Ed. Note: Please welcome Nicole Presley, of Presley’s Pantry, as the newest regular contributor to the Tiki Tiki. Her food essays and recipes will give you hambre y felicidad.
At first people thought it was a joke. How could something so absurd be true? I would tell my family and friends:”Whenever I make albondigas Mando refuses to share the pot with anyone.”
Usually the person I was telling would laugh, and instantly request a bowl or ask to be invited over the next time I made a pot. Still not understanding my point, I would then have to go further to explain that Mando, my fiancé, had become insanely attached to my albondigas to the point of questioning how many servings I was going to consume out of the ginormous pot I always make.
Yes, every time I make a pot he asks with ownership, “You’re only going to have one bowl…right?”
Anything past one bowl would be over-stepping my boundaries in his book.
This story about Mando and my albondigas is usually received with shock, because everyone who knows Mando knows he is a quiet, nice, down-to-earth, and an all-around generous guy. But, this is not the case when it comes to albondigas.
He wouldn’t even allow a single serving to slip past the front door to be sent to his mother (whom he adores with all his heart ), so can you imagine the resistance he puts up when friends ask. Ha! It’s hopeless.
Once my circle realized there was a troll named Mando guarding these sacred albondigas like his life depended on it, they started devising schemes on how to get their hands around a bowl. They were confidant one plan would be a break through. One of my brave girlfriends sent a Christmas card addressed to him, with a drawing of a bowl of soup…big meatballs popping out over the top…and it simply stated “All I want for Christmas is a bowl of Nicole’s albondigas.”
He didn’t budge.
Whenever a dark cloud passes or a forecast of drizzle is on the horizon…the words “albondigas” and “please” are repeated in a song-like chant and delivered to my ears by a darling named Mando.
Like clockwork, the second they are made, the greedy monster face slides across his handsome face to stake his claim on the entire pot. It’s the equivalent of dealing with a spoiled child. He will eat every last drop of it over the course of two days. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. He insists I keep it HUSH HUSH!
“Don’t breathe a word to anyone that you made albondigas until I finish the pot.” By then who would care? Most people think it’s ridiculous he won’t spare a bowl, much less a taste….
I guess, I secretly love the thrill of knowing the albondiga troll. Witnessing such psychotic behavior from a grown man is pure comedy.
Mexican Albondigas Soup Recipe
Ingredients for Meatballs:
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1-1/2 pounds ground pork
- 3 big garlic cloves (chopped small)
- 6 sprigs of green onion (white part only, chopped small)
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice (I use Mahatma)
- pinch of chile flakes (the kind you use on pizza)
- garlic powder to taste
- Lawry’s Seasoning salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with hands till all ingredients are well combined. Then take a small handful of the meat mixture and roll between both hands to form a ball. Each should be the size of a golf ball or slightly smaller. Continue until all of the meat mixture is in ball form.
Then in a large frying pan, add a little oil (2 tablespoons) and fry meatballs over a medium high flame on each side for 2 minutes, just to brown/sear them a little. Take off flame and set aside.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium brown onions (sliced)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced and deseeded)
- 5 – 32 oz boxes of chicken broth
- 6 large carrots (peeled and cut into 2-inch rounds)
- 4 celery stalks (cut into 2-inch sticks)
- 3 large zucchini (cut into 1-inch rounds)
- 5 potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch rounds)
- 4 corn on the cob (cut in half – 8 pieces total)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
In a large pot (20 quart) over medium flame, pour in olive oil and let heat, then add onion and yellow bell pepper and saute for 8 minutes.
Then add seared meatballs. Slowly pour in chicken broth and raise flame to medium high. Let cook for 10 minutes.
Then add carrots and let cook for 10 minutes. Then add celery and let cook for 10 minutes. Lower flame to medium. Then add zucchini and cilantro and let cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Next add potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.
Lastly, add corn on the cob and cook for the last 10 minutes! That’s it….You’re done!
Serving Albondigas Soup
I like to serve my albondigas meatball soup with fresh lime, corn tortillas that are slathered in butter, and homemade salsa (optional if you like life more on the spicy side).
Hope you don’t have an albondiga troll in your house.
Nicole Presley is a culinary enthusiast who lives to eat, cook, breathe and talk food. She writes an original recipe food blog called Presley’s Pantry from her home in East Los Angeles. Apart from working on her blog everyday, she dedicates her time to raising her 2-year-old with her fiance, and dotes on her Mother. Any small left-overs from her blog recipes are feed to her two grumpy chihuahuas, Oso and Penny. Nicole tweets @PresleysPantry. A version of this post previously appeared on her blog.