February 15, 2013 in Tex Mex
So I’ve been sitting on this post for a while. Feel free to hate me; these are so good that I’m certainly due for some resentment to be thrown my way. I’m not sure how I even came out of this cooking experience with actual photos to share with you because we ate way more of these meatballs than I thought two people could reasonably consume in a single sitting (even when one of those two people was me). Luckily for you guys, I had the foresight to snap some pics before I bothered to taste one.
These are a perfect solution to this time of year. Most people are starting to get sick of the frozen and slushy weather by mid-February, and are wondering why that stupid groundhog isn’t holding up his end of the deal. And while take-out can often seem like the only option to keep you warm and fuzzy (as well as bloated, hello three-day’s-worth of sodium), sometimes the blizzard-like, or just plain slushy, conditions out of doors have you reaching more for your slippers than your boots. I don’t blame you. Unless you haven’t made a snow/slush angel yet this year, in which case, no excuses. Get out there!
These are hearty, warm, and comforting. They’re also incidentally very easy to eat if you find yourself curled up on the couch under a blanket instead of at the table. Which is why I will never understand people’s disdain for this time of year. Who doesn’t embrace any excuse to curl up on the couch under a blanket? Hint: no one. Because you know in four or five months time you’ll find yourself sprawled spread-eagle on the floor wishing God would turn the sun back down so you could do something other than wish for a vacation to a place with more beach-like views. At least that’s how the summer makes me feel anyway. So here’s some fantastic cold weather comfort-food, to help you embrace this glorious season while we’ve got it.
Adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
Yields 25 meatballs
For the meatballs:
1/3 cup tortilla chip crumbs
1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 pound ground combination of pork and beef
1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
1 teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 chipotles from a can of chipotles in adobo
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, minced
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons jack cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the onion and garlic in a mini food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (Or, grate the onion and mince the garlic by hand.) Transfer the onion and garlic to the mixing bowl with the tortilla crumbs. Add the egg, meat, oregano, and salt and stir to distribute everything evenly. Form into balls of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter – you should get about 25. Arrange them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cut a meatball open to be sure the meat is cooked through, then set aside.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Blend the garlic and chipotles in the food processor until smooth. Add the whole tomatoes and process again until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a big frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until limp and slightly brown. Sprinkle with salt. Add the tomato-chipotle mix, 1 cup of water, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the sauce simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt, adding more as needed.
Add the meatballs to the sauce and let cook until the meatballs are warm through, about 10 minutes.
Top meatballs with shredded cheese and cilantro. Serve over rice.
serving size: 5 meatballs
calories: 285 • fat: 15.5 g • protein: 22.9 g • carb: 15.3 g • fiber: 2.1 g •
sugar: 6.8 g • sodium: 1389 mg