Thursday, October 4, 2012

Meatballs with Romesco Sauce

If you read the post about the shrimp on flat bread with Romesco sauce, you know that I had a dish I liked and wanted to recreate and improve upon.  I am feeling like the flu is having its way with me.  It involves aches, exhaustion and the occasional coughing bout.  My darling husband offered to wing a meatball recipe and I made the sauce.  Like a real life version of chopped, he had a refrigerator of ingredients to use and he made a really fine meatball out of them.  The Romesco sauce was a "smoked" version that went on a tuna steak.  I thought it would be a nice take on it.  I didn't think much could live up to the sauce we made for the shrimp, but I wanted tomato too as it was needing to be a runnier sauce to go over the meatballs.  Turns out that all the smoked almonds were eaten so I used plain salted.  I am interested to try the smoked version, but his sauce was pretty kick a$$ if I do say so myself.  The meatballs were amazing.  We were surprised to note that he could have used even more of the collards in it and it would be just as good.  Issues?  Well the sauce was more like pasta sauce. (and I wanted that for the meatballs instead of the paste we had for the other Romesco sauce)  I do think it might have been a tad runny, but the instructions didn't say drain the tomatoes, and I don't think I will next time either, but the consistency was very different from the first one and one can't help but compare them.  The boys both loved dinner.  My husband said he thought he preferred the first sauce, but it didn't stop him from having seconds and eating what I couldn't on my plate;). 

Meatballs With Romesco Sauce

For The Meatballs:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
3/4 Cup Collard Greens, Finely Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
4 Strips Bacon (chopped)
1/2 Lb Ground Pork
1.5 Lb Ground Beef
1 Tbsp Fresh Oregano (or one tsp dry)
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (or more as needed)
Salt and Pepper

For the Sauce:
1/4 c  plus 2 tablespoons smoked almonds (I used salted)
1 Three inch piece of baguette,cubed
1    garlic clove
1 c  canned diced tomatoes (oh heck, I used the whole 15 oz can and didn't drain.  Just realized it      was a cup only!)
2    roasted red bell peppers from a jar,drained (I roasted 2 extra when making the other sauce)
2 T  sherry vinegar
1/4 t  pimentón de la Vera (I used smoked paprika)
1/2 c  extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Pre heat oven to 400

Saute the onion in the olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat, add the greens to the onions and cook 3 more minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Remove from heat and cool.

Chop the bacon and cook until crispy

In a large bowl, combine the onion mixture with the egg, parm, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and bacon.  Mix together.  Add the meats and combine by hand, taking care to only mix enough to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Weigh out 1.5 oz portions of the meat.  Roll the portions in to balls.  Put the panko in a bowl.  Roll each meatball in the panko until coated.  Put each meatball in the cup of a mini muffin tin. (or on a baking sheet if you don't have some)

Bake 20 minutes or until done

Meanwhile, for the sauce:

In a food processor, coarsely chop the almonds, bread cubes and
garlic. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, sherry vinegar and
pimentn and puree until smooth. With the machine on, gradually add the
oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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