars on my shopping list, and it's almost like an attention-hungry pan of risotto: it needs a lot of attention. It's easy to scald the cream or allow the cheese to become one large mass on the bottom of the pot or develop an almost grainy texture to the sauce.

The key is stirring the sauce over a medium to low setting and allowing the cheese to melt in between additions. So, no watching TV while you're cooking, unless you've got the heat on low and you're within arm's reach.

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