Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)

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Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb bulk Mexican chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced (plus 1/4 cup minced, for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pinch off about 1.5 tablespoons of filling and roll it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Repeat until you have made about 30 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until cooked through and sizzling.

Remove from oven. Serve over Spanish rice.

NOTES

Pretty much every time Steve and I ate my Albondigas Soup, one or both of us would say “you know, at some point, we should just have these meatballs by themselves over Spanish rice.” Obvious yet brilliant. So I finally did it and oh man, what an awesome little meal. Proud of this one.

Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup

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Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup
adapted from Use Real Butter

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon New Mexican chile powder
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, minced, plus 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb bulk Mexican chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced (plus more, chopped, for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and sauté the onion until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add the spices, broth, tomatoes, chipotle, carrots, zucchini, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pinch off about 1.5 tablespoons of filling and roll it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Repeat until you have made about 30 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through and sizzling.

Add the cooked meatballs and rice to the soup and simmer for another 15-18 minutes, until rice is tender. Serve hot and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

NOTES

Albondigas Soup is one of those random things that has been on my back burner for about four years now. Fellow longtime cooks, you know this scenario: it was one of those dishes I heard about, envisioned a certain way, failed at on my first attempt, then subsequently filed away for far too long until I figured out how I was going to approach it differently. Well, now my cooking skills have caught up with my imagination, and this recipe is the result.

AND HOLY @*&# THIS WAS GOOD. Like… top ten recipes of all time good. Like, cook to impress guests good. Like total shock, I could never have imagined it would turn out this amazing, CRAZYFREAKINGGOOD.

If you don’t have homemade chorizo, no problem, use the store stuff. If you don’t have Ancho or New Mexican chile powder, no problem, just use a teaspoon of whatever ya got. But don’t let anything stop you from making this if it strikes your fancy. I promise you will not regret the effort.

Chicken Chorizo Patty Melts

Chicken Chorizo Patty Melts
adapted from Sunny Anderson

Ingredients

Patties:
1 pound ground chicken
8 ounces fresh chorizo (I use my homemade version)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Onions:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 large sweet onions, sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich:
4 oblong/rectangular flat breads
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Ketchup, for serving

Method

In a large bowl, gently but thoroughly combine the chicken, chorizo, garlic, oregano and salt. Form into four equal patties, roughly the shape and size of the bread you will be using. Cover the patties with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium saute pan on medium heat melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper, to taste. Saute until the onions are caramelized, about 35 minutes, and set aside.

Preheat a large skillet (or grill pan) over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook until crispy on the edges and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Add shredded cheese to each patty in the last minute of cooking, to melt. Remove to a plate.

Assemble the sandwiches: place one of the patties on half the flat bread, top with onions. Fold the other half of the bread over and serve.

NOTES

These are seriously awesome sandwiches. I’ve started making the patties as a freezer staple (warp in plastic wrap, store two per quart-size bag) so that we have them available for a quick weekend lunch.

The original recipe has you grilling the flatbreads, but I skip that step. I also switched the cheese from Swiss to cheddar. I think it goes better with the chorizo.

Easy Chicken, Chorizo and Shrimp Paella

 

Easy Chicken, Chorizo and Shrimp Paella
slightly adapted and with thanks to Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients

2-1/2 cups chicken broth
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped
8 oz Mexican chorizo (I use my homemade version)
1 large shallot or 1/2 red onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (or 1 14.5-oz. can petite diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
8 oz frozen shrimp (any size up to medium is fine)
1 cup frozen peas

Method

Bring chicken broth and saffron to a boil in a small saucepan then turn heat to low and place a lid on top to keep hot.

Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat then add chicken, chorizo, and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until chorizo and chicken are cooked through, 5 minutes, breaking chorizo up as it cooks. Add garlic then saute for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juices, paprika, and cayenne pepper if using then saute until tomatoes are softened, 3 minutes.

Add rice and hot broth to skillet then stir to combine and bring to a boil. Place a lid on top then lower heat and simmer until rice has nearly absorbed all the broth and is just slightly al dente, 13-15 minutes. Stir in shrimp and peas then place lid back on top and let skillet sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper to taste then serve.

NOTES

Fantastic. Spicy and savory and unlike any other dinner in my recipe archive. Bonus: I am always looking for more uses for my homemade Mexican-style chorizo. This recipe is a great addition to that (so far very short) list.

Note about the saffron: I am frugal in my kitchen and haven’t been able to bring myself to buy the saffron for this recipe. I simply add the 2-1/2 cups of very hot stock (or even just water!) to the pan with the rice. Yes, I know that technically saffron is what makes it paella. Yes, I know it’s not authentic. It’s still a fabulous dish. So if you don’t want to spend the money on the saffron, by all means, don’t! You can still make this delicious dinner without it.

Chorizo and Egg Burritos

Chorizo and Egg Burritos
(make ahead)

Ingredients

8 ounces chorizo (I use my homemade version)
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (optional)
10 flour tortillas, large taco size

Method

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and let it sizzle for about 5 minutes or until cooked through (my homemade version releases quite a bit of liquid, but it all cooks up in the end).

Push the chorizo to one side of the pan and pour in the eggs.

Let the eggs sit for a few minutes, then stir to combine with chorizo. Continue to stir together until eggs are completely cooked.

Remove from heat and sprinkle the 1/2 cup cheese on top (if using).

Set up the egg pan next to your stack of tortillas.

Transfer a chunk of the chorizo and egg mixture to an open tortilla. I weigh my mix and divide by 10, but if you don’t have a kitchen scale, just estimate the best you can.

Roll them into small burritos (fold one vertical side in, then the other, then roll roll roll, tuck in the sides) until all the mixture and tortillas have been used.

Store in Ziploc freezer bags. To reheat, place on a paper towel and microwave on high for 1 minute. If you’ve let it defrost just a bit, start at 40 seconds and add more time if needed.

NOTES

I am not nearly the chorizo and egg fan that Steve is, but WOW, these are delicious. Steve eats his with a little chunky mild salsa and I eat mine with drops of habanero hot sauce. Fantastic either way.

I’ve been wanting to try these for quite some time now so that I would have a third breakfast option in addition to my Baked Oatmeal and Egg Bake. These could not have been a more perfect choice. Thrilled.