I have to begin by saying that today's recipe contains one of the first weird Spanish words I ever heard in high school Spanish and, ever since, it has been my most favorite word ever.
In fact, I like this word so much that I'm pretty sure it's the only reason that I actually copied this recipe out of my friend's cookbook.
It's Spanish for meatballs. And I just love to say it. It makes me smile every time.
So, today's recipe - the first recipe is: Albondigas Soup.
I got the recipe out of a Mexican cookbook that belongs to my good friend, Joan Davis - a dear, dear woman. Kind as the day is long and uber-hospitable. But, I digress.
I have to say that I had no idea that I might do a project like this and, therefore, do not have the name of the cookbook from which this recipe came, but I will share the recipe nonetheless.
1 lb. ground beef
3 T. diced onion
1/4 t. oregano
salt & pepper to taste
4-5 chopped stewed tomatoes
1/2 c. pre-cooked rice
1 c. cooked, tender-firm sliced potatoes
When I started this project, I had PLANNED on making every recipe specifically as directed. However, upon looking at this recipe, I was a little disappointed to see that it has more of an Italian feel than I was hoping for. I was thinking: Spanish word, Spanish taste, or Mexican taste. Since that is not really what this recipe sounds like, I decided to tweak the recipe.
The first change I made was to add a can of Ro-Tel. I also added half a bottle of a product I've been itching to try, called Sofrito.
The recipe calls for 4-5 stewed tomatoes, but I used canned, diced tomatoes (3 cans) plus the can of Ro-Tel.
Then, I let it cook till the potatoes were...scorched to the bottom of the pan, along with the rice. That's what happen when I lose track of time after walking away from the kitchen. GRR!!!
Before I messed up the whole lot by scraping too much of the burnt mess off the bottom of the pan, I transferred the soup to a new pot and began to doctor it up.
First, I added some chili powder, onion powder, and more salt.
Then, I tried it. All I could taste was tomatoes - and SCORCH! UGH!
By this time, my man was home. He tried it, and liked it. Almost. He added some freshly ground black pepper and a cilantro bouillon cube. Then, he really liked it. (Of course, he hadn't eaten much all day either. LOL!) And I...I was still not fond of it.
As for the children: my daughter liked it OKAY but said that it "needed something" and The Bug said the meatballs were "kinda dull by themselves."
I served the soup with some Cheese & Herb Biscuits I had ordered from Schwans (which I really liked).
To my about 1/2 a cup, I sprinkled in some Parmesan cheese, but still it was just okay. I think I ruined it for myself because I got that "scorched" smell in my nose, and then, that was all I could taste. I ate a meatball, a couple bites of soup (extremely tomato-ey) and the biscuit, and was done. I'll save my Weight Watchers points for something else that I won't turn my nose up at.
However, I have not decided to totally scrap the recipe, especially since my man really liked it! In the future, I will use 1 can of tomatoes and 1 can of Ro-Tel, and almost-copious amounts of cumin, and maybe some taco seasoning, in both the broth and in the meatballs.
A QUESTION: I've heard it said that adding a potato to something you've burnt will help eliminate that scorched taste. What if what you scorch IS potatoes?
P.S. After the hubs and I got back from the gym, and I had plenty of time away from the kitchen for my nose to rid itself of the smell of scorched rice and potatoes, the smell of the soup was actually not bad. I still added to many tomatoes. I will definitely reduce the amount I add next time, or else, I'll try to figure out how to stew 4-5 tomatoes, even though the recipe doesn't say what size tomatoes to use. Details, details.
Good night all!