Saturday, February 02, 2008

Mexican Meatball Soup

  1. 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  2. 1 small red onion, chopped
  3. 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  4. 1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  5. 2 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  7. 1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  8. 2 cups water
  9. 1 (15 ounce) can drained canned diced tomatoes
  10. 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  11. 3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  12. 1/2 pound ground beef
  13. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  14. 2 1/2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  15. 1 egg, beaten to mix
  16. 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  17. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and half the jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini,1 1/2 teaspoons of the dried oregano, if using, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cumin and cook, stirring, until the zucchini starts to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, 1 1/4teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper; bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, garlic, the remaining jalapeno, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon of the fresh oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the bread crumbs, and the egg. Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  4. Add the meatballs and corn to the soup and simmer until the meatballs are just done, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, if using.

Yield: 4 servings

Burrito Pie

  1. 2 pounds ground beef
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  4. 1 (2 ounce) can black olives, sliced
  5. 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
  6. 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  7. 1 (16 ounce) jar taco sauce
  8. 2 (16 ounce) cans refried beans
  9. 12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  10. 9 ounces shredded Colby cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef for 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, and saute for 5 more minutes. Drain any excess fat, if desired. Mix in the olives, green chile peppers, tomatoes with green chile peppers, taco sauce and refried beans. Stir mixture thoroughly, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 4 quart casserole dish. Cover with a layer of tortillas followed by more meat mixture, then a layer of cheese. Repeat tortilla, meat, cheese pattern until all the tortillas are used, topping off with a layer of meat mixture and cheese.
  4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.

Yield: 16 servings