Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pet Projects: Walk the Dog, Poach Some Eggs

Because my miniature poodle is more pet than I can handle, I have not taken advantage of the new zoning ordinance allowing villagers to raise chickens in their backyards. I selfishly encouraged a neighbor to build a coop, hoping to score some surplus eggs this spring. My strategy has worked beautifully! It's spring and the chickens are laying more eggs than my neighbor can eat. I was available a few days ago to take a dozen off of her hands. Yesterday I poached a few for lunch, and they were so good that last night I poached some more and served them over spaghetti tossed with fresh bread crumbs, parsley, and bacon. Oh, my God, this dish was good! I could eat spaghetti with poached eggs every night. Here is the recipe:

Spaghetti with Bacon, Breadcrumbs, and Poached Egg
Serves 4

4 ounces bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Ground black pepper
3/4 pound spaghetti
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Parmesan cheese for serving

1. Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until ust crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Add garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water and a 12-inch saute pan with 2 inches of water to boil. Add the spaghetti to the large pot. Set a kitchen timer for 6 minutes.
3. Crack the eggs into custard cups or small teacups. When the timer goes off, remove the skillet from the heat and add the vinegar. One at a time, slice the eggs into the water. Cover the pan and let stand until the whites are just set, 4 to 5 minutes depending on the size of the eggs.
4. Drain spaghetti and return to the pot. Stir in the bacon, breadcrumb mixture, butter, and parsley. Divide among 4 pasta bowls.
5. Use a slotted spoon to lift eggs from saucepan and place on top of pasta. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

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