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Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing. This is one of the easiest dressings ever! It only requires four ingredients, and it is so good.

It’s a lot like Alfredo sauce, but cold, so it is great for pasta salad if you are in the mood for a creamy one instead of one dressed with a vinaigrette.

And if you love left-over chicken Alfredo, but hate the way it gets all congealed when it’s cold and then doesn’t really get a good texture back when you reheat it, this is the perfect make-ahead substitute. Just cook your pasta and chicken, put them in a sealable container, toss it well with some of this dressing, and refrigerate. Perfect cold “chicken Alfredo” for breakfast!

I’m completely spoiled to homemade dressing, but it took me a while to get my system down so it wasn’t so much work. When I make this one, I make a batch of Homemade Ranch at the same time. But now I premix the dry ingredients for my Ranch and store enough for several batches.

I also have an amazing batter bowl that my mom got from the Farmer’s Market for my birthday. I’ll have to post pictures of it later. I mix my dressings in that, using a stick blender (you can use a whisk of a fork), and then I pour them into sauce jars that I have saved.

I label them, using painter’s tape, with the expiration date of the ingredient that has the closest expiration date. For me that’s usually the buttermilk. That works better than just labeling them with the “made on” date because when I did that I still had to go look at the expiration dates on my ingredients to know if the dressing was good, and if I had already thrown out the containers for the ingredients I was screwed.

Ingredients:

1 bulb garlic (roasted)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk

To Roast the Garlic:

Set the oven to about 350 or 400 (preheating is not necessary). Cut the top off the bulb of garlic. Put it in a ramekin or another little oven-proof bowl-type thing. drizzle with olive oil. Put it in the oven until it’s golden brown, usually somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour. I know it’s time to check it because I can smell it.

Remove from the oven and let cool! You can roast the garlic a day or two before you make the dressing and just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to go, but it’s easier to squish out at room temperature.

To Make the Dressing:

Squish roasted garlic into a bowl.
Add mayonnaise and Parmesan. Blend well with a stick blender, whisk or fork. Add buttermilk. Blend well again.
Pour into a sealable container or cover your bowl and refrigerate.
Label with expiration date if desired.

That’s it!

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Tortellini Alfredo – The Bellybutton of Venus

Tortellini Alfredo – The Bellybutton of Venus

Also from the Valentine’s Day, 2006 issue.

Tortellini means bellybutton of Venus. Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, was to rendezvous with Jupiter at an inn. Venus arrived first and was waiting in their room. The chef heard of her arrival, peaked through the keyhole into her room, and saw her lying partially covered on the bed. He was so inspired by the sight of her navel that he rushed to the kitchen and created the stuffed pasta in its image.

Tortellini, cooked

Butter, 1 stick
Garlic, as much as you can stand to peel and slice
Half and half, 1 pint
Parmesan, 6-8 oz
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add half and half and bring up to hot but DO NOT BOIL, whisking constantly. When half and half is hot add parmesan slowly, whisking constantly, it should melt pretty quickly. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat. Combine tortellini and
Alfredo sauce in bowl or serving dish.

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Alfredo Blue Cheese Chicken

Alfredo Blue Cheese Chicken

Boneless skinless chicken breast
Alfredo sauce
Blue cheese crumbles
Pine nuts (optional)
Butter

Pound chicken to about ½ inch. Chop up pine nuts. Pre-heat oven to 350. Heat Alfredo sauce and stir in blue cheese. Melt butter in an iron skillet. Cook chicken in the skillet until just done. Pour sauce over chicken and top with pine nuts. Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered) or until cheese sauce just starts to brown on top (the side may start to brown well before it is ready).

If your chicken is frozen, you can thaw it in cold water. Place the wrapped chicken in a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. This is supposed to take about 1 hour per pound. To keep the chicken from floating, place a bowl of water on top of it.

You can make your own Aldredo sauce (see Basic Alfredo Sauce recipe) or, if you don’t have the time, energy, or confidence to make the sauce you can buy Alfredo sauce in a jar. You’ll find it in the spaghetti sauce section in your grocery store or in the refrigerated section near the dairy products.

The amounts are variable. I used 2 chicken breasts, 1 jar sauce, 4oz blue cheese, 2 or 3 tablespoons butter, and about ¼ cup pine nuts (or a little less) in a very large iron skillet.

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Basic Alfredo Sauce

Basic Alfredo Sauce

Butter, 1 stick
Garlic, as much as you can stand to peel and slice
Half and half, 1 pint
Parmesan, 6-8 oz
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter on medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add half and half and bring up to hot but DO NOT BOIL, whisking constantly. When half and half is hot add parmesan slowly, whisking constantly, it should melt pretty quickly. Whisk until thoroughly blended.

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A Different Broccoli Mac & Cheese

A Different Broccoli Mac & Cheese

A Different Broccoli Mac & Cheese, by Sandra Yvonne Duke

Normally, I like to make everything from scratch, including my sauces, but sometimes there’s just not time. This cheater recipe comes out almost as good as homemade, and is much, much easier. It uses a pre-made sauce, Alfredo or other white cheese.

1 cup dry macaroni
¾ lb broccoli
1 jar (16oz) Alfredo sauce
8 oz blue cheese crumbles

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Cook macaroni.
Steam broccoli.
In a large oven-safe glass bowl – place 1/2 of the macaroni and ½ of the broccoli and mix together. Add ½ of the sauce and ½ of the blue cheese and mix well. Repeat with the second half of all ingredients. Bake uncovered for about 30 to 45 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

This works great with the Lemmon & Pepper Chicken recipe and can go in the oven at the same time!

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