While not all food appreciation days are worth writing home about (National Turkey Neck Soup Day anyone?), National Meatball Day – celebrated on Tuesday, March 9 – is definitely a day worthy of note given the amazing number of different dishes that can be created using the humble meatball. If you had a Boere Ouma, she would have called them Frikkadelle. Your Italian Nonna would call them Polpette and your French Grand Mère would have served you Boulette de Viande.
The origins of the meatball are a bit vague, in early Persian cuisine they were what we know now as kofta. The Shandong Chinese recipe for Four Joy Meatballs goes back to before the birth of Jesus Christ.
Of course here in South Africa, the meatball is better known as a frikkadel, and is usually prepared with beef mince, onion, bread, eggs and spices and then deep fried or baked.
If you want to celebrate National Meatball Day and cook a fabulous meal for your friends and family, featuring the popular meatball, then why not try these recipes from two chefs from Capsicum Culinary Studio – South Africa’s largest cooking school with six campuses across the country.
500g chicken fillets
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
3g of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped
1-2 red or green chillis, deseeded
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and combine until you get a fairly smooth consistency. Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into balls, dust in flour and shallow fry for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Asian dipping sauce
4 tbs soya sauce
1 tbs lime juice1 tbs brown sugar or palm sugar
½ tbs sesame oil
Freshly chopped coriander
Whisk all the ingredients well and serve with the Asian chicken meatballs
“My go-to meatball recipe is one I most often use for making meatball sliders, hence the name ‘monster meatballs’ because it’s a little bigger than your average sized meatball. Sliders are perfect for a family meal and can last up to 3 months in the freezer.”
Makes 12 slider meatballs or 36 regular sized meatballs
500g ground beef
250g ground pork (can be substituted with finely diced bacon)
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
5ml dried oregano
5ml fresh thyme, minced
5ml fresh rosemary, minced
10ml salt & black pepper
1 egg, beaten
15g parmesan cheese, grated
30g butter, cubed (cold)
20ml olive oil
Prepare a baking tray by brushing it with oil or coating with baking spray.
Add ground beef and ground pork to a large bowl.
Add onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, spices and herbs to the ground meat and combine
Mix in beaten egg, milk and parmesan to bind together.
Divide mixture into 12 equal portions. Place a single cube of butter into each portion (as the meatball cooks, the butter melts and adds moisture to the meatball).
Shape the meatball around the butter cube forming a ball.
Evenly coat each meatball in olive oil, place on a prepared baking tray and refrigerate for an hour.
To make Monster Sliders
Preheat oven to 180°C
Fry meatballs in a little oil, over medium-high heat till half done.
Once firm, gently press down using the back of a fork or spatula.
Slice 12 mini buns in half horizontally. Place bottom halves cut side up, onto a prepared baking tray.
Place a meatball on each roll. Top meatballs with a tomato-based pasta sauce, add a couple of fresh basil leaves and grated cheddar and mozzarella.
Place bun tops over the meatballs and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and sauce is heated through.
Read more about The Capsicum Culinary Studio – CLICK HERE
Information from JAG Communications