Sunday, February 19, 2012

Makeshift Albondigas Wows Husband...Story at 11.

First of all, I want to say that in my last blog post, I swore off tamales until Easter. I guess I lied. I have had a few at my favorite Mexican deli a few times since then, but I took the full plunge back into tamale paradise today. The "Guadalupanas" were selling them after mass in the church parking lot tonight. We came home with a dozen and are planning on eating them tomorrow morning with scrambled eggs and beans that I have cooking as I type. Turns out I cant wait for major holidays to enjoy tamales, and apparently I never truly get tired of them.

Back to albondigas.

Hubs says in the store the other day that he really wants something with hominy in it. Pozole, he says, because he knows I wont eat menudo. Just cant do it folks. No offense to you die hard menudo fans, and none to you "I only eat my grandma's menudo" purists either. Its just not my thing.

So we buy a can of hominy. A big can. A really big can.

We also bought a hundred dollars worth of other things, but no meat other than some ground turkey, a package of bacon and a small package of pepperoni for my persistent first born who refuses to eat anything else. Its the first week of lent this week, which means two meatless days. I saw no reason to buy a ton of meat considering where we are in the liturgical calendar.

I should have considered the request for something with hominy, however. Oh yeah, the request from my husband who very rarely ever requests anything more than "whatever you want" for dinner. Whoops.

So last night he brings up the hominy. I say that I would love to make him something with it, but I only bought ground turkey.


I suggest albondigas (meatball soup) with hominy instead of whatever other veggies I would typically add. He responds "sounds amazing, but make it spicy." I think I can handle that!

Here is how it came together:

One package ground turkey (1.25 pounds)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup raw white rice
1 TBSP Mexican oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs ( I used panko)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients until mixed well. Form into ping pong ball sized meatballs. Sear in soup pot in approximately four tablespoons oil over medium heat. one a nice toasty color is developed, add two small cans (or one large can as I did) of tomato sauce. Follow with about 2 quarts of water, 3 bay leaves, 1 tbsp mexican oregano, 1/2 of an onion cut into rings, 2 jalapenos, pinch of crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste, and dash of cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Test broth for flavor...Mine always needs salt at this point. Season as needed, then add 4 cups of hominy. Heat until hominy is hot. Dont overcook as it makes the hominy squishy (My husbands advice.)

Ladle soup into bowls, top with fresh chopped cilantro, and serve with hot tortillas.

The result? A really tasty hearty broth with some pretty decent meatballs. They definately dont taste like the ground beef ones I usually make, but I really like the color they are. Aesthetically speaking, they are much prettier. Better for you too, I am sure. It was also surprisingly spicy. Usually my husband drowns everything in hot sauce...but I noticed he was hot sauce free tonight. I must have done something right. The hominy was as nice addition. It has such a mellow flavor that is reminicent of corn masa, so it really blends well. The cilantro at the end freshens up the dish, and the bay leaf is crucial for depth. Before I start to sound too sophisticated, I should say that I only wished I had an orange fanta to compliment our meal. Beverage pairings are important you know.

The beauty of Mexican food is its simplicity. Having a few ingredients on hand can turn just about anything into a tasty mexican meal. Even ground turkey. It worked well tonight, but dont count on ground turkey tamales any time soon. ;)

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