The Meatball Shop Cookbook is full of pizzazz. The recipes are zesty, playful, and plain old delicious. They are the result of the team of Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, owners of the highly successful Meatball Shop on the hip lower East side of New York City.
The "balls," as the authors refer to their meatballs, are the brightly shining stars of the book, and the recipes shine as stars are supposed to do in megawatts. But the authors have not forgotten that meatballs have sauces, side dishes, and salads. They generously add recipes for follow-up desserts from the restaurant's repertoire. This includes their signature ice cream sandwich dessert.
Meatballs are the stars, however, and the recipes are varied and luscious, comforting and piquant. The authors start with a debate: Roasted vs. Fried vs. Braised (they answer, by the way), as well as a recipe for Classic Meatballs. Holzman and Chernow divulge the secrets of the shop's success by giving such recipes as Bolognese Meatballs, Mediterranean Lamb Balls, Viva La Mexico Balls, Reuben Balls, spicy Mini-Buffalo Chicken Balls, and Jambalaya Balls. They intersperse the recipes, most of which have tips, with advice about crumbs, the 10 commandments of a great sandwich, and a page giving the sage advice to "meet your butcher."
Stars need their retinues, and the meatballs are well accompanied with recipes such as Creamy Polenta, Honey Roasted Carrots, Marinated Grilled Eggplant, Smashed Turnips with Fresh Horseradish, Candied Yams Roasted Beets with Watercress, Almonds, and Pecorino just to name a few.
And to sauce the meatballs with all due glamour there are such recipes as Classic Tomato Sauce, Spicy Meat Sauce, Spinach-Basil Pesto, Parmesan Cream Sauce, Mushroom Gravy, Lemon Cream Sauce.
There are luscious color photographs by John Kernick that will make you want to cook as well as eat.