When you were little, did you like spicy food?
I remember that my favorite restaurant growing up was Maya’s in Santa Barbara. It had delicious mexican food, and I loved their beef flautas. It was a very special place because sometimes after an orthodonist appointment, my mom would take me there for lunch before I had to return to school. What is it about restaurants in the middle of the day when you’re a kid? They become instantly magical. Of course, I’d also choose to go to Maya’s when given the chance for a Sunday afternoon lunch. I remember the waitresses in their pretty embroidered peasant blouses and brightly colored tiered skirts, bringing out the fresh warm crispy tortilla chips and salsa. Maya’s salsa was cooked down to a deep red color and had bits of onion and pepper in it. Being the little kid, I’d try it by putting about a quarter inch of my chip into it and fanning my mouth once I had the courage to taste it. Then there was my mom. On more than a few occasions, I remember her ordering an extra dish of salsa and eating it with a spoon. She’d comment that she wasn’t as interested in the chips, so she’d have “soup” before her meal.
I think I inherited that gene for sure. It seems the older I get, the more I love spicy food. I’ve been on this jalapeño kick lately…. where I want to put jalapeños on everything, whether they should be in a food or not. Don’t worry, I haven’t put them into cookies… yet. Anyway, I’d recently won some capers from Jeff’s Naturals’ Facebook page, and when I told them how much I love their Sliced Tamed™ Jalapeños (here’s a link for my Jalapeño Cottage Pie), they sent me a couple of jars of their newest product, Diced Tamed™ Jalapeños. Last night I came up with a meal to make for Kenny and his 16 year old son, Cody, which incorporated this new diced treat. I hope you like it!
Jalapeño Meatballs1½ cups bread crumbs (I used heavy ciabatta from the bakery)
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup sliced green onions
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup drained diced jalapeños
2 pounds grass fed ground beef Preheat oven to 350°
Mix together the bread, milk, salt, & nutmeg in a large bowl; set aside.
Saute onion in butter on low, until onion is about half cooked.
Add jalapeños and stir until peppers are just heated.
Add onions/peppers to bread/milk mixture; stir well.
Add eggs and beef and stir well.
Cover 2 cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up. Using a spoon, scoop out portions to form balls about 2″ in diameter.
The mixture will be quite moist, so don’t worry if you can’t roll it into a ball.
Just barely form it, and set it down on the foil. The less you compress it, the better. Once you’ve made all the meatballs, place the trays in the oven.
After 10 minutes, switch the pans, so they cook evenly.
After 5 more minutes, turn each meatball over to brown the other side.
After another 5-10 minutes, they should be done. Serve with Jalapeño Cream Sauce.
Jalapeño Cream Sauce6 Tablespoons Butter
½ cup + 1 Tablespoon Diced Tamed Jalapeños, divided
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot Powder
¾-1 cup milk Melt butter in small saucepan on low heat.
Add ½ cup jalapeños and stir. Cook on medium till butter is bubbling.
Turn heat down to low and add in Arrowroot Powder. Stir well.
Cook until sauce thickens (2-3 minutes). Add milk and stir/whisk well for 2 minutes. Serve over Jalapeño Meatballs. Top with last Tablespoon of uncooked jalapeños.
Well there you have it. Thanks again to the nice folks at Jeff’s Naturals for these terrific Tamed Jalapeños. I love ’em! I hope this is something you’ll try soon, and I’d really love to hear what you think of my latest creation.
As always, I like to end with something good for a giggle, and this one is for Kenny, who does a great Swedish Chef impression. 🙂