Reverse Engineering in the Kitchen

Me in the Kitchen

Me in the Kitchen

Allowing your mind to get fixed on and passively wander around an idea can deliver satisfying results.

Recently I have been thinking a lot about a popular dish at my favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant.  It is pasta in a mushroom cream sauce, something I wanted try at home, so I thought about “reverse engineering” the sauce recipe.  I started with some presumptions — cream and balsamic vinegar — then went from there.

And I didn’t have to go very far.

What does a good cream sauce need?  It occurred to me that there might not be much more than cream, cheese, and  — the “secret” ingredient — balsamic vinegar.

So I poured a half pint of heavy cream into a large sauce pan, mixed in a cup of shredded parmesean cheese and  found a can of unused — and unwanted — condensed cream of mushroom soup.  In it went.

I stirred constantly until the cheese had melted.  Then found some of my best balsamic vinegar and started to add it to the sauce.  When I had the perfect flavor, I stopped with the vinegar.  The result is an amazingly simple and outstanding sauce!

Pasta Tomato and PeasSome smart alec might point out that all I have done is “discover” Alfredo sauce, which I suppose is mostly correct, but my point here is that sometimes simple things present themselves…with time…easily.  And the act of discovery can be delicious.

Next I will try to discover Bolognese!  Stay tuned.


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