Episode Two: Blue Heron Farm, Pecan-coated Goat Cheese Salad
This episode was one of my favorite to shoot. The owners of Blue Heron Farm, Lisa and Christian, are super cool (as is every small farmer I’ve ever met. I swear that business is a magnet for bad-asses.) and their goats were SO FUN! I’d never been around goats very much, but they’re sweet and friendly and they nuzzle you like a dog, but in a much less aggressive way. They don’t stink, either, contrary to what you may have heard. At least, the girl goats don’t stink. Boys pee on their own heads and therefore smell like pee and I don’t recommend petting them for that reason. But the girl goats just smell like hay and fresh air and nice things like that. They raise Nubian goats which are particularly suited to Texas’s hellacious climate and produce a very sweet milk that hardly has the “goaty” flavor many people are offended by. Did you know that goat milk is pre-homogenized? Like, it comes out already homogenized? Pretty cool.
Their farm is outside of Houston, Texas and they often sell at farmer’s markets around there: Brenham, Magnolia, and Rice University. Antonelli’s cheese shop in Austin also carries their cheeses some times. Lisa makes several flavored varieties of chevre — chipotle, Greek, green goddess, spicy Mediterranean, and a sweet breakfast spread with ginger — on top of the plain chevre we tasted in the video. She also makes a feta and an absolutely kick-ass goat milk caramel sauce called cajeta that I got to try, but alas! The video would have been three hours long had we included everything we shot that day.
If you can get your hands on some goat cheese, try this goat cheese salad recipe! You won’t be disappointed! For ease, I used a log of chevre, sliced, but you can also mold your own medallions from any chevre you find. Get it to room temperature and start squeezing and shaping! Feel free to use the recipe with your favorite salad dressing, too. I made a chile powder dressing here that I think goes very nicely with the sweet crunchy pecans and slight tartness of the goat cheese. I imagine a poppy seed dressing or green goddess would also be great!
- 8 ounces chevre
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Salt and Pepper
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- Pinch dried oregano
- 4 or more cups salad greens and/or baby spinach
- Radishes, tomato, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, dill, etc.
- Slice the goat cheese log into 8 equal rounds, or shape 8 ounces of soft cheese into rounds about ½” thick.
- Mince pecans and combine with cinnamon and brown sugar and put in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle both sides of goat cheese rounds lightly with salt and pepper.
- Beat egg in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water.
- Dredge cheese lightly in flour, tap off excess.
- Dip into egg.
- Coat in pecans. Refrigerate coated cheese rounds for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile combine dressing ingredients well.
- When ready to cook, melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the cheese rounds. Cook slowly for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown but not burnt. Watch them closely and reduce heat if necessary.
- Serve hot over dressed salad greens and fresh salad vegetables of your choosing.
For our previous episode of Hilah’s Texas Kitchen we did BBQ Beef Ribs!