Albondigas Soup

Albondigas, It’s Spanish For Meatballs!

Albondigas Bowl1

Albondigas, everyone! No, it isn’t some exotic greeting, it is simply Spanish for meatballs.

Which means yes, yet another Meatball Recipe!

Hi, I’m Troy McLure! You may know me from such meatball recipes as Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia, Orange Chipotle Turkey Meatballs and Pressure Cooker Quick Meatballs.

Albondigas Soup Ingredients

And now, another recipe involving succulent orbs of meaty goodness, Albondigas Soup!

If you have ever stepped foot inside of a Mexican restaurant, you have more than likely seen Albondigas Soup on the menu. A tasty, only slightly spicy soup. You can have it before a meal, or by adding tortilla chips or warm tortillas you can make it a meal.

Meatball Ingredients

Let’s begin by getting the meatballs ready. I like to use 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 pound of Chorizo. My local store has bulk chorizo. If you can only find links, remove it from the casing.

Tortilla Chip Crumbs

Take 15 or 20 tortilla chips and crush them in a blender. Just a couple of pulses should do the trick. You can use finely ground bread or cracker crumbs if you like. It should come out to about 1/3 cup.

In a mixing bowl, combine the meat, tortilla chip crumbs, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint, 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Meatball Mix

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and smoosh this whole concoction together. Don’t get too wild, you don’t want to end up with rubbery balls, but blend it well.

Once blended, start forming the balls. For some reason, I seem to have some sort of psychological impediment that prevents me from making small meatballs. I got 16, but I think most people should be able to get at least 24. Mine were about golf ball size, but they really should be smaller than that. I run into the problem of running out of meatballs before I run out of soup. So, do as I say, not as I do. Keep those meatballs at a reasonable size!

Meatballs Formed

Roll the meatballs between your hands then place on a plate or baking sheet. When all the meatballs are ready, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you get the soup ready.

Sliced Carrots

For the soup, start out by peeling and slicing a few carrots into circles, about 1/4 thick or a bit thicker. Now, slice 3 or celery stalks, also about 1/4 inch thick. Dice an onion and press a few cloves of garlic.

Chopped Veggies

In your pressure cooker pot on the high sauté mode heat two tablespoons of oil or lard (I would normally use oil, but currently I have some lard and I’m not afraid to use it). Sauté the veggies that you just chopped (except the garlic) until the onion and celery start to soften ad the onion is translucent. Now dump in the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Veggies Tomatoes

Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Stir for 30 seconds then dump in a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and two cartons (32 ounces each) of chicken broth.

Rice

Add about a cup of frozen green beans.

Still with sauté mode on high, stir in 2/3 cup Basmati rice.

Walk over to the fridge and retrieve those meatballs and walk slowly back to the soup. BOO!  (Did I make you drop your meatballs?) Sorry, just another one of my classic pranks.

Gently place the meatballs into the soup.

Turn off the sauté mode and switch to manual.

Set time to come to high pressure for 10 minutes.

Albondigas Soup Cooked

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

If using a stove top pressure cooker, bring to high pressure for 8 minutes, but do the same 10 minute natural release.

Albondigas Bowl2

Serve in bowls. I like a little sour cream on top and serve with crunchy tortilla chips.

Albondigas Soup
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Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Mexican meatball soup, just slightly spicy is perfect for a starter, or add some tortilla chips or warm tortillas and make a meal of it.
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground beef (15% fat works best)
  • ½ pound pork chorizo (you can use all ground beef)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 15-20 tortilla chips, crushed in blender, about ⅓ cup (can use bread or cracker crumbs)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
Soup
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil or lard
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 3 or 4 celery stalks, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can (15 ounce) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) chicken broth
  • ⅔ cups basmati rice (or other long grain rice)
Instructions
Meatballs
  1. Add all meatball ingredients to a bowl
  2. Mix with hands until well blended
  3. Form small balls about ½-3/4 inch between hands and remove to a plate or baking sheet
  4. Place in refrigerator to let firm while making soup
Soup
  1. Set electric pressure cooker to sauté mode on high (or place stove top pressure cooker over medium-high heat)
  2. Heat lard or oil in pressure cooker pot
  3. Sauté carrots, celery and onion until onions become translucent
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  5. Add ancho chile powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, coriander, and Worcestershire sauce and stir together
  6. Add green beans, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock and rice
  7. Gently place the meatballs into the soup
  8. Turn off sauté mode, lock the top on your pressure cooker and turn on manual mode
  9. Set to come to high pressure for 10 minutes (8 minutes for stove top pressure cooker)
  10. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes then do a natural release
  11. Serve in bowls topped with a little sour cream and tortilla chips on the side

 

Sneak Peek – 30 Minute Chili

Speedy, Spicy, Scrumptious Chili in Less Than 30 Minutes!

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I know what you’re thinking, “Yet another chili recipe?”

The thing about this one is that it is the quickest chili to make out of all my chilis. In less than 30 minutes including the time it takes to come up to pressure and release the pressure, you can have a tasty meal ready and on the table!

Check back on the weekend for the whole scoop!

Ground Beef Curry

Is it Keema Curry? Is it Dry Curry? I Call It Ground Beef Curry.

Ground Beef Curry1

I’ll just call it Ground Beef Curry for now. I set out to duplicate the filling of an Aussie Curry Pie that I had recently, but once I started getting the recipe figured out I realized that without the pie element it is basically the same as Indian Keema Curry or Japanese Dry Curry, but it is still tasty nonetheless.

After spending the week trying to get everything just right, I started coming up with different ways to serve this, just to have a little variety. And this  made me discover just how versatile this ground beef curry can be.

Ground Beef Curry Sliders

I started out more traditionally with Curry and Rice. By the end of the week I was getting a little crazy. My Ground Beef Curry Poutine was my favorite, but the sliders I had tonight were great as well.

Ground Beef Curry Poutine

A little different from typical curries which can be quite “saucy”, this is almost like Indian Sloppy Joes. The possibilities are endless (ok, maybe not exactly endless, but it is quite versatile). If you have any ideas how to use it, let me know!

So, here’s how to make it:

Ground Beef Curry Ingredients

Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat in pressure cooker pot. Any oil will do (well, maybe not Quaker State), but I prefer coconut oil with this recipe.

Lightly brown a couple pounds of ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks.

Ground Beef

When the beef is browned, drain most of the fat, leaving enough to sauté the onion.

Scooch (you heard me, scooch) the beef to one side and add a diced onion.

Sauté the onion until it starts to soften, then add 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, run through a press,  and sauté for another minute or so.

Ground Beef with Onions

Stir together the meat, onion and garlic and add in the 1 tablespoon Curry Powder, a tablespoon of Garam Masala, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne (less if you don’t like it so “Zesty”) and 1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/4 teaspoon black Pepper.

Let it cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring the spices into the beef mixture.

Ground Beef Curry Spices

At this point pour in a cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water, along with the a teaspoon of beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon, but you can substitute 1/2 cup of beef stock for the water and BTB).

Ground Beef Curry Pre Cook

Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a cup of frozen peas, then give it a stir. Peas should still be frozen, no need to thaw.

Drop 2 bay leaves on top, wave goodbye, and lock the cover on the pressure cooker.

Turn the heat to high and bring the pressure cookers to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and set your timer for 5 minutes.

When time is up, remove the pot from heat and do a quick release.

The curry should be fairly thick, not saucy (about the consistency of Sloppy Joes). If it seems too liquid, you can place it over medium high heat for a few minutes to reduce a bit.

Ground Beef Curry Cooked

Discard bay leaf and serve with rice, pita bread, naan or fries. I think my favorite way to serve this was my Poutine I made with it a couple days ago. For this, serve it over french fries with some cheese curds and sliced hard boiled egg on top. I had the Ground Beef Curry quite a few times this week, but I still have a hankerin’ (did I really say hankerin”?) for the Ground Beef Curry Poutine.

The printable recipe is right here:

Ground Beef Curry
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, put through a press
  • 1 tablespoon Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon, ½ cup beef stock can be used instead of the water and beef base)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in pressure cooker pot
  2. Lightly brown the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks
  3. When beef is browned, drain most of the fat, leaving enough to sauté the onion
  4. Move beef to one side and add the onion
  5. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften
  6. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  7. Stir together the meat, onion and garlic
  8. Add in the Curry Powder, Garam Masala, cayenne and salt and pepper
  9. Cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring the spices into the beef mixture
  10. Pour in the tomato sauce and water, along with the beef base
  11. Add the Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce and frozen peas and give it a stir
  12. Drop 2 bay leaves on top and lock the cover on the pressure cooker
  13. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  14. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
  15. When time is up, remove from heat and do a quick release
  16. It should be fairly thick, not saucy (about the consistency of Sloppy Joes). If it seems too liquid, you can place over medium high heat for a few minutes to reduce a bit.
  17. Discard bay leaf and serve with rice, pita bread, naan or fries.

 

Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia

Soutzoukakia? Just Call Them Greek Meatballs!

Soukzoukakia_Closeup

I think I make meatballs almost as often as I make chili, and like chili there is an almost endless variety of flavors and styles.

Sometimes called “sausages”, Soutzoukakia are actually more of a torpedo shape than actual balls, though you could shape these into balls if you like, but this is the traditional shape

Soukzoukakia_Formed

I got the idea for these the same way I get a lot of my inspiration, from watching TV. I think it was Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives this time. At a Greek Restaurant they were putting these together and I thought “That looks good!”, and the next thing I know I’ve got a pressure cooker full of Soutzoukakia on the stove.

Greek flavors such as cumin, cinnamon and mint set these apart from other meatballs. And as you are preparing these and have the fresh mint and the cinnamon and all the various ingredients out, your kitchen is going to smell great!

Soutzoukakia_Spices

I know some people are not crazy about mint, but don’t be tempted to leave it out. I, too am not very fond of mint flavoring in candy, ice cream or pretty much any other pastry or confection. In fact, when my wife asks if I want any type of mint flavored treat, my usual response is “No thanks, I don’t care for toothpaste flavored food.”

But fresh mint, that’s a whole different ballgame. It gives such a fresh aroma and flavor to whatever it is used in. So, give mint a chance!

Let’s make the meatballs first

Soutzoukakia_Ingredients_Meat
In a food processor or blender, place 1/2 of a large chopped onion, a small handful of parsley, a small handful of mint and 4 cloves of crushed garlic and pulse it a few times. You don’t want it to be completely liquid, just kind of grated. I don’t like big chunks of onion and leaves in my meatballs, but you still want that flavor.

Soutzoukakia_Herbs_Ground

In a bowl, mix together the 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of bread crumbs (I used Panko), 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese (I used the “green can” type, please don’t think less of me) , 2 tablespoons red wine, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add in the onion mixture.

Soukzoukakia_Mixed

Mix the whole deal together with your hands until everything is combined. Don’t be too vigorous with the mixing, or you may end up with tough meatballs.

Pop it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let those flavors get friendly with each other.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and form it into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped). I make them fairly large. You can make them smaller if you like.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate.

Soukzoukakia_Browning

Now it’s time to get saucy

Soutzoukakia_Ingredients_Sauce

In the oil from the meat, sauté a finely chopped shallot until it starts to soften.

Shallot_Browning

Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so.

Pour in a 26 ounce box (or can) of crushed or strained tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of red wine.

Soukzoukakia_Sauce

Stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Return the meat to the pan and toss a couple of bay leaves on top.

Soukzoukakia_Bay_Leaf

Turn heat to high and lock the lid on your pressure cooker.

Bring up to high pressure

When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set time for ten minutes.

When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Soukzoukakia_Plate2

Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve these with french fries or rice.

Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Greek
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 large servings
The greek classic Soutzoukakia get
Ingredients
For The Meat
  • 1 medium or ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 small handful Italian parsley (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small handful Fresh Mint (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan (I just use the "Green Can" type)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, run through a press
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 box or can (around 26 oz.) crushed or strained tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
For The Meat
  1. In food processor or blender, place the onion, parsley, mint and garlic
  2. Pulse a few times until it looks finely grated, but not liquid
  3. In a bowl, add beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, red wine, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper
  4. Add in the onion mixture
  5. Mix with hands until everything is combined, being careful not to over-mix
  6. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, to let flavors combine
  7. Remove from refrigerator and form into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped)
  8. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  9. Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate
For The Sauce
  1. In oil from the meat, sauté the shallot until it starts to soften
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  3. Add the cinnamon and allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  4. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine
  5. Stir in the brown sugar
  6. Return the meat to the pan
  7. Toss a couple bay leaves on top
  8. Turn heat to high and lock lid on pressure cooker
  9. Bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure
  11. Set time for ten minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Serve these with french fries or rice

 

Sneak Peek – Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta – A Spicy Take On Beefy Mac

DSCF9565

Yes, I said Beefy Mac. I refuse to call macaroni with tomatoes and ground beef Goulash. Mostly because it is not goulash. Hungarian goulash is a totally different thing. Which reminds me, I still haven’t posted my Pressure Cooker Hungarian Goulash recipe. I will have to get to that one soon.

Which brings me back to this weekend’s recipe. Add spices and chiles to macaroni and ground beef, and you end up with Taco Pasta. I had the leftovers for two days after the first day that I made this, and didn’t even tire of it.

So stop by this weekend for the full recipe!