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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / need to make alfrado sauce early for wedding??/
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    need to make alfrado sauce early for wedding??/

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    Rosecottagerealty
    Sun May 13, 2012 10:02 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    My son is getting married in June and we decided to cook the food ourselves as it is held at a lodge in the mountains and we do not have a lot of choice in caterers. I'm making fettuccine alfredo and we made it tonight and it was very good but it separates when it cools. How and what do I do to make it about 3 hours early and be able to then mix with noodles and keep in warmer during the wedding. Please advise.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Mon May 14, 2012 7:28 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Congrats!

    I made this recipe ahead and here are my notes. A crock pot on warm may keep it longer.
    Do not add to the pasta ahead of time. It will absorb some of the liquids in the sauce and you will end up with a gluey mess.

    Alfredo Sauce

    I followed some suggestions: used whole milk, and more Parmesan/ Reggiano & garlic powder and also some white pepper. If you would like to make ahead, melt butter, add cream cheese & milk & keep warm. You can hold off on adding the Parmesan until a few minutes before serving. This approach worked out great for me.
    SarasotaCook
    Mon May 14, 2012 8:08 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Authentic true Italian alfredo sauce is simply butter and parmesan.

    The more classic Americanized version is butter, cream, and parmesan.

    These sauces will separate. You can keep it warm in the crock pot, although I don't like the texture as much; and you need to have a crock pot with a very low setting.

    As mentioned, the pasta can not be added until right before serving. You can pre-cook pasta, drain, cool on a sheet pan; then it can be dropped in boiling water right before serving. Many caterers use that trick. Undercook the pasta a minute or so, just follow pkg directions for al dente. This does work.

    This is the recipe for the Olive Garden copycat recipe. I personally am not a fan; but it does hold up much better because of the cream cheese, and I have made it in a crock pot for a party once. I think everyone loved it except me, icon_smile.gif. But, it is very well like and is very stable, so making ahead is not a problem. Again, pre cook the pasta and then just reheat. Otherwise, the pasta will get mushy and soak up to much of the liquid.

    Also, using heavy cream will help to stabilize the sauce

    1 pint heavy cream
    1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
    2 tablespoons cream cheese
    1/2 - 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    Rosecottagerealty
    Mon May 14, 2012 10:35 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    icon_biggrin.gif Thank you so much. The heavy cream and cream cheese recipe is what I used and they liked it on our test run (on Mothers Day) but It did get a weird texture as it cooled in pan. That is why I needed your advise on how to stop that from happening. The crock pot idea is great. One thing I noticed was the parmesan didn't melt very well and it took a long time on a higher heat than I felt should be used. Any ideas on that?
    Again Thanks, a crazy mom who thought it would be a good idea to cook ourselves.....
    SarasotaCook
    Mon May 14, 2012 6:26 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    First off, use fresh grated parm. Not the shredded in a bag. Use a good quality and grate it yourself. Very important. Many pre packaged cheeses have preservatives which alter the melting properties.

    Make sure to premelt in a pot and transfer to the crock pot. You may have to turn it up to HI a bit right at the end, It really depends on the crock pot. All are different so it is very odd. Some may be ok on LOW. Some may be fine on LOW and then heated to HI before serving. Especially with a large amount it will be difficult and will need to be stirred often.

    If I can say so. Alfredo is a very difficult dish to serve for a wedding a large party. Most caterers avoid it. Just a thought. There are so many other sauces that work so much easier.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Mon May 14, 2012 8:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    SarasotaCook wrote:
    First off, use fresh grated parm. Not the shredded in a bag. Use a good quality and grate it yourself. Very important. Many pre packaged cheeses have preservatives which alter the melting properties.

    Make sure to premelt in a pot and transfer to the crock pot. You may have to turn it up to HI a bit right at the end, It really depends on the crock pot. All are different so it is very odd. Some may be ok on LOW. Some may be fine on LOW and then heated to HI before serving. Especially with a large amount it will be difficult and will need to be stirred often.

    If I can say so. Alfredo is a very difficult dish to serve for a wedding a large party. Most caterers avoid it. Just a thought. There are so many other sauces that work so much easier.


    Sarasota knows her stuff, she is a professional caterer. Maybe you should consider something else. There is nothing worse than a a dish not working out.

    The alfredo comes together rather quickly. Why not pre boil your pasta and whip up the sauce shortly before serving. Can a friend help you out with this ?
    Zeldaz
    Mon May 14, 2012 10:00 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I agree, it's not the best choice, especially on a day you want to enjoy with as few issues as possible.
    Rosecottagerealty
    Mon May 14, 2012 10:01 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    that's weird both caterers we tested were going to make fettucini so I think that's why we wanted it. What do you suggest. We are not using caterers due to cost. Being up in the mountains in a lodge we are limited to people wanting to go up there and they charge a lot because of that. Both my boys are good cooks and my daughter can't boil water so the youngest son is going to help cook. I just don't want to spend my time cooking and not be able to get ready and have a nice time. We are hiring servers. If you can suggest something that will work better, We are having smoked pulled port, and the brides mom is making manicotti so we need a chicken dish. Any help will be appreciated.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Tue May 15, 2012 5:01 am
    Food.com Groupie
    How many people are you serving?

    Since you already have a pasta dish (manicotti), I think it would be a good idea to not have the alfredo.

    My 2 favorite chicken dishes, both company worthy

    Chicken Cutlets With Bacon, Rosemary and Lemon This is amazing!
    *I cut way back on the red pepper flakes, I like heat but 2 teaspoons is WAY too much. 1/2 t is plenty.

    Chicken With Mushrooms & Lemon Sauce
    jilkat25
    Wed May 16, 2012 1:39 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Actually, I don't want to be a buttinsky, but...cold, gluey alfredo sauce on rewarmed fettucini, yuck. I recently attended a wedding/reception at the local arboretum, wedding and booze outside, then probably at least 400 people brought indoors for a sit-down dinner and, eventually, cake. It was a high-class deal with a sizable staff, but the guests lined up cafeteria-style at three stations: two taco stations at either end of the ballroom, and a large sort-of salad bar with greens, dressings, veggies, meats, cheeses, olives, macaroni salad, etc in the central position. Overall, it seemed fairly manageable, but I was only there as a guest. The mother of the bride was a real trooper keeping it all together, but I still felt a bit sorry for her having her hands full while wearing a ballgown with a train. The tacos were chicken or beef fajita meat and regular ground beef, plus a couple of salsas, lettuce/tomatoes, sour cream, pico de gallo, corn and flour tortillas, taco shells, all things that could easily be kept hot or cold. The salads were like you'd find on a big salad bar, but nothing that couldn't be done ahead of time. Good luck and congratulations! Whatever you decide will be wonderful, I'm sure!
    SarasotaCook
    Wed May 16, 2012 5:58 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chicken marsala can be made ahead of time and it stays warm very nicely. Also, it is a easy dish to prepare. There are many baked versions, so you wouldn't have to saute all the chicken. But they will depend on how many people you are serving.

    Also, a baked chicken with mushrooms and artichokes is also very easy and good. It too stays warm nicely and can be prepared ahead.

    Both dishes can be served over rice which would be easy to prepare ahead of time.

    What type of other side dishes are you having. I really like to plan all the dishes so they somewhat go together rather than just all separate dishes.

    Is the manicotti the traditional, cheese filled, meat sauce?
    With the pulled pork, or you serving a BBQ sauce or an other sauce? Sometimes it is nice to offer a couple of sauces. Are you serving it plain or on a roll?

    Another idea. Stuffed chicken breasts can be fun; but actually easy. Any butcher, even right at the regular grocery store will cut a slot in them for you. Maybe a simple mix of cheese, spinach and vegetables can be stuffed in them. And made ahead. These can be baked in a couple of big pans and a simple cream sauce can be made well in advanced and simply heated up. The chicken stays warm very nicely and the sauce can be served right over the top. I have used that for catering several times.

    Also, chicken in white wine with artichokes, onion and olives is super simple and just baked. It is excellent with mashed potatoes; also a very easy make ahead dish. Also, The chicken can be made on the bone with breasts and thighs and you can cut the breasts into pieces so not everyone has a HUGE piece. It is a great buffet dish, but still very elegant. And NOT expensive.

    And the mashed potatoes are great with pulled pork too.

    I would be glad to share any recipes; but thought I would throw out some ideas first.
    SarasotaCook
    Wed May 16, 2012 6:06 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thx Chicago.

    Yes the chicken with bacon and rosemary that you mentioned is very good. Good choice.
    ----------
    FYI, catering companies often make alfredo because it is cheap and the caterer makes a huge profit. Also, they have extra people helping out and they have that "one person" who can make the sauce right before serving.

    And, many commercial caterers or larger companies use commercial products - and I hate to admit it, but it is true. Many do use a pre-made alfredo which has stabilizers in it. It is a high quality sauce, not like the jarred sauce in the grocery stores, but they do use it which can really make it easy.
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Wed May 16, 2012 7:37 am
    Food.com Groupie
    If you make a chicken dish be sure to sauté / brown them. This insures that they will be tender and moist after the baking. Otherwise, "rubber chicken".
    Chicagoland Chef du Jour
    Wed May 16, 2012 8:06 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chicken Oscar comes to mind, as well.

    You will need:
    Chicken breasts
    Crab meat (flaked) or shrimp, cooked
    Asparagus
    Bearnaise sauce (Knoor makes a good one, add a splash of white wine to the sauce)

    Dust chicken breasts with flour, Sauté both sides until lightly browned and cooked through

    Cook & Blanche (trimmed) asparagus

    Top chix with 2 asparagus, sauce & crab meat.

    Everything can be made ahead.... make the Bearnaise sauce shortly before serving.
    SarasotaCook
    Wed May 16, 2012 10:21 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Very true Chi, you need to sear or bake where it browns. Otherwise ... rubber as you said.

    --------------------------

    You could make a creamed chicken with mushrooms, and sherry, which is made ahead and heats up well. You could add broccoli or asparagus to it right before serving. This makes it a bit more elegant but also very comforting. It too can be served over rice. Use a wild rice blend which makes it a bit "fancier" and garnish it with fresh herbs. It would be very inviting and easy to prepare. Also, very cost effective.
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