Dinner for my friends: oxtail, tripe, quinoa & goat cheesecake

This night’s menu was local cheese from the Hudson Valley region, pickled asparagus, oxtail soup, quinoa salad, tripe alla romana with garbanzo beans, and goat cheesecake.  I had just gone to the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Festival where I purchased the cheese (a camembert type and farmer’s cheese) and pickled asparagus (a real hit).

Tillen Farms green and white asparagus

 Oxtail soup is undoubtedly one of my favorite soups.  Some people don’t like the fatty, slightly くせのある(gamey) oxtail meat but I think it makes a very flavorful broth and as we say in Japanese, ほっぺたが落ちそうになる(literally means “my cheeks nearly fall off” because it’s so tender and melts in your mouth).  I added carrots, turnips and tomato to this soup.
Braised tripe is one of my favorite dishes as well.  I simmered this for a good 3-4 hours until super tender.  Plac the tripe in water and bring it to a boil, then drain it, and repeat the process at least two more times.  Cut it into strips and toss it in some olive oil with a crushed garlic.  Add a generous splash of white wine and reduce it, add canned crushed whole tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper.  Simmer until tender and adjust seasoning as desired.  Soak and cook chickpeas beforehand and add when done.
 Healthy quinoa salad with zucchini, eggplant, onion and yellow pepper
 Mario Batali’s lemon goat cheesecake from the Babbo cookbook.  I will scan the recipe and upload it as soon as I get the chance.  I made the mistake of buying the logs of Coach Farm goat cheese so I had clumps of rind in the cake.  I still liked the cake, especially with the lemon syrup, but I don’t think people who don’t really liked goat cheese would be able to handle it.

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