Recipe Testing Albondigas, a Dog’s Favorite Dish
My family has always had a soft spot for scruffy brown terriers. And as fate would have it, scruffy brown terriers have a taste for Mexican food.
My grandparents once had a wire-haired pup named Canela, that looked very much like my own Bolillo. Every morning Canela would hit the pavement to rummage through the neighborhood trash cans and to steal the neighborhood kids’ toys. She’d return home for lunch, a belly rub and a nap under my grandma’s fruit trees then she’d be off again for an afternoon stroll. She had a home but lived for her street dog ways.
One afternoon as Canela napped under the shade of the biggest apple tree, my Nina (godmother) opened the wrought iron door of my grandparent’s brick and adobe house. The rich aroma of broth, mint and meatballs wafted from inside the house and coaxed Canela from her sleep. My Nina, who was on her way to a funeral reception, opened her car door, placed a huge pot of Albondigas on the passenger seat and darted back into the house to get her coat or keys or something else she had forgotten, I imagine.
When she returned, not more than two minutes later, the pot was in the gravel and the Albondigas were gone! Lucky for me my Bolillo is not so brave, so for his obedience I reward his manners and begging eyes with a meatball treat every time I make Albondigas.
There are a million and one ways to make Albondigas. Every abuela, cocinera and chef has their own, most traditional, way. I am still recipe testing my version. The first batch I made yesterday was homey, slightly spicy and comforting – everything albondigas should be – but I’m still diligently crafting just the right recipe. I’m making another batch tonight, based off of Zarela’s recipe, and will share it soon!
Do you have suggestions for ingredients should I use in the batch I’m making tonight? Mint or no? Rice or masa in the meatballs?