One of my Grandfather’s Christmas traditions was that after lunch we would all sing a couple of songs. Not just any songs, but two in particular: “In the evening by the moonlight” (a bowdlerised version) and “One fish ball” (although the version below is One Meat Ball”).
Unlike Harris singing his comic song, we didn’t have to try and remember the words, because the sacred songsheets would come out annually from their hiding place. This memory was brought to mind by the arrival of this book and its chapter on fish balls.
Jez Felwick runs a food truck, based mainly in London; from which he serves meat, fish and vegetable balls, and he’s give away some of his secrets in this book. There are six chapters; an introduction, chapters on meat, fish and vegetable balls, sauces and dips and finally sides. There’s some great inspiration to be found: pork and fennel, smokin’ bacon, björn (Swedish-style meatballs. Weekend trip to Ikea, anyone?), steamy chicken meatballs, sweet potato & goat’s cheese balls, or cheesed, charred and herbed polenta, and as an accompaniment, chipotle mayonnaise.
We tried the wasabi salmon and sesame seed balls; like all the recipes, they’re easy to prepare, after 10 minutes in the oven they’re ready to eat; so perfect for any situation where pre-preparing means you’re not stuck in the kitchen while everybody else is having a great time elsewhere. We liked them – a little heat from the wasabi (we could well have added a bit more), and the Asian flavours worked well with our accompaniment of miso mash. We only found out after we had bought the ingredients and made the balls that the book and this very recipe had been featured on Radio 2 earlier this week.
Like many one-idea cookbooks, this is really never going to be a staple. However, it’s a great book for a range of ideas that are slightly out of the ordinary and make a welcome change. There are plenty of pictures – all the ball recipes have a full page photo, with the result that the book itself fills 158 pages, with only 31 ball recipes, a ratio that could have been higher. The only real criticism I would make is that there is possibly one too many ball-related joke.
Fuss Free Rating
The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook by Jez Felwick: ***½
The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook is published by Mitchell Beazley, cover price £16.99
Fuss Free Flavours received a complimentary copy for review. All opinions are our own, we were not required to write a positive review