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

 

Mexican Quinoa Dinner

A Zesty  One Pot Mexican Quinoa Dinner

Mexican Quinoa Plate2

The holiday is behind us, we have all loosened our belts, or in some cases poked extra holes in our belts with a paring knife (I’m just guessing). With visions of huge turkey dinners and huge leftover sandwiches dancing in our heads, what do we have for dinner now?

For me, I’m ready for something relatively healthy (compared to what I have eaten for the past several days, what isn’t)?

Mexican Quinoa Ingredients

Just a few months ago I never would have seen myself posting a recipe with not only ground turkey, but definitely not with quinoa. Quinoa? I don’t even know what it is, but I have slowly started to acclimate myself to the evil pseudo grain. And you know, it isn’t bad. I guess too many “healthy” restaurants that serve plain quinoa with steamed kale put the fear in me. But like most things, it can be a tasty treat if served in tasty ways.

Sure, I top it with sour cream and pepper jack with corn chips on the side, buy hey, it could be worse.

I was kind of inspired by Spanish Rice and maybe a little by a certain product that is intended to assist hamburger.

Yes, it still has turkey in it, like you have been eating since Wednesday, but it is ground turkey. You just want to wean yourself off the “bird” a little at a time. Once you have the turkey on your back you don’t want to quit cold, um cold what? Well, I guess that is where the name comes from. Anyway this recipe is intended to get you back to normal.

Diced Onion

But, as I usually caution, do not use ground turkey breast, use ground dark turkey. It took me awhile to get used to ground turkey at all, but ground white turkey, I am not sure if I will ever be OK with that.

Corn

And I am starting to warm up to quinoa. It is super fast to cook and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, kind of the “tofu theorem”.

To start, in a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onions until the turkey is no longer pink.

Dump in the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute longer.

Quinoa

Now’s the time to introduce a packet of taco seasoning (I always look for one with no MSG) and the quinoa (always make sure to rinse quinoa well before cooking).

Stir and sauté for another minute or so.

Turkey Onion Quinoa

In a measuring cup, pour a can of Ro-Tel (juice and all), or another brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Then add enough chicken (or vegetable) broth to make 2 cups.

Add the tomato/broth mixture and stir.

Dump in a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and a cup of frozen corn (fire roasted corn would probably be nice in this also).

Give the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker.

Bring to high pressure and set time for 2 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own. If pressure is not completely released after 10 minutes, do a quick release.

Let sit another 5 minutes or so to further absorb the liquid.

Serve in bowls or on plates, topped with grated cheese (I like to use pepper-jack), sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa Plate

I serve it with corn chips on the side. I usually put them right on top, it provides just the crunch it needs.

Mexican Quinoa Dinner
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A quick and easy one-pot quinoa dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can Ro-Tel (10 oz), juice included (or other brand diced tomatoes with green chiles. If the can is larger than 10 ounces, use only one cup)
  • Chicken Stock (enough to make 2 cups when combined with the tomatoes)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve with corn chips
Toppings
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onion in 2 tablespoons oil
  2. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  3. Add the quinoa (make sure that it is rinsed well) and stir together with the turkey mixture
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and sauté for 30 seconds
  5. Pour in the Ro-Tel and chicken stock mixture
  6. Add the black beans and the frozen corn
  7. Give it a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker
  8. Bring to high pressure for 2 minutes
  9. When time is up, remove from heat (if using electric, make sure it is turned off or unplugged)
  10. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  11. Let set for a minute or so, then fluff with a fork
  12. Serve on plates or in bowls with cheese, sour cream and cilantro

 

Pressure Cooker Steak Picado

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Steak Picado

Steak Picado6

Living in Southern California, there is no shortage of Mexican food, and I have eaten many different dishes going by the moniker “Steak Picado”. Sometimes it is a skillet dish that seems more akin to fajitas or a stir-fry. But I was inspired for this recipe by  “Guisados“, a local place here in the Los Angeles area that was featured on one of the food shows I watch, or “my stories” as I call them. I don’t claim that this recipe is anything like theirs, but merely inspired by their idea of serving homestyle braises, which would simmer on the stove the entire afternoon. But through the magic of the pressure cooker, you can have a tasty, falling apart flank steak in a tangy sauce in about an hour. Perfect over rice, on warm tortillas, or a little of both!

Steak Picado Ingredients

I prefer to use Serrano chiles, which are a little hotter than Jalapeños, but I am led to believe that the Serrano chiles may not be as easy to find in some areas, whereas Jalapeños can be found just about everywhere, so feel free to use the Jalapeños. I leave the seeds in when I chop them, but you can remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor.

Flank Steak Pan

This recipe is for approximately 2-2.5 pounds of flank steak. The flank steak that I used was unusually large at about 2-1/4 pounds, but you may need to use two smaller ones.

Start out by browning the steak on both sides in a couple tablespoons of oil, then remove it to a plate.

Flank Steak Browning

Sauté some chopped onions, green peppers and the Serrano or Jalapeño chiles until the onions just start to take on a little brown color, then add in the garlic and continue for another minute or so.

Steak Picado Sauteed Veggies

Add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of chili powder of your choice (I like to use Penzey’s Chili 9000), 2 teaspoons of cumin and 1 teaspoon oregano.

Stir for a minute or so until the spices become fragrant.

Pour in a can of roasted tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel, but I used Trader Joe’s brand).

Steak Picado Sauce

Pour in 1/2 cup beer and 1/2 cup water, then add 1 teaspoon of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon. You can add 1/2 cup beef stock in place of the water and Better Than Bouillon if you prefer.

Top it off with a couple of bay leaves, then put the top on the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Pre Cook

Bring to high pressure, adjusting heat once high pressure is reached to maintain.

Set time for 40 minutes. I know this may sound like a long time, but it should give you that good, falling apart texture that requires hours of braising without the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Finished

When time is up, remove the meat to a plate. Put the sauce back on medium-high heat and let it cook down a bit (around 7-8 minutes, until the meat is ready to add back in).

Let the meat rest for five minutes, then cut into approximately 1-inch chunks. Some of the meat will probably fall apart in shreds. That’s fine. This is a rustic recipe, as they say when things don’t quite work out as planned.

Steak Picado Chopped

Stir the meat back into the sauce, then remove from the heat.

Serve with rice and warm tortillas.

Steak Picado1

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Pressure Cooker Steak Picado
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 large portions
Mexican-style braised flank steak with a medium spice level. Excellent for tacos.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-2.5 pounds flank steak (1 large or two small steaks)
  • 1 onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 green peppers, cut in strips
  • 2-3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, chopped (remove seeds if you want it to be milder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Brown steak on both sides (depending on pressure cooker size, you may need to cut steak in 2 or 3 pieces)
  3. Remove meat to a plate
  4. Sauté the onions, green peppers and chiles until onions start to show a bit of brown
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  6. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and oregano
  7. Stir for about 30 seconds until spices become fragrant
  8. Pour in the roasted tomatoes with chiles
  9. Add the water and beer
  10. Stir everything together
  11. Stir in the teaspoon of Beef Better Than Bouillon (or substitute ½ cup beef stock for the water and Better Than Bouillon)
  12. Add the meat back to the pot
  13. Toss the bay leaves on top
  14. Lock cover on the pressure cooker
  15. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure
  17. Set time for 40 minutes
  18. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  19. Remove meat to a plate and let it rest for five minutes
  20. While meat is resting, put sauce back on medium high heat and bring to a simmer
  21. Let simmer for five minutes
  22. After meat has rested for five minutes, cut into approximately one-inch chunks. Some of the meat might end up shredded when you try to cut in cubes, that is fine.
  23. Stir the cut meat back into the sauce and remove from heat
  24. Serve with rice, beans and warm tortillas