Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th and a couple updates

The thing about change is that it sneaks up on you so quickly you find yourself in the midst of it, head reeling, wondering how "that point in the distant future" somehow became "today."

In December, I found out I'd be moving to Iowa City in the summer for residency. And now, here I sit, in an unfurnished sublet, writing from you from Hawkeye Nation itself. Let me start by saying, I've been so impressed with this city so far - it seems like there are some phenomenal places to eat, I got to go inside the football stadium off-season, and I wandered into a Jazz Fest. I'm also extremely lucky to say that my co-residents are pretty awesome and I think the next two years are going to create some amazing friendships in addition to a wonderful career. 

I made this pasta dish tonight - a simple fettuccine alfredo. The recipe is based off this one by Ree Drummond. I had to modify it for one. I included some suggestions for when I make it again. Let me preface this by saying, alfredo sauce is all fat - there is nothing healthy in this no matter how you spin it. So resolve yourself to having to walk 10 miles after and enjoy it. 

Cook your pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Before draining, reserve a cup of cooking liquid to loosen the sauce later if need be. Heat 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tbs butter. Throw in a minced clove of garlic. Add a generous splash of heavy cream (about 1/4 cup) and then a whole bunch of freshly grated Parmesan (a loose 1/3 cup). Season with a bunch of black pepper but hold off on the salt until you serve. Add 1/3 cup shredded chicken breast (I had a rotisserie chicken so I used that). The chicken is optional but I wanted some protein. Toss in your pasta and coat with the sauce, using the reserved pasta water if necessary to create a nice sauce. Sprinkle with a fresh grating of Parm, salt, and more pepper. The sauce comes together super fast so I just make it in the same pot as the pasta after it's finished cooking.

The first time I made this, it was in Richmond as an experiment to impress a boy. The second time I made this was for said boy, and I was so nervous, I shattered the glass lid to my pasta pot by accidentally leaving it on a hot burner. We're still together...but after that disaster I'm not really sure why. Maybe because no glass got into the meal and therefore I did not poison him. Nailed it.