Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We're enjoying what may be our new New Year's Breakfast. On a recent trip to Harley Farms in Pescadero, we scored some goat Fromage Blanc. As I suspected, it went superbly with smoked salmon, GF toast triangles, and capers. Divertimento had some chilled champagne -- LaCheteau (sic) Vouvrais from TJ -- about $10 -- with those Asti Spumante good-for-brunch qualities. Worth keeping in the fridge just in case. Next year, we hit the Coastside and pick up the local smoked salmon along with the local goat cheese.

While at Harley Farms, in the expanded gift shop and tasting room, we also picked up some goat ricotta. That went into some blintzes (using the rice crepe recipe from The Wheat Free Cook). Served with the Fromage Blanc and some lingonberry jelly -- mmmm!

Ricotta in hand, we made up the totally fake lasagne that's safe for James. He's allergic to cow's milk, tomatoes, and wheat, which renders normal lasagne completely off limits. We found a great rice pasta made as lasagne noodles, DeBoles Rice Lasagne. I followed the recipe on the package because you don't precook this pasta.

For the three-cheese mix of mozarella, ricotta, and parmesan, I substituted the goat ricotta, some fresh goat peccorino we purchased at Harley Farms, and some soy mozarella (think goat gouda would have been better). For spaghetti sauce, I substituted Avjar, a Middle Eastern blend of roasted red peppers and eggplant that we've found in glass jars at various places, including Trader Joe's and Long's Drugstores. (It could have been kicked up a notch with some simmering with leftover red wine, herbs and garlic. But we were hungry.) We threw in mushrooms and olives because James wanted them. It was good, and even better on subsequent days.

If you can't have cow's milk, and even if you can--check out the superb goat cheeses on the market now. Harley Farms makes some of the best and they are getting national and international recognition. We still are waiting to unwrap the goat cheese coated with chives that took international first in Dublin, and from my tasting room experience, deserved it! We'd planned to have it as a centerpiece of a goat tasting platter that would go to parties -- given my strategy of taking something safe for James and tasty for normals -- but have had to cancel due to a lingering cold. Perhaps it can go to a 12th Night party along next week with Andrew Weil's caponata that was such a hit at Thanksgiving.

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