marinated goat chops; green garlic-sauté cucumber; kale

The picture reminds me of how good the meal was, and I’m happy with some of the details it describes, since I could easily have just repeated much of the formula I’ve used with so many of the the goat chops I’ve served. At least some of the credit for the innovations must be ascribed to (perceived) necessity.

To begin with, while I had planned on serving roasted fingerlings, since it was warm and humid last night I decided to try something that didn’t need a hot oven. I also thought about how the only potatoes I had in the larder would go better with the very German meal I was planning to serve on Monday, Decoration Day.  Fortunately I had picked up some very attractive light green cucumbers (they were delicious, as it turns out) at the Union Square Greenmarket the day before.

I didn’t have any dill, which is an obvious accompaniment for the cucumbers, but I did have some still very fresh acting fennel fronds in the crisper, left over from a meal more than a week before. I also want to thank Persephone for the blessings of green, or spring garlic, especially welcome in a season which leaves us totally bereft of at least the local dried sort.

Another novelty was the final touch given to the chops themselves: While looking on line for garlic mustard information in order to write about it in an earlier post, I read that this herb and putative invasive garden pest alliaria petiolata went really well with goat.

  • four small loin goat chops (averaging just over 3 ounces each) from Lynnhaven Dairy Goat Farm, marinated about 45 minutes to an hour in a mix of a couple tablespoons of olive oil, one sliced stem of green or spring ‘Magic garlic’ from Windfall Farms, a freshly-ground mix of black pepper and other seeds or spices (fennel seeds cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise, white peppercorns, and whole clove) that had been accidentally combined when I was preparing a dry marinade for a pork belly, then decided to hold onto for future use, 8 slightly-crushed juniper berries, some roughly-chopped rosemary from Stokes Farm, one medium size crushed, now-dried-but-purchased-fresh, bay leaf from Westside Market, and a little zest and juice from an organic Whole Foods Market lemon, the chops pan-grilled for a few minutes, turning 3 times, seasoned with sea salt and a little more pepper after the first turn, finished, while they rested for a few minutes on warm plates, with a bit of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil, garnished with roughly chopped garlic mustard from Norwich Meadows Farm [they were perfectly cooked, with not anxiety, this time

  • two cucumbers (12 ounces?), described as ‘Japanese cucumbers’ by the guys at Norwich Meadows Farm where I bought them, although I can’t locate anything on line with their color (light green, almost yellow), unpeeled, sliced into rounds 2 or 3 cms thick, sautéed, along with another sliced stem of spring ‘Magic garlic’, in a little olive oil inside a large antique copper pot over a medium-high flame, turning twice, sprinkling with salt each time, each side allowed to begin carbonizing, adding slices from the stems of several small fennel bulbs from Central Valley Farm, more than half way through, seasoned with freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates, garnished with chopped fennel fronds and drizzled with a little olive oil