I love cooking, most of the time! Oftentimes I’m reviewing a restaurant meal or a recipe I’ve tried online. If I post a recipe here on this site, you can be sure I like it! I am determined to give readers the latest tips on the best cuisine I have been fortunate enough to experience. I often post recipes I’ve created from scratch as well to share here. Click “Subscribe” on this page to get new email updates whenever I post a new recipe or write a restaurant review! This review is for “Albondias con Spaghetti” or spanish version of spaghetti and meatballs. I have used chipotle peppers a few times before, but, never really that crazy for them until now. My guess is because the flavor is bold and intense and it takes some getting used to. In my opinion, it just gets better with time just like wine. I recently decided to try a recipe I saw online using these peppers. I like the pairing of the meatballs or “Albondigas” with traditional spaghetti. These meatballs are also used in soups or eaten alone. The recipe was derived from Daisy Martinez (a.k.a. Rachael Ray’s buddies). This dish is a spicy one and although I followed the recipe for the most part, it wouldn’t be me without adding a few things to it!. Refer to my notes from Daisy’s video for this recipe below as well as my side notes for whatever I may have changed. Paired with some good fresh bread, salad, and glass of wine it will make any meal a special occasion! I completely enjoyed this one. Thanks Daisy!
What I interpreted Daisy’s Recipe to be:
Ingredients : 1 pound ground pork, 1c onion, 2 garlic cloves, a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1/2 c bread crumbs, 2 eggs, grated cotija cheese, achiote salt, epazote.
Directions: Grab 1 cup of coarsely chopped onion, 2 gloves of garlic (take those ends off ) and place in bowl. Take two chipotles from can and add some of the adobo sauce to the bowl. Puree these ingredients together. Add to this, a half a cup of bread crumbs,a couple of beaten eggs and some grated cotija cheese. Mix well. Add mixture to ground pork. Form meatballs. Bake in oven until done. Remove meatballs from any pan juices or liquid it may have made while cooking. Place cooked meatballs in spaghetti sauce when done.
For Sauce: Make traditional spaghetti sauce and add achiote salt and epazote to taste.
Look forward to the next chipotle recipe I will post very soon!
For the Meatballs, Here’s what I changed:
Ingredients : 1 pound ground pork, 1/4c onion, 2 garlic cloves, a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1/4 c grated parmesan cheese instead of cotija cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh minced cilantro (depends on how much you like) and equal parts fresh minced mint instead of epazote, adobo to taste.I haven’t tried achiote salt as of yet. (Note: You will want to double or quadruple this recipe as it makes a small portion, as is… about 2-3 servings. Read the rest of my article below for tips on doubling this recipe) Serves 2-3.
MAKING THE MEATBALLS:
I use the italian ground meatloaf mix sold at Giant (Mixture of beef, pork and veal together in a 1-pound pack). One 1lb pack serves 2-3 people. In our house we buy at least two 1-lb packs for 3-6 servings. You will need 3-6 lbs of ground meat to make a regular portion for 4 to 7 people. (if you double the recipe, you must double the sauce, chipotle peppers, seasonings, and herbs..basically everything but it is worth it!)
Love Goya Adobo seasoning and used a little to season ground meat (The recipe above may not use additonal salt but I do). If you choose to add salt and pepper to taste it is optional, however, please note that the chipotle peppers and sauce contain salt too.
1/2 of small can of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce per pound of meat–chopped finely (about 2-3 peppers and half the sauce from the can. May use less if you choose) Also, for chipotle peppers..(be sure to feel for an occasional hardened pit at the end of the peppers, cut off and discard.)
About 2-3 tablespoons of finely diced onion to the meatball mixture per pound of meat.
2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
(Feel free to puree the onion, garlic and chipotle if you choose. I chose not to)
I used 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (instead of cotija cheese) per pound of meat (I didn’t add bread crumbs, but, if you choose feel free to. When I do, I use about 1/4 cup per pound of meat.)
1 egg beaten (sometimes I use an egg, sometimes I don’t) Also use only 1 egg for every 2lbs of meat(so if using 1lbof meat, use 1 egg and if using 2 lbs meat still use just 1 egg. For 3 or 4 lbs, use 2 eggs and so on..).
So basically, determine the amount you are going to make and use my ratios to finish the recipe. Throw all ingredients into a large bowl for the meatballs. Mix well. Form meatballs. Bake in oven until done(about 10-20 minutes, depending on temperature of your oven). Take meatballs from oven immediately when done. Remove meatballs from any extra pan juices or liquid it may have made while cooking. Place cooked meatballs in spaghetti sauce.
MAKING THE SAUCE:
Do not use canned tomato paste! The taste will throw the whole dish off. Use only sauce in glass jars or make your own marinara from scratch using fresh tomatoes. About 24 oz sauce per pound meat. (I use about or almost 48 oz when I double the recipe. So yes, if using 4 packs of meat, use 98 oz of sauce.). This recipe will make 2-4 servings. Use own judgement concerning ratio of sauce to meat.
I added to the sauce, a drizzle or two of olive oil, equal parts fresh cilantro and fresh mint. I did not add the epazote but that is fine to add too. It’s really up to you what equal amount of cilantro and mint to use..I add about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of each (about 1/2 cup per 48 oz of sauce). Be sure to rinse and chop and chop some more until really fine/minced. If you are not used to working with these herbs, cut most of stems off cilantro and discard. (the stems won’t harm you, I use a few in soups and such, so if you get a few or several in by mistake it’s fine!) Mint is a little less plentiful in stores so also chop leaves and feel free to add stems..but chop very finely (minced) to avoid big clumps. The size of the finished product of chopped herbs (cilantro & mint) should resemble dried parsley flakes or the size of minced onion.
Please note: Daisy does not use the ratios of herbs that I use. I believe she uses three parts cilantro and 1 part mint if substituting epazote. I’ve tried both ways and I prefer my style most.
Tips for sauce..I add a bit of salt to taste or achiote or both..but try it first and see if it needs it before you do. A little more fresh, chopped or powdered garlic may also be good to add directly to sauce. A splash of wine too, if that’s your style!
Tip: If you don’t care for cilantro, add fresh lemon basil or parsley instead. Hope you enjoy! I gave this recipe 4 stars.