Suzi’s Blog

Veal and Gruyere Meatballs in Tomato Sauce from Lidgate’s


In the heat of summer, why do we eat hot food? There is that theory that a hot salsa makes you sweat which lets water evaporate off your forehead which cools you. I’m not sure about that.

Thing is, even in the summer there are some hot, temperature wise, food we love. Steak, sizzling off the grill. Or those burgers.

Or, if you are cooking inside, meatballs. I don’t think a month can go by without Suzi mixing up a batch of meatballs. She has a favorite recipe, from Ann Nurse in Brooklyn, but Suzi will do some experimenting [Please don’t tell Ann!].

This recipe is from Lidgate’s, The Meat Cookbook. You can read my review here. Lidgate’s is a landmark butcher shop in London. This recipe is actually very much like Ann’s: high end meat combined with good cheese. All you need to complete the recipe are some standards to supply liquid and binding: egg, breadcrumbs, and, of course, parsley.

This recipe says it serves 4. That is not going to be true. You are going to want seconds, so this recipe will work for 2 people. If there are more of you, scale appropriately or you can expect sounds of pain. It’s that kind of meatball.


Veal and Gruyere Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Yield: serves 4 [sort of]


For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound minced veal
  • 2 ounces Gruyere or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 1 ounce dry white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • Two 14-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 ounces red wine
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch or more of caster sugar, to taste
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers


Put the veal into a mixing bowl with the cheese and parsley. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and a good few twists of pepper. Add the egg and mix thoroughly using your hands. Form into 24 walnut-sized balls, place on a plate and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put all the sauce ingredients into a large saucepan. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer, half-covered, for 1 hour. (If you are in a hurry, you can leave the pan uncovered and the sauce will be ready to eat in 20 minutes, but it tastes better if allowed to cook longer so that the flavors meld and mellow.)

Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the chilled meatballs in them. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meatballs in 2 batches, turning them so that they brown all over. Carefully add the meatballs to the tomato sauce. Cover with a lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and allow the sauce to bubble away if you want to reduce it slightly. Taste and adjust the seasoning, remembering that the meatballs are already seasoned with the salty cheese. Serve with pasta, or boiled or sautéed potatoes.


Source: Lidgate’s, The Meat Cookbook, [Mitchell Beazley, 2016]





Green Chile Pork Pizza from The United States of Pizza by Craig Priebe


In The United States of Pizza, Craig Priebe and Diane Jacob show the results of their personal pizza odyssey. They’ve found gems from every corner of the country, big towns and small villages.

Now, if you are a pizza purist, you may find some of the ideas in the book a tad extreme. I appreciate true, Italian-pure pizza. I do, but here’s an idea that appeals to the Tex-Mex that is now in all of us.

Here’s Green Chili Pork Pizza from Beau Jo’s in Denver, Colorado. It is beautiful to behold and fiery with both green chiles and tomatillo salsa atop the crust. Feel free, of course, to increase the heat or change the perspective with, perhaps, a round of jalapeno slices.

Green Chile Pork Pizza

Yield: 1 12-inch pizza for 2-3 people


  • 1 prebaked pizza crust of your choice [prebaked just the beginning point of doneness]
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomatillo (green) salsa
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • (8 ounce) can
  • 1l4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (from about 1/4 bunch)


Move an oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 400°F for 30 minutes.

Brown the pork over medium-high heat in a medium skillet, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, salsa, half the can of green chiles, 2 tablespoons water, and the cornstarch. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.

Mix the chopped tomatoes and the remaining green chiles together in a small bowl.

Place the prebaked pizza crust on a pizza pan or screen sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Spread the green chile pork all the way out to the edges with a rubber spatula. Top with the tomato-green chile and the raw onion.

Bake the pizza for about 30 minutes, until the crust is brown and the toppings are bubbling. Check underneath with a metal spatula to ensure the bottom crust is golden. Let the pizza rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, cut into 8 wedges, and serve.

Source: The United States of Pizza by Craig Priebe with Diane Jacob [Rizzoli, 2015]



Chorizo Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce from Graham Elliot



I like mint. And meatballs. Suzi will eat anything chorizo. She has a mild, but treatable, addiction to feta. We were destined for this recipe and we loved every meatball. On Sunday when we made them, and on Monday when we finished them off.

Graham Elliot, TV personality, chef, and author, knows how to cook like a master chef. In his wonderful book Cooking Like a Master Chef Graham is gently but directly guiding you to culinary greatness. Well, a least a step or two up the ladder.

These are not super fancy restaurant recipes. These are ones Graham enjoys at home with his family though, to be sure, many of the recipes in the book have been honed and tuned at his restaurant.

Meatballs are ubiquitous. So is mankind’s love of spice and smoky flavor. Chorizo sausage just happens to be both, so Graham has fashioned these chorizo meatballs. And, since the meatballs have flavor power, the accompanying sauce is quite spicy, too. There’s so much flavor power here that you really can just eat them on their own, no need for pasta, rice, or noodles. But, that’s your choice.


Chorizo Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Yield: about 20 meatballs, enough for 6 to 8 people [maybe]


For the meatballs:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces ground pork shoulder
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 2 Spanish chorizo sausages, casings removed, sausage meat minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon piment d’Espelette, cayenne pepper, or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt

For the spicy tomato sauce:

  • 2 (14 ½ ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can Piquillo peppers, drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Salt

For the garnish:

  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves


For the meatballs, in a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and softened. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix the pork, beef, sausage, eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, wine, parsley, chives, piment d’Espelette, sumac, lemon zest, and a little salt. Add the cooled onion and garlic. Using your hands, work the mixture until the ingredients are well mixed. Season with salt.

Roll the meat between your palms to make 20 small meatballs, about the size of walnuts.

In another large skillet, heat the remaining oil. You only need a film of oil to coat the skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, for the sauce, in a blender, puree the tomatoes, peppers, oil, garlic, and harissa. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by about one-third. Stir in the vinegar and season with lemon juice and salt.

Put the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

Garnish with the feta, parsley, and mint and serve.

Source: Cooking Like a Master Chef by Graham Elliot [Atria Books, 2015]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/60th second at ISO‑1000