When I was little, my younger sister and I would make boxed pasta-roni fettuccine alfredo a lot. My sister would always want me to put on a fake cooking show, and pretend I was making some amazing, extravagant plate of food -- when really it was water, noodles, and a seasoning packet. I think she just really liked the stupid, fake Italian accent I would do. I'd add random stuff from our cupboard to it, and it would turn into the strangest concoction that we ate anyway. The point being, I never felt more like a chef [[in my own mind]] as when I was making boxed pasta-roni for my little sister. I don't think any one will watch me cook with that much enthusiasm again.
Last night, trying to create a vegan alfredo sauce, that same "random" feeling came over me. What's the best way to replace a white cheese? I found myself pulling out anything I could find in my cupboard [[complete with random, fake Italian accent in my mind... I'm truly a nerd]]. And what I came up with, I found to be pretty darn close to the alfredo sauce I ate as a kid [[minus my childhood spice combo]]. I don't know how authentic you could call pasta-roni, but I imagine it falls a little short of the real thing. Andrew, who doesn't really understand my love of boxed things, enjoyed it thoroughly as well.
This pasta dish really knocked my socks off, though. The crunchy, creole seitan was a well seasoned substitution for chicken. I think I like it better. I can't really describe the alfredo beyond -- alfredo-y. It's herbaceous and creamy, exactly what you'd want from an alfredo sauce.
I'm sick of stupid names for vegan food. Like really. No more "nooch" or "nom nom" or "bad *ss b*tch alfredo sauce". We're vegan, not angst-y babies. Let's use big people words. This is an alfredo sauce.
This is the sauce, pre-thickening time. It will be very thin. If this is your first time making an alfredo, just be patient. It's not ruined.
1 heaping tbs earth balance buttery spread
3 cloves garlic
2 heaping tbs chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups whole plain soy milk
1/2 cup white cooking wine
a coupe dashes of thyme, oregano, and onion powder
a small pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1 heaping tbs sour cream
a squirt of lemon
-- Melt butter and cook garlic about 30 seconds on medium heat. Then, add chickpea flour and whisk until a thick paste forms.
-- Add milk and wine, and whisk constantly. Let sit for a minute and allow to thicken. Whisk some more. Let sit again. About 10 minutes.
-- When thickened, remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk together thoroughly. Keep on low burner until ready to serve.
creole seasoning, Tony Chachere for instance
2 tbs olive oil
-- Chop up seitan into tiny, bite sized pieces. Lightly season with creole and chili powder. Enough to get them lightly seasoned.
-- Heat on medium heat, 2 tbs olive oil. Add seitan and cook until cripy and browned.