Monday, August 27, 2012

Goats Milk Corn Chowder with Chevre

This week there was a bit of a chill in the air, so that got me started thinking of all the wonderful foods I like in the Fall. One favorite lunch is to start with my favorite chowder recipe and add new ingredients. This time I added corn and some of my chevre goat cheese, then used corn chips as a spoon. This recipe can be made with all fresh ingredients, but it's great to have all the ingredients prepared and tucked in the freezer, and just add fresh milk and chevre.

Corn Chowder
2 quarts fresh goats milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons onion salt, or to taste
1/2 cup fresh chevre
1 package frozen O'brien Potatoes
1 pound package frozen cut corn,
or several ears fresh corn, cooked and cut from the cob
1 tablespoon dried parsley
In a 5 quart stockpot, bring goats milk and cornstarch to a low boil so the mixture thickens, then reduce heat to medium. Add chevre and stir until it melts in. Add all other ingredients and heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and corn are thawed and tender. Makes 8 yummy servings.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pound Cake with Goat Butter and Duck Eggs

Now that the baby ducks I got back in March have begun producing eggs, there are finally enough to sell at market, have for breakfast, and try out recipes that need lots of eggs. The lady who sold me the adult layer ducks said that when she had too many eggs she made pound cake.  The other major ingredient for pound cake is of course the pound of butter. Luckily last winter when the goats were producing milk with lots of butterfat, we made lots of butter and stacked it away a pound at a time in the freezer. Now as Fall approaches and their butterfat levels rise again, it's good to find a recipe that will make good use of the last of my winter butter stockpile, so there is room for new. This recipe makes quite a few mini pound cakes. I guess I could freeze them - ha ha ha!

1 pound fresh goat butter, softened, but not melted
3 1/3 cups sugar
10 fresh duck eggs
4 cups brown rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 9x5 inch loaf pans, or three 9-well mini-loaf pans with cooking spray and a good dusting of rice flour. Cream the butter and sugar and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the duck eggs for four minutes until light in color. Add the beaten eggs to the butter and sugar and continue beating until smooth.  Add flour one cup at a time, xanthan gum, salt, vanilla and nutmeg, also beating until smooth. Spoon into the pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out on to a rack. Makes 24-27 mini-loaves.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Picking Blackberries For Jelly

The blackberries this year held out turning ripe until the last bit of summer. Then it's a race to pick them and preserve them. I'm on the second round of picking blackberries, and I may get one more round in before the misty mornings make them moldy.  Each time, my mom and I pick about 8 quarts of blackberries, which makes 7 cups of juice. I smash those in a wire strainer to take out the seeds. It seems like there is a lot of seed and pulp left over, but it doesn't go to waste. The goats fall over themselves to clean out the bowl. They look like zombies when they are done.

To make the jelly, I start by heating the water in the canner, so it will be ready when the jelly jars are. I put the juice in a medium stockpot, add the juice of two lemons, which is about a half cup of lemon juice, and two boxes of pectin. Once this comes to a boil and the pectin is all dissolved, I add 9 cups of sugar. That sounds like a lot of sugar, but it helps create an acid environment to preserve the fruit.

Once all the sugar dissolves and the jelly returns to a boil, I turn off the heat for a few minutes for the foam to come to the top. I skim off the foam and put the hot jelly into hot clean canning jars with a small ladle. I wipe off the top of each jar to clean of  any drips, otherwise the lid won't completely seal. I dip each metal lid in the boiling hot water in the canner for a few seconds and place on top of the jars, followed by the bands. I put each jar on the rack in the canner which is 2/3 full of boiling hot water. I let the jars boil for 15 minutes, and then lift them out with special tongs made for canning jars.

This recipe makes 6 pint jars of jelly, so after three rounds of picking blackberries, I'll have 18 pint jars of jelly to either sell at the farmers market, or give as gifts. I think this is a pretty good yield starting from six canes this year.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

I dropped my smartphone in the duckies' pond and so it's been a little harder to sit and write posts at the computer, instead of writing them on my phone. I will be trying to write updates on the projects I started earlier in the year.

The little ducks I got way back in March have finally started laying eggs! The eggs are smaller, chicken-sized eggs than the mature layers I got in January, but they still taste pretty yummy. I've been calling them mini-monster eggs, instead of the monster eggs I sell at the farmers market.

Since we have extra eggs for breakfast now, I can make fried eggs from the smaller eggs and have been putting eggs on top of things like tortillas, fry bread, and these biscuits. I added a country gravy style white sauce made from olive oil, rice flour, and goatie milk, then added bacon bits and fresh spinach.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
Since this recipe uses butter and buttermilk, we've been joking we should just use cream and save a step!  The key to light biscuits is cool butter and working the dough as little as possible.

2 cups brown rice flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons goats butter, barely softened
1 cup goats buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and buttermilk, and stir until mixture just forms a sticky dough. Working quickly, turn the dough onto floured surface, and dust top with flour. Gently press into a 1-inch thick round and cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet. Use as little extra flour as possible to reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible so the biscuits from the second pass will be as possible.

Bake until biscuits are light gold on top, 10 to 15 minutes.