Monday, December 26, 2011

Success....or Failure?

I wanted to creatively use some leftover Ham from last night's dinner.
Looks pretty good right? 
I have no name for this dish.  I am not sure if I will bother naming it at all.  When I started this blog I envisioned beautiful successful dishes.  Food that people would look at and say "I want some of that" or "Wow, she is simply an amazing cook."  Today I decided that to be true to myself and to those of you who choose to read this humble blog I should post my successes along with my failures.  I know exactly where I went wrong. So....let's get started. This is a Ham and Asparagus Alfredo.  I am not a big fan of Alfredo sauce.  I assumed it was because I have only tried if from a jar, and that it must surely be better if I were to make my own sauce, right? So let's get started.  First I put one 16oz. package on Mini Bow Tie Pasta on the stove to cook.
  Then I made a basic white sauce.
Super easy.  Melt 1/4 C. butter then add 1/4 C flour and stir together.  Let that ball of buttery flour cook for a minute in the pan. When I make a traditional white sauce I would now add milk, but since I am making Alfredo sauce tonight I skipped the milk and added 1 can  (14.5 oz) of Chicken Broth and 1 pint of heavy whipping cream instead.  I stirred this together and let it slightly thicken up. Next I added one of my favorite products.  2 T. of Tastefully Simple's Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto.

(insert apologies for the photo quality...
obviously that will need to improve as I go along with this blog)
Now I realize not everyone will have this product in their home, so you could add your favorite pesto, or some garlic, onion, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Get creative right here if you are brave! After adding the pesto I added about 2 C. of diced leftover Ham from Christmas dinner.
Then I added one bunch of roughly cut Asparagus......
After that I added one 14 oz. can of Artichoke Hearts
 that I had cut into quarters....

 Next I chopped one whole red bell pepper......
Now here is where I went wrong.  I discovered tonight that I don't like Alfredo sauce because I don't like Romano Cheese.  At this point in the recipe I added 5 oz. of crumbled Parmesan Cheese and 5 oz. of crumbled Romano Cheese.  I knew the minute that I opened that Romano Cheese that I should abort the mission. The minute I took a whif of that strong cheese I realized what gave the Alfredo that distinctive tang that I just don't care for.
Did I follow my instincts and abort? 
 NO!! I added the cheese.....
Let me just say, the sauce looked wonderful.  It even smelled better than I expected considering it had that stinky cheese in it.  I think I am just a plain cheese kind of girl.  Mozzarella, Provolone, even just the Parmesan Cheese would have been fine for me!  OK - back to the dish....I stirred the sauce and once the cheese melted the sauce was done, and those noodles I started in the beginning were now cooked.  I drained the pasta and added it to the sauce.
 I gave it a good toss and the finshed skillet looked like this....
(again...apologies for the photo quality)
The veggies in this dish were a perfect tender crisp.  While this dish was not my favorite, I did have 2 kids who liked it. But one did not and my husband was not a fan.  So 2 out of 5 means that I will probablly never make this again.  It is not that it was inediable, and there is a possibility I might try this again, but with some different cheese, before I write it off completely.  If you are someone who likes Romano Cheese, or even other strong cheese flavors, then this may be something you might really enjoy.

Le me know what you think of this dish and if you tried it!


  1. Thanks Dorothy! I think it was actually better the second day!