Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Albondigas Soup and Mr. Frog's New Santa Hat

Family Christmas eve dinner this year will be a little of my Mexican heritage. Growing up in El Paso, Texas I had one aunt known for her cooking. Aunt Grace made the most delicious albondigas soup, meatball soup. I could taste the hint of mint in the meatballs with rice.

Years later, in 1968, I purchased Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking by Elena Zelayeta. At last I had some recipes to recreate the tastes of home. Here is my well used paperback book, survived all the years and moves.

Christmas eve dinner will include some recipes from the book.

Christmas Eve Salad
Albondigas Soup
Flan (caramel coated custard)

I'll also be making a big batch of home made flour tortillas and a smaller batch with wheat flour at Lisa's request.
Jan and I had a meatball factory going this evening.

Jan was using a tiny scooper and I was rolling them into balls.

Here is our largest pot to accommodate the double batch of simmering soup.

The recipe is on page 34 and here, with my notes in brackets.

Sopa De Albondigas, Meat Ball Soup

1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil (used light olive oil)
1/2 can tomato sauce
3 quarts beef broth (2 quarts is plenty for a single batch)
carrots and peas can be added (I dice carrots, add last 10 minutes, peas at the end of cooking time)

3/4 pound ground beef (all beef, no pork is fine)
3/4 pound ground pork
1/3 cup rice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (1 teaspoon is plenty)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (I use 2 tablespoons for more flavor like my Aunt Grace's)

Wilt garlic and onion in oil; add tomato sauce and beef broth. Heat to boiling point. Mix meat with rice, salt, pepper, egg, and mint, and shape into little balls. (Small balls, about an inch in diameter so the rice will cook completely.) Put meatballs into boiling broth. Cover tightly and cook 30 minutes. Will freeze nicely. Serves 6 to 8. (If it's served as a meal it serves less.)

The flavor is even better the next day so that's why I'm making on the 23rd. We're cooling down the soup quickly to get it refrigerated.

Mr. Frog is happy with his new Santa hat. Looks like he has eaten a few albondigas.

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