Baby Goat

As you might have read several times in my blog(s), Trader Joe’s is one of my two favorite grocery stores (Wegmans being the other). The other thing you might have read is that I am a lactard (thanks Caroline for giving me that term, as you are also one), but can eat goat or sheep’s milk (cheese).

While strolling through TJ’s recently I was just really wanting some cheese. Stood there staring at the cheese section for several minutes then my eyes fell upon these ‘baby goat’ (as I like to call them) cheese discs. They are just the goat cheese logs divided into smaller pieces, or as they more appropriately term them Medallions. Each package is 1oz., very nicely sealed and there are about 5-6 per container. Of course I can’t remember the price, but I’m fairly certain it was less than $5.

Handy to have around and they will definitely be making it to my kitchen more frequently.

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Oh Ewe Cheese

Was on just a normal shopping trip the other day so had to stop at Trader Joe’s. That also meant I was required to stop by the sample and coffee counter.  They had a cheese sample out, so at first I didn’t think I could have some as the lactard.  Then I saw that it was goat cheese, cool. It was a new one — Chevre with Honey.   Just a little bit of sweet taste. I used to not like goat cheese but it has gotten so much better.  Ok, bad idea to try it… Effective work TJ’s… I left with one of the 8 oz. packages. We’ll see how long it takes me to get more.

Carrots, Cheese, Honey…what more?

I try my best to make recipes out of cooking magazines I get each month.  The most recent one I went for was from Food & Wine — Glazed Carrots with Goat Cheese and Honey.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I eliminated this)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds medium carrots, peeled
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tarragon sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
2 star anise (couldn’t find any, went with anise seeds, even though I know they are different)
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
Kosher salt
Pepper
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Gremolata

1 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Pepper
6 ounces fresh goat cheese*I had the goat cream cheese on hand and used that and flaky sea salt, for serving

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Directions:

In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter 
in the olive oil. Add the carrots, garlic, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, star anise and the cumin, fennel and mustard seeds and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are golden, about 12 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons of honey and cook, stirring, until the honey is lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until the carrots are evenly coated, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 20 minutes; discard the herb sprigs, bay leaves and star anise. Transfer the carrots to a plate and let cool slightly; halve lengthwise.**I cut them before I started cooking to avoid having to do this now/at this point.
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To make the gremolata, in a medium bowl, combine the parsley, tarragon, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
Spread the goat cheese on plates and drizzle with honey. Top with the carrots and gremolata, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve.

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It was tasty but took some time.  Worth it but not the highest on my list.  I think one of the biggest annoyances was all the fresh herbs and the small quantities of spices you need for flavors.  Four grocery stores later on a freezing (that doesn’t even qualify it) day, most of them were found.

 

Stella Barra, North Bethesda

North Bethesda/Rockville (whatever the Postal Service decides to truly name it) is growing.  In Pike & Rose there are several new restaurants and I checked out Stella Barra last week.  It’s a pizzeria with several other options on the menu.

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My friend and I decided to split a pizza, but after being told it takes at least 20 minutes for pizza to be ready, we opted for an appetizer, as well.

For the first course, we decided on the Cauliflower Hummus.

IMG_3448It was delicious, and loved that it came with both pita and veggies.  But, I will say, $14…for hummus…really?  I would rather make it at home or go to the store and buy something similar. They know people will try a place and order whatever in this area and just want to be out (and I am guilty of it this time).  Will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

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For the pizza, we opted for their special of the night, with beets and goat cheese as the prime toppings, with the Grana nixed. Interesting how they can make a whole pizza for $3 more than hummus.  I sweet talked the waiter to into giving us arugula since I can’t do the ‘regular’ cheese.  We got it.

IMG_3446It was delicious!  Perfectly cooked and amazing flavors all around.  All the food was paired with beer and red wine, too.

IMG_3451Totally worth checking this place out, despite the price, because all the restaurants in the area are about the same.

Honey Goat Cheese

As you might have noticed I’m always on the lookout for new non-cow’s milk cheese.  Since I’m lactose intolerant and now know I can enjoy goat and sheep stuff, life is good!  Whole Foods had quite the displays out yesterday for Easter and the one that caught my eye was a Dutch goat cheese with natural honey flavor.  I love the proper name — Hollandse Honey Bzzz Chevre.  It was pretty good.  It was that nice sweet hint in it.  For goat cheese not too soft, which is what I prefer.  I would say it’s along the lines of a soft cheddar.  Worth checking out if you’re looking for something new.

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Say Cheese!

I’m always on the lookout for cheese I can enjoy.  Saw the mention of a new goat cheese at Trader Joe’s in their Fearless Flyer the other day.  A goat cheddar (though I realized later it might not have actually been the one advertised — oh well).  So, had to check it out.  It’s a white cheddar, a bit soft, and lots of flavor.  It had a bit of the goat-cheese ‘flavor,’ but definitely a great option for those who are lactose intolerant can’t take cow’s milk cheese.  It paired very nicely with red wine, crackers and veggies.

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Yodeling

When you hear the word Yodeling, there are three things you can do.

1) Look up the definition to be sure you know what it really is, or see if it some new-aged term.  To save you the time, per Merriam-Webster, it is to sing by suddenly changing from a natural voice to a falsetto and back.

2) Search for videos that feature this action.  Again, saving you some time.  Found a great one!

3) Go to Whole Foods and buy Yodeling Goat Gouda!  A great cheese for lactose-intolerant folks, those who love cheese, anybody who wants to try something new or just easily Yodle, because they don’t want to sing.

goudaI saw this the other day when I was at Whole Foods and picked some up.  It’s great because it’s harder than the normal goat cheese and as the sign mentions, has a bit of a nutty flavor.  Also, I’ve not purchase that much cheese there and didn’t realize they cut you as big or small of piece(s) as you want to take home.  I got a nice small piece to take with me.

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I actually ate…

…goat cheese.  Yes, it happened.  I admit it, I did it.  I normally can’t stand the stuff.  I used to not touch it because of lactose intolerance, then I found out lactards (love the name my friends gave us) can tolerate all milk but that from cows.  But then I tried goat cheese and it’s just gross…the taste, the texture.  I’m saving it for the lovers of the stuff.  Then the other day my friends offered some that is dangerous.  Trader Joe’s does it again, hurting one’s wallet and waist.

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The full, fancy name — Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese – Blueberry Vanilla Chevre.  What’s in it, not a ton — pasteurized goat’s milk, wild blueberry (wild blueberries, grape juice), salt, vanilla extract (vanilla beans, water, bourbon), cheese cultures, vegetable rennet, natamycin (natural yeast and mold inhibitor).

It pretty much tastes like blueberry cheesecake.  Melts in your mouth.  You can eat it on a (graham) cracker, right off your finger or a fork.  Would be great with some extra berries, too.  Definitely check it out!

New All Around

Had some friends over for dinner the other night and there were new tastes all around the table, from cheese to salad to wine.

For pre-dinner, my friend was kind enough to bring non-cow milk cheese to make the lactose intolerant person happy.  One of them was a Honey Goat Gouda from Trader Joe’s.  I normally can’t stand goat cheese but love gouda.  This was totally on the good side.  I highly recommend it!  The other was a manchego from TJ’s that I’ve had before that is equally as delicious!  Great way to kick off the night.

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We had three wines throughout the evening, kicking off with a Virginia white.  The first was Rappahannock Cellar’s Viognier.  It was a nice local grape, pairing nicely with the appetizers.

For dinner I made a recipe I had been wanting to try for awhile — Citrus-Avocado Salad.  It was AMAZING!  For the tamari almonds it calls for, a friend gave me the great idea of making them vs. buying them to save money.  All you need to do is toss the almonds in some soy sauce, a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce and a pinch of sugar.  You bake them at 250 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Done!  For the blood oranges, sometimes they are tough to find.  I came across red oranges at one grocery store.  Otherwise I was going to use grapefruit or just regular oranges.

With this salad I served some pan seared (vs grilled because I live in an apartment and can’t have a BBQ) chicken breasts and quinoa.

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The wines we enjoyed with this included two reds.  One from Virgina — First Colony Cab from a winery in Monticello — very nice.  Again, I’m finding Cabs I like — something is happening to me.  The second red is one I discovered/was introduced to a few years back — Eleven.  It’s from Washington and the specific varietal was the 2008 La Ronde.

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Recap:  Great dinner.  Rave reviews around the table.  Now I just keep thinking about what the next meal will bring.  Cheers.