Well, thats not a photo of today's dinner - but it is my husband, Jason, taking part in the Oakland Running Festival's Half Marathon, which was part of our big day of Bar-B-Que. The kids and I left the house early and spent the morning cheering on the corner of 28th street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, which, incidentally, is right down the street from Novella Carpenter's Ghost Town Farm - I think has been renamed Goat Town Farm? Either way - it was a blast to check out the produce section of her farm, meet some bees, a couple of rabbits and a nervous goat. Best of all, one of her book's most beloved characters dropped by for an appearance - Bobby. You'll find that exciting if you've read Farm City.
We also managed to pick up some of her goat cheese, which was in short supply. But, for all of you over there in O-town, it sounds like she'll be having more for sale in the future. You should check her website for future events - though I see that its not available today, apparently because her domain name registration hasn't been renewed. Hopefully someone will pickup the tab on that one.
The goat cheese is delicious, and will be featured in tomorrow's dinner. Like the cheese my friend Kristin made at Tunitas Creek Ranch, Novella's is very mild, and I think that might be due to having only female goats around. I'll check with Kristin and see if thats the case at her farm too. Not that I'm planning to raise goats (is that allowed in San Francisco?) but its really fascinating that having a billy goat around would make the milk taste more, uh, goaty. Novella mentioned the boys would make the cheese taste bad, but I'm not sure if thats the goatyness, or some other sort of bad.
After the race and our farm tour, we headed over to my pal Steph's in the Oakland hills and cooked up some ribs I had stashed in the back of my car - in a cooler, marinating in Jason's spice rub. They turned out great after an hour or so on the grill with a little BBQ sauce. To go along with the ribs, Steph and I assembled one of the oddest recipes I've encountered lately - but it was really good. Asian style coleslaw with toasted ramen noodles. Bizarre. I can't think of an ingredient you could possibly put in there to replace the ramen.
Jason's Rib Rub (adapted from The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidell):
This is good on pork, and probably beef too:
2 Tablespoons paprika
2 Tablespoons chile powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup salt
Mix all the ingredients together - it will store in a tightly sealed jar for a couple months. Rub it on the ribs then refrigerate for 12 hours or so. Grill the ribs dry or with some BBQ sauce.
Steph's Asian Coleslaw:
1 head of cabbage, shredded (this means very, very thinly sliced. I might use my Cuisinart next time)
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
2 packages of ramen, crushed (don't add the flavor packet!)
2 small packages of slivered almonds (or pine nuts)
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
Heat the oven to 450°. Toast the ramen, almond or pine nuts and sunflower seeds until slightly golden, stirring often. Right before serving, mix the cabbage, green onions and toasted things together in a big bowl.
For the dressing, mix in a lidded jar:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Screw the lid on tightly and shake furiously. Just before serving, pour the dressing slowly over the salad, and stop when the amount seems right to you - this recipe makes quite a bit of dressing. Toss the salad and serve!