May 2021 Taco Tuesday: Mini Albondigas Street Tacos with a Roasted Corn Salsa & a Lime Crema Drizzle
When you combine the idea of an Italian meatball, but you make it mini and toss in Mexican flavors instead, something magical happens....Mini Albondigas are born! They are so cute and packed with fantastic flavors. You can easily serve them as an appetizer with a toothpick, but I like to enjoy them wrapped in a soft little tortilla just like these. All you need to do is place them on a street taco tortilla, top them with my crunchy and sweet yet spicy salsa and drizzle with some tangy lime crema and you will instantly understand why these make for a oh so wonderful and unique taco experience.
Right before I created this recipe I recently made mini italian meatballs for my Grown Up Spaghettio’s dish. When brainstorming ideas for my May Taco Tuesday, it just clicked. I knew I had to recreate those adorable mini army of meatballs, but make them Mexican, make them saucy and wrap them in a soft tortilla instead of serving them with pasta noodles. I am sure when you think of a taco, albondigas are not the first thing that come to your mind. But, once you give these a try you won’t understand how you lived your life without them before!
If you are a corn lover, raise your hand! Yeah, that’s me. Big corn fan over here. For some reason I absolutely love corn even though I know the nutritional value is little to none. I have a deep love for its bright yellow color, its sweet taste and crunchy texture. I will always say yes to corn. So, since I have a great appreciate for this vegetable, I wanted to show it off for this months taco Tuesday. They may or may not need a little loving, plus it adds some nice bright freshness to the dish. I roasted/charred them on the grill along with three types of peppers, so this beautiful salsa has a sweet, yet spicy finish.
Eating street tacos is a favorite past time of mine. It makes me think of those times, pre-COVID when I would attend festivals, concerts or similar events with amazing food trucks and tents where I could enjoy a little taste of everything. Street tacos were so enjoyable due to the elimination of lettuce, tomato and cheese. You really got to taste and savor the flavors of the protein, fresh vegetables from the salsa and herbs. Not to mention the corn tortillas. There was always so much flavor packed in one little taco, it was amazing! These random thoughts of mine is what inspired the street tacos this month.
Now, there are a few types of street taco tortillas. Okay, not a few, there are only 2: corn or flour. Traditional street tacos are served on corn tortillas. I tried this dish with both and I must say they are a lot better in the flour tortilla. But, that could be a preference because I don’t love corn tortillas. I love corn, but not when they are in tortilla form. I love a soft pillow-y tortilla that just hugs all of the ingredients on the inside. As opposed to the corn tortilla that soaks up all of the sauce and juices and in turn crumbles and falls apart. So, take my recommendation and go with the flour even though corn is pictured OR try them both and let me know what you think! See the clickable links below for the two tortillas I tried.
Did you make this? If so, tag @prettyplatebymichelle on instagram or leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!
INGREDIENTS: For the Greek Yogurt Lime Crema
1 Cup greek yogurt, 5% milk fat
1 Cup heavy cream
Fresh lime juice from 1 lime
Lime zest from one lime
1/4 TSP salt
Mix all ingredients in one bowl and whisk together until smooth. Place on the counter for 3-4 hours at room temperature to thicken. Once thickened place in the fridge until ready to serve with tacos.
Serves 5+, INGREDIENTS: For the Roasted Corn and Pepper Salsa
8 Ears of corn, grilled/roasted
1 Red bell pepper, diced
1 Jalapeño, grilled/roasted and finely minced
1 Fresno pepper, grilled/roasted and finely minced
1/2 Red onion, finely minced
1/4 Cup cilantro
4 TBSP apple cider vinegar
7-8 TBSP Fresh lime juice
1/4 TSP chili powder
1/4 TSP cumin
1/4 TSP black pepper
1 TSP salt
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. While it is heating up, place your corn in a bowl or bag and drizzle with olive oil. When your grill is ready bring out your corn on the cob, jalapeños peppers and fresno peppers. Grill jalapeños and fresno peppers at 300-350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until nicely charred. NOTE: They shouldn’t be too soft and the skin shouldn’t be peeling off, you still want them to be a little firm. Grill corn at 300-350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until charred on all sides and corn is bright yellow. When done, remove from heat, turn grill off and bring inside.
While your corn is cooling, dice your red bell pepper, place in a bowl and set aside. Finely mince your red onion, place in a bowl and set aside.
Finely chop your cilantro, measure out and set aside.
When your corn and peppers have cooled, cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl and set aside.
Finely chop both of your peppers and place them both in the same bowl with seeds and all. Mix the two peppers together.
Add your prepared red bell peppers, red onion, cilantro and only 1 TBSP of your mixed jalapeno and fresno pepper mixture. NOTE: start with 1 TBSP of the spicy pepper mix and add as you go to adjust the spice level to your liking.
Pour in lime juice and apple cider vinegar. Then, add all of your seasonings: salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder.
Mix everything together. Place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before serving with tacos or enjoying on its own with chips.
Makes about 87 mini meatballs, INGREDIENTS: For the Mini Albondigas
1 Lb. ground beef
1 Lb. ground pork
1/2 White onion finely minced
3 Large fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
2 TBSP poblano pepper, minced
1/2 Cup crushed white corn chips
1/3 Cup milk, 2% reduced fat milk
1/4 Cup cilantro leaves, finely minced
1/4 TSP pepper
1/2 TSP salt
Prepare a baking sheet with foil and non-stick spray. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Crush your white corn tortilla chips and measure out 1/2 cup, then place in a bowl. Pour your milk into the bowl of chips and let the chips completely soak into the milk. About 10 minutes. This will act as your “bread crumbs”
Finely mince your white onion, place in a bowl and set aside.
Chop your garlic and place in another bowl and set aside.
Finely mince your poblano pepper, place in a bowl and set aside.
Finely mince your fresh cilantro leaves and set aside.
Once your are done prepping, place your ground meats into a bowl and add all other ingredients including: soaked chips, white onion, garlic, poblano pepper, cilantro, eggs, pepper and salt.
Using your hands, mix everything together well by mashing and folding.
Once meatball mixture is mixed well, using a 1 TSP measuring spoon, scoop some of the mixture out of the bowl and using your hands, form into mini Mexican meatballs and place them on your prepared baking sheet. Continue this process until all meat mixture is used up.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
When done remove from oven and place in the chili tomato sauce to coat. Serve with tacos.
INGREDIENTS: For the Chili Tomato Sauce
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 Yellow onion, finely minced
2 Cups kettle and fire chipotle beef broth
1/4 Cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, peppers chopped and 4 TBSP sauce reserved from the can
5 Fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 15 Oz. can can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 6 Oz. can tomato paste
Finely mince your fresh garlic cloves and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Finely mince your yellow onion, place in a bowl and set aside.
Finely chop your peppers in adobo sauce and reserve the sauce in the can.
Heat a pot over medium heat and add 2 TBSP olive oil. Once hot add your minced garlic and yellow onion.
Sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and onions are translucent.
Add all other remaining ingredients and mix together using a spoon. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat to low and simmer. Add all of your cooked meatballs and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
When done, assemble tacos. Serve right away and store any leftovers for later.
PRETTY PLATE KITCHEN ITEMS USED: