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Help with Alfredo for Large crowd?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
:suprise: Oh no! This is my first time on the site. I have an important question don't know if this is where I ask it???. I am making Alfredo sauce for 36 people Sunday! I am concerned about the butter breaking after cooking, then transporting 30 minutes away and keeping warm. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 13
Make a real Alfredo and it can be made when you get there , Heavy cream, parm cheese, DROP OF GARLIC AND NUTMEG and an egg or 2. Real alfredo is not a bechamel or cream sauce. It is made in most good places a la minute. Just bring pasta precooked. Start your cream, cheese (the egg is the thickener beaten added last ) going in large saute pans and toss fettuccini . Thats It. Oh yes break up fettuccini before cooking so it is easier to handle when dishing out.:D Figure 5 to 6 people per pound of pasta.
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post #3 of 13
I'm glad Ed had a solution for you, barbc who? (Love that name!)

I'm moving this from the Welcome Forum (for introductions) to a cooking forum (for cooking questions). Let us know if you have questions about the forum; we'll be glad to help!

Good luck with your event.
Regards,
Mezzaluna
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
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Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
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post #4 of 13
All true, Ed, but as a home cook I for one would not serve 36 people Alfredo that way. I know, it's the right way, but I'd be worried about the eggs not cooking sufficiently.

Myself, I'd reduce the cream, use it to temper the eggs, and get that all good and thick and 170 degrees in advance. Strain any curds, then cool rapidly over ice. When you get to the site, heat a little butter in each pan, add the sauce and the cheese and stir until it's thick, add pasta and serve immediately. Garlic and nutmeg should probably go in with the cheese, so they taste fresh. You could get away without the eggs entirely, but you'd have to reduce the cream in advance by a great deal, which would raise your food bill immensely (you'd have to allow about 1/2 pint of cream per serving, because you'd be reducing it by more than 50% to get the thickness).
post #5 of 13
and all the recipes I've seen call for butter.
post #6 of 13
Although not traditional...here is another option.....brown a quarter pound of
butter in a large pot....add 8 quarts of heavy cream....bring just to a simmer...add three pounds of cream cheese and 3 tbsp of kosher salt...blend
with a wand or buere mixer....thicken very lightly with corn starch water slurry....a tad less than you feel you need to.....add parm reggiano when you put your pasta together, not ahead of time...anything with cheese will burn or scorch when you reheat...much easier to add cheese during assembly of pasta...and a little nutmeg if desired....garlic? I wouldn't expect it in mine....this sauce is snow white, very stable, and although it is not a reduced sauce and has no egg, it catches up in richness because of the cream cheese.....nice, light, good option for banquets or high volume lines...good luck....
post #7 of 13
though I don't recommend it for your party,
JUST FOR THE RECORD,
true Italian "Alfredo" sauce is only butter, parmigiana reggiano and the starchy water from your boiled pasta. The french bastardized it with garlic and nutmeg.

It goes as follows,
-boil your pasta al'dente
-just as it is almost done, begin warming a few pats of butter in a saute pan.
-using a spider, lift your pasta out of the pot, being carful not to let all the water drain away.
-over medium heat, toss it with a handful of parm, if its too thick add a little more of your pasta water, if its too clumpy, add use a little more butter next time.

finish with chopped Italian parsley.

a la minute.

for your party, defiantly make your sauce ahead of time using either of the aforementioned methods.
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #8 of 13
I am no expert on Alfredo by any means, but for what it's worth here is how I do my alfredo (small batch), and it is not an exact measured recipe, but it works for me and it doesn't break even when holding for a while.

On heat, I reduce my cream by about half. I remove the cream and using the same pot, I then add a touch of butter and garlic to the now empty pot. Once the garlic releases its aroma, I add the cream back into the pot and bring to a low/mod. simmer and start cutting-in pieces of butter (room temperature) until I get that nice buttery-creamy taste and it is fully incorporated. Then I add a decent amount of parmesan to get that final alfredo tang, and which also seems to thicken the sauce nicely. I sprinkle in fine-chopped fresh parsley (juice squeezed out) just for color. Season if you like with salt/pepper/white pepper (and I usually add just a smidge of cayenne). And that is it!

It has never broke on me and has sat for stretches at a time both on heat and in a thermos.

The tip that helped me get this recipe was "to prevent breaking, more cream, less butter." Sorry about the lack of measurements. Like I said, I do this in small batches for my family and just kind of eye it. But maybe you can get some ideas from this. I think America's test kitchen has a decent non-breaking sauce too....Good luck!
post #9 of 13

I am just starting out with a catering business. Been doing on the side for while but mainly cooking "home cooking" style meals for weddings, birthday partys, Christmasn dinners, etc. I have no professional training. Cooking is natural for me. But my question is I have a wedding buffet style coming up and they want chicken alfredo. How can this be done for such a large crowd (200 people) and keep the sauce smooth and creamy? It's easy to do small quantities but I need it go on the buffet line.

post #10 of 13

On a buffet line I would handle differently then other ways . I would make a Bechamel Style Alfredo.( a roux with the use of 1/2  & 1/2 cream ) That is more on the style of a Mornay sauce made with Parma cheese . This will hold up better then a real Alfredo. Don't forget it will be sitting in a non-controlable heated chaffing dish for x amount of time.  By cutting the butterfat content of sauce you will control breaking, and seperating.

 

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 13

Thanks.

post #12 of 13

I made alfredo sauce for a party of 100 pp can it be reheated in a oven in aluminum chaffer pans and how long for 3" pans
 

post #13 of 13

Depends upon how you made the sauce. Some yes, some no. How did you make the sauce? Is it roux based?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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