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Foodtacular Results

I know, I know ... I'd said I'd blog about my results in the Foodtacular Challenge, but to be honest, I didn't do that well. I ended up cooking 2 dishes out of 4, since I ended up going to a "Mixologist Event" with Alef & Raj, and that led to dinner at DBGB ... and that led to hangovers & queasy stomach the next night. Anyway, here are details of two dishes.


Fettucini Alfredo with Pancetta & Peas

 A few months ago, the Missus & I took a stroll down 2nd Avenue and stumbled upon a tiny Italian restaurant (that has since been closed by the Department of Health & Sanitation), and I ended up having this dish. It's absolutely delish, if made right - rich and creamy sauce, sweet peas, some bit from freshly cracked black pepper, and a bit of protein from the Pancetta. I decided to try to recreate the dish at home, since I had the following qualifications: (a) I have cooked pasta, and (b) I had peas in the freezer.


I won't go into the details of how I made the sauce .. there are plenty of recipes that cary the proportions slightly, but end up with the same thing. Instead, I'll leave you with some key takeaways, and lessons learnt:


  • Use good cheese. Don't skimp and use the CostCo stuff. Class it up a bit with a trip to Whole Foods! The CostCo cheese was pretty much inedible. Looking back, it's a wonder I managed to eat anything.
  • Know how to cook pancetta. I still don't know how to ... I ended up with semi-burnt crunchy bits in my pasta


I recreated this dish for the Missus (minus the pancetta, and with good cheese), and it was pretty good. I give myself a B- for effort the first attempt, and a B+ for results the second time around.


Shrimp Stir-Fry

I'd picked up a copy of the Food Network Magazine, which happened to run an article on simple stir fry recipes, and I decided to try a shrimp stir fry with the spicy sauce. I didn't have ALL the ingredients, but tried to substitute the best I could (corn flour is the same as corn meal, right?)

Anyhoo ...

Again, I'm not going to bore you with the recipe, but let me share my biggest lesson learnt (learned?):

Have everything ready to hit the wok!

I didn't realize it at the time, but the wok is so hot, it'll cook the veggies or protein in no time. So there's no time ripping open packets of veggies or opening bottles of sauces while the garlic is burning on the stove, and the smoke's setting off your neighbor's alarms.

At the end of the ... umm, experience, the food was certainly edible. The flavors, not so great, but I think that was more from the sauce/ marinade combo than from any mistakes. I give myself a C+ for effort!

Reader Comments (1)

Wow! how did i miss this blog?? The pictures look good although you have given yourself only C and B for the effort, I think taking the time to cook such delicious things should get a A for effort. I hope you can restart this challenge when you get to CA so we can try out your experiments as well. Keep cooking!

March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuchi

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