07 January 2013

The Meatball Shop Cookbook

Yes, Virginia, Christmas was a windfall of cookbooks.  So let us get started.

The Meatball Shop Cookbook was one of those titles that was featured everywhere.  We resisted it on numerous occasions.  After being bombarded with American Express commercials and and commenting every time one came on the television, "I don't have that cookbook," someone decided I needed it.  There it was under the Christmas tree.  Earlier in the year I received a grinder for my Kitchenaid mixer, so now there is nothing stopping me from making mounds of meatballs.

Meatballs abound -- pork, beef, lamb, and fish.  Fish meatballs?  There are tips for making the balls like scooping them with and ice cream scoop to keep them consistent.   (Really, is there a more useful kitchen tool that the lowly ice cream scoop?)

With all those meatballs floating around it is only fitting and proper that there be sauce.  Again, there are sauces for every meatball and the sauces prove to be quite interchangeable.

According to the authors, Daniel Holzman and Michael “Meatball Mike” Chernow, man does not live by meatballs alone.   There is a fair amount of veg included in this homage to round balls of mixed meat.  As you know, we are partial to our carrots.  We just love roasting our carrots with a fruit accompaniment.  It is also widely known that we do not eat nuts in our food.  So while we often roast carrots with prunes, we never use walnuts.   (Frankly, we are hoping that many of our diners do not view this post as they will inevitably raise the issue of nuts in food and demand walnuts in their carrots from now on...but I digress.)

 Here with a non-meatball recipe from The Meatball Shop Cookbook.

Honey-Roasted Carrots with  Prunes, Walnuts, and Mint

for the carrots

8 large carrots Cut into 3 X 1-inch pieces
(like thick-cut french fries)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey

for the topping

1/4 cup chopped pitted prunes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

 Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Toss the carrots with the olive oil in a large bowl, and coat thoroughly. Add the salt and toss to coat.
Combine the honey and 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Lay the carrots out on a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan so that they are evenly spaced and do not touch one another. Drizzle with the honey mixture and put the carrots in the oven to roast.

 Roast until all of the water has evaporated and the carrots are soft and beginning to brown, 35 to 40minutes.

While the carrots are roasting, prepare the topping. Mix the prunes and olive oil in a small bowl. Work the mixture so that the prunes are thoroughly coated and not sticking together. Add mint, walnuts, salt, and lemon juice and mix thoroughly to combine.

 Remove the carrots from the oven and arrange them on a serving dish. Spoon the topping over the carrots and serve.
I do so hate it when judgement is flawed.  Like meatballs themselves, this book is filled with fun and frolic and it should have graced our bookshelf long ago.   Now, thankfully, it does.

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