Breaded Goat Cheese Salad with Caramel Vinaigrette

Breaded Goat Cheese Salad

Tuesday night dinner strikes again. We’ve decimated the weekend store of food and all that’s left in our fridge is goat cheese and caramel. Of course these are the two products we make here at Fat Toad Farm and it stands to reason that we often have a surplus of them in our fridge. Now don’t get me wrong both the cheese and the caramel our great by themselves, but when you are about to eat your eleven hundredth bite of goat cheese on cracker you become inspired to try something new. Luckily, goat cheese is an incredibly versatile ingredient. We throw it in omelets, on toast, on top of pasta, with appetizers, in desserts and of course on salads. This recipe uses fresh peas and greens from the garden, ground calais flint corn from last years harvest, goat cheese and a special caramel vinaigrette. This is a goat milk based caramel that provides a creaminess to the standard acidic vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Cook time: 30 to 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Fat Toad Farm’s
Breaded Goat Cheese and Caramel Vinaigrette Salad

Ingredients

Salad
1 bag of mixed greens
2 handfuls of edible pod peas cut in half
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Goat Cheese
1 6 oz container of Fat Toad Farm fresh chèvre
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup cornmeal (try to find local flint corn)
black pepper and sea salt (to taste)
1 T butter or olive oil

Caramel Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1 t ground mustard
1 T Fat Toad Farm goat milk caramel
black pepper and salt (to taste)

Preparation
For salad wash and toss greens and mix with peas and walnuts. Place 3 oz of goat cheese between two layers or plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll cheese outwards from the middle until it doubles in size or is a 1/2 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, pepper and salt on a plate. Put your hand under the plastic wrap and flip onto bread crumb mix. Press down slightly into the mix. Remove plastic wrap and use your hands to carefully flip cheese to the other side and repeat. Make sure both sides and edges are well covered with crumbs. Repeat this with the remaining 3 oz of cheese. In a non stick pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Make sure that it covers the bottom of the pan. Put goat cheese round in pan and cook both sides on medium for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool on a plate with paper towels. When warm cut into small triangular pieces and put on top of salad. For dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake for thirty seconds. Make sure the caramel is all mixed in. Serve with salad.

*Also try this recipe with other Fat Toad Farm cheese for a different taste

Stormy on a Stormy Evening Or Things That Keep You in Love with Goats and Life

All of our yearlings had their babies by early June, pretty much on schedule. Most actually gave birth in the pasture on beautiful, warm, sunny days. We didn’t discover the new kids until they were all dried off and up on their four wobbly legs, nursing.

Flossie, however, has been a hold out. As day after day went by without any signs of impending labor, we really began to wonder if she were really pregnant. But she looked kind of broad in the beam, so we kept waiting.

Finally, yesterday evening at chores, we all definitely reported a mucousy show which is pretty much a telltale sign. By the time Steve returned to the house from milking at seven, he reported her watery bag was protruding and she was in labor. We decided we would grab some dinner (thank goodness it was our niece Chelsea’s night for cooking) and then go back over to oversee progress.

Then a big deluge hit with lightning and thunder and dinnertime got extended. By the time I was brave enough to run over to the barn, seemingly dodging lightning bolts as I ran up the hill, Flossie had already successfully delivered a good looking, relatively large, black and white baby boy and was busily licking him clean.

So, as the rain roared down on the greenhouse barn, I took on my role of support person. I went to get a bucket of warm water and molasses which Flossie sucked down without even standing up. I put up the fencing around her and Stormy (the obvious name for the wee one) so they could stay together and bond for the next 24 hours or so without any unnecessary distractions from the ever-curious goats.

Then I stood and just witnessed the power of birth, motherhood, the incredible drive to thrive of the baby, and the torrential rain. It was a moment, as Mary Pipher says.

The other goats began coming up to the fence to see what was what and to make sure they weren’t missing out on something, like food. They were, in fact, since I had just given Flossie a bucket of cracked corn and alfalfa pellets. That convinced her to stand up and gave me a chance to confirm that Stormy was a boy. I dipped his umbilical cord in iodine, squeezed both of Flossie’s teats to make sure colostrum was flowing freely, and then showed Stormy, by holding his head in the right place and holding Flossie’s teat in the right place, where all good things would come from. He got it and actively nursed from both sides for a bit.

After adding some fresh hay and a bucket of clean water to the pen, I congratulated Flossie one more time, took a deep breath, observed the general sleepiness of the barn, and headed back to house to go to bed myself, feeling about as warm and fuzzy as one can feel.