Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Fall is my favorite season, which used to give me pause when I was young. I wondered why I so loved the time of year when everything was dying. I've long since overcome that; I love the crispness in the air, the palette of changing leaves, the expanse of blue sky with clouds that seem a million miles away. Not to be overlooked in my eulogy to fall are the wonderful comfort foods that seem made for this time of year. Soups and stews are high on my list of autumnal cuisine.

Over at Teresa's http://www.mexicanamericanbordercooking.blogspot.com/ I found a delicious new soup to try, Caldo de Albondigas--Mexican meatball soup. Teresa's blog is a favorite, both for the wonderful recipes and her great photography. I followed the recipe almost exactly; I substituted 2 quarts of beef broth for water since we like a beef base better than a vegetable one. I now have 2 large containers in the freezer for future dinners and we had a very satisfying meal last night of salad, soup, and quesadillas that I whipped up from ingredients on hand. There is a bit of prep work to the soup--chopping mostly--but when you see the yield and taste the results, I'm sure you'll feel it's time well spent.

Mexican Meatball Soup (a la Teresa of Mexican American Border Cooking)
2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 cup long grain rice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 3/4 lb potatoes, cubed
1 (9 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 qts beef broth plus 2 qts water

OPTIONAL: lime wedges, tortillas, Bolillos

Mix the ground beef with the eggs, rice, cumin, and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use a melon baller to shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Bring 2 quarts of water plus 2 quarts of beef broth to a boil and gently place the meatballs into the liquid. Add the onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour--until the vegetables and rice are tender. Serve hot garnished with the cilantro.

Arlene's "What's in the Cupboard" Quesadillas
1 link chorizo sausage, diced small
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
4 flour tortillas
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Asiago--hey, I'm Italian!)
In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oil, then add the chorizo and onion and saute over medium heat until onion carmelizes. Add cilantro and toss to mix.

Layer 2 tortillas with the chorizo-onion mixture, top with half the shredded cheese and place the other 2 tortillas on top. Cook in nonstick pan, turning to brown both sides. You could also use a panini grill or quesadilla maker (neither of which I felt like washing).


  1. That sounds yummy, especially those chorizo quesadillas! YUM!

  2. Oh Arlene, what a wonderful surprise! Thanks so much for the spotlight. You are such a sweetheart. And I am so glad you liked the soup. Humble foods from my beginnings. Hugs.


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