Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spanish Week: Day 7 (Albondigas y Mantecados)

Hola amigos y amigas! Today is our finale of Spanish week. I am so excited to have you all here today because we will be cooking our last meal and... (Drum roll please) dessert! I know we never do dessert here on Everyday meals, but I really wanted to go out with a bang. What better way to do that then with a dessert recipe? Of course, it will be a Spanish favorite. You should expect nothing less from me. So, how about we cut the idle chatter and do what we love to do? Let's cook!

Poblano Albondigas with Ancho Chile Soup

You will need:

(For the Meatballs)

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

(For the Soup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons pure ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 9 cups low-salt beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
(For the Toppings)
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
Okay... Now that we have gathered all of our ingredients for the dinner portion, are we ready to go? Vamonos!

To Prepare the Meatballs:
  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. 
  2. Char the chiles over direct flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. 
  3. Enclose the chiles in a paper bag and steam 10 minutes. 
  4. Stem, seed, and peel the chiles, then chop finely.
  5. Place chiles in large bowl. 
  6. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients together. Using moistened hands, roll the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  7. Arrange the meatballs on sheet.

To Prepare the Soup:
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion with any juices and garlic. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the chile powder and cumin; stir for 1 minute. 
  4. Add broth and oregano; bring to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to very low, just below a bare simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir the zucchini and rice into the broth then increase the heat to medium and drop in the meatballs, 1 at a time. 
  6. Return the soup to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until the meatballs and rice are cooked through, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to avoid boiling, about 20 minutes. 
  7. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season the soup with salt and add more lime juice, if desired.

To Prepare the Toppings:
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add half of the tortilla strips and cook until crisp, gently separating strips with tongs for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  2. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, adding more oil if needed.

FINALLY... You pour the soup and meatballs into bowls, top with the tortilla strips and SERVE! 

Phew! Okay, now that dinner has been cooked and devoured, how about we start on that delicious dessert? I'm ready for something sweet. Let's go!


You will need:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 shot glasses of anise
  • 1 lemon peel, grated
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 7.25 (Seven and 1/4) cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg white, beaten for glaze
Ready to bake?

  1. In a very large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the vegetable shortening with the oil. 
  2. Add the sugar and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add the egg yolks, anise, lemon peel, juice and cinnamon and mix together. 
  4. Add flour and baking soda to mixture, a cup at a time. Be sure to mix well. The dough should be very smooth and soft.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  6. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a dollop of dough. Form balls about the size of walnuts, using your hands. If dough is too sticky to roll into balls, mix in additional flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup). 
  7. Place the balls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Lightly press down on each ball to flatten slightly. 
  9. Using the beaten egg white, brush it on the top of each cookie. Bake cookies until they begin to turn light brown on the bottom edges - about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet, as they are very delicate.

So, this concludes our tour of Spanish food week. I had a blast with you all and I hope to see you all tomorrow. Have a great evening and adios!