Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I love this time of year. So much abundance at the Farmers' Market. Eating fresh, local and "fairly" healthy is so easy now. Try it in February. That's a challenge.

Last night I made another recipe from Jamie At Home. One I hadn't tried before. It was pretty darn good.

Did you know he won an Emmy for "Food Revolution", by the way? Way to go, Mr. Oliver!

I don't have any pictures, because I was starving, and pretty much devoured it as soon as I got it on my plate. So, here's the gratuitous image of the cookbook cover...

Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life

Go buy it. Preferably through the link on this blog. Because I am an Amazon Associate.

Okay, enough shameless peddling.

Beautiful Zucchini Carbonara adapted* from Jamie At Home
*I don't always follow recipes exactly. This is how I made it.

1 pound penne pasta
1 medium zucchini
1 small yellow squash
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup of cream
1 cup of freshly grated parmesean
5 slices of bacon

Bring a pot of water to a boil on the stove and add pasta. Cook until al dente. While pasta is cooking, slice zucchini and squash into bite-size pieces. Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and add to a big skillet to brown. Brown bacon pieces and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Add zucchini and squash to bacon grease and saute on medium heat until tender. I put a lid on the skillet and stirred the zucchini and squash every few minutes. The lid seems to help the zucchini and squash soften up. Stir together egg yolks, cream and half of the parmesean in a seperate bowl. When pasta is done, drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Quickly pour cream mixture onto pasta, with zucchini and squash and bacon pieces. Stir together until pasta is well coated. Add some of the cooking liquid if necessary. Top with remainder of cheese and serve immediately.

I love carbonara. Who doesn't love bacon grease, cream and cheese? When I was making this dish, it reminded me of this recipe, which is part of my regular rotation. (I LOVE this guy's blog, BTW...) Squash must be a natural match for carbonara... or maybe, its a natural match for bacon grease. I think that's what it is.

Does anyone find it ironic that I made a dish using RAW egg yolks during the height of the egg recall? Well, that's my great big culinary middle finger to industrial agriculture. These eggs came from a farm in Putnam County. Not my usual source from the Monroe Farm Market, but a farm with pastured eggs, nonetheless. By the way, the FDA released a report on the violations at the farm responsible for the recalled eggs. It's pretty bad. I'm no farmer, but most of these things sound like common sense. Here's a little recap that Marion Nestle has on her blog of the report. Warning: not for the weak-stomached set.

I hate wasting food. I recently read that egg whites don't freeze well. (I have at least 4 frozen right now, but haven't tested this theory yet). So, instead of tossing the egg whites, I whipped up some chocolate meringues for dessert. I've never tried to make them before, but they were SO EASY. And they can satisfy a sweet tooth with very little by the way of calories. Score!

Chocolate Meringue Stars from The Betty Crocker Cookbook (Bridal Edition)

3 egg whites
2/3 cup of sugar (you should probably reduce this by a couple table spoons--the finished product was really sweet)
2 Tb plus 1 tsp of baking coco

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer for a few minutes on medium speed until glossy and stiff. (I ran the mixer about 4 minutes and when I lifted up the whip on my stand mixer, the egg whites made a column from the whip to the bowl that didn't move.) Add sugar by the table spoon while running the mixer on medium. Carefully fold in (by hand) baking coco until evenly distributed. Using a piping bag with a star attachment, pipe out cookies onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes in a 275 degree oven.

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