Recipe: Cafe Sevilla’s Albondigas (Meatballs)
Serves 10 to 12
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups minced onion, from about 1 large onion
4 ounces roasted garlic, puréed (about 1 / 3 cup), see Note
About ½ cup (¾ ounce) chopped fresh basil leaves
About ½ cup (¾ ounce) chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley, for serving
1. In a sauté pan heated over medium heat, combine the olive oil and onions, cooking the onions until they soften and become translucent, six to eight minutes. Remove from heat and place the onions in a large mixing bowl.
2. To the bowl, add the roasted garlic, basil, cilantro, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Set the mixture aside until the onion has cooled to room temperature.
3. To the cooled onion mixture, stir in the eggs and breadcrumbs, then the ground pork, beef and cheese, mixing with your hands until uniform and fully combined.
4. Divide the mixture into 36 meatballs, each about ¼ cup in volume. The meatballs may be covered and refrigerated at this point up to three days before cooking.
5. To cook the meatballs, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the meatballs out onto foil- or parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them an inch or so apart for even cooking.
6. Cook the meatballs until firm and golden and a thermometer inserted reaches 165 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through cooking for even heating and coloring. Serve garnished with parsley.
NOTE: To roast garlic, cut off the pointy top of a head of garlic to expose the tips of the cloves. Place the garlic on a small sheet of foil, cut end facing up. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cut end of the garlic head, and sprinkle a pinch each of salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic head in the foil and roast in the oven at 325 degrees until the cloves have softened, about an hour.
— Adapted by the Los Angeles Times from Cafe Sevilla in Riverside, Calif.