Falling in Love with Goat Cheese, Part 1

Silver Falls Rosemary-Peppercorn Goat Cheese

Saturday before last, I headed out for the farmer’s market by myself because the puppy was just recovering from a night of upset tummy and not up for a long walk. I began with my usual quick survey of the booths, on the alert for newly arrived produce or interesting herbs and plants; it’s a bit early yet for produce at the Saturday market, but I can always hope. Halfway around the market, I spotted a booth that made my heart skip a beat: Silver Falls Creamery. My first impulse was to run ecstatically in that direction, but I managed to contain myself with a (likely no less undignified) hop and skip, and calmly walked in that direction. I gave myself away pretty quickly, though, by grinning maniacally and gushing about how excited I was to see them and their wonderful goat cheese at the market.

You see, I first tasted Silver Falls cheese over a year ago, and fell in love. It was on a little spinach salad with toasted walnuts and a strawberry vinaigrette, served at Goudy’s now-famous Small Plates station on a Thursday (as visited by Rachael “Yum-o” Ray in her Salem episode of $40-A-Day). Its gentle tang and velvet creaminess was my first willing taste of goat cheese, ever, and I’ve been unsuccessfully watching for it in the stores ever since.

My first impulse at the booth was to get a container of plain goat cheese for salads. I’m not particularly drawn to flavored cheeses, because I want to be able to pair it with anything I want, and I can always make my own flavors if the notion takes me. Unfortunately, they were out of the plain sort, and all the other mild flavors, because I didn’t get to the market until the afternoon; all that was left were chipotle, jalapeño, and rosemary-peppercorn. I don’t do spicy, so I went home with a tub of the latter flavor and a suggestion to pair it with steak and potatoes. I can handle that!

Steaks with rosemary-peppercorn goat cheese

A few days later we sat down to a lovely dinner of chivey baked potato fans and thick grilled petite sirloins, topped with a melting crown of goat cheese. The cheese stood up nicely to the juicy, simply seasoned steaks, so it was definitely a great suggestion. The potatoes elicited an excited response from Jeremy, who seems to recall me making potato fans stuffed with bacon and cheese. I must have blocked out that memory, because I can’t recall ever having made potatoes that way, but he sounded so very hopeful that I’ll have to try making something along those lines one day.

Update 5/31/07: Jeremy said last night that this steak was probably one of the better ones he’s ever had. Yay, goat cheese!

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