Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DIY: Dinner

This past weekend we went down to Carlsbad to visit our friends Michele & Jeff. The boys planned out the menu and had some big things planned like cheese and sausage making. Oh yes, you heard right. This was an eight hour jam session of non-stop kitchen stadium action for one delicious meal.

First up 30-minute mozzarella from the book Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses by Ricki Carroll. The hubby ordered the book and a cheese making kit from Wine, Beer & Cheese Making Supplies in Woodland Hills, CA. This is the only place in Los Angeles where you can buy rennet.

The hubby did call the only water buffalo dairy in Southern California and tried to get Buffalo milk but he was unsuccessful in trying to charm the old Italian woman out of a gallon of milk. He had to settle for regular milk.

Joe separating the curds from the whey.

Time to shape the cheese


Three lovely balls of fresh mozzarella.

Now it's time to make some sausage.
Jeff is grinding the meat: pork shoulder.

This is going to be spicy Italian sausage with a blend of pork, chicken, and turkey. Jeff had a special sheet with the careful calculations of herbs and spices. This sausage was made with lots of love.

These are the tasting patties to make sure the spice blend is perfect. These tasty bits were a welcome teaser of things to come.

One cheese isn't enough. It never truly is. Now Joe is making ricotta.



Time to stuff the sausage.
The sausage casing is pretty gross so I didn't take a picture of it. This was pretty labor intensive. The boys were at it for an hour or was it two? There was a lot of sausage to be made.

Meanwhile, I was called upon to make sauce. Michele & I were previously told to get the heck out of the kitchen. Ladies, when does that ever happen?! I LOVE IT! We just have to sample most of the time when these two get together, which we are very happy to do. But now I had a job to do.

Here I am adding some bay leaf to the sauce.

look what we did
the sausage is done! Here are the men and their meat! So proud!

Joe also made bread.
A bendy baguette.

And a beautiful focaccia made with fresh herbs from Jeff's garden.

There was fresh pasta to be made and tasted.
freash pasta
Michele could hardly wait. Fresh pasta...yum!

Eight hours later and dinner is finally ready.
Caprese: Made with Jeff's first of the season tomatoes, basil, homemade mozzarella & Michele's vinaigrette.

Herbed focaccia

spicy italian sausage
Grilled spicy Italian sausage

Rapini (gotta get your greens)

Ravioli filled with ricotta and herbs.

Dinner was sooooo delicious. We ate every morsel on our plates. There was talk of making green tea frozen yogurt for dessert. But after the labor intensive dinner, we all opted for some lounging, snoozing and watching Iron Chef on the couch.

The feasting never ends. Here is breakfast the next morning.
This was a jerk sausage made with pork, chicken, and jerk seasonings. Scrambled eggs with mozzarella topped with fresh tomato and avocado.

I haven't eaten anything since Sunday morning.


Ellen Bloom said...

OMG! Everything looks delicious, including those cute boys in their APRONS!!!

Annika said...

Ever since I started making my own butter I've been wondering about cheese. Homemade dairy products are just so good! I will have to check out that book.

woolanthropy said...

I totally thought about your butter making that day & why I wasn't more on the ball to try it. But then again I was ordered out of the kitchen for the most part.

sappmama said...

You owe me a monitor. I just ate mine.

This food is plain foolishness.

Next time BRING ME SOME!

Anonymous said...

2 things u dont want to see made:

woolanthropy said...

better to legislate the sausage making yourself than to leave it to Oscar Mayer. Quality control, baby.

Frank said...

Holy Gourmet Household Batman!