I just got a Christmas present from my food-loving friend, Anne. She paid a visit to the wonderful kitchen shop in DC, Hill's Kitchen, to see Eric Ripert. while she was there she bought my Christmas present, Avec Eric. Now I will be frank, here, I really have not had the time to give to Mr. Ripert as I just got the book, but since it has been a few days since I have posted (got called away for work) I just couldn't resist.
At first glance, it is one of those books that one could give to anyone, cook or not. It is filled with glorious photos of food, France and... food and France, do you really need anything else? Actually there are many places other than France and a fair amount of artisanal producers who grace its pages.
I have been on a bit of a pasta binge as of late, so here is Eric's recipe for a lovely carbonara.
1/2 cup diced applewood-smoked bacon
2 cups crème fraîche
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- fine sea salt
8 ounces dried linguine
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Meanwhile, sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks into the sauce. Add the black pepper and season to taste with salt.
When ready to serve, cook the linguine in the boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir in 1-n cups of the Parmesan cheese and chives; let stand for 1 minute to allow all the flavors to blend.
Using a meat fork or carving fork, twirl a quarter of the pasta (for each serving) and place each swirl of pasta in the center of 4 bowls. Spoon some of the sauce over and around the pasta and top with more grated Parmesan cheese, as desired. Serve immediately.