Since having our baby girl, we realized that having friends and family over for dinner is a little more difficult than it once was. We love cooking and hosting, but given that she goes to bed in the 6 o’clock hour and lets be honest, most people are coming over to see her and not us anyway, dinners just weren’t that convenient. Instead of giving up, we decided to start having people over for brunch! Everyone loves brunch ,and the baby is super friendly and cute in the mornings! We call our brunches “Hedgehog Brunch,” because the baby’s nickname is Hedgehog. (Side note, I think that’s how we’ll start referring to her on here, since “the baby” is a little generic. We’re not comfortable sharing her name and face with the wild, wild west of the whole internet.)
And no, these Sour Beets are not on our brunch menu. That usually consists of Selim’s biscuits (recipe forthcoming…), fruit, sausage and/or bacon, and eggs. But because we eat such a big brunch in the late morning, we’re frequently not that hungry at dinnertime on those nights. We usually just want something lighter and frequently just eat some vegetables for dinner. Hence our dinner tonight of this beet dish! This recipe comes from February’s Cookbook Club selection – Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking, by Toni Tipton-Martin. This book is beautiful and educates the reader about African American culinary influence, a legacy that is often overlooked. I thought this particular recipe would be a great place to start because Selim loves beets, but only tolerates vinegar, while I love vinegar and only tolerate beets! Perfect right? As we were eating, Selim deemed this “hot beet slaw,” which is exactly what it is! He didn’t love it (too vinegary), but I really enjoyed it! We also thought next time we might add some carrots too.
(Adapted from Jubilee, by Toni Tipton-Martin)
2 tsp neutral oil
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large beet or 2 medium beets, cut into matchsticks (~3 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced to similar thickness as the beets
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Season with a few turns of black pepper.
Add the beets to the pan, stirring to combine with other ingredients. Cook for just another 1 minute.
Then add the water, salt, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and then cover and lower the heat to so the liquid is simmering. Cook like this for 15 minutes. (If you like your beets a little softer, go for 20 minutes.)
Remove the lid, add the apples, and cook at a vigorous simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until a lot of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are your desired texture!
Stir in the lemon zest and juice prior to serving. Adjust salt and pepper if need be.
Tonight we decided to take a brief detour from our now tried and true basic pasta recipe. And by brief detour, I mean that we did the exact same thing that we always do, with the addition of some ground turmeric for a new flavor and color. Not the most bold and daring detour if we’re being honest. And since we’re being honest… this was actually an improvised backup plan when our first plan failed. What was the original dish we were going to make you ask? It’s a secret. We’re going to try it again one of these days. But long story short, I already had the mental plan for this sauce to pair with the original noodles. And I really had in my head that the dish was going to be “earthy.” So this backup plan had to be earthy too! We both stared at our spice cabinet, and Selim zeroed in on the turmeric. It’s earthy, I think it will pair well with the planned sauce, and added bonus, it makes the noodles a beautiful yellow color!
Side note… as we’ve mentioned before, we really started this blog as more of a journal or a personal recipe file. We just felt like we were frequently forgetting amazing dishes that we’d created once and then could never replicate. But along the way, we’ve embraced the fact that this is a blog and not just our personal notes. Since it’s available on the internet, we don’t want it to just read like a stream of consciousness diary, but something actually useful for others. One thing I did not anticipate was the difficulty I’d have in naming our recipes. Seems easy right? Apparently I’m not really all that creative, which is why you’ll see that most of our recipes just have simple, descriptive titles (I’m talking about you Wine & Honey Brisket or you Ham & Potato Soup). Any of the slightly more creative names come from Selim (see: Sultan Selim Kofte or Pinch of Crab Egg Dip). I came up with this recipe’s title thinking about the golden color of the turmeric noodles and the goat cheese base of the sauce. I was all proud of myself that I came up with (what I think is) an original, cute, alliterative name… and then I googled the phrase. Apparently Golden Goat is a variety of marijuana… known for its earthy flavor. And… we’re keeping the name! Maybe we’ll get a few new pot-smoking, Golden Goat-loving followers… Welcome!
Golden Goat Pasta
1 & 1/3 cup AP flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp truffle oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8oz goat cheese
¼ cup dry white wine
Fresh ground black pepper
Pasta water, as needed
Prepare pasta as in our How To, with the addition of the 1 tbsp of turmeric.
For the sauce, start by warming the truffle oil in a pan over low-medium heat.
Once the oil is nice and toasty, add the garlic cloves and a few turns of black pepper. Keep the heat low and cook just a few minutes until fragrant, but not browned.
Lower heat even further and add goat cheese and wine. Allow the cheese to melt slowly. Stir frequently until the ingredients are well combined.
Meanwhile, roll out pasta and cut into your desired shape and thickness of noodles.
Cook the pasta in boiling water for just 2 or 3 minutes.
Add pasta water by the tablespoon to thin out the sauce until it reaches your desired thickness – we used 3 tablespoons for ours.