Saturday, July 14, 2012

Herbed Goat Cheese / car trips


I know that sprinkling goat cheese with herbs and oil does not make me a rocket scientist. But this is in such heavy rotation for us that I am sharing it anyways.
Bread and Cheese: brought to you by the Pizza Toast People.
When Michael is working, this is what the kids and I eat for dinner (when what we're eating for dinner isn't fro-yo). We think it's goat-rific! He thinks it's goat-errible. Goat cheese tastes to him like a log of sludge that's been left to marinate on the floor of a barn where various farm animals took turns pissing on it. Fair enough. But to us it tastes like an edible lace valentine that a friendly goat has sealed with a kiss. During the school year, it's what I pack the kids for lunch as often as not. On day 1, I send a piece like this in a short mason jar. And then on day 2, if we haven't finished it, I mash it all up with a fork (picture Boursin) and send a little container of it for spreading. It's great both ways. It's also grand for picnics, for company, and for potlucks.


We get these lovely ginormous Vermont Butter and Cheese logs (log!) from Trader Joe's, where they are $4.99. Just slice it up into rounds. Or thick oblongs. Or whatever.

I typically use a knife, which makes for messy slices, but since I knew you were coming over, I sliced the cheese with dental floss, which worked like magic.

Then smear each slice with a little mashed garlic (you can just stir it into the oil, if you prefer), and sprinkle them with all grated lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper, and herbs. 


Here, I'm using a mix of lemon thyme, marjoram, and rosemary. But you really can't go wrong, herb-wise. Lavender makes it very fancy-seeming, although my kids call that "bubble bath cheese," and not in a good way. Juicy leaves such as mint and basil will go dark and unappealing quickly, so leave them whole or plan to eat it all up immediately. But parsley does well, and all the woody ones too. Then you just glug some olive oil over all of it. Plenty of good-tasting olive oil, because now is not the time to get parsimonious.



If you're not eating this immediately--and it will taste better if you don't--then cover it and leave it at room temperature up to a few hours, or refrigerate it if you must, for as long as you like. Then grab your handy loaf.

Now I'm just showing off.
And feed your people.



A bowlful of cherries or sugar snap peas makes the perfect summer side dish for a perfectly balanced meal.

*

We are heading out to Cape Cod today, and I wanted to leave you with another audio book recommendation: The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson. We are halfway through it, and just completely on the edge of our seats: it's funny and heartbreaking and suspenseful, but you have to make sure that Patricia Conolly is reading it, because she's just crisply perfect. We also listened to the end of the delightfully vast James Herriot series. I know I always say this, but seriously, if you're looking for a book on tape that everyone will enjoy, he's the man: if there's anything more entertaining than a handsome young English vet up to his armpit in cow vagina, I'd love to know about it.

Have a great week, my lovelies.

34 comments:

  1. We're going to listen to James Herriot's Treasury for Children on our trip. It's read by Jim Dale, who also did the Harry Potter audio books. Yay!

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  2. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Well, now you have to post the link to your post about making that lovely bread because...you know...I'm too lazy to search.

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  3. Erin K.3:10 PM

    I totally send goat cheese and crackers with my boys for lunch, they love it until they're sick of it and I have to rotate something else in but we always come back to it. I also sometimes make vegan 'goat cheese' with macadamia nuts that I layer with cheese-less pesto that is divine. I'm actually mildly addicted to vegan cheese made from tree nuts - and the husband and I have all sorts of low humor about the making and eating of 'nut cheese'

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    1. I'd love to have your recipe, Erin!

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    2. Erin K.6:11 PM

      Sure - I have the whole ebook - from Russell James called Raw Nut Cheese Book - its really good and I would totally recommend getting it - but in the mean time it look like this person has put the goat cheese recipe on a pdf right here:
      http://veggiegrettie.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/vegan-goat-cheese1.pdf

      I don't have one of those super fancy blenders - and my 'cheese' stays pretty soft - but I put half of it in a glass dish and layer it with some cheese-less pesto and then spread the rest on and its great. The book has a 'cheddar' type cheese flavored with a yellow bell pepper - I can eat the whole thing.

      You need to make sure you get the dairy-free probiotics if you can't have dairy.

      And here is the Russell James site:
      http://www.therawchef.com/

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  4. This makes me so infinitely sad. I recently had to give up (mostly) dairy. I wuv goat cheese.

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  5. That looks wonderful. After this baby is born, I am going to have to whore my way through all kinds of soft cheese.

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  6. Tina G11:04 PM

    Sorry, I'm with Michael about the goat cheese (in that form) I can deal with it as crumbles, though.

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  7. We made this tonight. I actually asked my husband to go to the store at 11:50pm for bread, and he went. And it was DELICIOUS. Thanks!

    p.s. I've been making Fried Eggs with Sizzling Vinegar regularly since you posted that recipe. I made it at a friend's birthday weekend and got about a half-dozen people to try it...they all loved it. One friend who couldn't eat gluten had her egg and sauce on fresh spinach, and that was divine!

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    1. Cheryl8:49 PM

      Me too with the eggs and vinegar! I actually ate it for lunch today. The spinach sounds fantastic!

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  8. Anonymous2:15 AM

    My Michael was like yours until I happened upon a local goat farm (here in CA) that separates the males and the females. Doing so means less pheromones secreted by the ladies and that seems to makes the cheese less pungent. That, and using garlic olive oil.

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  9. oooh. James Herriot. I've had the books in a slow rotation for the last (gulp) 30 years or so. And the audio version with Christopher Timothy is really fantastic. I love Jim Dale (i think the HP audio books are some of the best that have been done). But I wouldn't want to listen to Herriot without Christopher Timothy. . .
    I am with Michael on the goat cheese issue. YUCK. How about some fresh mozzerella?- which can be almost spreadable - and has a very mild flavor. . .

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  10. Jeanne12:41 PM

    If you all like Jim Dale (and I do too) then I have to recommend the Peter and the Starcatchers books on tape. This is the pre-quel to the Peter Pan stories explaining how Peter gets his powers, meets Hook and Molly (Wendy's mother). Excellent books (there are 4) and excellently read by Mr. Dale. They have adventure, suspense as well as humor. It doesn't hurt that Dave Barry is one of the authors!

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  11. alison12:52 PM

    I'm w/ michael i think goat cheese tastes like a barn smells.

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  12. Allyson6:17 PM

    This looks fantastic! The males in the house agree with Michael on this, but my daughter and I will love it. Also, I've been searching through your beet recipes today, only to find that this week's CSA share includes chioggia beets! Have you ever pickled this type? Do they keep their gorgeous stripes, or does it all sort of muddle together?

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  13. we're having this tonight with a baguette and a rotisserie chicken. thanks, dreamboat.

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  14. Catherine, you are seriously awesome. I love that I've been reading you long enough to get your "log" reference, which always makes me laugh too. (It's just an awkward word.) I'm in the Michael camp when it comes to goat cheese, and I *still* love this entry. So pat yourself on the head and keep on keepin' on. Thank you.

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  15. Cheryl8:58 PM

    I love goat cheese. It's one of the greatest foods ever made.

    I usually roast some hazelnuts in the oven until golden, remove the skins (if they aren't the blanched kind), and chop them. Then I smash the goat cheese in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roll balls of it in the nuts and flatten them into small hockey pucks, and serve them warm on bread. A little more time-consuming but fantastic. I love the pretty herbed discs with olive oil - they look delicious!

    (And random sidenote: I find that the older I get, and the more my vision deteriorates, the harder it is to prove that I am not a robot. Those letters are getting more and more smooshed together!)

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    1. Cheryl,

      You are so right about those robot detecting jumbled letters being, at times, difficult to read.

      Delete
  16. Ginger3:18 AM

    Artful Vision for US Made art and crafts. Check out our Giveaway - https://www.facebook.com/ArtfulVision

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  17. May I give your recipe out to my goat cheese-buying customers?

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  18. Laura2:02 PM

    Can anyone recommend a good book? I always look to Catherine and her blog for recommendations. Thanks!

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    1. Anonymous6:57 PM

      Hi Laura,

      I just finished, and loved, Steven King's 11/22/63. What a love story (among other things)!
      Also the Hidden Summer of Louisa May Alott, and Bel Canto, and then this book that few people have read, or talk about, Suite Francaise - an amazing a memorable book. -Diane

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    2. Laura3:17 PM

      Thanks Diane! I'll check them out!

      Delete
  19. I think it's hilarious that Amazon shared what others were shopping for when I looked up the Star of Kazan, and sure enough, it's James Herriot and mason jars! BTW, I have my first loaf of bread rising as I type this and those Strawberry Cheesecake smoothies are ridiculous. In a very good way. You are such a good influence on me, Catherine!

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  20. off topic, but regarding birdy's lovely new haircut...
    http://fuckyeahshorthairedwomen.tumblr.com/

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  21. Not related to this posting at all but I FINALLY found nutritional yeast and miso paste and made MMM Sauce and it was so amazingly good that I was mad at myself for waiting so long. Miso paste is my new drug- stir some into anything and yummm.

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  22. See, this is why I read this blog. Besides the wonderful writing, humor, and recipes. I didn't even know those short Mason jars existed, and it made me happy to even see a picture of them. I was thinking today how I wanted to learn how to can because I finally know how to make salsa and want to have some through the year. And I was trying to think if I knew any friends who could teach me how to can. None of my friends know how to can, I thought, but then I remembered. Oh yes! Catherine does! She'll teach me! So, when I gear myself up for it I'm going to go back and read those posts. Thanks for writing about whatever you write about. It's always perfect.

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  23. This looks so good -- I'm glad you posted it, because I wouldn't have thought of it myself! Also, since we still have fire bans in Colorado, this will be a great part of our non-campfire-camping menu this weekend.

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  24. Saved the day at the neighbor's potluck! Last minute and a huge hit - thanks!!

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  25. I can't believe no-one has pointed out that James Herriot was in fact Scots!! An important distinction.

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  26. Anonymous10:09 PM

    It's been a while since I've checked in, although I've been an on and off reader for, well about as long as Catherine's been writing. When did four letter words start making a regular appearance? Love the recipes, humor, book and game recommendations, but can do without this new (at least to me) addition.

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  27. Janah9:00 AM

    Dental floss! Genius! I've been rolling goat cheese rounds in bread crumbs and then warming them on a skillet before adding them to a salad with a poached egg. So fancy! I love love LOVE your writing and your stories, I always have. And now that I'm a mama (!), I love them on a whole different level. Thank you!

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