Spanish Meatballs

These meatballs are so full of flavor, and I’ve been making them for years.  Sometimes I serve them as appetizers on a pick or in a spoon.  But eating just one or two won’t be as satisfying as a plate of them served over rice.  The smoked paprika and almonds add a dimension of flavors you will love.

Spanish Meatballs.jpg

Main ingredients:
Meatballs:
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground pork
2 slices bread, about 2 oz., soaked in water to cover and squeezed dry
¼ cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. finely minced fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Olive oil for deep-frying
Flour for dusting

Picada:
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. ground blanched almonds
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp. sweet paparika
Pinch saffron, crushed
Salt and pepper

Sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup minced yellow onion
½ cup dry white wine
2/3 cup meat or chicken stock

Method:
To make the meatballs, in a bowl, combine the beef, pork, bread, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Knead with your hands until well mixed.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, as the mixture is easier to work with when cold.

To make the picada, in a mini food processor combine the garlic, almonds, parsley, paprika, and saffron and process or grind to a paste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a deep frying pan, pour in olive oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees.  While the oil is heating, form the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and dust them with flour, coating evenly.

Working in batches, slip the balls into the hot oil and fry until golden, about 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.  

To make the sauce, in a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the onion and sauté until tender.  Add the wine, stock, and meatballs and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the picada and cook for a few minutes longer to blend the flavors.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

MainsIzza Wei-Haas