Pickled Ramps



Ramp season is almost here and I feel like everyone around me is talking about it! I keep getting inquiries for what we have on menu and for recipes…. Our farmers say we will have local ramps in just a couple weeks! Our plan is to load up and grill/pickle a ton so we can enjoy for months!

Yield: 1 quart

1 lb Fresh Ramps, roots removed

1 ½ cups Cider Vinegar

1 ¼ cups Water

¾ cup Sugar

¼ cup Honey

1 tsp Mustard Seeds, toasted

1 tsp Black Peppercorns, toasted

Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Oil and salt the ramps. Using a grill basket, place ramps over flame and cook tossing them regularly. Ramps will get slightly charred and wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove leaves from ramps and save for a salad or dish garnish. Use the white ends for pickles. If ramps are larger split the whites in half length-wise.

Combine cider vinegar, water, sugar, honey, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a pot on the stove. Stir to dissolve and remove from heat. Pour hot liquid over ramps and allow to sit until they have come to room temperature.

Blueberry Nuoc Cham

IMG_3195 (600x400)A guest at Girl & the Goat enjoyed the blueberry nuoc cham we serve with halibut so much that they inquired about the recipe. Take my favorite dipping sauce nuoc cham and add in my favorite spring fruit…Then here ya go! We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Midwest fruit season. At Little Goat and Girl & the Goat we are fortunate to have great farmers that freeze their crop for us so we can utilize ripe blueberries year round. Here are two recipes that use our wonderful frozen berries. You can finish it with butter for hot dishes or just leave it chilled as a dip for a fun snack! It can be made together for an interesting sauce for fish or the preserves can be made on its own for all of your blueberry cravings!

Blueberry Preserve:

3 ounces of Fresh Blueberries

1/8 cup Sugar

pinch of salt

1 tsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Water

Add all ingredients to a small pot. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until all fruit is exploded and saucy.

Add 2 tablespoons of the cooled blueberry preserve to the completed Nuoc Cham and whisk together.


Blueberry Nuoc Cham

Yields: 1 cup

1/4 C. lemon juice

1/4 C. fish sauce

1/4 C. dark brown sugar

1 cloves garlic, microplaned

2 ½ Tbsp Malt Vinegar

2 Tbsp Blueberry Preserve

Whisk all ingredients together

Pan sear your favorite type of fish over medium-high heat. Remove the cooked fish from the pan and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Allow butter to melt and brown and add blueberry nuoc cham. Whisk together and season with salt. Serve over cooked fish!

Pan Seared Halibut with Herb Mojo Sauce

DSC_4198Yield: 4 Servings

1 ½ -2 lbs Halibut, cleaned

2 bunches Spring Onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Canola or Rice Bran Oil

Add ½ Tbsp of oil to a sauté pan and place over medium heat. Sauté sliced spring onions for 2 minutes, until just tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

Season halibut with a small amount of salt and pepper. Add remaining oil to the same pan as onions were cooked in and allow to heat. Carefully place halibut in pan, skin side down. Cook for 4 minutes and flip. Cook for 5 minutes and add butter to pan. Baste skin side with butter from pan. To check doneness use a fork to separate some of the flesh. If the fish is pure white throughout, than it is fully cooked. Serve with sautéed onions and mojo sauce.

Herb Mojo:

½ cup Mint Leaves

2 Tbsp Sorrel, chopped

2 Tbsp Cilantro

2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp Garlic, minced

2 Tbsp Spring Onion, minced

1/8 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

¼ tsp Salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until well combined. Will remain slightly chunky.


Sunday Super: Puerto Rico


 Another fun Sunday has come and gone!! I felt a bit more stress this week as guests started arriving and the pork shoulder was not quite done… but it all worked out!  The final dish of roasted pork shoulder with mofongo was what thanksgiving should be! Thank you to all of our guests for going on vacation with me!

Get the mofongo recipe here.















Rich and Creamy Mofongo

This mofongo is what made me want to host a Puerto Rican Sunday Supper at Little Goat!  Our version is a bit different than traditional as we like to use ripe plantains and really celebrate their sweetness.  We also add in garlic mashed potatoes with cream and butter…why?  Because the result is creamy and delicious.  Try as a new side dish instead of classic mashed potatoes… you won’t go just potato again!


Yield: 4 servings

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes

3 Very Ripe Yellow Plantains

1 ½ cups Heavy Cream

5 Garlic Cloves, minced

¼ cup Butter

½ cup Spanish Onion, diced

1 Tbsp Salt

Fryer Oil, such as canola or soybean

  • In a small pot add potatoes with skin on and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 40 minutes.
  • While potatoes cook add ¼ cup butter and 2 tablespoons of minced garlic to another pot. Cook for 5 minutes. Add cream, salt and allow to heat through.
  • Place a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil and sauté diced onion and remaining garlic until tender. Set aside to add to mashed plantains.

To fry plantains:

  • In a medium pot add enough canola or soybean oil to fill 3 inches. Using a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature bring the oil to 350 degrees.
  • Peel plantains and slice in half across and then again lengthwise so the oil will completely cover them. Fry plantain pieces until medium brown, about 5-7 minutes. Plantains should mash as easily as cooked potatoes.
  • Mash potatoes and all of the cream, butter and garlic mix together. Mash plantains separately and add sauted onion and garlic.
  • Combine the two and mix well. Salt to taste.

Sunday Supper: Picnic

picnic table


I got so tired of the nonstop Chicago winter that I decided to have a I-don’t-care-if-it’s-below-zero-let’s-have-a-picnic-anyway themed Sunday Supper…complete with red table cloths and cornbread ; )

See more pictures here.

pork shank






WCR Conference


womens chef pic

was fun to be part of WCR conference this year! getting in the kitchen with a bunch of my lady chef friends made me realize we need to get together more often.  thank you Mindy for the invite and thanks to honey butter chi for the pic!!


PS that was the one and ONLY time I will ever wear a pink chef coat :)

PPS our dish for the event was goat belly with ceviche. You can get the aioli recipe here.

Miso Blue Cheese Aioli

this dressing came to be a few weeks ago when I was putting together a new fish dish at girl & the goat where I wanted an intense, savory sauce with lots of layers of flavor.  we don’t write blue cheese on the menu (as many people would not think it would go with fish) but it plays an amazing supporting role in this dressing.Miso Blue Cheese Aioli great on fish, chicken, fries, baked potato, chips, asparagus…really anything.



2 tsp Egg Yolk

2 tsp Dijon

4 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

1 tsp Soy Sauce

2 tsp Mirin

2 tsp Miso*

¼ cup Blue Cheese, tightly packed

3 tsp Harissa

4 tsp Lime Juice

¾ cup Rice Bran or Grapeseed Oil

salt to taste


In a blender or food processor add all ingredients except egg yolks and oil. Pulse until thick smooth paste forms. Add egg yolks and pulse until well incorporated. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in oil until aioli is smooth and creamy. Salt to taste.

Serve with french fries, on a sandwich or as a dip!


*We use Hook’s from Wisconsin, it is creamy and just well balanced.  Just be sure to use a good quality blue cheese – not the pre-crumbled stuff!

Avocado and Grapefruit Chermoula Salad

we served this yummy salad over skate wing croquettes at SOBEWFF’s Best of the Best in Miami, but i think this salad is delicious enough to eat by itself :) if you do want to try it on some skate wing croquettes, we currently have it on the menu at Girl & the Goat!

Avocado and Grapefruit Chermoula Salad

Yield: 4 servings

2 Ripe Avocados

6 Grapefruit Segments, halved

½ cup Grapefruit Juice

1/8 cup Lime Juice

1 tsp Jalapeno, minced without seeds

1/8 cup Red Onion, small diced

1 tsp Garlic, minced

1 tsp Cilantro, rough chopped

2 tsp Mint, rough chopped

  • Whisk together grapefruit and lime juice, jalapeno, red onion, garlic, cilantro and mint.
  • Cut avocados in half and remove the pit. Carefully make 3 slices diagonally across the flesh one way and than turn and go the other way. Scoop the sliced avocado out of the skin. The final product will be medium sized squares of avocado.
  • One ruby red grapefruit can be used for both the segments and juice. To segment the fruit slice the skin off all the way to the fruit. Using a small paring knife, slice in between the membrane, from top to bottom. Remove 6 segments and squeeze the juice out of the rest of the fruit.
  • Toss everything together and enjoy!