Spice Blend: Harissa or Za'atar
Tortillas: Whole Wheat or Corn
Ground Goat Veg sub: Black Butte Chickpeas
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Amaltheia Organic Produce - Belgrade
Three Hearts Farm - Bozeman
The Silk Road Spice Blends - Missoula
Trevino's Tortillas - Billings
Farm 51 - Bozeman Veg sub: Timeless Natural Food - Ulm
Goat meat, though largely unfamiliar to many US consumers, is a popular and practical protein in many other parts of the world. It's also quite healthy as far as meat goes, with fewer calories, less fat, and less cholesterol than beef, pork, or even chicken. Though it's reputation is not entirely warranted (goat can be mild-tasting - just like other animals, it depends on age, breed, what they ate, etc.), the flavor is different from beef, and cooking with it comes with a learning curve. We collaborated with Jennifer Boyer of Farm 51 this week to provide her favorite kofta recipe (aka kebab or spiced meatball). If you'd rather experiment on your own, the ground meat can be used like many other ground meats - and is especially easy to sub for lamb recipes. Try Tacos, Chili, Keema Aloo, or Italian Ragú, Some cuisines that commonly use goat are Mediterranean, North African, Middle Eastern, Indian, Indonesian, Caribbean, and Mexican. These all typically employ bold flavors, and that's a good rule of thumb for starting out.
Veg Sub: Black Butte Chickpeas
These are absolutely delicious. You have to trust me that they're worth the extra time from canned chickpeas. I cook them the old fashioned way, soaking ~8 hours, then cooking on the stovetop, but you can do them in an insta-pot or slow cooker. For recipe conversions, 3/4 C dried = about 1 15oz can. Recipes to try: Sweet & Tangy Harissa Hummus, Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Za'atar, 1-pot Chickpea Shakshuka, Slow-Cooker Chickpea Stew, or Indian Curry with Chickpeas.
Moroccan Harissa & Za'atar
Harissa is a North African spice blend made with roasted chilli peppers, spices, and herbs. This spice blend provides a complex heat with a slow burn. Can be used in dips, marinades, or to garnish with a sprinkling of heat. Start small until you've become acquainted with it.
Za'atar is also a North African (and Middle Eastern) spice blend, but with different characteristics. It features an herb blend using a combo of thyme, oregano, or marjoram, plus sesame seeds, salt and sometimes other spices. Enjoy it simply as a garnish, mixed with some olive oil as a dip for bread or pita, mixed with yogurt or hummus, or added to marinades, dressings, etc.
We couldn't resist the abundance of plant starts this time of year! Your thyme plant can live indoors or out, in a pot or in the ground. They like lots of sun, but are otherwise a pretty easy herb to grow and maintain. To use it, cut off a branch just above a leaf or junction to encourage continued growth. You can use it fresh or let it dry, use a whole stem in a soup or braise, or pull off the little leaves to add to marinades, sauces, roasted veggies or meats, etc. Generally, use 1/3 of the plant or less at one time unless you'd rather eat it than let it grow.
Roasted Spiced Parsnips with Garlicky Kale
This dish can be made with any number of root vegetables (or non-root vegetables). It can use the spicy Harissa or the more mild Za'atar, or any other spice blend you love. Finally, you can skip the sauteed kale to make a salad with raw kale (massaged with a little oil and salt), or use greens or grains you like.
~1 Tbs harissa or za'atar or other spice blend. You can start with less and add to taste.
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 tsp honey
1/4 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbs water
1-2 lbs parsnips (or other veg) cut into 2-inch pieces
1 bunch of kale, stripped from stems and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced, or chopped garlic greens
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, mix the spice blend with 1 Tbs olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and water. Add chopped vegetables (not kale) and toss to coat, seasoning with a little S&P. Spread in a single layer on 1-2 baking trays and roast until tender and browning, ~30-40 minutes, turning halfway though.
Meanwhile, heat a skillet with 1 Tbs olive over medium heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and sauté for just about 30 seconds, then add the chopped kale and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to help encourage the kale to wilt. You can add just a splash of water, wine, or vinegar if you like. They're done with the pan is dry and all the kale has wilted.
Toss garlicky kale with the roasted veggies, or one top of the other, or whatever makes sense to you. Season to taste and top with a little extra garnish of za'atar or harissa, if you like. Makes an excellent side dish, and can be amped up with the addition of cooked chickpeas, whole grains, or couscous. I think this would be delicious alongside some kofta, pita, and yogurt.
Moroccan Goat Koftas
Koftas are Middle Eastern spiced meatballs. They can be made with lamb or beef as well as goat, or a mixture. They're typically shaped around a skewer and cooked on the grill or under the broiler, but you can put them on a rack over a cookie sheet under the broiler as well. Feel free to adjust the herbs and spices to what you have or what you like, though these will definitely be best with fresh herbs. Enjoy them as a filling for a pita or wrap (flour tortillas are a good substitute for pita), or along with rice or couscous, greens, or any veggies you like. Top with plain yogurt, tzatziki, or yogurt mixed with the za’atar or harissa. Makes about 8 kofta.
1 Tbs water
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (use more if they’re small)
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 Tbs chopped parsley
1 Tbs paprika
¾ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne
(Note: Sub 1-2 Tbs Harissa spice blend for the paprika, cumin, coriander, and cayenne!)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 lb ground goat (or lamb or beef)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Shape into approximately 8 balls or oblong sausage shapes, and press around metal skewers (or place on a rack on a cookie sheet). Grill or broil for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Serve with grilled pita bread and plain yogurt (or other yogurt sauce). If you have za'atar, try sprinkling a little over everything.
You can add veggies to your kebabs, too. Just add some large slices of bell peppers and onions, cremini or button mushrooms, etc, along with a few more tsps olive oil to coat the veggies. Alternate veggies with koftas on the skewers, grill or broil as before.