Shortly after my last post re: the change of seasons (the next night), I came home with visions of comfort food in my head. Calling Mom for ideas we tossed around split pea soup, chicken noodle soup, chowder, stew and finally hit upon the winner.
Albondigas. Mexican Meatball Soup. Which I am told my Bapa (moms dad) can live upon as long as he rotates in Clam Chowder & Wonton Soup on occasion.
Everyone that has eaten at a Mexican restaurant has likely had this soup as a starter at one point or another. If not, I will totally spoil you for life. In a restaurant you are likely to get 1 meatball, some nice beefy type broth, a carrot chunk, a zucchini chunk, a few onions and possibly a potato. Garnished with some lemon & tortilla strips it makes a very nice starter. This Albondigas is a meal hearty enough to fill the beefiest of men (meat & potatoes please....) and filled with enough veggies that you don't have to mess with a side salad and again can camouflage the goodness that is a veggie in something that your M&P man or uber picky kid will hopefully love. It is a mix of a few recipes and there are myriad variations you can make if you want to get creative. Add corn, hominy, peppers, round turkey, whatever you like, it will most likely still be terrific.
The best compliment I got came from my sweetie as he was leaning over the steaming bowl complaining that it was so good, but too darn hot to eat as fast as he wanted to. I like to think I have spoiled him for any future restaurant versions. :)
First we make tha meatballs......from scratch!
Oh yeah! Did I mention that Brock got me the grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas???? So not appropriate for 70+ pounds of sausage (another story....), but so convenient when you want to grind a little pork in to your meatballs!
1# ground Beef, 15% fat is perfect
1# (ish) pork roast, excess fat trimmed (the ONLY time you will hear me tell you discard pork fat!)
You can buy the pork already ground if you do not have the attachment, are not as industrious as me or just don't give a crap. :)
Mix in 2 eggs (from dads farm if you are so blessed)
2 T Garlic Powder
3 T Salt, Kosher is preferable
1/2 cup cooked white rice (perfect meal for those Chinese food leftovers!)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Make them in to pretty little 1-1/2" balls and bake on a sheet pan @ 425 for about 25-30 minutes.
I made alotta meatballs :) Leftovers are good!
For the soup....
Chop in to 1" chunks:
3 celery stalks
4-5 carrots, depending on size and how much you like them
1 large white potato
Saute this in a little olive oil in a soup/stock pot with 1 tsp chile powder.
Add 3 minced garlic cloves & 4-5 rough chopped tomatoes.
(You can substitute 1-28 oz can of plum tomatoes in juice if you wish, just smush up the pieces a little bit before adding)
Stir for a minute and add....
3 Cups beef stock or broth (watch your salt if using processed broth or bouillon)
3 Cups Water
Turn to Medium/High and let it cook for a while until veggies & potatoes are tender.
Adjust seasoning with S&P and chile powder and add meatballs in to the pot.
Dice up some tortillas in to strips (corn or flour depending on your preference), lay on a sheet pan and bake @ 425 for about 20 minutes, flipping every 5-7 minutes or so until they are browned & crispy. Serve up the soup with the crispity strips and enjoy. And yes, I said crispity....just like the Butterfinger commercials. :)
It should look kind of like this and taste sooooo good.
One of my lovely friends tells me that she loves my "leftovers" and that I am welcome to bring her some anytime. She got some meatball soup today, I hope she enjoyed as much as Brock & I did last night!