ALBÓNDIGAS AL ALMENDRAS - MEATBALLS W/ ALMONDS

November 29, 2008

I wanted to be all Spanish with my meatballs, because in the past I have been all Italian with my preparation. Tired of tomatoes, because they have a tendency to overpower my mouth, I have adopted chicken broth, sherry, almonds, and begrudgingly some saffron.

My roommate Andrew evoked his familial roots,and, in true Spanish fashion, fried up some french fries. I think I tossed some truffle salt onto these taters, but that is completely excessive. Flavourful and vibrant, these meatballs are a good departure from the 9-5.






RECIPE - makes enough for 4

SUMMARY
This recipe takes about 1-1.5 hrs. You will make the meatballs, while making the sauce at the same time. It helps to have a co-cook. In particular, you will need someone to keep an eye on the meatballs as they fry while the sauce is being blended.

WARE Large wok, food processor, large bowls, frying pan

MEATBALLS
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- slice stale whole grain bread - something nutty, perhaps with spelt or sprouted wheat - in crumb form
- 1/2 c milk
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 3 T minced onion
- 2 T minced parsley
- 1/4 t salt
- grated nutmeg - it pays of too have a whole nutmeg and a microplane. Plus I am told from my friend Josh they have hallucinogenic properties.
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 c flour for dredging
- oil for frying

SAUCE
1/2 c almonds and roughly chopped
1/2 slice of
whole grain bread - something nutty, perhaps with spelt or sprouted wheat
1.5 T olive oil
5 peppercorns
pinch of saffron (optional) Saffron is strong. If it is color you want, use turmeric as a cheap alternative. (Franco is turning over in his grave)
1 clove
1/4 t salt
1/4 c Sherry or white wine or mix of two. Sherry is cheap and popular in the south of Spain aka "fino".
1/2 c low sodium chicken broth - If you only have regular broth, omit the salt until you have tasted the product. It may be too salty.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Combine meats in a large bowl.
2. Soak bread in milk until is it soft and fluffy. Drain milk and squeeze the bread like a sponge to remove excess.
3. Heat olive oil in a small pan and sweat the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes to remove their bite.
Throw bread, garlic, onion, parsley, salt, nutmeg, and egg into meat and knead until uniform.
4. Shape into small golf balls and set aside.
5. Scatter flour out on a plate, and roll each meatball around to coat lightly. Get rid of excess flour. Too much flour on the meatballs will interrupt browning and make things gluey (eew).
6. Heat oil to cover a large frying pan on medium/high. Brown the meatballs on all side. Tongs are great for this task. If you need two rounds of frying as to not crowd the pan, do so. The kitchen will become fragrant!!!!!

Meanwhile... make the sauce

7. In a small frying pan fry almonds, bread, garlic in olive oil until they look golden and you want to eat them straight form the pan. Slide them onto a plate.
8. Crush peppercorns, saffron, clove, and salt in a mortar and pestal. Ok, I don't have one on these, so I use a cup and a wooden spoon. It worked ok. We will throw the contents in a food processor, so it is ok if you don't do a bang up job.
9. In a processor, pulse crushed spices, almond mixture, sherry/wine. It may look like a paste, it may not. Its ok, it is supposed to look a little rustic.
10. In a large saucepan, heat paste and stock until it boils to get rid of some of the alcohol. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.
11. Garnish with parsley and lemons! Eat over french fries or with crusty table bread!

FRENCH FRIES
Potatoes and peanut oil (not olive oil)

Heal olive oil in a large deep thick wok or pan. You want 4 inches of oil on medium high heat. French fries are all about individual stove temperatures, but medium high seams good.

Peel and cut potatoes into sticks. I like them at 3/4 cm. Whatever you like. If you have a lot of potatoes to do, place cut pieces in a bowl of water to keep them looking fresh and enticing.

Use a potato to test out the heat of the oil. If you stick in an end and it doesn't sputter out lots of tiny bubbles, WAIT. It is important to note that the oil will cool down once the potatoes hit the pan. Frying vessels with thicker walls and larger heat capacities are best to maintain temperature equilibrium. Just be sure that when you put the potatoes down, you do not over-crowd the wok.

French fries touching each other on all sides is over-crowding the pot. Don't do this. You will end up with soggy fries -- yuck.

You should see lots of bubbles. Turn it up a bit if you don't. If the heat is too high, things will burn without cooking on the inside which is awkward.

Be patient. Frying takes 10-15 minutes. You want a constant stream of bubbles, but more in the outset is expectable. You won't know when they are down unless you try them. Luckily, we all have an idea of what fries taste like. For crunchier fries, fry for a bit longer at slightly higher temperatures.

Drain on paper towels and salt immediately. ENJOY!!!!!!!!


Source:
1. ANDREW LOW
2. http://www.chickenfriedgourmet.com/chickenfriedgourmet/2007/01/meatballs_in_sa.html

1 comment:

Arcenia said...

Andrew's french fries are sooooooooo gooooooooooooddddddddddddd. Tus albondigas mas o menos (heehee) ^_^

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