Monday, March 22, 2010

Goat Dairy

There's a sign by the road that says "Goat Dairy" that I pass by occasionally, and I always want to turn there and check it out.  So we finally did.  You drive back on a dirt road behind some houses and into kind of a farm-y area.  And then there's a little white shed with a sign on it that says, GOAT DAIRY---OPEN.  Inside there's a little refrigerated display case with feta, chevre, ricotta, yogurt, and milk, and they also sell soap and gelato (the sign said, though I didn't see any).  You fill out an order form, take your food, and leave your money in a little box by the door.  It's charming (and the prices very reasonable).

There wasn't any feta in the case when I went, so I called the phone number on a sign posted inside, and got a nice old man who said, "I haven't got any cut just now, but if you can set tight for a bit, I'll go on out and cut some and bring it on over."  We waited on a handy bench outside (and watched some goats sleeping and walking around---very peaceful), and soon he drove up in his truck with some bags of cheese for me.  "Do you like it quite stout?" he said.  "Oh yes," I said, not really knowing what he meant but thinking he meant "strong."  "This-ere's three years old," he said.  "It's quite stout."  So, I took it, and also some chevre, and I've been using it with great enjoyment for the past few days in my cooking.  The feta IS quite "stout."  You can really smell it when you open the fridge.  But it's delicious, and the chevre is too---smooth and creamy and just sour enough.  Yum!  I would like to try the yogurt and the ricotta (and gelato, if they really have it) next time I go back.


I made this macaroni and cheese---actually Carrot-and-spinach Pasta and Feta---that I thought turned out quite yummy.  Here is how you make it:
  • Cook some pasta (I used the colored spinach kind because I like feta and spinach together) until not-quite-soft.
  • Make a roux (equal parts flour and butter cooked together in a saucepan; then whisk in milk to desired thickness.  I did about 1/4 c. butter, 1/4 c. flour, 2 c. milk? or so). 
  • Add grated cheese (any kind; I did a mixture of cheddar and feta), salt and pepper, and a little nutmeg. 
  • Melt a little more butter (2 T?) and stir it together with some bread crumbs (panko style, or make your own) and more feta.  This is your topping.
  • Stir together the pasta and the cheese sauce.  If I'd remembered I would have added spinach too.  And then top with the topping.  Bake at 375 for a half hour or so.
My sister-in-law also taught me how to make this good salad.  (She says basically, you put in a cheese, a fruit, and a nut.)  I changed it to use the ingredients I had.  Both versions are really good.  Hers had:
  • Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • mandarin oranges
  • avocado
  • artichoke hearts
  • lettuce
  • sugared sliced almonds (fry almonds in 3-4 Tbsp. sugar until sugar dissolves and coats nuts; cool, then break apart)
Mine had:
  • feta cheese
  • chopped apples
  • sugared almonds
  • green onions
  • avacado
  • spinach
  • lettuce
And here is her delicious Poppy Seed Dressing which goes with the salad:
1/2 C. Sugar
1/4 C. oil
1/3 C. Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon poppy seed
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 Tablespoon Grated Onion (optional)
pepper to taste

Tomorrow night I am going to use the rest of the feta on this pizza.  Roasted sweet pepper and feta, or caramelized leek and feta.  Yum!

4 comments:

  1. Yum! I wish I could go around the corner and find a goat dairy...and I love the description of the owner. So, that feta had been sitting in the brine for 3 years?! Wow. For the record...it's not 'my' salad (it's Dawn's). I've often thought about how the name of a recipe changes as it's passed--kind of a connection between women--and I like that.

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  2. Will you come and live with me and cook for me? Please? We're not particularly stout here, so it wouldn't be too hard.

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  3. Allison--Yes, I've thought that about recipes too. I usually only go back one "generation" in the recipe name, since that's the person _I_ care about (i.e., to my Mom, it's Jackie Moody's breadsticks, but to me, it's Mom's breadsticks)--unless it's Nana's or someone else I knew. But you win out over Dawn (though she was very nice). :) Next time you come we'll take you and Ben to the goat dairy. And the bunny farm, if you want. :)

    K--I think I would like to be a cook. The only reason I don't _always_ like it now is that there are so many other things I have to do. But if it was my only job, to come up with yummy recipes and then execute them? That would be fun. So, maybe when we're all living the law of consecration and my children are grown, I'll get my chance? :)

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  4. You are so impressive. Sometimes I think you've stepped out of some Tuscany travel ad. I love knowing you!

    I made potato-cheese rolls with Chevre on Sunday and learned that my dad and sister refuse to partake of anything "goat cheese" on principle.

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