Friday, February 11, 2011

Chipotle Spiced Cocktail Meatballs Simmered in Tomato Sauce and Served with Cilantro Cream

Yield about 2 to 3 dozen meatballs
Preparation Time: 1 hour

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small white onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced (about 1 to 2 tablespoon)

2 large shallots, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantroWhite ground pepper

Prepare the sauce by heating 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat.

Add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and fresh oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

Place the ground beef and pork into a bowl. Add the bread crumbs, egg, oregano and as much chipotle pepper as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Combine this mixture with your hands. Form into bite size balls (about 1-inch in diameter). Place each ball onto a baking sheet until all of the meatballs have been formed.

Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the shallots in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil until just soft (you do not want them to turn brown). Add the cream to the pan. Stir in the cilantro. Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the cream until it is reduced by half and thickened (about 20 minutes). Season with salt and white ground pepper.

To serve the dish, layer a serving platter or shallow bowl with the cilantro cream sauce. Use a spoon to scoop the meatballs from the sauce. Decoratively place the meatballs into the cream. Use extra cream to drizzle into the white sauce. Keep the dish warm on a heated serving tray, or serve several meatballs as a first course. Garnish with grated cheese and fresh cilantro.

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