Thursday, May 20, 2010

Indiana Goats & A Farm Called Capriole

When Mike and I made the move from Indianapolis to Columbus, IN our intent was to locate a small farm for me to run.  I wanted to do the usual gardening and canning and mix in some chickens and goats. As it turns out we purchased a house in town with a swimming pool and an ordinance against barnyard animals. I often wonder if we did the right thing but for now I am content. We spent last Sunday going to an open house at a place called Capriole.  They make farmstead cheeses from their goat herd. They purchased the land in 1976, the year I graduated from college, and have grown their business selling cheeses across the United States. If you have a Whole Foods close by you can try Capriole cheeses.

The farm is located in Greenville, IN about 125 miles south of Indianapolis and a stones throw from Louisville, KY. The view on your left shows their residence.  Upon our arrival we were treated to three selections of locally brewed beer and several selections of fresh goat cheeses. We had made reservations for a lunch that consisted of a mixed grill of Capriole (I'm talking goat sausage) and Fiedler Farm sausages. (Fiedler Farms website is incomplete but they sell grass fed beef and grass-fed lamb in Rome, IN.)  A spring potato salad with asparagus and goat cheese topped with a mint vinaigrette and bread from the Blue Dog Bakery located in Louisville, KY. Desert was a strawberry rhubarb short cake with Grand Marnier Chantilly. Although the weather was cool and rainy we throughly enjoyed our meal while seated under a large tree and sharing a bottle of Starborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  We could have done a local wine but I'll let you in on a little secret - Indiana does a lot of things well but wine in not one of them!
After lunch we made our way around the lovely landscaped lake towards the barns that housed the star attractions - Goats!

Here is a selection of what we got to see.

They call her #60                                                                                                        


Anybody got any food?

The recipe I selected for today's post comes from the August 2007 issue of Cuisine Magazine.  It can be a side dish or an appetizer. 

Marinated Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 T. chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 roma tomato cut into 4 slices
  • 4 slices of goat cheese (chevre) from 1/4" to 1/2" thick
Combine oil, herbs and garlic for the tomatoes in a shallow baking dish. Toss panko, salt and pepper in a second shallow dish.

Season tomato slices with salt and pepper, then coat tomatoes and goat cheese in oil-herb mixture.

Dredge both sides of goat cheese in crumbs and arrange on tomato slices; transfer tomatoes to a baking sheet. (You can use the left over oil mixture to marinate pork or chicken if you like)

Broil tomatoes and cheese until crumbs are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  

The amazing thing is that the cheese will not melt - it just becomes creamy and will melt in your mouth. It doesn't melt because it doesn't have the high fat content that other cheeses have.

If you have the time take a look at the Capriole web site.  They list many recipes using goat cheese some are savory and some are sweet - they all sound delicious.  You can also purchase their cheeses on-line for yourself or as gifts.

Life is good - enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Vegetarian Meal - # 1

Every now and then I run across a recipe that make me think supper.  The word supper congers up an image in my mind that says easy, simple and comforting. The April 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens had just such a dish called Sweet Potato Hash. It's healthy, delicious and simple to make. From start to finish it will take you about 25 minutes. It serves four and cost a mere $1.06 per serving.  What's not to like about that?

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 11 oz. can southwestern-style corn with black beans and peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chipotle salsa
  • 3 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and chili powder (optional)
  1. Place sweet potatoes in microwave-safe dish; cover and cook on 100% power (high) 5 to 8 minutes until tender enough to chop. Cool slightly; cut into chunks. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add potatoes; cook until browned and crisp-tender; about 3 minutes. Add drained corn to skillet. Cook 3 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together sour cream and chipotle salsa.
  4. To serve divide sweet potato mixture among 4 plates. Top with avocado and serve with chipotle sour cream sauce. Add cilantro and sprinkle with chili powder.
Serves: 4
Each serving: 246 calories, 14 g fat, 12 mg chol, 463 sodium, 29 carbs, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein

I microwaved the sweet potato with its skin on and peeled and quartered it after it had cooked. I could not find the southwestern-style corn with black beans and peppers in my local market, so I used 1/2 can of rinsed black beans and a half can of frozen corn. I think one avocado quartered and sliced for each person is plenty, but some folks really like their avocado - you be the judge.

Life is good - enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A British Pudding

According to the May 2010 edition of bon appetit magazine "[i]n England, classic desserts-tarts, possets, crumbles, and the like-are simply known as puddings." One of Mike's favorite desserts is a strawberry rhubarb pie. His mom, Betty, used to make these pies for his birthday - I have on occasion. Since his birthday falls on June 1 the timing couldn't be better. The markets are flush with these beautiful red fruits.

Last night we had our Indianapolis/Rhode Island friends The McKenzie's over for dinner.  My goal for every dinner party is to design a menu that minimizes my time in the kitchen. I chose a strawberry and rhubarb crumble for dessert that was created by Tamasin Day-Lewis.  (Ms. Lewis is a writer of British cookbooks and a TV personality.) Everything can be done before your guests arrive with the exception of coating the strawberries and rhubarb, putting on the topping and popping it in the oven.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup husked hazelnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled, halved (about 4 cups)
  • 12 ounces rhubarb (preferably bright red), ends trimmed, stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
  • Vanilla ice-cream
Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Add butter. rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in clumps. Mix in oats and nuts. Do Ahead: Topping can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean whisk to blend well. Add strawberries and rhubarb to sugar in bowl; toss to coat well. Scrape fruit filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle oat topping evenly over filling.

Bake crumble until filling bubbles thickly and topping is crisp, about 45 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream.

I have to tell you this crumble is delicious. The addition of the hazelnuts makes the topping crisp and flavorful.  Don't skip the ice cream. I have three words for you - yummy, yummy, yummy!

Life is good, enjoy!