Recipes: Goats' cheese & herb omelette, slow-cooked goat, and goats' milk caramel

Goats' cheese and herb omelette is a fantasy meal for one when the rest of the family aren't goat fans.
Maarten Holl

Goats' cheese and herb omelette is a fantasy meal for one when the rest of the family aren't goat fans.

Oh, how I have fretted over writing this column. It's not because I don't like goats' cheese, or even goats' milk. I'm even quite partial to goat meat, though I'm not so sure about its attempted rebranding as "chevron". No, my worries are purely grammatical. You see, I'm never sure if we are talking about goat milk (the generic milk of goats); goat's milk (the milk of one goat); or goats' milk (the milk of many).

In the interests of consistency I've chosen the latter, but if you happen to know of any single origin goat products, then I'd love to know about them. Missing out on stuff like that really gets my goat. Or goats. But not goats'. OK?

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GOATS' CHEESE AND HERB OMELETTE

Serves 1

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

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As the only goats' cheese fancier in my household, this is my fantasy dinner for one (I know, I need to get out more).

2 eggs

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 rounded tablespoon unsalted butter

50-70g soft goats' cheese, crumbled

Set a small non-stick pan over medium heat and add the butter.

Put the eggs and parsley in a small bowl with a tiny splash of water. Lightly whisk together with a fork. When the butter foams, pour the egg mixture into the pan, swirling so unset mixture can run to the bottom. When the bottom is set, but the top still looks runny, sprinkle over the cheese. Let it cook for barely another minute, then flip out onto a waiting plate. Eat immediately.

SLOW-COOKED GOAT WITH SPINACH AND KUMARA

Serves 3-4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Goat has a reputation for being tough, stringy and altogether unpleasant to eat. Choose your supplier wisely, however, and you'll be rewarded with lean, tender and mildly flavoured meat. This vaguely Moroccan-inspired braise will sway the most doubtful eater.

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

3cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 onions, peeled and diced

3 ribs celery, diced

1 teaspoon of each of the following: ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground cumin, smoked paprika

500g diced goat meat (try Premium Game's Wild Goat Meat)

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

200g baby spinach

1 large orange kumara, peeled and cut into large dice

1 ½ cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander, for garnishing

Heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Set a large, heavy ovenproof pot with a lid over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of the oil, followed by the garlic, ginger, onions and celery. Add a pinch of salt and saute gently for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Tip the vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and raise the heat. Add the goat and brown on all sides. Add the spices and cook for another two minutes, then tip in the vegetables, chickpeas, spinach and kumara. Stir to mix, then pour the chicken stock over the top. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and set in the preheated oven for  1 ½ to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Remove the lid and mash about half the kumara into the liquid to thicken the sauce. Sprinkle over the coriander and serve with flatbreads.

CAJETA (GOATS' MILK CARAMEL)

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

I'd never heard of cajeta until I came across some made by Hamilton company Cilantro recently. Often described as "Mexican dulce de leche", it was so intriguing that I became obsessed with making my own. It's an excellent project when you've got an hour spare to do a bit of stirring, and the results are worth every minute.

1 litre goats' milk

1 cup caster sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

6 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 2 teaspoons boiling water

¼ teaspoon salt

Put the goats' milk, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom pods in a large, heavy pot. Set over medium heat and bring to the boil – be careful, it will boil over if you turn your back on it. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for another five minutes, then remove the pot from the heat.

Add the baking soda and salt (be warned, it will foam up like a science experiment), then return the pot to the heat. Simmer for another hour or so, stirring often, until the mixture is the colour of strong tea and quite thick. It will feel like nothing is happening for ages, then it will slowly start to change. Bear in mind that it will thicken a lot as it cools.

When you can draw a wooden spoon through the mixture and still see the bottom of the pot, the cajeta is done. Carefully fish out the cinnamon and cardamom pods, then scrape into a sterilised jar and cover when cool. Use as a filling for cakes or biscuits, a topping for ice cream, or simply as something to eat out of the jar when no one's looking.

For more of Lucy's recipes, visit kitchen-maid.blogspot.co.nz

 - Stuff

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