Simple. Fresh. Local

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." JRR Tolken

Month: September, 2011

Goat Chops with Maple-Balsamic Glazed Spaghetti Squash

I usually incorporate spaghetti squash as the noodles for meatballs. But we made this camping, and as I looked around my kitchen I saw cilantro, corn and avocado—not very spaghetti-like ingredients. I was trying to picture how to incorporate everything in an appealing way and I came up with placing goat chops on a fried bed of spaghetti squash surrounded by the chopped onions, tomatoes, corn, and garlic. The goat and squash have a maple-balsamic glaze that balanced perfectly with the salt and oil on the vegetables, and also with the kick I gave the dish with some roasted red pepper flakes.

Goat Chops with Maple-Balsamic Glazed Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1 clove garlic
2 large heirloom tomatoes
1 ear of corn
1 small, spicy pepper
1 onion
2 goat chops
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea Salt
Olive oil
Red pepper flakes
Cilantro
Goat Butter

 Preheat the oven to 400. Halve the spaghetti squash and place them in a pan half filled with water, seed side down. Roast until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes or so, when it’s done let it cool for a bit, and then scrape the seeds out. Scrape out the fleshy inside of the squash and set aside in a bowl.

In the mean time, chop the onion and sauté it in olive oil over medium high heat. Add the spicy pepper, corn and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Finally, add in the chopped tomatoes. Let this mixture cook for about eight minutes, then set aside.

Season the goat chops with oil, salt, and a drizzle of maple syrup and balsamic. Mix the rest of the maple syrup and balsamic in a bowl for later use.

Sear the goat on medium high heat on both sides to your desired doneness. Then, using your hands, form the spaghetti squash into rounds and set them in the same pan you seared the meat in (I just moved the chops to the side to keep them warm). Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the maple balsamic glaze on the spaghetti squash rounds. After a few minutes, flip the patty. The glaze will caramelize on the bottom, but make sure your pan isn’t too hot so nothing burns.

Assemble the squash on a plate, set the chop on top of it and spoon on the tomato corn mixture. Add a bunch of cilantro and a shake of red pepper flakes. I also made a melted goat butter, cilantro, and red pepper mix to drizzle on top of the finished plate. This tastes great and looks really nice.

 Glazed Spaghetti Squash with Cinnamon Greek Yogurt

With the extra spaghetti squash and glaze I made this light, delicious dessert. I cooked the squash the same way as described previously, but added a little more glaze so that the squash balls were coaand caramelized all over. Then I added a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Simple and delicious.

Guitarfish

Guitarfish was a lovely small festival this past weekend in Cisco Grove. The last few days left me exhausted in a content, happy, nostalgic way. The music was amazing, close up and non-stop, playing all hours of the day, night and early morning hours. We made gourmet camp food, of course, like meatballs with spaghetti squash, caprese salads, and delicious sangria. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves as I reassemble my life after this magical weekend.

Goat Curry with Garlic and Green Onion Naan

A few weeks ago I realized that I’ve never made curry. Curry is one of those dishes I love, but have no experience or confidence making. So, I’ve left it to the pros for all these years and missed out on working toward my own mastery of the curry craft. On my ride home from school I started thinking about the huge box of tomatoes I bought at the farmers market, and my peaches, onions, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and goat stew meat defrosting in the fridge. As I rode the flavors started mixing in my head, and I arrived home ready to experience the aromatic delight I’d created in my mind. Instead of rice I made homemade naan. It was chewy and dense and speckled with seeds, garlic and scallions. It didn’t fall apart when I dipped it in the curry and held up well to a sliver of goat meat and a peach balanced on its crispy, chewy, slightly browned edge. I did use a pre-bought curry paste from the co-op this first time, but I plan on making my own from now on. Also, my curry was quite mild. When I have leftovers I don’t want them to be overpoweringly flavor full because I won’t eat them if they are too rich. This meal is incredibly satisfying, and more like a tomato soup with curry flavoring than a fully authentic Indian or Thai curry.

Naan with Garlic and Green Onion
1 package yeast
2 Tbsp warm water
1 Tsp coconut palm sugar
¼ c warm milk
¼ plain, whole milk, yogurt
4 Tbsp melted butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp hemp seeds
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions

Mix warm water, sugar and yeast. Set aside until the mixture foams and bubbles. Add the milk, yogurt, and butter to the yeast mixture. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and seeds in a large bowl. Using your hand, mix the yeast and flour mixture. Knead on a floured surface for about eight minutes, adding more water if it feels too dry. Place the ball of dough in a bowl and cover with a towel for around four hours until it rises and doubles in size. I let mine rise, and then placed it in the fridge overnight, and then, before I baked it, allowed it to come to room temperature.

Chop the garlic and onions, knead them into the rested and risen naan, and then form into balls. Brush them with olive oil and let rest for another 15 minutes. During this time, turn your oven to its highest temperature (500 or so). With a rolling pin, roll out the naan on a floured surface. Bake for 4-5 minutes, and then broil for another minute or so.

Goat Curry
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
1 red onion chopped
1 large peach sliced
5-6 large tomatoes diced
1 sweet potato
1 hot pepper chopped
½ C goat stew meat, chopped and seasoned with salt, oil, and pepper
1 spoonful Green curry paste
¼ C Coconut milk
2 Tbsp Vegetable stock
½ C water

Sauté the chopped red onion in olive oil for a few minutes before adding the garlic and hot pepper. After a few minutes, push the veggies to the side, add more oil, and sear the goat meat. I only sear the meat for about 30 seconds on each side, just so it gets browned. Add the tomatoes and peaches. Add a spoonful of the curry paste. Pour in the coconut milk, vegetable stock and water. Add the sweet potato and stir well, making sure the curry paste is broken up and evenly distributed. If you want a stronger curry flavor, add more paste, I kept it pretty light. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let the stew simmer for 30 minutes or so. I let the curry simmer while I did the final preparations of the naan so everything came out ready at the same time.

Garnish the curry with fresh basil, and I like my naan drizzled with olive oil and sprinkle of good sea salt.

Favorite Breakfast

I eat this breakfast, or some variation of it, or a smoothie, every morning for breakfast—give or take a few days. If your fridge is filled with endless vegetables and eggs, like mine, this is a delicious way to eat vegetables in the morning. My brother makes eggs fried on top of skillet toasted corn and sweet onion, and the sweet, caramelized corn and onion pair perfectly with the rich, salty, runny yolks. I wouldn’t typically share a basic breakfast meal, but this is one that I never get tired of and the vegetables and toppings can be endlessly substituted and varied.

Favorite Breakfast:

2 eggs
1 handful spinach
1 handful kale
Heirloom tomatoes
Avocado
Sea salt
Pepper
Olive oil

 Drizzle olive oil in a skillet, and on medium high heat sauté the spinach and kale. Cover the greens and leave them alone for a few minutes. Mix them around before adding the eggs, and then push them to the outskirts of the skillet. Add a little more oil to the center of the pan and crack the eggs in the middle. Slice up some tomatoes and place them on the eggs and greens. Cover again. Leave the eggs covered for about five minutes (or more or less depending on your preference) until the tops of the eggs are white. Remove the eggs from the pan, chop up fresh tomatoes, avocado, herbs, cheese, or whatever else you want and enjoy.

 

 

Peppermint Patties

In Maine my mom and I bought peppermint patties at one of the health food stores. After biting into the decadent dark chocolate and peppermint-honey middle, we hit ourselves for not buying more. I looked for them at all the other health food stores but never found them again. I’ve been dreaming of making them ever since my return a few weeks ago. My creation was such an experiment my measurements aren’t exact, and they are raw so the process is different than just melting chocolate and dipping.

Despite my inexperience creating raw peppermint patties, these came out so good that I might have to make a big batch every week and keep them in the freezer as a treat. Nothing pleases me more than a chocolate treat that is foremost delicious and secondly healthy.

Raw Peppermint Patties

Filling:
½ C Raw Honey
¼ C Coconut Oil
2-3 drops Peppermint Oil

Chocolate Coating:
½ C Raw Cacao Powder
2 Tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
¼ C Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Hemp Seed
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
5 Almonds
¼ C Coconut Water

Parchment Paper

 Mix the honey, coconut oil and peppermint oil with a spoon in a medium sized bowl until there are no chunks of coconut oil (If your honey or oil is solid, let it sit in the sun for a little while so it’s mixable). Go light handed on the peppermint oil, you want to get a good peppermint kick, but if you add too many drops you’re sinuses will clear up, but the mix will be overly strong.

With a small spoon scoop small balls of the mixture and, using your finger, push them onto the parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper is on a flat surface, like a cutting board so they are easy to move and don’t deform when you move them. Scoop all of the mix into balls and place in the freezer.

Mix the chocolate coating ingredients in a vitamix (you really need a high powered blender for this). The mix should be smooth and very liquid (the chia seeds and coconut oil help the mix harden in the freezer). Pour the mix into a small bowl or measuring cup. Remove the honey-coconut oil-peppermint balls from the freezer in batches so you’re only working with about six or eight at a time.

Using a spatula, scrape the balls off the parchment paper and drop them into the chocolate mix. Make sure they are completely coated, and then remove them with a large spoon and return to the parchment paper. Do this, very carefully, with every ball and return them to the freezer for a few hours until the chocolate is hardened on the outside. When they are properly frozen store them in parchment lined tupperware in stacks.

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