Monday, November 17, 2008

Matt Makes Dinner: Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp

Because I'm the one writing it, this blog can have a pretty narrow focus at times. It can appear that I am the only one in our kitchen, messing around, taking far more time than I should and barricading the rest of the world. This impression, however, is wrong in more than one way. First, I haven't lived alone for over nine years, and then only briefly. I've always cooked for and with a family of some composition. Many of my roommates, friends, and ex-wives are wonderful and opinionated cooks, and even those who don't cook made strong impressions on my kitchen adventures by means of their palates and grocery shopping habits. Integrating foodways can be one of the most interesting and most challenging parts of living with someone. Also, I love to cook with people, and for people, and so my cooking, while informed by my personal interests and tastes, is inextricably bound up with my friends and family.

Which brings me to Matt making dinner. This is not an unusual event. Although I don't feature his work here enough, Matt loves to cook and to eat good things, and has strong opinions and talents in the kitchen. He excels at the grill, and prefers pure ingredients cooked simply and well over complicated, fussy creations. His scrambled eggs, as I've mentioned, are perfect. He likes to experiment (and has several unusual cooking show pilots in the works--more on this later), but understands the worth of a well-executed standard. Because he knows so firmly what he likes, he is an instructive audience to cook for, and his commentary is very welcome, especially because he's willing to try anything.

I love learning to cook with people whose basic methods are different than mine, learning their techniques and favored ingredients, their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, there's Libby and me on salad: I underdress, and often forget to make one, she loves them, and piles on not only plenty of dressing but an overload of good things (chickpeas, corn, and craisins topping the list). Having someone in the house who cooks along very different lines helps to vary the whole way we live.

The other night, after I'd draped the oven and a chair or twoin parsley flecked fettucine, Matt got to work on a cream sauce, via Mark Bittman, spiked with saffron and egg. The end result was simple, beautiful, and delicious, as is most of Matt's cooking.And who knew, a year ago, that I would adore shrimps so much after a 26-year hiatus? More on Matt's cooking and our cooking and eating together to come. I want this blog to chronicle not just my cooking, but a whole way of life and living with food, which is why I detail our CSA, our friends, our grocery shopping, and the pressures of the world outside.

1 comment:

jessica said...

This looks really good and not overly creamy! It particularly appears that the shrimp has not been doused in cream sauce, which seems excellent. Congratulations to everybody.