Balls in Our Mouths: Mark Oldman and Daniel Holzman Mix 'Em Up
|Photo by Riki Altman|
|Mark Oldman (left) and Daniel Holzman.|
Upon being seated at tables set for four, most attendees were given a plate of five meatballs (all were cold upon arrival, though some still hadn't been served by 12:30), set on a placemat designating the appropriate wine pairings. Oldman began the lecture by declaring, "I look at this like a Death Row meal." [We might opt for a porterhouse, o toro, white cheddar and sage mashed potatoes, sweet tea, and a slab of killer cake, but that's just us...] Holtzman and Oldman ping-ponged between anecdotes about the origins of the meatball recipes and the tips one should know before considering which wines pair with which proteins best.
Here's what we were served, so you can consider it for your next party o' balls:
|Photo by Riki Altman|
|We started with the crab meatball (left) and worked our way to the spicy pork.|
- A crab meatball with an Old Bay dipping sauce paired with a rose Champagne
- A chicken meatball slider with a parmesan cream sauce and Viognier
- A lamb meatball with wild mushrooms in a tomato sauce with Pinot Noir
- One beef and mortadella meatball with mustard greens and Grenache
- And a spicy pork meatball with spicy meat sauce and Chianti
And here are a few tidbits we learned:
Oldman on why bubbly goes with spicy: "Something about bubbles cleanses the palate and cools the fire."
Oldman on what wine snobs mean when they talk about a wine's "funk": "Barnyard, rain on pavement, sweaty saddle...the problem with wine is there's no way to describe 'funk.' You can say it has a 'topsoil' smell to it, almost like number two."
And, continuing on that theme and on to his sex life...: "Wine people are notoriously repressed. You chefs get all the glory. These are people not getting enough sex. And they're a little into doody." Um, eww.
Holzman on the best part to use for a poultry ball: "We use chicken thighs and we put the skin right in [the grinder]. Fat is what makes the palate say 'moist.'"
And, of course, the question on everyone's mind: How big does Holzman like his balls? "Personally, as long as it fits in my mouth..." he began, than clarified with, "One point five inches is perfect. That's a 2-ounce meatball. Cooks in the right amount of time for that seared crust. I'm not known for having the biggest balls."
Follow Short Order on Facebook and Twitter @Short_Order.