Archive for the ‘grassfed’ Category

Middle Eastern Grilled Goat Kabobs

Monday, August 1st, 2011

{This is, obviously, a not-so-meatless recipe. Check back next week for a fresh and seasonal Meatless Monday recipe.}

As a devotee to all-things-dairy, I was excited to spot the “Goaterie” blog party mentioned on Twitter. Of course, there’s more to goat (or from) than cheese, so it seemed time to give the meat a try. Fortunately, I knew right where to turn for “happy” goat meat — Painted Hand Farm at the Bloomingdale Farmers Market in DC. When I asked which cut of meat would be best for cutting up, I was steered towards the leg — more meat than the shoulder. I bought two small leg pieces and headed home to research recipes. I originally had a curried dish in mind, but the Middle Eastern kabob recipe jumped out at me. I had read complaints about goat meat’s toughness, so I employed my favorite tenderizing marinade: yogurt. In this case, goats-milk yogurt, of course. The result was quite tasty — grilled to medium rare, the meat was still tender and moist. It has a flavor somewhat in between that of lamb and chicken, and in fact, goat meat has less saturated fat than even chicken. I used my favorite purple bell peppers from the market, but you can use any color you prefer.

middle eastern grilled goat kabobs

Recipe: Middle Eastern Grilled Goat Kebabs
Adapted from Blue Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup goat milk yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed goat meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 6 bamboo or metal skewers
  • pita bread

For yogurt sauce, layer the following in a small bowl:

  • 1/2 cup goat milk yogurt
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • several leaves fresh mint, chopped

Instructions: Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and stir until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Grind cumin in mortar; add garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and cinnamon and grind to a paste. In a large bowl or 1-gallon plastic bag, mix the spice mixture with pomegranate molasses and yogurt.  Add goat meat and rub to coat pieces evenly with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. While meat marinates, soak bamboo skewers (if using) in water.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove goat from marinade. Thread goat pieces and pepper pieces on to skewers. Grill, turning frequently, for 5-7 minutes for medium-rare. Serve with yogurt-tomato sauce and warm pita bread. Makes 3-4 servings.

Goaterie badge

This post is being shared with the Goaterie event hosted by Creative Culinary and La Fuji Mama. If you’re curious about cooking with goat meat, check out Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)

Real Milk as a Luxury Food? (and Homemade Butterscotch Pudding)

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Jane Black is the first byline I look for when reading the Washington Post weekly food section, and one of my favorite food writers anywhere. So I was excited to see her write up some fantastic local dairies this week. I was a little disturbed, though, to see some references on Twitter to her article calling milk the “next luxury food.” Huh? Yes, the glass-bottled, all-natural milk we buy from Maryland’s South Mountain Creamery is more expensive than conventional milk at the supermarket. But in my opinion, artificial-hormone-free milk from cows who aren’t fed GMO grain is one of the most important purchasing decisions I make for my family. I’ve written before about how milk was the gateway food into more natural/organic eating when I was pregnant with my son. During pregnancy and when children are first weaned onto cows’ milk, it is so important to make sure the milk you’re drinking is as pure as possible. Unfortunately, even commercial organic milk isn’t perfect as until just this year (June 17, to be exact), organic producers didn’t even have to allow cows to actually graze. Cows were made to eat grass, and grass-fed cows produce tastier and healthier milk. There are other ways to save money on food — cooking at home more, cutting out processed foods, etc. — that don’t require compromising on quality milk.

Now of course it happens from time to time that we wind up with too much milk in the fridge, and what better way to put it to use than with homemade pudding? It’s really not that much more difficult than stirring together a boxed mix, and tastes infinitely better. Of course, if the temperatures stay so high here we’ll be firing up the ice cream maker soon enough, but pudding requires less waiting.

I had had butterscotch pudding on the mind since reading about it on The Kitchn back at the start of the year. Of course, not one to leave easy enough alone I decided to follow David Lebovitz‘s simpler recipe (minus the whiskey) but cook the butterscotch more as per Shuna Fish Lydon‘s recommendation. If you read Shuna’s passionate plea to preserve real butterscotch, you’ll see why I felt compelled to follow her instructions. (Well, partially.) My brown sugar and butter took much longer than 10 minutes to melt and darken, probably because I used light brown sugar rather than dark (uh, duh), so my resulting butterscotch had an almost burnt taste. Next time I’ll stick with either one recipe or the other — or at least use dark brown sugar — but if you’re curious, here’s how I made it.

Butterscotch Pudding
adapted from David Lebovitz with inspiration from Shuna Fish Lydon

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed (dark) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions: Melt the butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, stirring infrequently, until it reaches a syrupy consistency (10-15 minutes). Add salt and remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Whisk in the eggs to combine.

Add the remaining milk to the melted brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Then add the cornstarch/egg mixture and again whisk until smooth.

Return to medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly, until pudding thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour pudding into a bowl and chill for at least an hour, depending on your patience level. I probably dug into mine after about 30 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings, and is best served with fresh whipped cream on top.

Shared with Fight Back Friday at the Food Renegade.

Pork Two Ways: Carnitas Tacos

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The husband and I spent our college years in Southern California, and we frequently find ourselves craving authentic tacos. We’ve identified a few local establishments over the years, but I’ve also discovered it’s fairly easy to make great carnitas (roasted pork) at home. The main ingredient is time, but other than browning the roast in the beginning and then shredding the meat part way through, all the work is done in the oven. (Or on the grill, if you like.) You can also cut the meat into cubes, but I prefer it shredded. If you finish the carnitas the same day you roast the pork, it will keep a couple days in the fridge to make an easy weeknight meal — I had enough to freeze half for another time too.

The boy loves Mexican food, but typically sticks to quesadillas and burritos. He insisted he didn’t like tacos, so I made him a “taco pocket” instead … a.k.a., burrito, with veggies on the side. I suspect I may get him to warm up to tacos if we make fresh, kid-size tortillas, but that’s a project for another day.

Recipe: Pork Carnitas Tacos (& Taco Pockets)

Ingredients:

for tacos:

  • tortillas
  • shredded romaine lettuce
  • thinly sliced red peppers
  • salsa verde
  • sour cream

for “taco pockets” (a.k.a. burritos):

  • tortillas
  • brown rice
  • black beans
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer the roasted pork to a shallow roasting pan. Shred the pork, using two forks, into large segments. Trim excess fat as you shred. Top with the salsa and roast for 1 hour, turning over once. Top should develop a crisp, carmelized crust, while interior remains moist. Remove from oven and serve with warmed tortillas, sour cream, sliced bell peppers, lettuce and any other desired accompaniments.

Kid-Friendly Taco Pockets: For the taco pocket, warm a tortilla in a skillet over medium heat. In the center, layer rice, beans, pork, and cheese. Fold in sides, then ends, to make a rectangle-shaped pocket. Place back in skillet and warm about a minute on each side to melt the cheese. To avoid toddler troubles, I serve the veggies next to it but you could certainly add peppers inside if that’s not an issue in your house.

For more on pork carnitas, read David Lebovitz’s (a fellow Cali ex-pat) tale of serving carnitas in Paris.