I have a knack for getting recipes right the first time. That isn’t me showing off (okay, it is ninety percent me showing off), it is more the reason I can’t draw very well. Confused yet? Wonderful! Let me explain..
When I was an innocent naive freshman in University (all of five years ago) I started my educational career under the assumption I would graduate a Graphic Designer….and then I ended up an English major. Anyway, as a Graphic Design major drawing classes were a prerequisite. So I took drawing classes. I’m no Picasso by any means, but when I stop thinking and let my hands move instinctively I’m a fairly decent artist. I have my own distorted style and exaggerated way of revealing the world with a pencil much the way I do with a camera. However, because I have never considered myself “that kind” of an artist I over-think everything I do. WAY OVERTHINK, and then disaster strikes and a five year old could draw better than whatever I’d just created. The same principle applies in cooking, when I allow my body and mind to act as one — when I stop thinking and treat cooking more as a dance, an act of artistic creation than a chemical equation– magic happens. I have confidence in my cooking hands, enough confidence to create entire dishes without tasting once (I know, I know Gordon Ramsey would kill me). I get so caught up in the act of being that I forget that I might want to check to see if I need more salt before I dump, oh, half a cup in. (I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT, THIS IS AN ANALOGY.)
All of that to say, that wasn’t even remotely the case with this recipe. This recipe has accumulated an entire month of obsessive over thinking, constant tasting, re-working and more obsessing. This recipe is the culmination of every ounce of “I am going to sign a cookbook deal one day” that I have in my bones. I’m ready to play in the big leagues, and this kitchen dancer is getting some moves. So watch out world.
Before I was vegan, or gluten free, or paleo or any of those glorious things – I still wasn’t a fan of Alfredo. It just wasn’t me. Give me a marinara sauce ripe with flavor. But Parmesan and butter? Seriously? You can’t get more creative than that? Cook, please. So as my diet shrunk in “options” the last thing on my mind was how much I would miss Alfredo. Because in case you weren’t paying attention, I wouldn’t, I didn’t, I haven’t and I won’t. Ever. But. Like most things in my life, the majority of the world doesn’t agree with me… and they love them some melted pungent cheese in pure butter, with added salt you know just for kicks.
I didn’t ask anyone to lay down that gauntlet, but it was just sitting there. Alone. On my kitchen floor. And if you don’t know anything about me, know this, I do not like things lying on my kitchen floor. Or any floor for that matter. I am clean. CLEAN. Clutter is my enemy I will destroy it with brute force an-
Ahem, getting off topic.
Basically I have a pinterest account and every paleo worth his or her salt was making paleo and or vegan Alfredo. It was glorious, millions, billions of photos, variations, bases made from cauliflower to coconut cream. And here I was right in the middle deciding to make something everyone else had already perfected because I have no imagination at all. (That was sarcasm, please see that was sarcasm.)
I challenged myself to create something that would stand out from the masses with its own unique little flair and finesse. So I added alcohol, because what else was I supposed to do? So here it is my masterpiece. I enjoy it over slightly al dente spaghetti squash but feel free to enjoy it with any form of pasta you like — or go crazy and throw it over top of some roasted veggies. Or, do what I never ever ever ever do, ever, and eat it with a spoon..by itself.
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|Ingredients. Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 30 min||Utensils.|
|2 c. raw cashews
3-5 c. water (for soaking cashews)
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. Chardonnay
2 c. So Delicious Original Coconut Milk
1/4 tsp. fresh lemon zest
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. nutritional (brewer’s) yeast
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 – 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
|1. In a small bowl soak raw cashews in 3-5 cups of water until well covered, set aside on a counter covered in a tea-towel for 20 minutes2. Once your cashews have have finished soaking drain off the excess water and set aside
3. Prepare a medium or large sauce pan with the 2 tbs. of olive oil, then thinly slice your cloves of garlic
4. Place the saucepan on medium heat and add the garlic, begin to sauté in the olive oil until the garlic becomes aromatic and begins to brown around the edges, this usually takes around 5 minutes
5. Now gently pour your cashews into the saucepan with the garlic and olive oil, be aware that the cashews are still a little wet so the oil will bubble and spit
6. Stir the cashews and garlic allowing a nice sauté to form, do not worry if some cashews insist on sticking to the bottom of your saucepan, this will only add flavour later on
7. Continue stirring and sautéing for 5-7 minutes until you feel that the cashews have developed a little bit of colour, the point is not to make them all dark but to infuse them with the garlic flavour and get a little bit of brown on the bottom of the pan
8. Now carefully pour your Chardonnay into the pan, alcohol reacts to heat instantly so have your hand far enough away from the saucepan that you do not receive a steam burn
9. Stir the cashews quickly, focusing on cleaning off the bottom of the pan to get all the browned flavour
10. Wait until the alcohol has evaporated off and allow the wine to reduce until there is only a little bit of water left at the bottom of the pan – then remove from heat
11. Pour your cashew mixture into a blender and add remaining ingredients except sea salt
12. Pulse until a smooth creamy sauce forms, there should be no visible cashew particles
13. Once a smooth sauce has formed add salt in increments, pulse and then taste until you love it