Central Market Introduces New Chef-Crafted Meatballs
America is having a love affair with meat. Our appetite for burgers is far from sated, but trendier these days is the meatball.
The Huffington Post declared meatballs one of the hottest food trends of 2011. Chef Daniel Holzman and co-owner Michael Chernow kicked off the craze in 2010, when they opened the original Meatball Shop in New York. (The two also have a cookbook chock full of more than 100 recipes). James Beard award-winning chef and master of French cuisine Michel Richard opened a restaurant simply called Meatballs in Washington, D.C. And Top Chef finalist Dave Martin opened The Meatball Factory in New York City’s East Village.
While spaghetti and meatballs is an all-American (nope, not Italian) invention, meatballs stretch across all cuisines, from Spanish albondigas and Greek keftedes to Belgian ballekes and Chinese pork balls. So why do we love meatballs? NPR’s Bonny Wolf calls them “affordable and familiar” and “happy food in hard times.” And Holzman and Chernow, in their Meatball Shop cookbook, declare that meatballs are “the ultimate cure-all for anything that ails you.”
Central Market chefs toiled away in the kitchen to create their own spin on the latest food craze, drawing inspiration from across the globe. After much experimenting (and eating), we are pleased to present five great variations, available in the Chef's Case:
A game-day favorite! We start with top-quality ground chicken and spike it with hot sauce and celery. Then we garnish them with ranch and blue cheese crumbles.
These taste just like the dish that inspired them. We take natural ground pork and add roasted poblano peppers, cilantro, Cotija cheese, onion, cumin and ground chipotle. Then we top them with more Cotija cheese and cilantro.
All the flavors of the Mediterranean come together beautifully in this dish: ground lamb, raisins, walnuts, feta cheese, garlic, parsley, mint and oregano. Serve with a side of orzo and a peasant-style Greek salad.
Steak and Bacon
Ground beef, bacon, onion, garlic, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, parsley, and thyme comprise this all-American favorite tossed in pomodoro sauce and garnished with more Swiss.
Thai Pork and Shrimp
Natural ground pork, shrimp, green onions, cilantro, mint, fish sauce and serrano peppers make up these meatballs that are begging to be tossed in soup. Start with chicken stock, then add the meatballs, cellophane noodles, garlic, green onion and a little soy.