on November 25, 2011
This is so much better than I expected. There are all kinds of meatball recipes. These are the same meatballs that are served in their restaurants and even include a vegetarian version. Then there are sides, go-withs, sauces, salads and even desserts! The recipes are designed for the home cook and can be prepared and served right away or they suggest how they can be frozen and reheated. We are not talking gargantuan quantities here but, most of the recipes can easily be multiplied. The photos and illustrations are wonderful, too.
The desserts are all cookies that are used to make ice cream sandwiches.
This one's definitely a keeper for me.
on January 27, 2012
Recently purchased this book and although a bit pricey, when you make the Mushroom Gravy it is worth evey cent and then some. Best Mushroom gravy ever and I have been cooking for 4 decades. My husband came in and tasted it while I was cooking and he said wow what a great soup. Is this for dinner tonight? Amazingly that is how it is described in the book. So good you will be eating it with a spoon like soup. Truly lives up to the hype. It is an extrodinary gravy. I also made the Buffalo Chicken balls and they were excellent as well. Couldn't stop eating them. I also made the spicy meat sauce and it is suprisingly good for such few ingrediants. The Pomi Tomatoes are key. I'm Italian and know my sauces and as a "quick" sauce this can't be beat.
However, this is not a book for the novice cook. For example, in the recipe for the Mushroom Gravy it says to dump the whole Buerre Manie (butter and flour mixture) all at once into the gravy. Don't do that. Wisk little bits at a time until fully melted and incorporated repeating until desired consistency. Don't have to use the whole amount of Buerre Manie. Also, heating times need to be adjusted when reducing liquids to achieve desired results in the time specified in the recipe.
That said, I am thrilled with this book. Well worth the money.
on April 26, 2012
Authors/chefs/restaurateurs Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow have given the meatball a soul.
What was once a golf ball-sized hit of protein, usually hamburger, usually aswim in a red sauce, is now a luscious chameleon. Holzman and Chernow have explored the bounds of the meatball and determined it to be limitless. If there is a national cuisine -- Greek, Spanish, Mexican -- these young chefs have devised a savory meatball proclaiming its virtues.
The recipes in this new cookbook are the same ones the chefs developed and use in their three new and popular Meatball Shops in New York City. The shops offer a selection of different types of meatballs that are always on the menu, specials for the day, sauces, sides, vegetables and their signature dessert -- homemade cookie and ice cream sandwiches. You mix and match, choosing what sauce, meatballs and sides appeal to you at that given moment. You use a marker to note your selections on a laminated menu that's easily wiped clean.
The cookbook is a generous gift to those who love meatballs and to the restaurateurs' legions of devoted patrons. Not only do they provide you with all the recipes they use, they take great pains to explain how to get the best possible results.
Holzman and Chernow first worked together when the best friends were 13. They were delivery boys for a vegan restaurant and shared a dream to open a restaurant together some day. Holzman went on to work at the highly acclaimed La Bernardin in NYC before moving to the West Coast to work in restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Chernow, who is a health-conscious marathon runner, also worked in restaurants. While at an Italian restaurant in the East Village, he made his nightly meal a bowl of meatballs without the pasta and added a side of vegetables. Holzman tried it and was hooked.
"It's all about the balls," they write in their cookbook. They call the meatball the great equalizer, appealing as it does to Wall Street executives and sanitation workers alike. And the meatballs range from basic to sophisticated. They offer a recipe for their most labor-intensive Bunny Balls, made of onion, fennel, fresh rosemary, garlic, white wine and rabbit. Or you can opt for the Classic Beef Meatball made with ground beef and, among other ingredients, ricotta cheese (for creaminess and light texture) and lots of spice.
The book is a delight. Recipes are simple and beautifully illustrated. It's not a book to read when you're hungry, however. You'll see recipes for "The Spaniard," with Spanish chorizo and Manchego cheese; "Fightin' Irish Balls" (made with chopped cabbage, mashed potatoes, pork, beef and, among other things, mustard); and savory "Thai Balls" made with pork, shrimp, lots of herbs and spices -- dressed in a colorful garnish of basil, mint and cilantro, peanuts, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. There are many other "ball" recipes including a vegetarian ball made with lentils. Many of these recipes, the authors say, take only minutes to put together. They bake their meatballs for efficiency. There are instructions for warming, freezing, etc.
A sauce section follows. The chefs say they put a lot of effort into coming up with the perfect classic tomato sauce. There are lots of other sauces to try, as well, from a spicy meat sauce to spinach-basil pesto to mushroom to Parmesan cream sauce and much more.
After sauces come sides, including risottos, polenta, mashed potatoes, smashed turnips with horseradish, even candied yams to go with the Gobble Gobble Balls (made with turkey and stuffing and cranberries).
The Veg section includes a lot of roasted vegetable concoctions such as honey-roasted carrot with prunes, walnuts and mint, salads, vegetables that have been marinated, braised or grilled. The recipes conclude with cookies and ice cream.
The book itself ends on a very sweet note, with both young men writing acknowledgements to their mothers. This tribute, on page 147, is worth the price of the book all by itself. Here are two young men who note and comprehend the value of faith, loyalty and love.
A similar expression of nurturing -- that of wanting to share and please -- comes across in this book all about making and partaking of delicious food.