There are many secrets to making perfect meatballs, but for chef Naledi Toona, it’s all in the ingredients. Toona sets the bar high in everything she does and says fresh produce is key to her recipe for juicy, flavorful meatballs. After all, it’s a scientific fact that cooking with fresh ingredients always makes your food better, says this Botswana-born food entrepreneur.
It should come as no surprise that the chef and cooking instructor is so attached to fresh produce. It has agricultural roots that have spread throughout Botswana.
“My grandparents had a farm in Botswana which had over 100 orange trees and they supplied a number of stores. Most of my uncles and cousins are also farmers (vegetables, fruits, cattle and sheep),” she says.
The social media sensation tantalizing creations will leave you wanting more and yet, despite all her accomplishments, she says she is still a farmer at heart.
She shares her recipes and culinary story through her social media via “Chef Naledi – From my kitchen to yours”.
Cook meatballs like a pro
Working with food every day, it’s no surprise she doesn’t have a favorite dish. However, she admits to loving foods she can snack on.
“My friends always say: ‘Naledi, the nibbler’. So any easy snack really does it for me.
Meatballs are great for snacks, a family meal, or even for lunch boxes. There are many ways to cook a tasty meatball. Most people stick to a common path or meatball style often working through the well-practiced movements. Instead of starchy potatoes, Toona uses baby marrow.
Toona says shredded baby marrow adds texture and is a wonderful way to hide vegetables from picky eaters. They are also perfect to freeze for later.
Whip up perfect meatballs with Chef Naledi in just six easy steps.
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- 500g minced meat
- Half an onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped herbs (eg basil)
- 2.5 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp mild masala
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1 baby marrow, finely grated
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °VS
2. Combine all ingredients, except balsamic glaze, in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the mixture into equal round balls.
4. Lightly grease a baking sheet or spray with Spray and bake.
5. Place all the meatballs in a baking dish. Bake for 8 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Put aside. Glaze the meatballs with the balsamic glaze and serve immediately.