Talk Takeaway: Cooking with Michael Chernow & Daniel Holzman

Posted on Sep 11, 2013 10:45am

Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman, co-owners of New York's "The Meatball Shop," joined The Talk Food Festival to show the ladies some fun twists on the classic meatball.


The Spaniard Meatballs 

Yield: 2 dozen 1 ½ inch meatballs

2 tablespoons olive oil                                 

1 pound ground pork                                                                                         

½ pound dry Spanish chorizo, finely diced                       

½ pound Manchego cheese, finely diced

3 cups cooked long-grain white rice  

2 large eggs

½ cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes                                                                

1 teaspoon salt  


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.
  • Combine the ground pork, chorizo, Manchego, rice, eggs, bread crumbs, tomato paste, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 ½ inches), 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 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.  


Picado Sauce

Yield:  7 cups

1 ea. yellow onion, small dice (about 1 ½ cups)

1 ea. bay leaf (Fresh or dry)

1 sprig fresh oregano (or ½ tsp. dry)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp. tomato paste

¼ cup olive oil

2 tsp. salt

2 ea. 28oz cans of canned tomatoes, chopped (preferably San Marzano)

½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped

¼ pound almonds, roasted, salted and chopped (for topping)

  • Cook the onions and roasted peppers with the olive oil, oregano, bay leaf, garlic and salt over a medium heat in a large pot (12 qt), stirring constantly until onions are soft and translucent (about 15 minutes).  

  • Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for five minutes.

  • Add the canned tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil.

  • Continue cooking for 1 hour, stirring every four or five minutes such that the sauce does not burn.

  • Top with the chopped almonds and season with extra salt to taste.


Reuben Balls

Yield:  about 30 1 ½ inch meatballs


1 pound Corned beef, diced finely

1 pound ground pork

1 ¼ cup sauerkraut, roughly chopped and squeezed to remove as much liquid as possible

¾  pound Swiss cheese, Grated with a large box grater

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. caraway seeds

2 slices rye bread, diced finely

5 eggs

2 tbsp. olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 450 deg. F. Drizzle the olive oil into a large baking dish (9X13) making sure to evenly coat the entire surface (use your hand to help spread the oil). Set aside.

  • Combine the corned beef, ground pork, sauerkraut, eggs, Swiss cheese, bread, salt and caraway seeds in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

  • Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 ½ inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly.

  • Place the balls into the oiled baking dish such that all of the meatballs are lined up evenly in rows and are touching each of their four neighbors in a grid.  

  • Roast until firm and cooked through (about 22 minutes).

  • Allow the meatballs to cool for five minutes before removing from the dish.


Thousand Island Dressing

 Yield:  2 cups

This is a quick and simple sauce for the Reuben balls, but it is also great as a dipping sauce for shrimp, tortilla chips, or veggies. Don't skip the caraway seeds. Their distinctive aroma elevates this above and beyond store-bought dressing. This dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

1 cup Mayonnaise

 1/3 cup Ketchup

 1/3 cup chopped sweet Gerkin pickle

 1/3 cup whole milk

 2 tsp salt or more to taste

 2 tsp caraway seeds

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  • Place the caraway seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes, until fragrant.

  • Place the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, milk, salt and caraway seeds in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly until completely combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired.


Braised Green Beans

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil                                                                                        
4 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons salt or to taste                                                                             

¼ cup tomato paste

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Submerge the beans in the boiling water and cook, stirring once or twice, for 4 minutes. Drain and set the beans aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste has turned a deep, brick-red color, about 10 minutes.  
  • Add the green beans and ¼ cup water to the pot and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the beans and tomato paste have mixed completely and all of the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. If the water evaporates too quickly, add a few extra tablespoons so that the beans have time to cook fully; they should be very tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

Retox Cocktail Pitcher  
Serves 4 to 5
8 oz 209 Distillery gin
19 oz coconut water (2 bottles)
3 oz lime juice
2 oz Ginger Syrup (recipe below)
10 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Combine ingredients into a 40 oz pitcher.
Add 1 ice sphere (or one scoop of ice).
Garnish pitcher with 3 lime wheels and 3 cucumber wheels. 
Serve with Collins glasses, filled halfway with ice.

Ginger Syrup (for Retox)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tbs ground ginger
Add sugar and ginger powder to hot water and stir until sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup to remove remaining ginger particles. Store in a quart container and refrigerate.




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