Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tired of Turkey?

Thankful that they are not turkeys,
the girls enjoy a relaxing dust bath
on a chilly autumn afternoon.

The weekend after. Stuffed like oversized-fowl, we waddle around the kitchen, exploring inventive ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, only to find we have exhausted our options. My advice, toss that tired bird into the freezer, and crack open those eggs instead.

Thanks to the newest addition in my cooking arsenal, The Farmstead Egg Cookbook, author Terry Golson offers a refreshing alternative to Turkey Day fare. Consider a new source of protein: Italian pancetta, sliced from your local deli's butcher. Add your favorite pasta, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses... oh, and don't forget about the garlic, and voila! You have Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

I whipped up this delectable dish, much to my family's delight, and Terry's recipe is the most foolproof Spaghetti alla Carbonara I have made to date. The trick is cooking the egg mixture by virtue of stirring it into steaming hot pasta in a serving bowl, rather than in the pan. This way, the sauce remains smooth and creamy.

Using fresh eggs that are from organically fed, free-ranged, locally farmed hens will ensure that rich golden color and tantalizing flavor you expect from an Italian classic. The addition of sweet basil leaves makes this recipe stand out among others, the contrasting flavors of pancetta and basil dance in your mouth as you chow down. Feast your senses on this warm, nourishing winter dish.

The Carbonara recipe is a freebie on Golson's entertaining website: http://www.hencam.com. There are also links to her blog, books, and chicken keeping advice. You can even view Golson's webcam, featuring adorable feathered starlets such as "Tina Turner" and "Lulu." Golson makes hen keeping - and cooking with fresh eggs - look like the coolest hobbies on the block.