Cafe Sevilla’s Albondigas (Meatballs)

Today’s Restaurant Secret Recipe comes from Cafe Sevilla in Riverside, California. Cafe Sevilla serves authentic Spanish cuisine and seafood specialties. On the menu they have the most delicious meatballs that are seasoned with roasted garlic, oregano, fresh basil and cilantro. Grated Manchengo cheese lends a rich, deep flavor to these tender pork and beef meatballs.

To roast garlic for this recipe, 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.

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Cafe Sevilla’s Albondigas (Meatballs)
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  • 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 1/2 cup (3/4 ounce) chopped fresh basil leaves
  • About 1/2 cup (3/4 ounce) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 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, 6 to 8 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 bread crumbs, 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 one-fourth cup. The meatballs may be covered and refrigerated at this point up to 3 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.

Serves 10-12

Source: LA Times
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