The Southwest Chefs of the ACF (American Culinary Federation) never cease to amaze me, (and quite a few of their members) with the information they bring to Lee County chefs. This organization is for chefs, students and interested culinarians to join and gain knowledge of classical techniques and cutting edge innovations.
|Full House of Culinarians at the Indigo Hotel in Fort Myers|
The November, 2011 meeting, co sponsored by Chef Brian Mc Carley at The Indigo Hotel in Fort Myers, was “Sausage Making with the Drygala’s.” Seats were packed to see this!
Chefs Rainer Drgala, Chef Rosemarie Drygala and Chef Reiner Drygala brought sausage making equipment (some from Mark Brown) and showed, pretty much from start to finish, how to quickly make professional sausages-it’s not hard to do!
|Chef's Reiner, Rainer and Rosemarie Drygala|
The casings are usually hog and sheep; lamb makes a nice narrow sausage, too. Sausage making is something a home cook or two can easily do, and it’s safe when following proper hygiene- keeping equipment scrupulously clean, and using fresh, cooled ingredients. Sausage making is best when you’re going to make a few dozen, as it takes about as much prep time and clean up time to make 4 or 5 sausages as it does to make 4 or 5 dozen sausages-the actual sausage filling goes pretty fast.
One needs a meat grinder-attachments can fit on many mixers or food processors. A sausage stuffer must be borrowed or bought, along with casings.
|Loading the Sausage Stuffer with Pork Mixture|
|Many Hands Extrude, Fill and Coil Sausages|
There’s no shortage of recipes on the net; Italian, German and French cuisines have an amazing variety of mixes and spices.
Chef Rainer’s specialties include German cuisine and sausages, so he had a savory bratwurst for sampling, rich with coriander, sage, dried rosemary, mustard and pepper. This was paired with sauerkraut, of course!
Chef Rosemarie’s Italian cuisine background brought an Italian Chivalade sausage in lamb casing (she usually makes it with sheep) that was my favorite, with its pork and grated Pecorino Romano cheese and red pepper flakes, paired with broccoli rabe.
The Italian Fennel sausage had a bold mix of fennel, anise seed, paprika and various peppers. Chef Reiner crafted a good old Boudin Blanc that would have fit perfectly in New Orleans, with cayenne pepper and long grain rice.
|Sausages Sharing a Plate|
If you missed out in life on sausage making, you can see a variety of recipes at thespicysausage.com, videos, and even buy equipment there, too!
Then Mike Duvall of J J Taylor Distributing gave a mini sampling of three beers-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (my favorite for its unique flavor), White UFO, an unfiltered beer with a quite subtle taste, and Brooklyn Brown Ale.
|Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, UFO, Brooklyn Brown Ale|
American microbreweries offer far better tasting beers than the swill that passes for “Lite” and “lo calorie” which are often quite 'lite" on taste as well. Everyone has their beer preference-that’s why there’s hundreds to choose from at local stores and via the Internet.
Chef Thierry Bertrand, with Qzina Specialty Foods, Inc, demonstrated a very tasty dessert base mix for crème brulee that is geared to restaurants serving numerous orders a night.
The mix is placed in a round or oval container,
a special sugar is sprinkled on top, then a spritz of flavored alcohol goes in,
and after igniting, the flame
burns just long enough to caramelize the sugar into a nice crisp crust, without burning the sugar.
For this who want to decorate their plates or desserts with food quality colors, he has a wide range of colors that include gold (above), silver, strawberry, cocoa, and a silver mirror finish.
Not a chef, but interested in joining in on culinary activities? Contact the ACF chapter nearest you, and get ready to learn far more than you imagined, and meet a variety of passional people in the field!
|Chef Jacques Perry|
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