Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo

Image

I know many of you have been wondering where I have been and specially for the lack of post for the past few week, Life has been crazy and when your on the road allot sometimes you just do not have time to sit down and blog when you so desperately need to.

Several Months back I read a tweet from a friend about making Fettuccine Alfredo with Zucchini instead of noodles the wife and I thought we would try this and see how it worked, we had attempted this before but our first attempt was a mess as we over cooked the zucchini.
So basically here is what you do,
take about 6-10 zucchini (yes I know thats allot) and slice them longways only a centimeter thick (at the most) If your really good with a peeler you can use that instead but depending on the peeler used you might have to take your time.
Prepping is the hardest part of this whole thing.
Then you take zucchini that was sliced and cook them in an open skillet till they become a noodle-like consistency.  Image

Then my little secret that I use (dont tell anyone) is that I take the noodles/zucchini and rinse them with cold water. This stops them from continuing to cook and seems to make them a little rubbery which is what you want. I added sliced and seasoned chicken and Alfredo sauce and there ya go! A gluten free Noodle alternative to Fettuccine Alfredo.

I paired a
2009 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay and

and

2003 Azienda Agricola Romana Carlo Dolcetto di Dogliani Brich dij Nor (I know what a name)

First the Chardonnay
I was attempting to go for a semi-oaky Chardonnay to see if this would pair well with my Alfredo sauce but I was very dissapointed in this wine. Not because it was a bad wine. It is very well priced and well worth the $12.00 price tag. I was just hoping for more oak and malolactic.
Sadly this wine is moving along with the trends of this “no oak in my chardonnay” movement which has taken the world by storm. Somehow I feel the same people that told you Merlot is evil and that Pinot Noir was better came up with another statement. “Oak in Chardonnay is bad!” (Or “malo. es Malo!”)
I have said this many times to many people, “I am not afraid of a little oak in my Chardonnay”, I do not like allot of oak nor am I advocating “cougar juice” but a little bit does not hurt and sometimes depending on the region the chardonnay needs oak.
I had a Russian River Valley Chardonnay the other day which was unoaked and you could tell that the grapes used were in previous vintages oaked or semi-oaked. The wine was all out of place I thought I was drinking a Chardonnay from Texas 🙂
I have noticed on the back of many California Chardonnays they are now using phrases like “restrained oak” or “minimal oak” or even taking out the word oak and using phrases like “Honey or nutty” Its like they think that we dont want that in every single bottle of Chardonnay we buy.
The point I am making is that some Chardonnays need oak to enhance what they are, not to mention with creamy dishes like this oak blends nicely.
Now this wine had allot of tropical fruits and bright acidity, I liked this by itself as opposed to eating it with food.
Image

Now The Dollcetto
I will be honest, I did not even know of Dolcetto till I tried it at a Texas vs New York wine “competition” (I use competition in quotes because…well thats a long story) back in 2009
The Dolcetto was from Duchman family winery http://duchmanwinery.com/ and if I was not mistaken was an 08 vintage. I had later tried a lighter version of Dolcetto which was from Italy on a #bteam twitter tasting where Dolcetto was grape we discussed. The wine was always light and very soft similar to a Pinot Noir.
However this 03 Piedmont Dollcetto was made with MASSIVE tannin extraction. lots of dark fruits but I was shocked at how much tannin was in this wine. It reminds me of the different styles that I see with Mencia from the Bierzo region. Some are soft and light others have massive tannin extraction like this wine.
The acidity was still very much alive even though his was an 2003
The Romana Carlo Dolcetto paired better with the Zucchini Alfredo than the Chardonnay, and I might add was a much softer animal to drink on the 2nd day in the decanter.
For a price point of about $16.00 this wine was very much a steal!

Image

All in all I had a great time trying new things. My whole mindset is to always be adventurous and never settle for the status quo. I like to try the wines and foods that are unique and different than what is normally out there, maybe this Chardonnay and Dolcetto were not prime examples of living on the edge but you defiantly see that I am trying!
Next time your in the mood for something different try Zucchini noodles instead of Alfredo noodles. Specially if you are counting carbs and Calories this is a great alternative!

Advertisements

Make your own Pizza night!

This week has been a tough one for me. Ive been all over the state not to mention an emergency trip down to Houston due to a scare from an ill family member as well as my CRX dying on me in Dallas. The Distributor went bad on me after being in the car only 4 months. Apparently from what Ive been told by many fellow CRX owners, the distributors are a very sensitive part to these cars and unless you buy an “O.E.” replacement you are going to have problems. The one I purchased when I was having other issues with the car was brand new from Oreilly Auto parts and was made in China not Japan. Needless to say its a good thing I had a spare because Im back on the road. Its terrible that I can not get reimbursed for having to tow it back home.

So I said all that to say… I needed some good food and wine! What better than to make your own pizza!

The wife and I invited our close friend Nicole over who just recently turned 21 to celebrate and help us eat all this pizza! We all 3 prefer thin crust pizza and lots of veggies on ours as you can see. There were tons of left overs!

I also experimented with something new a BBQ chicken pizza with onions and 2 kinds of cheese. This one was my favorite!

Now the wine….
I have been on this quest to understand Pinot Noir and why people like this grape so much. I honestly still do not see what many see in it as opposed to many other fuller bodied varietals. Ive been drinking Pinot all around the world and This one was from Mendoza Argentina this time.

09 Salentein Reserve Pinot Noir, Mendoza Aregntina – 17.99 –
One thing I noticed about this Pinot was that it was very well balanced. The acidity was not as prominent as you find in many other Pinots. The fruit was mostly strawberry which I am finding is something that you find in more South American Pinots than other regions. I actually like this Pinot because well it did not remind me when I drink it every time that it was a Pinot. There was some nice soft tannins that also showed up later after being open a while. All around it was a good wine at a good price point.

2009 Domaine Santa Duc Rasteau Rouge Les Blovac, Rhone, France -16.99
After the last Brown Bag Wine night and hearing @Friscokid49 talk about how 09 was a phenomenal year in Rhone, Ive been on a quest to find a bottle that would match what he brought that night. Sadly I have been really disappointed with the Rhone reds Ive been finding. This one was part of that group. While the wine had a fantastic deep color and quite a bit of blueberry fruit, I could not get over the Bret. that was on the nose. I know the French love this in their wines because they feel it expresses the “Terroir” But for me I just could not get over it.  Also on the palate was a very airy feel almost like c02 that was not removed. Made me almost think that this wine needs to age for a few more years. Again Im pretty sure the french love this in their wines but for me it just was not worthy of the price. It did do quite well though with my BBQ pizza and the tannins and mouthfeel were disguised when paired with that cheesy monster of a concoction. I will say it was way better with food than without. Maybe some who love this style of wine will appreciate it more so than I

2010 Cap*Rock Bingham Family Vineyards Dry Grenache Rose, Texas High Plains – 10.99 –
I really liked this wine and loved that it was from Texas! I tasted it on my last trip out to Lubbock and was saddened that I only brought back one bottle. I had tasted so many wines that day that things were kind of running together taste-wise. Since the new Specs has opened in Dallas I now have access to this wine and love the quality for price that this wine shows. I firmly believe wines like this will put Texas on the map more so than some of the over priced wines that are being pushed through the Texas wine blogs.
The wine is simple and has a nice berry finish which as you let it sit open a while really shows it self. It caters to the novice wine drinker as well as the more experienced. The nose also does not have the powerful strawberry aromas that you find in most Roses.

But I can say all kinds of things but Ill let this be a testament for you. Our newly 21yr old friend Nicole loves this wine. She is not a wine drinker by any means and has always wanted sweeter wines. This is the first wine I have ever found that she likes. Ive tried other SPW’s (silly pink wines) and none please her palate like this wine does.
To me that says allot and is worthy of some respect even if the wine is pink.

Nicole still has issues learning how to open a bottle of wine, so here is her is a picture of her practicing.  I bought a bottle for her Birthday and she said it took her 10 minutes to figure out how to open it. So funny, after I showed her a few tricks to using this type of corkscrew she quickly became a pro!

Last night was a blast… Good food, a good friend and Time with my beloved wife and family! It was what I needed!