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j biesinger
03-12-2011, 04:23 AM
I want to recommend the A16 cookbook. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580089070/tvwb-20) We haven't dug into it too much, but what we have has been spectacular. The recipe for "monday meatballs" alone, might be worth the cover price.

The meatballs are a mix of pork, beef, ricotta, and ground proscuitto. I recently made a double batch so I had some to freeze.

one sheet of baked meatballs cooling on the porch:
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_mTKMfChrr0M/TXtzWKuZYmI/AAAAAAAABjI/YeYqmZnlAKA/s800/IMG_6076.JPG

and on top of some pasta:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_mTKMfChrr0M/TXtzaa9d9rI/AAAAAAAABjQ/iWy_zttlV4g/s800/IMG_6098.JPG

Note from Moderator: I've added the recipe text below in case the link later in this thread goes dead at some point.

These meatballs were originally created as a Monday special by the chefs at A16 restaurant in San Francisco as a way to use up scraps leftover from butchering whole animals. They pay deference to the rustic cooking of southern Italy, but have taken on a life of their own. At dinner, the restaurant limits serving them on Mondays despite demand. But they are a regular on the lunch menu and among the most popular dishes at A16's sister spot in Tokyo.

Monday Meatballs from A16

Makes 6 servings

10 ounces boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor

10 ounces beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor

6 ounces day-old country bread, torn into chunks and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor

2 ounces pork fat, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or chilled in a freezer for 15 minutes then finely chopped in a food processor

2 ounces prosciutto, chopped and ground in a meat grinder or chilled in a freezer for 15 minutes then finely chopped in a food processor

1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup fresh ricotta, drained if necessary
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
1 can (28-ounce) San Marzano tomatoes, with juices
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Parmesan cheese, for grating
Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with olive oil or cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, bread, pork fat, prosciutto, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the salt, oregano, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes. Use your hands to mix just until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs and milk just enough to break up any large curds of ricotta.

4. Add the ricotta mixture to the ground meat mixture and mix lightly with your hands just until incorporated. The mixture should feel wet and tacky.

5. Pinch off a small nugget of the mixture, flatten it into a disk, and cook it in a small saute pan. Taste it and adjust the seasoning of the mixture with salt if needed.

6. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. You should have about 30 meatballs.

7. Bake, rotating the sheets once from the front to the back, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are browned. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

8. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and then pass the tomatoes and their juices through a food mill fitted with the medium plate. Alternatively, put the entire can of tomatoes in a large bowl and then squeeze them into small pieces with your hands.

9. Pack the meatballs into 1 large roasting pan or 2 smaller roasting pans. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs, cover tightly with foil, then braise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meatballs are tender and have absorbed some of the tomato sauce.

10. Sprinkle the meatballs with the basil. To serve, ladle meatballs with some of the sauce into a bowl. Grate Parmesan over the top, then drizzle with olive oil to finish.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 540 calories; 282 calories from fat; 31 g fat (11 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 186 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 36 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,472 mg sodium.

Gary H. NJ
03-12-2011, 04:48 AM
Oh man -- ichiban meatballs. And you're using my favorite pasta -- those little flower-shaped thingies. (My choice for puttanesca sauce too, it catches all the good bits).

j biesinger
03-12-2011, 07:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Oh man </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was hoping this would catch your eye...I ground the pork butt, beef chuck and proscuitto myself, with my grinder http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif .

Where else can you get ground proscuitto, other than making it yourself?

Marc
03-12-2011, 07:43 AM
Just found the recipe and, like your cook, it looks fantastic! My to do list is becoming excessively long!
Did you do these inside or out?

Jim Lampe
03-12-2011, 08:38 AM
You've Done It Again Jeff!! (https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_mTKMfChrr0M/TXtzaa9d9rI/AAAAAAAABjQ/iWy_zttlV4g/s800/IMG_6098.JPG)
O U T S T A N D I N G ! ! !

j biesinger
03-12-2011, 08:53 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Just found the recipe and, like your cook, it looks fantastic! My to do list is becoming excessively long!
Did you do these inside or out? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

you have the cookbook, or found it online? I was hesitant to post the actual recipe.

I baked the meatballs in the oven.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> O U T S T A N D I N G ! ! !

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jim, you crack me up! I swear it has to be exhausting to be that enthusiastic all time! http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Marc
03-12-2011, 09:18 AM
Found it online (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2011420709_web24recipes.html). Could you glance & confirm?

j biesinger
03-12-2011, 09:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Found it online. Could you glance & confirm? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

that's it, word for word.

one note, we use a teensy bit of fennel. My wife isn't a fan. This batch I told her they could probably use a bit less, and she said she hardly put any in. Keep this in mind, as the fennel (with the pork) kind of changes the meatballs into sausage balls.

Marc
03-12-2011, 10:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">kind of changes the meatballs into sausage balls </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Funny you said that! Was thinking the same thing. Not necessarily a bad thing depending upon where your going. I'm thinking, the texture of a traditional meatball with a sausage (fennel) undertone. I've been fighting with my use of fennel seed for a bit. Really crazy what the addition does in a tomato sauce. Just what your saying: the allusion of sausage! Sausage note without the fat!

j biesinger
05-02-2011, 04:45 PM
these babies made the BEST meatball bomber:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_mTKMfChrr0M/Tb9JbpJ_S_I/AAAAAAAABuU/_9gv8mNk8cA/s800/IMG_6455.JPG

I'm so stoked that I got a couple more packs in the freezer. Making and packing a double batch might have been one of my best ideas, ever.

Tonight's dinner was off the charts in terms of the ease of preparation to deliciousness ratio

Chuck_B
05-03-2011, 03:14 AM
WOW J! Both look delicious!

Bill W. Michigan
05-03-2011, 12:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by j biesinger:
these babies made the BEST meatball bomber: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

BOMBS AWAY !!! (https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_mTKMfChrr0M/Tb9JbpJ_S_I/AAAAAAAABuU/_9gv8mNk8cA/s800/IMG_6455.JPG) Keep um coming I'll eat them all

Jim Lampe
05-03-2011, 12:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Tonight's dinner was off the charts in terms of the ease of preparation to deliciousness ratio </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I'll BET!
Jeff, I have not had a meatball sandwich i liked... REALLY!
Butt, if your MBS is ANYTHING like the photos you posted in March, I'd sink into it without one iota of hesitation!
LooksGREAT!

K Kruger
05-03-2011, 05:22 PM
They look good.

On the fennel, a simple suggestion: Don't use whole seeds. Toast some (whoever much you choose) then grind, somewhat coarsely to finely, your choice. Makes a difference.

If you're not making your own ricotta yet... http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

j biesinger
05-03-2011, 05:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">On the fennel, a simple suggestion: Don't use whole seeds. Toast some (whoever much you choose) then grind, somewhat coarsely to finely, your choice. Makes a difference.

If you're not making your own ricotta yet... Smiler </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Something certainly needs to be done about the fennel. Grinding might me the way to go. My wife doesn't like the whole seeds, and she was kind of picking them out of her sandwich http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I haven't made ricotta (some fresh mozz, yes). I'm trying to find some good, locally farmed milk, before I go into production.

K Kruger
05-03-2011, 06:08 PM
I use that when I can. In many places I cook - and both homes - not possible (even though there are dairies all around me in Fla). But a combo of good organic milk and organic cream does the trick nicely.

Yeah, try grinding. Toast to dry further and develop the flavor, then grind.

j biesinger
05-04-2011, 04:18 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But a combo of good organic milk and organic cream does the trick nicely. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

does raw gain you anything?

K Kruger
05-04-2011, 04:40 PM
Not to me. The raw aficionados would disagree (they're wildly passionate) but I've done both and don't find a difference. The dairy is heated (fortunately; despite what the raw folk say raw milk can contain beasties) so whatever one supposedly gains by using raw is lost at that point. Now, were the dairy to be from particularly pastured animals this might be different. Barring that don't let it stop you.

(Many make ricotta with vinegar. I almost always use lemon juice.)

j biesinger
05-04-2011, 04:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">so whatever one supposedly gains by using raw is lost at that point. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

that's what I was thinking. thanks.

Gary H. NJ
05-04-2011, 04:50 PM
The Corrado's (http://www.corradosmarket.com/home/store-wayne.html) near me makes their own ricotta and mozzarella on a regular basis. Who needs to make their own? I've been known to spoon some of the fresh ricotta into a bowl and drizzle with honey. So good. One of the benefits of living in Jersey.

K Kruger
05-04-2011, 04:59 PM
Well, anyone who can't get it fresh... But you should try it anyway. It's a breeze to make.

Try it warm, topped with berries and a drizzle of honey.

j biesinger
05-04-2011, 05:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Well, anyone who can't get it fresh... But you should try it anyway. It's a breeze to make. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

especially if one has young kids at home.

The one thought I had making fresh mozz at home, was: what sort of mix-ins could I try. It seemed like at some point, one could fold in red peppers, basil, or salumi, and make a really cool appetizer.

r benash
05-05-2011, 02:37 AM
I haven't made my own ricotta or moz just yet. But I do make paneer a few times a year. I have struggled with yield and quality of the curd when using pasteurized/homogenized milk. I think it's more an issue of being homogenized.

My first attempts years ago with p/h was grainy curd and low yield and it didn't press well. Paneer is often deep fried in ghee. The p/h didn't hold together well after pressing and wanted to break up.

Once I switched to raw milk (cream top) yield and quality went way up. The whey is often used as the liquid instead of plain water in some Indian recipes and the quality of the whey was better too in that it had less solids left in it and to me a better flavor.

I tried several times with p/h milk before switching. It's a very simple method to make paneer so I blamed the milk. But - I guess it could be me, but not going back at this point.

Because of this I have to say I'm biased and would consider it a fail safe to use cream top for first attempts at other types of cheese.

Mike R. (Heyworth)
05-05-2011, 07:22 AM
I'm making my first homemade mozzarella this weekend. With any luck, it will resemble something like cheese. I've got a local milk that should do the trick.

I've been doing a ton of reading on the subject, and it appears that many organic milks and regular grocerty store milks and are now "ultra pasteurized" which destroys the whey protein, not allowing the curd to properly form, which will never yield mozarella.

So, we shall see if I'm eating capresse salad this weekend!

K Kruger
05-05-2011, 07:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have struggled with yield and quality of the curd when using pasteurized/homogenized milk. I think it's more an issue of being homogenized. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
What are you using for a starter - lemon juice, vin or yogurt?

Are you adding the starter all at once or..?

Are you rinsing the curds?

Never had an issue with pasteurized milk. Ultra-pasteurized, yes.

Mike R. (Heyworth)
05-05-2011, 11:06 AM
Not to hijack this thread, but Kevin, with standard store bought pasteurized milk, you've been ok on your cheese making? All the reading I've done probably has me overthinking the milk I get from reading about all of the various temps milk is brought to.

K Kruger
05-05-2011, 01:25 PM
I have been okay, yes. If the pasteurized milk you buy is not working for you try a different brand. You can also call the packagers of the milk producers in your area and ask what temp they use and for how long to pasteurize. There are numbers that have to be hit for the milk to be labeled ultra. However, the producer might go almost to those numbers but not quite, meaning they could label as pasteurized and not ultra, yet the effect on the milk as far as cheesemaking goes would be the same as if it were ultra.

r benash
05-06-2011, 01:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by K Kruger:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I have struggled with yield and quality of the curd when using pasteurized/homogenized milk. I think it's more an issue of being homogenized. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
What are you using for a starter - lemon juice, vin or yogurt?

Are you adding the starter all at once or..?

Are you rinsing the curds?

Never had an issue with pasteurized milk. Ultra-pasteurized, yes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Always lemon juice. Mix in a couple TB or 1/4 c first depending on how much milk I'm working with then slowly until the curd is clearly separated.

When having the problem I even tried upping the acid to double and got the same result. Might have been ultra-pasteurized, not sure it's been quite a few years ago now.

I don't rinse the curds, no. I lift out with a slotted spoon or spyder into a colander lined with cheesecloth to drain then tie up and press for at least an hour and a half. Usually more.

I'll have to give another try perhaps. But the raw works so well and reliably for me I have no real incentive.

I usually start with 2 gallons of milk and end up with 15-16 oz of paneer. Have a lb. vac sealed in the fridge now waiting to go into a recipe soon.

Wolgast
05-06-2011, 02:51 AM
Looks fantastic Jeff!

Mike R. (Heyworth)
05-06-2011, 04:02 AM
Thanks Kevin. On a cheesemaking website I've been reading, they have a list "Good Milks" by state, and there is one available here in town that comes from a farm about 20 miles away, so i'll start with that one. The one I had the highest hopes for apparently pasteurizes at 172 degrees as of the last couple months, so that ones out.

Mike R. (Heyworth)
05-10-2011, 04:04 PM
Finally made some fresh mozzarella tonight, and wow, was it good! Extremely easy to make, and excellent results. Highly recommend to anyone that likes fresh mozz.

Kilgus Farms milk worked perfectly. It is whole non-homogenized jersey cow juice, great stuff!

Jerry P.
05-11-2011, 06:00 PM
Anyone care to share their recipe for homemade mozzarella? Thanks.

Mike R. (Heyworth)
05-13-2011, 04:00 AM
Sure.

Admittedly, i'm far from an expert, as I have exactly 1 round of cheese under my belt, but here's what I did.

1/4 tsp. powdered citric acid mixed in 1/4 cup room temp water. Pour into pot, stainless preferrably.

Vigorously pour in one gallon of the milk of your choice. I highly recommend finding a local, fresh, whole milk that has been pasteurized at low temps. The vigorous pour will help the citric acid fully incorporate. If not fully incorporated, it can result in uneven curd formation.

Dissolve 1/4 tablet rennet in 1/4 cup room temp water.

Heat milk to 90 degrees F. Either slow or fast, just get to 90.

Remove from heat, stir in rennet. Ensure rennet is fully incorporated by stirring from top to bottom for 30 seconds. Cover, let sit 5 mins.

Test curb with the back of a spoon. You should have full, clean separation from the side of your pot, and a heavy, custard-like texture of your curd. If not, allow to sit for 2-3 more mins.

Cut curd into squares by using a knife that reaches the bottom of the pot.

Return to heat, and stirring gently, heat to 105 degrees F.

Scoop out curd into collander. Move curd around collander to release more whey.

Place curd in glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Pour off whey (easiest if you plop back into collander).

Heat again in micro for 30 seconds. Pour off whey.

Heat for 30 seconds again. Your curd should be just hot enough to handle at this point. Return to collander, working a bit more firmly. If salt is desired, add now.

Knead as you would bread dough. It will become shiny and smooth in a matter of seconds.

Eat!

If storing, submerge cheese in ice water to cool quickly and refrigerate wrapped in plastic. It will keep ~5 days, but the freshness is of course best on day 1.