Tag Archives: Fusion

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenes~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Have you ever started with a recipe idea in mind, then you end up with something  even more delicious than you imagined? That was the case with this recipe for Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas. My friend Denise, who loves to cook, shared a recipe for a French Onion Soup with Stuffed Meatballs. My intention was to try it just as it was written, but ended up not having enough onions and a few  of the other ingredients. So, as I do for many recipes, I just pulled from what I already had in my pantry and refrigerator. I added some of my favorites like zucchini, carrots and jalapeño. The results were delicious! A cross between French onion soup and Mexican meatball (albondigas)soup, but with cheese stuffed meatballs. Bonus! A hearty meal, to say the least. The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that you could serve the meatballs in a nice, fresh bollilo roll and serve the soup on the side. Or you can serve it as is with warm corn tortillas.


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


For Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
2 pounds ground chuck, chicken, pork or turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces smoked cheese, I used gruyere
*slice cheese into 16 equal cubes
Olive oil for cooking meatballs

Tips* This was prepared in a large quantity for a pot luck meal, but you could certainly cut all of the ingredients by half for a smaller family.

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


For Soup Base

2 tablespoons Oilve oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large sweet onions, sliced into strips
salt and pepper to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup peas
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup champagne or sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups beef stock
3 cups chicken stock


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas RellenasNot the prettiest when all of the onions caramelize and reduce, but the flavor was delicious!

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


1. To  prepare the meatballs. In  a large bowl, add the ground meat, spices, bread crumbs and eggs. Mix to combine. Roll 16 equal meatballs. Take each meatball and flatten slightly. Place a cube of cheese in the center and form meatball around the cheese to cover completely. Place on tray or plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To a large dutch oven style pot, add olive oil and butter. Add all of the onion, and heat to medium/low. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook and saute for a good 15 minutes, stirring often to move so that the onions brown and reduce.

3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, bell pepper and carrots and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add in all of the remaining ingredients for soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to lowest setting and keep covered 3/4 of the way.

4. While the soup simmers, brown the meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet. When hot, add the meatballs and sear for 3 minutes per side. Try to get as many sides browned as you can. You may have to brown them in batches.

5. Once meatballs are browned, raise the heat slightly on soup pot. When it starts to boil gently, carefully add in all of the meatballs. Making sure they are immersed into the broth so they cook properly. Cover pot partially and continue cooking for 30  to 35 minutes, gently stirring meatballs once as they cook. Most of the meatballs opened up on me, but the cheese stayed intact. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro. Yields up to 8 to 10 servings. 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas



Go Green! St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Recipes~

My first taste of anything that would be remotely Irish food was a Rueben, a corned beef sandwich.  Besides a good pastrami sandwich, the Rueben has to be one of my favorites. On today’s blog post I share with you a few of my favorite recipes inspired by St. Patrick’s Day. And of course you knew there would have to be  a little fusion cooking as well with my Corned Beef Machaca Tacos. For me St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to enjoy those hearty winter meals one last time and look forward to spring! Soup, stews, sandwiches and tacos.

Corned Beef with a Bacon Pickled Slaw

Corned Beef with Pickled Slaw

“The Rueben”, My Version…

For Spicy Cabbage w/ Bacon
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1 small white onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper

For Homemade Thousand Island Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 tablespoon horseradish
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 small shallot, minced
Pinch of pepper
Salt to taste

Rueben, Corned Beef with Pickled Slaw


1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. Cover and chill until ready to use.

2. In a large skillet, preheat 1 teaspoon olive oil to medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Add the onions, serrano, and garlic, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine. Reduce heat slightly, taste for salt and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, until liquid evaporates. Yields up to 6 servings

Notes: To make the sandwich, you will need some rye bread, swiss cheese, and thick cut slices of corned beef. Toast bread in skillet, add some dressing to bread slices, one slice of cheese to each slice of bread, top with corned beef and warm cabbage. Sandwich together and continue cooking until cheese melts.



Corned Beef Brisket

Corned Beef Brisket


Two pound corned beef brisket, can be boiled on stove top. Cover with water and cook on low overnight in the slow cooker or roasted in the oven. The corned beef pictured was cooked  in the oven for about 1 hour and 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.


Corned Beef Machaca

Corned Beef Machaca
Olive oil
1 small sweet onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño, sliced
1 fresno, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/3 teaspoon crushed oregano
2 cups finely shredded cooked corned beef ( 1 pound)
Fresh cracked pepper
pinch of salt
Juice of 1/2 lime, reserve other half for garnish
Cilantro for garnish

* For the machaca, I cooked the corned beef brisket,covered with water on low, in the crock pot  overnight. Once cooled, I removed the excess fat.

Corned Beef Machaca


1. add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet and heat to medium. Add the onions, garlic and peppers and saute for 5 to6 minutes. Add the cumin and oregano and saute for 1 more minute.

2. Move the onion/pepper mixture over to one half of pan. Add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil to empty side of pan. Add the corned beef and cook, tossing as needed, until beef starts to caramelize and turn brown in some spots. Mix beef and vegetables together. add fresh cracked pepper, salt to taste and lime juice. Toss to combine and serve right away.  Serve with warm corn tortillas. Garnish with cilantro, salsa  and lime.Yields 4 servings,

Corned Beef Machaca Tacos


Corned Beef and Vegetable Soup

Corned Beef and Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
The top half of a bunch of celery(with celery leaves), chopped
3 large carrots, sliced
4 cups yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 pound cooked corned beef, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large, heavy pot, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. After a few minutes, add the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook for another few minutes.

2. Add the broth, sherry vinegar, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Add the spinach and corned beef and cook just until warm. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread. Yields up to 6 servings.

Guinness Stout Beef Stew~ Variation

Guinness Stout Beef Stew
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 cup diced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
4 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 pound white or yellow potatoes, quartered
2 cups tomato sauce or 6 ounces of tomato paste
3 cups beef or chicken broth ( I use 1 1/2 cups of each)
12 oz Guinness Stout beer
2 tablespoons Maggi seasoning (liquid)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon if using fresh
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. In a skillet at medium heat, add the mushrooms, olive oil and butter. Saute until the mushrooms start to soften ans caramelize. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for a few more minutes, set aside.

2. In a large dutch oven pot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and preheat to medium for 5 minutes. Add the beef,  season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute for 6 to 8 minutes until beef is nice and brown.

3. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3 more minutes. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt and pepper. Cover partially and continue cooking until beef is tender, stirring now and then. Low and slow for 2 hours…. Yields 6 servings.

My First Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew
2 pounds beef chuck short ribs
4 tablespoons of oil
4 tablespoons of flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of cayenne
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz. tomato sauce
4 oz. chile sauce (chile california)
12 oz. bottle of Guinness Beer
2 cups of largely diced carrots
1 tsp. dried thyme

*10 ounces sliced mushrooms, sauteed in a little olive oil and butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. The chile sauce is prepared by cooking 6 dried chile California or Guajillo peppers in some boiling water, then pureed with a little stock.

Guinness Beef Stew

1. Toss the beef in 2 tablespoons of oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss meat with seasoned flour.

2. Heat remaining oil in large skillet over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat, add the onions, garlic,tomato sauce,chile paste to skillet, cover, and cook gently for 5 minutes.

3. Add the beer, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the pan. Add the carrots and thyme. Stir and adjust seasonings. Cover and cook on low, stirring every now and then until beef is tender. I like to cook on low for at least 2 hours. I sauteed the mushrooms separately then added them in a few minutes before the stew was done.

Guinness Beef Stew


St. Patrick's Day Recipes


Eggplant Parmesan~ Berenjena Parmesano

Eggplant Parmesan or Berenjena Parmesano has only been on my menu for a few short years. Although I have lived in New York state for many, many years, I was always partial to the chicken version of this recipe. Out to dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants one night and my friend raved about their eggplant parmesan dish, so I had to try it. It was quite tasty, so I had to prepare my own version, especially with a homemade bolognese style sauce. Great thing about this recipe, besides that the eggplant was baked instead of fried, is that my husband enjoyed it as much as I did. Makes things alot easier when planning a dinner menu. We enjoyed eggplant parmesan for a few days and even stored 2 slices in the freezer for later. I do love traditional flavors of classic Italian recipes, but I also love adding my own touch when cooking at home.  

Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan


1 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus 1 cup separate
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into about 8 slices(about 1/2 inch thick)
Olive oil
5 cups of bolognese sauce or your favorite red sauce
12 fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn, optional
12 slices os Spanish chorizo from the deli, optional
Oregano , fresh or dried
2 cups shredded  mozzarella

Even when not using homemade breadcrumbs, I like to add some of my own spices to the store bought seasoned breadcrumbs. Try adding garlic powder, paprika, annatto, red pepper flakes...
Even when not using homemade breadcrumbs, I like to add some of my own spices to the store bought seasoned breadcrumbs. Try adding garlic powder, paprika, annatto, red pepper flakes…


Breaded eggplant comes out light and crispy from the oven.
Breaded eggplant comes out light and crispy from the oven.


Reheat leftovers in a dry nonstick skillet. It will crisp up without any added oils.
Reheat leftovers in a dry nonstick skillet. It will crisp up without any added oils.



1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Prepare your breading station: In one shallow dish, add the flour. In the second dish add the eggs. In the third dish, combine the bread crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, set aside. Peel and slice the eggplant. Dredge in flour, dip in egg, then cover with bread crumb mixture. Transfer to lined baking sheet. Repeat until all done with the breading. Drizzle the tops of eggplant with more olive oil.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. In a bowl, combine the mozzarella and parmesan cheese, set aside.

5. In a large baking dish, add 2 1/2 cups to the bottom and spread out evenly. Add the breaded eggplant on top of sauce.  If using deli sliced Spanish chorizo, add it on top of eggplant. Add the remaining sauce, basil, oregano and mozzarella/parmesan mix. Sprinkle with more Italian seasoning and bake for about 30 minutes. The last few minutes of baking, turn broiler onto high and cook the eggplant just until cheese browns up in spots. Never leave the broiler unattended. Yields 4  servings.


Chorizo Bolognese Sauce~Salsa Boloñesa
Chorizo Bolognese Sauce~Salsa Boloñesa. Click onto picture for sauce recipe.

*Click onto picture for sauce recipe.

Eggplant Parmesan with a deli slice of Spanish chorizo and homemade Chorizo Bolognese Sauce
Eggplant Parmesan with a deli slice of Spanish chorizo and homemade Chorizo Bolognese Sauce