Friday, January 8, 2010

Foodie Friday – Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs) with Olives

It is no secret that I love Spanish food, and in particular tapas. Pretty much my favourite type of food, tapas dishes can be as simple or complex as you like, can take a few seconds or forever to make, and are designed to be shared! Going to a tapas bar or restaurant with a few friends is a great way to try lots of different flavours, textures, and discover something you absolutely love, all while having a great chat over a jug of sangria. I recently discovered Black Bull in Moorabool St, Geelong, and it quickly became one of my favourite restaurants in town, due to its great atmosphere and fantastic menu. Whilst this recipe is not from them, it is great for making tapas at home, going incredibly well with some crusty sour dough drizzled with olive oil, and some soft goats cheese.

Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs) with Olives
Serves 6 (As part of a larger Tapas meal)

  • 55g day old bread, crusts removed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 250g lean lamb mince
  • 250g lean pork mince
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Salt
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons dry sherry or red wine
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 175g green Spanish olives in olive oil (mixed olives work too!)
  • Crusty bread to serve

Put the bread in a bowl, add water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much of the water as possible from the bread, and place bread in a clean bowl.

Add the mince, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, the cumin, coriander and egg to the bread. Season to taste and using your hands, mix together well. Dust a plate or baking sheet with four. Using floured hands, roll the mixture into 30 equal balls, put onto the plate or baking sheet and roll lightly in flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan, add the meatballs in batches to avoid overcrowding, and cook over a medium head, turning frequently for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on all sides and firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan, add the remaining onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until softened but not browned. Add the remaining garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sherry, paprika and sugar, season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a hand held blender, blend the tomato mixture until smooth. Carefully return the meatballs to the frying pan and add the olives. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are tender. Serve with hot crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Image Credits - Projectnada

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