Weekend Cooking: Albondigas

Most regular readers of this blog know I absolutely love Mexican food. A friend has been bragging about this restaurant in her hometown of Fresno. So, when we were there recently for a family wedding, we had to try out Toledo’s Restaurant. (On the corner of Shaw and Fresno Avenue in case you live there.)

Toledo’s salsa was amazing and their burritos and enhiladas were very tasty. What I liked the best was something new to me. It was a bowl of Albondigas. It’s a meatball soup with a nice tomato-ey kick to it. I liked it so much I knew I had to figure out how to make it for myself. There were a few recipes online but not exactly what I was looking for. I felt better just experimenting with it. I liked how it turned out that I want to share it with you.

Albondigas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 cup of onion, diced (I used a combo of red and white)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (I used Rotel)
  • 1 small can of chopped hot peppers
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped, veins and seeds removed
  • 1 cup of regular cabbage, diced

Meatballs:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup of long grained rice, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive or canola)

Directions:

  1. In a dutch oven or stock pot, and with one tablespoon of the oil, toss in the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are nice and tender.
  2. Add the can of tomatoes, can of peppers, beef stock, and let that simmer.
  3. Chop up the veggies (carrots, zucchini, chipolte pepper, and cabbage) and add each one to the soup pot.
  4. While the soup is simmering, make the meatalls: Add an egg to a medium sized bowl and beat lightly, Add the ground meats, and the cumin, oregano, mint, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Mix and then add the cup of cooked rice and mix again.Make sure everything is incorporated. Wet your hands, and make the mixture into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
  5. In a skillet, add a tablespoon of oil. Add the meatballs to the pan, realizing you will cook these in batches, and cook until you get a nice crust around the entire meatball. This will take several minutes per batch. Remove and place on a plate (with paper towels) until you are ready to cook them with the soup.
  6. Cook the soup until the veggies are fork tender. Then add the meatballs to the soup. Simmer a bit longer until all the flavors have merged – 20 to 30 minutes more, although it won’t hurt to eat it right away.

I know this sounds like bragging, but I thought my Albondigas was the perfect soup for a Mexican food lover. It was spicy but not over the top. It actually had a subtle spiciness. I liked the meatballs so much that I’m now planning to double the recipe, cook them up and then put them in bags and into the freezer. That way I can have them available for Albondigas whenever I want. I’m also going to try them as an enchilada ingredient. I’ll cut the meatballs into smaller pieces and add them to the tortillas along with a Mexican-mix cheese. I’ll roll them up and then add my enchilada sauce.

I hope you’ll give Albondigas a try. Let me know if you do and let me know if you liked them.

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14 Responses to Weekend Cooking: Albondigas

  1. Staci says:

    Oh boy does that look good!! I’m glad yours turned out just the way you wanted them to! I wish I lived just down the block from you so I could bring a bowl over and fill it up!!!

  2. Carole says:

    Sounds fantastic. Love soup. Have a great week!

  3. Kaye,the sister, Cogdill says:

    I have been waiting for your weekend cooking to surface again and who knew it would be something extra, over-the-top, and adventuresome! Your Albondigas sounds challenging….the idea of the meatballs in the freezer bag sounds practical! Keep up the great contributions and the inclusion of the photos! Bunches of love, Kaye-the-sister

  4. That’s a wonderful soup. It looks so satisfying.

  5. Teddyree says:

    I love Mexican food but Albondigas aren’t something featured in Mexican restaurants in Australia, I’d love to give yours a go, it sounds delicious. Is normal oregano suitable to use in place of Mexican Oregano? I’ve just participated in Weekend Cooking for the first time, I’m having fun checking out the foodie posts :)

  6. Beth F says:

    I love Mexican food too and I still dream of the food I was exposed to when I lived in Arizona many moons ago. This soup sounds like it’d really warm you up on a winter’s evening.

  7. jama says:

    Hadn’t heard of Albondigas before! And I love soup! Your recipe sounds really good. Will have to give it a try. Thanks :).

  8. Joanna says:

    I love this recipe! I’ve pinned it to use soon, thanks!

  9. Cecelia says:

    Love that you found a food and recipe that you loved so much! I’m inspired by these meatballs – I may just have to make this myself. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Peggy Ann says:

    Sounds very good, I love soup and it is the season!

  11. I’ve never heard of Albondigas either, but your soup is tempting me. I made a meatball soup that my family enjoys, it would nice to have a new variation.

  12. Heather says:

    What a co-incidence. Earlier in the week I ate Italian wedding soup at my moms. This sounds much like a spicier version . Very nice. Thanks.

  13. Linda says:

    I love Albondigas soup. I was thinking about making some one of these days. Thanks for this recipe. I’ll give it a whirl.

  14. kelley says:

    that sounds very yummy :)

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