Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Ruby Update, Fresh Egg Pasta and Pork Scallopini

So far, Ruby is our only egg layer.  Here's what I've noticed.  Ruby seems to have moved up a rung in the pecking order.  The other hens now follow her.  She gets the best spot on the roosting bar.  She will take a dirt bath and the other hens seem to be helping to clean her.  Maggie observed that this is because the other hens know Ruby is the only one laying eggs.  Ruby also runs to me and follows me around.  I think this is because, as her food source, I am ever more important to her now.  The other hens still scurry away when I try to pick them up.  This is the result of an unfortunate incident whereby Pacino got out while the chickens were out, springing around, like it was his long awaited hay day, causing all of the chickens to squawk and jump and subsequently look at me with untrusting eyes.  Pacino was so surprised by his great fortune, that the first sound of me shouting out his name caused him to stop cold in his tracks.  He looked at me like, "aw, I was just going to chase them a little."  
Since Ruby's first egg, the next few have been smaller and lighter in color.  I saved one from Monday, and I sat waiting today, hoping she would lay another egg, so that I could make a small side of fresh pasta for tonight's dinner.  Ruby delivered.  

Fresh Egg Pasta 
For the pasta, 2 eggs, 1 cup of '00' flour.  Something magical happened during today's pasta making session.  The usual, eventual, spilling out of the eggs from the flour well never happened.  Every other time, after incorporating a portion of the flour into the egg, the egg would break through the well and run making it a scurry of gathering on my part to contain the mixture.  Because of the incredibly fresh eggs I was using, this never happened.  The flour gathered into the egg like it was being drawn in by its gravitational pull, forming a magnetic field around the flour.  Amazing!  The pasta was more yellow than usual, due to the deep color of the yolk.  I rolled it to the #5 setting on my past roller attachment and cut it into spaghetti sized noodles.


Cook the pasta in salted water for about 1 minute.  When draining, reserve about 1 tbsp of the cooking liquid to add back to the pasta.  I served the pasta with fresh peas and browned butter.  Melt 3 Tbsp butter, slowly, until browned.  Toss in 1/3 cup peas (make sure the peas are dry), and stir to combine until the peas are just heated through.  Toss with pasta and serve.

Pork Scallopini
My plans for veal scallopini were not meant to be, and so I went with a center cut pork chop, much the same as I would have had I been able to buy veal.  I deboned the pork, reserved the bones, and pounded the pork to about 1/4" thickness.  I then put the pork into a brine of:
1.5 cups water
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 dried bay leaf
several sprigs of fresh thyme
5 fresh sage leaves
Place the pork back in the refrigerator for several hours.  Take the pork out and remove from the brine about 30 minutes before cooking.  Dry with paper towels, cut each large piece into 2 smaller pieces, discard brine.


Make a sauce with the pork bones.
Salt and pepper the bones.  Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add a little olive oil, sear bones until well browned.  Pour out any fat left from searing the bones.  Add 1.25 cups of water and deglaze the pan.  Transfer everything to a small sauce pan.  With so little liquid, it will be easier to cook the flavor out of the bones in a smaller pan.  Let the broth simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.


To cook the pork, heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Add a little olive oil and cook the pork about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove to a warmed plate, set into a warmed oven while you finish the sauce.
Add a couple tsp of flour to the pan used to cook the pork, and stir until flour is browned.  Deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp Calvados and then the pork broth and any juices that have collected from the pork.  Let boil for a minute or two. Adjust seasoning; salt and pepper as needed.
To finish the pork, I cut half of a peeled Macintosh apple into small cubes.  Saute in a little butter.  Place on top of the pork and finish with the a bit of the sauce and a drizzle of raspberry honey.


Chris is out of town, and the girls both said, "poor daddy."  I'm going to just throw this out there, but I'm pretty sure daddy ate just fine tonight.  Nonetheless, I appreciate the thought that dinner was good enough, the girls felt bad he missed it.  We all thanked Ruby for her eggs.  The pasta was divine!

2 comments:

  1. Ruby has won and stolen my heart!! ps Yum!! Pasta attachment is on my Christmas list. and ps again: Tim made YOUR roasted chicken for my birthday and it was perfection. xo

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  2. I hope I have not gone overboard on my Ruby posts! But we are loving our whole chicken experience. Can't wait for the other gals to start laying. Tim told me about the Roasted Chicken. Bravo Tim!
    Thanks as always!

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