Chef’s Gifts to You

Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

In our November-December issue, we spotlight three chefs with handy recipes for “gifts in a box” for the foodie on your list. Here are two more ideas from the top toques behind the Cooper and III Forks.

The Cooper Meatballs 

From Executive Chef J.P. Van Houten, The Cooper: “Use cold water on your hands and gloves when shaping the meatballs; it helps with the sticking. Use a little nonstick spray prior to placing the meatballs on the lined baking sheet. Garnish with ricotta and chiffonade basil prior to serving.”

Makes 16 meatballs

  • 16 ounces ground veal
  • 16 ounces ground pork
  • 3.2 ounces pancetta
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces minced onion
  • .25 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 ounces minced garlic
  • 1.5 ounces chiffonade basil
  • .5 ounces oregano, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces whole milk
  • 4.5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4.5 ounces grated pecorino cheese
  • 1 pinch fennel seed, ground
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

In large bowl, combine veal, pork and pancetta. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Portion into 4-ounce balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Simmer on low in marinara until soft and flavorful.

The Cooper, 4610 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561/622-0032;

Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Serrano BBQ Sauce and Mashed Potatoes

From Executive Chef Tommy Nevill, III Forks: “First things first: Opt for great quality and buy local ingredients, if possible. I like to get a double cut pork chop from my local butcher. Keeps the meat moist and juicy while on the grill.”

Pork Chops

  • Double cut pork chops
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place chops on grill, which should be as hot as possible (Nevill recommends 600 degrees). Sear both sides for 4 minutes each. Chops should be browned but not burned. Finish grilling on top rack, and then let sit for another 4 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes and enjoy.

Peach Serrano BBQ Sauce 

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 peaches cut into wedges
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon water

Place butter in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Follow with shallots, pepper, garlic and cook until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer on low for 25 minutes. Once cool, purée mixture using a hand blender until well blended. Refrigerate overnight.  

Mashed Potatoes

  • 5-pound bag of your favorite potatoes (Nevill prefers fingerling) 
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup sour cream 
  • 5 stocks of green onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and place back into pan. With masher, begin to break up potatoes, adding all other ingredients until incorporated. Mashed potatoes should be smooth and creamy. 

III Forks, 4645 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens; 561/630-3660;