Saturday, March 26, 2022

ChezCindy: Meatballs and Mexican Salsa Sauce


Here is a new twist on meatballs simply by adding in jarred salsa to make Mexican mini meatballs. The meatballs are a fun and delicious appetizer for a party, or as a meal served with a side of roasted vegetables.  I made a delicious soup by adding the cooked meatballs to my recipe for chicken soup substituting the poached chicken with the meatballs, to make a Mexican meatball soup.   

This recipe is a great one for young chefs just starting out in the kitchen.  There is not much to chop, and with supervision at the stove, all new cooks will gain a sense of accomplishment.  Short on prep time and long on flavor!  

Meatballs and Mexican Salsa Sauce
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons oil

1 cup mild or spicy jarred salsa
1/2 cup water

Working with a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, ketchup, chopped cilantro, dried oregano and salt, stirring to combine.  Add in the grated Parmesan cheese and the ground beef.  Using a fork, or your hands, mix the cheese and ground beef in with the breadcrumb mixture.  Mix until just combined so as not to overwork the mixture.  

Place a deep-sided pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan.  Using a small spring-loaded scoop or a teaspoon measure, scoop the meatball mixture into mini meatballs packing it firmly, adding them directly to the hot pan.  Cook the meatballs without moving them until nicely browned on the first side, about 5 minutes.  Use a flat metal spatula or metal spoon to flip over to continue cooking the meatballs for additional 2 minutes.  You may need to do this in 2 batches to cook all of the mini meatballs, setting the partially cooked meatballs aside on a plate, repeating with the remaining meatball mix.  Return all of the meatballs to the pan if having cooked in 2 batches.  The meatballs are not fully cooked at this time.  

Add the cup of mild or spicy jarred salsa to the hot pan with the partially cooked meatballs, along with 1/2 cup water without stirring to allow the sauce to bubble and finish cooking the meatballs, about 5 minutes. Gently stir the salsa sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate into the salsa sauce.  Turn off the heat, remove the meatballs and salsa sauce to a serving bowl.  Enjoy!

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