Monday, July 16, 2012

Robiola & Garden Herb Quiche

I made this dish last night and it was such a hit with the grown-ups and our young boys, I wanted to share it as soon as possible!  I had feared the "green stuff" would be a problem but we talked about what herbs are and they were willing to explore.  :) 

I highly recommend the whole wheat crust.  It gives it a great crunch which really adds to the comforting creaminess of the quiche.  You don't have to use robiola - I actually had planned to use chevre until I realized I didn't have any, and robiola was my closest substitute!  Any mild cheese would work well.  If it's a hard cheese, grate it.

This recipe makes 2 quiches - you can easily cut it in half if you prefer.  I just find that it's as easy to make 2 and then I have 1 to take to in-laws, a friend who just had a baby, or our freezer for pulling out on a busy night.  Quiches are fast and easy to make, with the notable exception of the time it takes to make a crust.  There's not a lot of hands-on time in making the crust, but you have to plan ahead for the chilling time.  Since this needs a pre-baked crust, you could even make it at any point in the days prior to the actual quiche, and just refrigerate or freeze it until you're ready for it.  And of course, there's always pre-made crusts from the store.

serves 6 to 10 (makes two 9-inch quiches)

The Crust

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 pound chilled butter
1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
1/3 cup ice water

Sometimes I use my food processor for this, sometimes I use my pastry cutter.  Either in the food processor bowl or a medium-sized bowl, mix the flours, sugar, and salt.  Get the butter out of the fridge and chop it into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces, dropping it over the flour.  Spin the food processor blade or chop with the pastry cutter until the texture is somewhat granulated looking.  Get the shortening out of the fridge and do the same thing with it.

Now drizzle the cold water over the top and pulse with the food processor blade or mix with a spatula or large serving spoon.  The dough should start sticking together - pull out a black walnut sized piece and see if it sticks together when you squeeze it.  If not, add a bit more water, carefully - you don't want to add so much that it is sticky, just enough to hold together. 

Separate the dough into 2 hamburger patty shaped, wrap individually in saran wrap, and pop into the fridge to chill a bit, at least an hour or so.  (You can also freeze it at this point but do thaw it before you try to roll it out!)  This could be a good time to select and clean the herbs you will use, plant some of those 50% off annuals, or think about what you'll make for dessert!

Pull the dough out of the fridge.  Get out your rolling pin and 2 pie pans, and select a surface to roll out your pie dough; scatter flour on it, rub some on your rolling pin.  Put one dough patty in the middle and scatter a bit of flour on the top if it seems on the sticky side. 

Roll your dough out and put them on the pie pans, folding excess dough back in to give you something to work with if you want to pattern the lip of the pie.  I usually do a thumbprint version, just using my thumb to indent around the edges.  In the picture above I did a pat-in-the-pan crust.

Chill the pie crusts for at least 30 minutes.  After that's done, preheat the oven to 400.

If you have pie weights, yay!  (I don't have any but want some!)  Put down some tin foil, shiny side down and enough to cover the edges and put the pie weights on top in the middle.  You can also use rice or beans.  I am revealing possibly a personal problem here that I don't do that anymore as it does alter the rice and beans and I can't stand wasting them.  (I used to use the rice for home-made dog food but I actually buy store-bought dog food now!)  Anyway, I haven't found it to be a big problem. 

Bake for 20 minutes, and if you are not using some type of pie weight, check every once in a while to prick holes in the bottom with a fork if bubbles are forming.  Pull it out of the oven and let it cool while you assemble the quiche ingredients, or if you've already prepped the filling, lower the oven temp to 350, pour the filling in and bake for about 30 minutes until center seems set.

The Filling & The Whole Quiche(s!)

4 tblspn butter
1/2 to 1 cup assorted cleaned, chopped herbs
8 ounces Robiola or chevre
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper
8 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 goat milk parmesan or cheddar type cheese, or any grating cheese (optional)

Suggestions for the herbs:  chives, oregano, flat-leaf and curly parsley, tarragon, any type basil, thyme, small amount rosemary.  Most importantly, use lots of what you have available fresh and sounds good to you!  I used chives, flat-leaf parsley, oregano, tarragon, & a little rosemary.

Preheat the oven to 350 if it's not already easily there from baking the pie crusts.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the herbs, sauteing until tender.  In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and grated cheese if using.  Over the bowl, break the robiola or chevre into small chunks or pieces and beat with a whisk, don't worry about beating too smooth.  Mix in the soft buttered herbs and pour the quiche mixture into the two crusts.

Bake the quiches in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes.  You're watching for the center to be somewhat set.  I don't bake mine until it is completely set tho as I find it continues to cook even after it's out of the oven.  So if I catch it when it's just almost there, it's perfect by the time it is served.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Barley with Bacon, Olives, & Parmesan

This versatile side dish offers a smoky, rich accompaniment to almost any meat or fish.  Grilled veggies are also fantastic - really with summer coming, anything from the grill is perfect with the barley.  It's easy to make, especially if you had bacon with breakfast and were somehow amazingly able to sneak 2 pieces back (difficult to do in my house!). 

As barley is available at different stages of processing, I have included directions for all 3.  The hulled barley retains its bran and is the least processed, followed by pearled which has lost its bran, and rolled which is the most processed.  They are all good for you but if you have access to hulled or pearled, I recommend them over the rolled, tho rolled has the benefit of being faster to cook. 

Feel free to get creative and give this dish a completely different feel by subsitituting other ingredients for the bacon and olives - if you do, please let me know about it!

serves 4 to 6




2 cups water
1 cup pearled barley OR 1 cup pearled barley, soaked overnight OR 1 cup rolled barley (the flat kind)
1 bay leaf


1 teaspoon olive oil
2 strips crumbled bacon
7 or 8 chopped Greek black olives
1 tsp dried thyme OR 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Goat milk parmesan-type cheese, or any grating cheese

To cook barley, bring the water, barley, bay leaf, and salt to a boil in a medium pot.  Once at a boil, lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot.  If using hulled barley, it may take 40 minutes to cook to an al dente feel, tender but chewy.  Rolled barley will reach this stage in half that time, 20 minutes.  Take out the bay leaf, drain any remaining liquid, and salt to taste. 

Stir the olive oil, 2/3 of the bacon, olives, and thyme into the barley.

To serve sprinkle with the bacon, either in a serving dish or divided into individual servings.  Grate the cheese over the top and serve right away.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crock Pot Italian Noodle Soup with Goat Milk Mozzarella

Along the lines of the previous stromboli post, here's another favorite recipe in the Italian vein that features the goat milk mozzarella.  And it is equally easy - set it up in the crock pot in the morning, 30 minutes before dinner add the uncooked pasta, and serve with plenty of grated or sliced mozzarella on top, melting beautifully and yummily into the soup!  A large crockpot works best for this.  If you would like to use one of the smaller ones, I suggest taking the entire recipe in half.


  • 1 lb Italian sausage (I use homemade Italian goat sausage)
  •  1 28-oz can diced tomatoes OR 1 quart jar home canned tomatoes (chopped as needed)
  •  1 6 oz can tomato paste
  •  2 onions, chopped
  •  5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  •  2 tblspn dried Italian herbs - really this is flexible, whatever combination of basil and oregano you would like, sage is also a good addition
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  6 cups chicken broth
  •  10 oz rotini pasta (bow-ties are also good)
  •  Goat milk mozzarella cheese

  • Steps that can be done the night before...

    Brown the sausage.  Chop the onions and slice the garlic cloves.  Assemble the jars of tomatoes and the dried herbs and bay leaves.

    In the morning...

    Put all ingredients except the pasta and cheese into the crock pot.  Cook on low for about 8 hours (longer by an hour or two is truly fine) or on high for 4 to 6. 

    The final steps...

    Add the pasta and allow about 30 minutes for it to cook in the soup.  Slice or grate your cheese, or if you're using the pre-grated variety, enjoy the convenience!  My goat milk mozzarella is more of the fresh mozzarella variety, most recognizable as buffalo mozzarella/mozzarella di bufala...but obviously, made from goat milk, not buffalo's.  Wow we'd really have to rethink pasture rotation if we did that!  Anyway, this type is best sliced.

    Serve the soup into wide flat bowls (well...because that allows for more cheese...) and scatter the cheese across the top.  Watch it melt as you carry it to the table!

    Nooooooooooo!  Actually she (our dog Bibi) did not do it. 
    But oh it was close!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Goat Milk Mozzarella Stromboli

    This stromboli is unbelievably easy and super yummy - fun to make, serve, and eat! If you use a bread-maker, just get that dough set in the afternoon and when the kids come home from school, pull it out and assemble it together. It makes for one of those special-treat type dinners and leaves you plenty of time to check on the goats and read some stories (ummm, to the human kids...). The dipping sauce is a great opportunity to sneak in some extra veggies, and I usually make the pizza dough with 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white, a bit of ground flax, and maybe 1/2 cup oatmeal or steel-cut oats. There are some assumptions here that I want to expand on in future posts - that pizza dough recipe is a prime example, also prepping the veggies for their sneaky addition to the dipping sauce. I'll get this to you, and I will also get a picture the next time I make it, before it disappears!

    This is completely inspired by a recipe by the Naptime Chef (love that name!) so please check it out as well!


    • 1 batch homemade pizza dough
    • 1 1/2 cups goat (or cow's) mozzarella, sliced or shredded
    • toppings to your taste (pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, black olives, etc)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon water
    dipping sauce
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
    • 1 quart tomato juice OR 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
    • Anything pureed you want to sneak in: Carrots, sweet potato, beets (not too much beet puree tho, that went over like a lead balloon here!), peas, etc
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (basil too if you'd like)

    The dipping sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Or, if you're like me, you make a big batch of italian-style tomato sauce and have it frozen in ice cube and/or pint-size portions to use for "make-your-own-pizza" school lunches, or to top angel hair pasta on busy nights.

    Using a cast-iron skillet, warm the olive oil a bit over med-low heat. Add the garlic and saute until it is softened and your nose is getting the yummy waft of garlic. Add whatever form of tomatoes you are using and the herbs. If you are using tomato juice, you will have to cook it down a good bit. It takes time but needs to be only occasionally checked on, given a stir, so you can do other things, including quick runs outside to give the geese fresh water or maybe try to catch up on that library book that is almost due. At this point you can also make your other-veggies puree which can also be a good thickener for the sauce. Zap any of the veggies in the microwave and puree in the blender. Just use your judgement on how much to add, or if you are unsure, add a little bit of a time to be sure it "looks" ok!


    Here's the part where the kids can help: time to put together the stromboli.
    Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray or put a pizza stone in the cold over. Start the oven pre-heating to 400. In a small bowl or ramekin beat the egg and the water together, and get your brush out (or a spoon) so it's ready to go.

    (That's where some of my stress-free comes in - if I get distracted by, what, one of a million little things, my brain does not have to worry about what I need next! Anything that can be prepped early helps.)

    On a lightly floured surface roll the dough out to a rectangle about 13 X 9 inches. Round up your toppings if you haven't already and distribute them all over the dough, leaving about an inch clear on the edges. Scatter or place (if sliced) the goat mozzarella generously over the other toppings.

    Roll the dough up using the longer sides so the stromboli ends up a bit over a foot in length. Press the seam into the dough on top and ends, place on cookie sheet or pizza with the seam underneath. Give the egg wash another stir and brush it on the top of the stromboli (this will give it beautiful color).

    Bake for about 20 minutes - the top should be golden brown. Allow it to cool slightly and then slice it into 1-inch pieces. (Or honestly, whatever thickness seems good to you!) Serve it with the dipping sauce and whatever veggie is most preferred in your household. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy it with the stromboli, or just wait to have it after the kids are in bed!

    Getting started

     Welcome to the Jasper Farm Iowa Recipes Blog!

    I am setting my recipe posts in the form of a blog because I want this to be an interactive and living place of sharing our ideas and favorite recipes that make use of goat milk cheeses! Every recipe posted will employ one or more types of goat cheeses, or kefir or yogurt or other yummy uses of goat milk. I can't wait until our vegetable garden is in full force, and the berries are ripe, as you will also see seasonal home-grown produce popping up in the recipes. And always, what you don't have outside your own back door can easily be substituted with a cheese or veggie from the store!  These are recipes designed to be flexible in using what we (the collective we, not just us here!) have available.

    This is all approached from my point of view as a busy mom to human kids and goats exploring ways I can incorporate what we are so lucky to have here on our farm. I love stress-free recipes that can be prepared without a lot of last-minute attention.  I will sometimes splurge on some higher-maintenance preparation if hubby can watch the kids!