Thursday, May 23, 2013

Albondigas Soup

Albondigas Soup
(Mexican Meatball Soup)
serves 8
                                                                              Prep time: 10 minutes
                                                                              Cook time: 50 minutes
                                                                              Total time: 1 hour


8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces raw chorizo sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, micro-planed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, peeled and micro-planed
½ cup cooked rice
1/2 carrot, minced
½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
nonstick cooking spray


2 cups diced onions
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
3 corn tortillas, chopped
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained of juice
2 cups sliced button mushrooms, about 8 ounces
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 pound of escarole, trimmed and cut into 1/2 strips
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
 freshly ground black pepper, to taste


sour cream
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
corn tortillas chips



Preheat oven to 400° F. and coat broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Shape the meat mixture into ¾ to 1-inch diameter meatballs and place on the prepared broiler pan; you should end up with about 30 meatballs.  Bake meatballs until fully cooked, about 30 minutes.  


In a large pot over medium heat sauté the onions in the olive oil until they are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and the chili powder and cook an additional minute.  Add the chicken broth, tortillas and half the tomatoes; simmer for 5 minutes.   

Puree the soup in a blender in two or more batches.  Take caution, only fill the container of the blender to half or less of its capacity and cover the container with a cloth when pureeing as the hot soup will expand and may overflow if the container is filled too much.  

Return the pureed soup to the pot and add the remaining tomatoes, the mushrooms, the corn, cilantro, escarole and the meatballs.  Bring the soup to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. 


Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls or into a large bowl for family service and serve garnished with roughly chopped fresh cilantro and accompanied by sour cream, and crisp tortillas chips.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos
A breakfast standby in Southern California and a great way to start your day . . . scrambled eggs, cubed potatoes, and chorizo wrapped in a flour tortilla.

serves 10
                                                                            Prep time:  15 minutes
                                                                            Cook time:  20 minutes
                                                                            Total time: 35 minutes


2 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch cubes
2 pounds ground beef, breakfast sausage, or chorizo
1/4 cup chili powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 onions, chopped
2 cups salsa
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce (or Cholula or other Mexican hot sauce), or to taste
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese
10 large flour tortillas


prepare the potatoes:

Par boil the potato cubes in sufficient heavily salted water to cover the potatoes until they are soft, about 5 minutes after the water comes to a boil.  Drain the potatoes after they are cooked.

brown the beef:

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, brown the ground beef until it is crumbly but still has a little pink.  Stir in the chili powder, the garlic powder, and onion together and cook over medium high heat until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Drain any accumulated grease and return to the stove.  

scramble the eggs:

Reduce the heat to medium and add the beaten eggs, cook stirring constantly as you would for cooking loose scrambled eggs.

bring it all together:

Stir in the salsa and the hot sauce and continue to cook the mixture until the onions are softened and most of the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated.  Stir in the both the cheeses and allow them to melt.  Remove the sauté pan from the heat.

prepare the tortillas:

To make the tortillas more pliable, microwave them for about 20 seconds.


Working with 1 tortillas at a time, form each burrito by placing the tortillas on a clean flat surface in front of you and place about 1 cup of the filling mixture in a line across the lower third of the tortilla, fold in the two sides and rolling the burrito up to form the familiar burrito shape*.  At this point, if you're not planning to eat the burritos immediately you may wrap each in aluminum foil prior to placing in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.  This is also the way you would save left-over burritos.  To reheat, remove the foil and microwave the frozen burrito for 2 to 3 minutes on high.


Serve accompanied by sour cream, additional salsa and guacamole.  These burritos can either be treated as finger food or as a dish to be handled with a knife and fork. 

* at this point the burritos can be fried

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