LUCY BURDETTE: There comes a time during the holiday season when you cannot eat one more cookie. No more sugar, no more chocolate, and definitely no more turkey. I'm not there yet, but I know I will be!
This dish is perfect for the overindulged, because it’s full of holiday color, but warm and slightly spicy instead of sweet. It’s not fatty either because you bake the meatballs ahead of time. You could serve it with cornbread or biscuits and a green salad and easily call it dinner! If you don’t do a big Christmas Eve dinner, this could do the trick for that night too. And hey, speaking of celebrations, this would do nicely for a post-book launch supper too! (I happen to have one of those coming up…)
Mexican-Style Meatball Soup Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 32 oz box beef broth
• 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 and 1/4 pound lean ground beef
• 6 tablespoons cornmeal (I used blue)
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup cilantro
• 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
To make the meatballs:Place the beef, cornmeal, chopped onion, cilantro, cumin, milk and egg in a bowl. Mix well. Shape the meatballs into golfball-sized globs and bake them at 350 for 15-20 minutes until fat is rendered and meatballs have begun to brown. (I turn them over halfway through.) Drain them on paper towels.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté the second set of onions in the olive oil with the bay leaf until onions are soft. Add the beef broth, tomatoes, and cilantro, and simmer for fifteen minutes. Add the cooked meatballs and rice to the pot and simmer another 30 minutes.
Like many soup recipes, this will taste even better if you refrigerate overnight and heat it up the next day. Serve with salad and cornbread. Here’s my favorite recipe—this time I used the blue cornmeal in the bread too, and it was delicious and beautiful.
The writers of Mystery Lovers Kitchen are thrilled to have three books coming out this week! We'd love to remind you that mysteries make great stocking stuffers! And you can preorder today....
DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS (Lucy Burdette)
THE GHOST AND MRS. MEWER (Krista Davis)
ONCE UPON A GRIND (Cleo Coyle)