Tuesday, April 17, 2007

now entering: the "goat zone"

I was at a friend's for lunch. Amongst no less than four kinds of meat was a largish, goaty, hunky portion of torso thing. It had some ribs and some type of leg socket something or other. When all was done, the remains of the remains ended up coming home with me. I wan't sure what I'd do with it, but if the past is a place to reflect upon and learn from, I'd have to guess that if all else fails I could stuff the stuff in sourdough. It was time for goat calzone, or goatzone, if you will.

So I went with the calzone triple combo: bell pepper, onion, mushroom and garlic. I know that's four, but garlic doesn't count. It's more like a spice. Or so I think somtimes. Like, now. With these items releasing their magic aroma, and fresh dough on the counter, it was no suprise that Rohan would show up. He has a calzone radar.

"Knock, knock."
"Hey whassup Ro?"
"Not much bro."
"No really, what's up......you in the hood and thought you'd drop by?"
"Yeah, that and the fine goat I could smell from 3 miles away."
"And what, you want some?"
"Like, yeah."
"So I guess this is gonna be another one of your lapses from that strict vegan diet?"
"Mmm hmm. What can I help with?"

So while I reeled at my cousin's unexplained and imminent "lapse," I was happy he offered to help. I asked him to go hit the garden to harvest out first lettuce of the year and get some herbs for the veggie fry. He scored a green onion, thyme and parsley. The herbs would go nicely with the goatzone and the onion would pair well with the avocado, carrots and lettuce after being smothered in a honey mustard dressing. Then I asked. I just had to, to find out what his twisted logic was this time.
"Are you really gonna eat meat again?"
"Because goat is the most widely distributed meat on the planet."
"Huh? Where the hell did you hear that one? Nevermind. That makes it good for a vegan how?"
"I don't know really, something about the least number of cultures being offended by the consuming of said creature. Let's talk more when our mouths are full and the beer is flowing, I'm bloody famished."
"Right. Uh, yeah. Me too."

We rolled out a few rounds, added some of the cubed up goaty remains, plopped down some veggie fry and topped it all with grated cheese. We played around with the proportions of filling a bit, knowing that the goat was smoked and thus quite a powerhouse of full flavor. I was afraid it might overpower the rest, so Ro suggested we make a few with just goat and cheese. I raised an eyebrow at these decidedly non-vegan items and received a curt "oh, sod-off would you?"
"This has nothing to do with grass Ro," I quipped.
""Would your readers rather I say fuck-off instead? I can do that."
Point taken.

After folding over the top and sealing the edges with a touch of water and a bit of crimping, I placed the ready ones on parchment paper. I cut a few slits in the tops so they wouldn't explode, pushed them in the oven, shut the door and prayed.
My pizza stone is a bit small like my oven, so we did three at a time. I believe one was all veggie and cheese, one goat and cheese, and another filled with all the ingredient options.

I just love what a nice hot 12x12 tile that costs under four bucks can do. In essence, if it's a high-fire tile (one where the heat involved not just dries the clay very well, but actually melts some of the material and allows mineralization to occur) the results are indistinguishable from a real pizza stone. (Which is just a high-fire tile in a different shape, maybe with a thicker or thinner profile, and costs like ten times more.)

We sat down to our calzone, served with the garden salad and some potatoes that I tossed with herbs, olive oil and salt, and baked while the oven was heating up the stone. It was smokey and fresh with a nice chew to the bread envelope.
"Man I love being in the zone!" Ro blurted out after his first bite.
"What, the meat zone?"
"No the goat zone."
"You mean goatzone?"
"No. Not goatzone like calzone, but two words like goat zone. Like the twilight zone, but tastier. Kinda like that episode where the lady goes in for an operation to look more normal. Only after, when they are taking off her bandages, they realize she still looks the same. She doesn't look like everyone else and so the doctors start discussing her options of going and living in a special community where others are like her, where she can live out a more normal life."
"Weren't the doctors all ugly like pigs though and she was actually beautiful?" I asked, failing to see the connection he was trying to make.
"Yeah, that's the one."
"And how is being in the goat zone like that one?"
"Well, I'm beautiful, unalterable, misunderstood, and being a goat eating vegan, destined for living on the fringe of society."
"I see."
"Is there any more beer?" we said in unison while reaching for the last goatzone.

Sorry Ro, I mean goat zone.

And thanks again for the "hunk" of goat Dr. Biggles. I'll be dropping a few goatzone off for lunch tomorrow, and then you can tell me about your experience in the "goat zone."


Freya and Paul said...

Ooh, nice! I have two goat steaks in the freezer waiting patiently to be utilised. Rohan is hilarious, should have his own blog about being a meat-eating vegetarian!

Stacie said...

I meet quite a few small time farmers out my way that raise meat goats. I asked one if she'd even eaten any, and she wrinkled up her nose and said, no, but they sell 'em to foreigners. WTF? I think she meant that due to the growing population of immigrants, there is a market for goat... whatever... I hear the vegan-goat eating arguement...

Kevin said...

You keep hanging around with folks like Doc and Ro and you'll come to bad end.

Callipygia said...

Those are some seriously impressive eats- I wish I could stand on the fringe of the goat zone.

HipWriterMama said...

Goat? Not sure about this goat thing. I'll just take your word on this one.

Mallika said...

Rohan? The Rohan that makes garam masala? Indians are well in the goat zone. I'm yet to find some in the UK.

Calzone look delicious!

Monkey Wrangler said...

F&P: I'll talk to him about blogging someday. Watch out though, his blog would probably be titled something like: ROHAN'S WORLD......you're just a bit of it!

Stacie: like, yeah WTF? Goat is good. I say, if you like sheep, you'd like goat. Ever have birria? Smokin' frickin' hot (like lips on fire) as a burrito, heavy on the crema......oh, man. I was oncce stuck in Santa Cruz for nearly four months on a job and discovered a taqueria on the western edge of town before it turns to fields and Highway 1 that had this, and about once a week I'd go for one of these and a large horchata to douse the flames. I miss those. Stuffing spicey goat on this one made me think back so I had to share.

Kevin: True.

Callipygia: The fringe of the goat zone is a space much like the edge of a black-hole, what is that, the event horizon or something, yeah like that. Once you drift over, there is no coming back.

Hip: Served right, you'd do it.

Mallika: That's the bloke.

And no goat? What a shame, pretty easy to raise since they eat nearly everything, give great milk for cheese, and, oh.......that was it, tasty. One of my faves is barbecued goat, done burrito style with carmelized onions, cilantro rice, red peppers, sour cream and guacamole. One word: heaven.

Schweitz said...

So everyone else is commenting on the goat (and while I love lamb, I have yet to fall in love with goat) and all I really wanted to comment on was the "first lettuce of the year"! I'm completely jealous - we're still getting frosts here is cold, landlocked Iowa. Eventually, I'll have farmer's market produce to rival your photographs.

Leena said...

I dream of the day I can send someone in my backyard to get fresh veggies and herbs from my very own garden! Right now, I can only send them to my balcony to retrieve chives from a tiny plant, but hey, it's a start. Great post. I've never had goat, but how could anyone pass up a smoked goatzone?


shuna fish lydon said...

I miss the Twilight Zone.
Good idea for the goat.
You're pictures are getting prettier.

PS I have your oatmeal loaf proofing in the kitchen right now. I have a better feeling about this one. but I did make some changes...

Monkey Wrangler said...

Schweitz: Mmmm, lettuce. Actually, not to make you more jealous but.....around here, it's a bit of a shame to say fisrt lettuce now as you can really grow it year round.

Leena: Dream on, dream on. Then get your hands dirty planting something.

Shuna: Did you remember the episode?
And thanks.

Got toast?