Last night, to no fault of our own, our Netflix decided not to work. It was actually kind of comedic: we had a very productive day, took Parker on a 3-hour hike, I organized my spices (fun!), intent on having a relaxing Sunday evening vegged out on the couch in our pyjamas watching who-knows-what. But of course, once we were all settled in, tea in hand, blankets perfectly nested, no Netflix.
It’s very sad just how upset we were about it. There weren’t tears, but it was close.
So what did we do instead? You’d think we would have done something similarly relaxing, like watching a movie we own, or catching up on reading, but no, we decided to rearrange our living room.
I’m not sure who’s bright idea it was (shhh it was mine but don’t tell anyone) but we spent the majority of our evening moving furniture and transferring our many books from one side of the room to the other. It was exhausting, but also kind of fun.
At one point in my life I wanted to be an interior designer. I love decorating rooms and reorganizing things; heck, when I was younger I would rearrange my bedroom about twice a month. There was even a time when I measured my room and all my furniture and made a mini paper floorplan, to scale, so I could move things around and see how they’d fit.
It would have been amazing to be an interior designer and get paid to buy things for other people and play around with decorating, but I ended up becoming a graphic designer instead, maybe because there’s a bit more job security in it (I think). While I don’t regret my decision, I still love to redecorate and rearrange my home.
Having said that, though, I’m not sure I love my new living room set-up. I know I can always change it back, but my-oh-my it was a lot of work, so I’ll live with it for a bit and see if it grows on me.
That’s the problem with living in a 750-sf apartment: there’s only so many ways you can set up a room. The way we had it before was how it was meant to be set up, couch here, TV there, but now we have it a little differently and it seems a little strange. But I want to like it, so we’ll see how I feel about it in a day or two, once I’ve been able to spend some time in it.
I’m not normally a salad person, unless said salad comes as a side to a greasy burger or a roast lamb shank. To have a salad for a meal is a rare thing for me, and it has to be satisfying and hearty and full of substance.
This salad is definitely packed with substance, combining baby arugula, crispy bacon, nutty wild rice, crispy pops of pomegranate seeds, and creamy yet crispy fried goat cheese.
Can I even call it a “salad” if there’s bacon and fried goat cheese in it? Definitely. My kind of salad.
It’s a wonderful combination of flavours and textures and while you could omit the goat cheese, why would you? I don’t think I could ever turn down goat cheese coated in a panko mixture and fried until deliciously crisp on the outside and warm and creamy on the inside.
If you’ve never fried your goat cheese, try it out. You’re welcome.
The trick, I found, is to freeze the coated cheese slices for about 30 minutes. Simply slice the goat cheese into 1/2-inch slices, coat with an egg then panko mixture, and freeze. This won’t completely harden the cheese but it will firm it up enough that it’ll keep it’s shape when frying. The last thing you want is a melty, cheesy mess all over your frying pan instead of in your belly.
|Wild Rice & Arugula Salad with Bacon & Fried Goat Cheese|| |
- Fried Goat Cheese:
- 1 100g log of goat cheese
- ⅓ cup panko crumbs
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 cup wild rice mix
- 9 slices bacon
- 3 handfuls of baby arugula
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare the cheese: slice goat cheese into six ½-inch slices. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together panko crumbs, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. In another small bowl, whisk egg. Remove goat cheese from the freezer, dip each slice in the egg, then the panko mixture, patting down sides to coat. Repeat with all cheese, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes. (Freezing will help the cheese keep shape when frying)
- Make the rice: according to package instructions.
- Make the bacon: Line a baking pan with foil and place a wire rack on top. Place bacon strips on the rack and bake for 20-25 minutes until bacon is cooked and crispy. Let cool, then pat down bacon with paper towel to sop up grease, and crumble.
- Make the dressing: whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Toss together the rice, bacon, arugula, pomegranate seeds, and dressing. Divide onto plates; set aside.
- Heat about 4 Tbsp oil in a small, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add goat cheese slices, cooking about 2 mins per side until browned. Top each salad with 2 slices of goat cheese and serve immediately.