Chipotle Meatballs with Crema

 

I’ve lost my appetite for most chain-type Mexican restaurants. So many of the dishes are heavy and rich…looking different but all tasting the same. However, cooking at home with the incredible ingredients and flavors of Mexico is becoming more and more fun.

These meatballs are an example of a warm, comforting and spicy Mexican meal that is also light, fresh and delicious. Lourdes Castro has a wealth of wonderful recipes in her book, Simply Mexican, and I will probably, eventually, try them all.  I’ve adapted this one slightly to use canned tomatoes and I’ve brought the heat down a bit (those chipotle chilies pack a punch). Feel free to add more if you dare.

Note: It’s easy to make homemade crema. Just stir together equal amounts of sour cream and heavy cream and season it with a bit of salt.

Chipotle Meatballs with Crema

Serves 6
By author margaret at The Right Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Small onion (quartered)
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 chipotle chili (from a can of chilies in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the can of chilies)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4lb ground sirloin
  • 3/4lb ground pork
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup flour ((approx…to lightly coat the meatballs))
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (for browning the meatballs)
  • mexican crema (homemade or store-bought)
  • fresh cilantro

Directions

1. Make the sauce. In a blender, combine the onion, tomatoes, chipotles, adobo sauce, honey and salt and puree until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium sauce pan, add chicken broth, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until sauce is thick and fragrant. (add more chicken broth if sauce gets too thick) Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
2. Make the meatballs. Combine the ground meats in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oregano, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix the ingredients until incorporated…no not over mix. Roll out 1 inch balls and then roll lightly in the flour to coat.
3. Brown the meatballs. Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in small batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Brown on all sides but do not cook through…they will finish cooking in the sauce. Remove from pan and set aside as they are browned.
4. Simmer the meatballs. Pour the sauce into the pan that you browned the meatballs in. Stir to scrape up any bits meats and bring to a simmer. Return the meatballs to the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to stay warm until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with creme.

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