Tuesday, May 24, 2011
My last post introduced you to the amazingly delicious Seven-Hour Goat Leg by way of Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's new book Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese. We took a field trip down to Chinatown to find our leg, then we spent some quality time sitting by the oven, spooning pan juices over the roasting meat. It's a good thing that Goat is such a pleasure to read, with quips and stories and irreverence. Because you might need reading material for such an undertaking. You'll get a sense of that, since I'm excerpting a couple of recipes from the book for this two-part review, straight from the author's pen.
Before we go on, I have to admit that I really want to make Weinstein and Scarbrough's Goat Cheese Fondue, made with my beloved brunost to which I was introduced by my Norwegian husband the first time we visited his family in the Old Country (ha). But the opportunity hasn't arisen yet for a fondue party, although I'm keeping this one in my back pocket for when it inevitably does (can we consider fondue parties to be inevitable?). I mention it to give you an idea of the variety of recipes in the book. Meat, as with that last post, things like muffins, danishes, breads and soups made with goat's milk and yogurt. And blintzes, a cheesecake, even truffles made with goat cheese.
I made this salad to go alongside a spring Mother's Day lunch. With radish, grapes, peppery arugula and a delicious dressing that has convinced my mom to toss her bottles and start making her own. But the real star, of course, is the goat cheese. And although I normally don't mess with a recipe when I'm reviewing a book, I will admit to you that I added a touch of honey to the bread before the smear of goat cheese. Because for some reason, in my experience, honey and herbed goat cheese luv each other. And speaking of messing around with a recipe, this one also didn't call for herbed goat cheese, but it was all I could find at this particular supermarket in Connecticut. I'd use it again.
Radish and Grape Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons
Excerpted (with Permission) from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese, 2011, Stewart, Tabori & Chang
It'll make four servings for lunch or up to eight for a light first course
1 medium carrot
10 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup (225 g) seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups (455 g) baby arugula
Eight 1/2-inch-thick (eight 1.2 cm) bread rounds, sliced from a thin baguette
4 ounces (115 g) fresh chèvre or soft goat cheese
3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 medium garlic clove, minced or even put through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
1. To make fancy-schmancy carrot curls, first fill a bowl with cold water and add a generous amount of ice cubes. Peel the carrot with a vegetable peeler, then continue making long, paper-thin trips along the length of the carrot, letting these fall into the ice water. If the strips are thin enough, they'll curl when they take a swim, somewhat like your toes in ice water.
2. Drain the carrot curls and put them in a big serving bowl. Add the radish slices, grape halves, and arugula leaves. Toss a bit to mix everything up.
3. Position the rack so that it's 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) from the broiler's heat source, then preheat the broiler. Lay the baguette rounds on a large baking sheet. Smear them with the soft goat cheese. Set the tray directly under the heat source and broil until the cheese has melted a bit and even turned a little light brown in places. Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the goat cheese croutons to a wire rack to cool while you make the dressing.
4. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until the mustard has dissolved in the vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking all the while, to make a thin but still creamy dressing.
5. Pour this dressing over the arugula mixture, then toss a bit. Spoon the salad onto serving plates and top each with 2 goat cheese croutons.