Monday, July 11, 2011

Yay! New Grill!

Over the 4th of July Weekend, Jeff went out and got us a new grill.  It wasn't the grill that I wanted (click here!), but it fit a little better into our budget.

 I was very impressed at Jeff's ability to go out, purchase a new grill, tear down the old grill, and assemble the new grill in just a few hours.  Putting things together in our house tends to be an adventure, and usually ends with me angry and yelling.  I guess I am the problem.  Solution: no more me putting things together!!

So, time to try out the new grill, while still trying to get rid of the garden/dairy excess...

I've been visiting the Menomonee Falls farmer's market on Wednesdays.  It's close to my work, and, in theory, I should be able to store whatever I buy in the fridge at work for a few hours after I buy it.  I say in theory, because one time someone stole my eggs.  Seriously.  Someone stole a dozen, raw eggs.  There was some suggestion that someone took them on mistake, thinking that they were their eggs, but frankly I don't believe that for a minute.  ("Oh, sorry.  I thought I brought a dozen raw eggs for lunch.  Must have remembered incorrectly.  My mistake!")  I made a big stink about it, and threatened to anyone who would listen that I was going to leave a dozen eggs in my car for a week and then put them in the fridge, and it hasn't happened again, so I guess I'm okay.

Anyway, at the Menomonee Falls Farmer's Market, there's a woman who sells goat meat.  I had goat meat on my honeymoon in Jamaica, but not since.  From what I remember, it was pretty good... although I think it mostly tasted like curry.  I know that it's a tougher meat, so when I bought the goat chops it was my intention to braise them.  But, it is the middle of summer, and I do have a new grill, so why not give that a try.  My solution for making it tender?

A marinade.  But not just any marinade: a dairy marinade.  Because I learned on Food Network (see, I'm not just wasting my whole Sunday.  I'm LEARNING) that dairy marinades activate enzymes in meat that break down proteins, and they don't contain the acid in traditional marinades that can cause your meat to be mushy and gross. (Have you ever soaked your tequila lime chicken in the tequila lime marinade for too long?)

Most dairy marinade recipes call  for yogurt, but I found a few that call for milk or buttermilk, which leads me to believe that it isn't the bacteria in the  yogurt that is important.  This is what I came up with:

Sour Cream Marinated Goat Chops with Wilted Bitter Lettuce:

4-6 small goat chops (L)

For the Marinade:
  • 1 cup sour cream (L)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled (L)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic skapes, minced (L)
  • 2 small green onions, including tender green parts, minced (L*)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced (L*)
  • 1 tsp fresh tarragon, minced (L*)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced (L*)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh mint, minced (L*)
Combine all ingredients, and spread generously over the goat chops.  Allow to sit, refrigerated, for a few hours.  I did this before going to work, and they sat all day (about 11 hours).

Grill goat chops over medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness and desired doneness.  Ours were medium, and they were delicious!  The meat was not gamy at all, and the sour cream made them a little tangy in a good way.  The only thing I would have done differently was cook more!  The chops were tiny and had a lot of bones, so you didn't get a lot of meat.  The husband and I easily could have eaten 4 chops a piece (he probably could have eaten 6), and they marinade could have covered that many.

Wilted bitter lettuce:
  • 1 large bunch bitter lettuce, washed well (L*)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (L)
  • 1 tbsp garlic scapes (L)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a hot frying pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, and saute until lightly golden.  Turn heat to low and add lettuce.  Add vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir until lettuce is wilted.

The first bite of this was surprisingly good.  The second bite was okay, and the third bite was barely palatable.  It was just too bitter, and the bitterness overwhelmed all of the other flavors.  I read online that bitter lettuce can be used in the same way as any other bitter green (like kale or spinach), but obviously that was not the case here.  We threw most of this away, and supplemented our dinner with popcorn.  I will keep trying, though.  There's got to be a recipe out there for me!

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