While not all food appreciation days are worth writing home about (National Turkey Neck Soup Day anyone?), National Meatball Day, celebrated today is worthy of note given the amazing number of different dishes that can be created using the humble meatball.
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.
Chef Caren Marimuthu’s monster meatballs
Makes 12 slider meatballs or 36 regular sized meatballs
You’ll need: 500g ground beef; 250g ground pork (can be substituted for finely diced bacon); 1 medium onion, minced; 3 garlic cloves, crushed; 180ml breadcrumbs; 5ml paprika; 5ml dried oregano; 5ml fresh thyme, minced; 5ml fresh rosemary, minced; 10ml salt & black pepper; 1 egg, beaten; 15ml milk; 15g parmesan cheese, grated; 30g butter, cubed (cold); 20ml olive oil
How to: Prepare a baking tray by brushing it with oil or coating it 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.
Chef Chantel Williams’s Asian chicken meatballs with a dipping sauce:
You’ll need: 500g chicken fillets; 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed; 3g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped; 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped; 1-2 red or green chillis, deseeded
How to: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and combine until you get a 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:
You’ll need: 4 tbsp soya sauce; 1 tbsp lime juice; 1 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar; ½ tbsp sesame oil; freshly chopped coriander
How to: Whisk all the ingredients well and serve with the Asian chicken meatballs