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Salisbury Burgers

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Pasta Alfredo

Menu Plan for the week of April 12, 2013:  Sunday's Recipes

Salisbury Burgers
Fettuccini Alfredo
Leftover Asparagus and/or Strawberries

Cooking time:  30 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       This Fettuccini Alfredo is not 'heart attack on a plate' but the true, Italian version, made without the heavy cream and tons of butter.  It is a bit fussy, though well worth it. If you have asparagus left from Saturday, fry them again and finish them off... And any leftover strawberries as well. 

Salisbury Burgers                                                 Preparation and cooking time:  30 minutes
    Similar to the oft-dreaded 'Salisbury Steak', only much, much better. Finished with a red wine and mushroom sauce.

12oz ground beef (350gr mince)
1 medium onion
2 ribs celery
5oz mushrooms
2 tbs dry bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika, divided
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) red wine
2 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp olive oil

Chop onion, celery.  Finely chop 2 tbs each of the onion and celery.  Trim mushrooms and thickly slice. Finely chop enough of the sliced mushrooms to equal 4 tbs.   Put the finely chopped 4 tbs mushrooms, 2 tbs onion, 2 tbs celery, bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp paprika, marjoram and beef in a large bowl and mix well.  Form into 2 patties. 
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and sauté, 5 - 7 minutes per side, turning carefully.  Remove, cover to keep warm. 
Add remaining mushrooms, onions, celery, paprika to skillet and sauté about 5 minutes or until tender.  Add beef stock, red wine, tomato paste and stir well.  Return patties to pan, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors and heat patties.  Serve. 

Fettuccini Alfredo                                                   Preparation and cooking time:   30 minutes
    The trick to this classic sauce is not the addition of heavy cream or lots of butter, but in the careful melting of the Parmesan.  A bit of the cooking water is added to help the process.  The end result is a thick, very creamy sauce that lets the Parmesan flavor shine.  It's also much lighter than the typical version.

4oz (125gr) fettuccini or linguini, dried or 8oz (250gr) fresh
3 tbs butter
1 cup (4oz, 120gr) freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbs Mascarpone or 2 tbs Greek yogurt
1/4 - 1/2 cup pasta cooking water

Cook the pasta according to package directions, until 'al dente'.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.  Put the pasta pot on very low heat and add the butter, mascarpone or yogurt and pasta.  Sprinkle half of the Parmesan over the top.  With 2 large forks start tossing the pasta like you would a salad. When the Parmesan is well distributed sprinkle the rest over the top plus 1 tbs pasta water.  Continue tossing.  If / when the cheese starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan, add 1 - 2 tbs pasta water and scrape it off the bottom of the pan.  Continue tossing the pasta, adding a bit of water when needed, until the Parmesan is melted and the pasta is covered with a thick, creamy sauce. 
It took me about 10 minutes of tossing and fussing before the cheese was melted into the butter forming a proper, creamy sauce.  If you don't add the water and spend the time mixing, you end up with Pasta with Parmesan..... also good, just not that same.

Cooking Schedule: 30 minutes for menu
Assemble all ingredients and utensils
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet
with lid, pot and colander for pasta,
skillet for asparagus if using

Heat water for pasta
Chop onion, finely chop 2 tbs
Chop celery, finely chop 2 tbs
Slice mushrooms. finely chop 4 tbs
Trim asparagus if any left
Hull, slice strawberries if any left
Make burgers
Cook pasta if using dried
Sauté burgers
Grate Parmesan

Turn burgers
Finish grating Parmesan
Remove burgers
Sauté onion, celery, mushroom, paprika
Cook pasta if using fresh
Add stock, wine, tomato paste to skillet, stir
Return burgers to skillet, turn heat to very low
Sauté asparagus if using
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup water
Return pot to low heat
Add butter, yogurt/mascarpone, pasta
Make Alfredo sauce
Have patience with the Alfredo sauce
Done? Serve everything
Don't forget the fruit (if you have it)

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