Sunday, April 19, 2009

Albondigas Fritas (Fried Meatballs)

Hello my fellow foodies I'm back again (very busy with school and so on hopefully in my summer break I will have more time I had a wonderful Spring Break spent in Orland, CA camping with friends for several days, then going to San Francisco and spending about two days there and finally back to my life in So Cal, but I promise as I have in the past that I won't abandon my blog and I still read my fellow foodies blogs quickly even if I don't have time to comment) So again as I promised here is a post, I will keep trying to have something at least once a month.

This is my Tata's recipe (grandmother from my father's side) simple to make, and quick to put together, delicious Cuban style small fried meatballs that are juicy and flavorful and great to serve as finger foods at parties with tooth pics or a simple meat dish to enjoy with your meal with some white rice (always in my rice cooker or leftovers), black beans (we always have some bean dish around in my house), and a simple raw salad (like tomato, onion, cucumber) dressed in olive oil, lime or lemon, and salt.

When we make these in my house we quickly run out of them as everyone can't resist but to get seconds and thirds and so on until they are all gone, they are addictive (common who doesn't like fried meats)

-2 lbs. ground beef (I use 80% beef 20% fat)
-1 medium onion minced
-6-8 cloves garlic finely minced (mashed to paste with mortar or garlic press)
-1/4 bunch of washed, minced parsley or cilantro
-3 eggs beaten well
-1 cup or 1 1/2 cups cracker meal (it's just crackers that have been mashed up like bread crumbs I eye balled it)
-2 tsp. salt (more to taste)
-1 tsp. ground black pepper
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-oil to deep fry or pan-fry (I use canola oil or lard for my high heat cooking and I pan-fry or deep-fry in it to, any neutral flavored oil will get the job done though)

(1)Put ground beef in a big bowl, add all ingredients except oil to the bowl and incorporate gently until everything is just incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX OR IT WILL BE TOUGH!!!

(2)Form into small sized meat balls, do not make them to big or when you cook them the inside will be raw and outside burned. Make them into reasonable small sized not to small not to big. I was able to make about 36- 37 meatballs.

(2)Heat oil enough to pan-fry or deep-fry on medium high heat until oil is hot enough to check dip a wooden spoon or chop stick if it sizzles or bubbles around it, it is ready. Now add meat balls and fry in small batches until really well browned all around. As they fry spoon hot oil over the meatballs and flip when ready to brown on other side if pan-frying. I turn them over with a fork and spoon but I do not stab it.

(3)When cooked transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain oil and repeat frying process in batches until all done.
1)*The meat mixture can be made in advance and just keep it in the fridge covered until ready to use to form meatballs and fry or you can even form the meatballs in advance and just cover them in the fridge until ready to use
2)*If you have leftover meatballs you can make a Cuban "sofrito" (sautee minced onions, bell peppers, garlic in olive oil, add tomato sauce, some water to form a looser sauce bring to boil and season with some salt and cumin until sauce comes to a boil and simmer cooked meatballs in there for a little bit and serve as a new dish with white rice or on spaghetti)
3)*The leftover oil is delicious to use for cooking steamed white rice it has a delicious flavor but is sinful :)

-I have received a blog award from Marilyn from "My Cuban Traumas" and also in the past a couple from Karen Brown Letarte and her wonderful blog "Domestic Muse" I apologize for not being able to pick up your awards in a timely manner but I will try to tomorrow pass them on and go pick up my awards :) and I will make a post for them, and maybe if I have more time I will post a new recipe. (right now I am just really tired and it's 1 in the morning and I want to sleep I just had the urge to give my blog a visit and post something to treat any readers out there)

Look forward for a future post on a old Cuban recipe for "Potaje de Frijoles de Carita" (Cuban Black Eyed Pea Stew)