Okay, so many of you have probably vowed to spend 2012 in the gym working off all those winter pounds you acquired while hibernating… and while that’s all good and fine, let’s be serious. You will probably last at the gym for about a week (two tops) before going back to your old ways. And well, that’s okay. Promises are made to be broken, right? Okay, okay. You should keep your promises, but if you happen to have a cheat day and are craving a bit of comfort food, I have the perfect little place (and recipe) to do just that.
The Meatball Shop with three locations in New York, is exactly what it sounds like. A restaurant serving up meatballs with little fuss and lots of flavor. With a straightforward menu (checboxes included), there are plenty of options without being overwhelming. While I opted for a classic meatball hoagie, you could order anything from naked balls, to sliders, to spaghetti with meatballs. There is something to to please everyone’s palate. A small venue that doesn’t take reservations draws in celebrities and locals alike.
Can’t make it into the shop? Here’s a recipe to make your own balls. (Their cookbook is now also available for purchase here):
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 4 tbs unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup Franks Redhot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 lb ground chicken (preferably thigh meat)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 celery stalk, minced
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 450. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9×13 inch baking dish and use your hands to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
- Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
- Combine the ground chicken, hot sauce mixture, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
- Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.
- Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165 degrees.
- Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
- Serve with blue cheese (or ranch) dressing.