My husband loves all the foods that go into the Southwestern flavor profile: cilantro, Mexican oregano, cumin ground chilis, fresh chilis, onions, garlic, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, lemons, limes and oranges. I often make a dish using a flavor profile rather than an actual recipe. So, it was with these Southwestern Meatballs. I grabbed the Southwestern ingredients I had on hand and went for it! Success!
I did write down every ingredient I used. I timed everything. Then I made them again following my recipe so that you could replicate it.
You can serve the Southwestern Meatballs alone as an appetizer or over rice as a meal. I served them on a toasted baguette with Pepper Jack Cheese, grilled peppers, and pickled jalapeños.
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, a knife and chopping board, a mixing bowl, un-powdered latex gloves, a cooking sheet, tongs, foil, a deep skillet
Time: Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes, meatballs 45 minutes
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 packages of taco seasoning mix (or 2 tablespoons of your own)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Cooking spray
- 2½ cups of your favorite salsa (I use Frontera Jalapeño Cilantro)
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- Hot sauce to taste (Tabasco Chipotle is my favorite)
- Line the cooking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray. Wash and chop the cilantro. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375˚.
- Put on the gloves. Combine the beef, breadcrumbs, milk, herbs and spices in the bowl and mix with your hands. Do not over mix the meat as it makes the meatballs chewy. Shape the mixture into meatballs. I use a ¼ cup measuring cup to ensure that my meatballs are all the same size. Place each meatball onto the foil lined sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, check the largest meatball to make sure they are cooked through.
- Place the salsa, tomato sauce and hot sauce in the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add the meatballs. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat.