When you think of meatballs, you might think of warm comfort food like mama used to make. But for Michael Chernow, co-owner of the popular Meatball Shop restaurants, baseball comes to mind.
“Meatballs have been around forever, and the Yankees have been around forever,” Chernow says. “The Yankees never get old and continue to win, and meatballs never get old and they continue to win,” he laughs.
Along with friend and co-owner Daniel Holzman, the dynamic duo’s meatball business — they have two locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn — keeps hitting home runs. But, according to Chernow, the concept behind their success wasn’t always meatball bound. The pair originally planned to go in together on a higher-end style restaurant. That all changed when they saw the venue.
“The space had a bit of a side window that was directly next to a busy bar where there were patrons outside smoking cigarettes and chatting away,”?Chernow remembers. “Daniel looked at that and said, ‘That’s a revenue stream right there.’”
That’s when the idea of meatballs came rolling on through — and from there, so did the customers.
Then the other locations. And now, finally, their new book, “The Meatball Shop Cookbook,” has hit stores. The cookbook contains over 20 meatball recipes, as well as sauces, sides, desserts and more.
Smashed turnips with fresh horseradish
Serves 4 to 6
8 large turnips (about
2 pounds), peeled and quartered
½ cup sour cream
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish or more to taste
2 teaspoons salt
1. Place the turnips in a large pot with enough water to cover by two inches. Bring them to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Drain them until they’re completely dry.
2. Place the turnips in a bowl and, while they are still hot, add the sour cream, scallions, horseradish and salt. Mash with a wire whisk or potato masher until well combined but still chunky. Serve immediately.