Saturday, July 2, 2011


The missus and I continue working on some of our favorite Mexican food dishes, bummed out by the lazy slop we are often served at nearby tacquerias. I can't tell you how many times I've ordered a cheese enchilada only to find that the cheese inside isn't melted. What is that about?!

     Since I like soup so much, I thought I'd take on albondigas and try to do better than the flavorless, dry meatballs in watery broth that I usually get. You'll find that this albondigas soup is based on a beef stock, which runs a bit contrary to what you normally get at a restaurant, but I think that the addition of zucchini, tomato, carrots and lime juice really creates a nice, full flavor. If you were to make your own beef stock, it'd really be insane as the stock you often get at the store is way too salty.

2 large, fresh poblano chiles
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten to blend
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chile powder
9 cups low-salt beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 carrot, thinly cut on the bias with a mandoline
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice

4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
Chopped fresh cilantro

1) Line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap.

2) Roast chiles over direct flame until blackened. Place in paper bag and steam 10 minutes. Stem, seed, and peel chiles. Then chop finely

3) Place chiles in large bowl. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients.

4) Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 3/4 inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on sheet.

1) Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion with any juices and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender.

2) Add chile powder and cumin; stir for a few minutes to allow spices to roast.

3) Add broth and oregano, then ring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, just below simmer, and cook 10

4) Stir zucchini, carrots and tomato into broth.

5) Increase heat to medium and drop in meatballs, 1 at a time. Return soup to simmer. Cover and cook gently until meatballs are cooked through, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat to avoid boiling, about 20 minutes.

6) Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season soup with salt and add more lime juice by teaspoonfuls, if desired.

1) Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat 1 minute.

2) Add half of tortilla strips. Cook until crisp, gently separating strips with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, adding more oil if needed.

3) Ladle soup and meatballs into bowls. Top with tortilla strips and cilantro

Make sure soup is at medium heat and just barely simmering before you add the meatballs. The soup must be hot or the meatballs will fall apart. If the soup is boiling, the meatballs may also fall apart. So keep it just barely simmering.


  1. Mmmmm.... Those meatballs sound very good, along with the rest of the soup! Today, I busted my arse and made a chicken pot pie for the family, and everything was made from scratch.

    It was the first time I ever tried making a pie crust, and the family seemed to appreciate it.

  2. Good to see you posting here again.

  3. @alan: Oh man that chicken pot pie sounds good. I would take the cheater way out and use puff pastry for the crust. ;)

    @whisk: thanks! :)

  4. I would have done the same, but the store I went to didn't have any in stock and I was too lazy to go to another store! ;>

  5. You've got so much talent. I'm glad you have this and 9133.

  6. Thanks, Porky. The nice thing about writing recipes is that no one comes around to say that you are unstable and in need of medication. ;)

  7. And you still have us, too. You were one of the first bloggers to welcome me into the OSR, and I'm not even a gamer. And you always include my name when you send the zine. Thanks for all of that.

    Now ... just what are you making for supper? I'm thinking about shrimp and pasta tonight. Hungarian-style. Num num num.

  8. Hey Christian, just wanted to stop by and say a word of encouragement, and thanks for the great posts and the love of food. Don't let the bastards grind you down, cus lots of folks have your back in the weird little OSR community.

    Enjoy the cooking, surfing and gaming ... living well is not the best revenge, it's the only revenge.

  9. Whoa, what? How did I not see this post sooner? Albondigas holds a special place in my heart. My grandma makes a killer version but this too looks so good!! Nice presentation.

  10. Thank you so much! It came out pretty good. :)