SXSW party preview: Queso Fundido Taquitos and Albondigas Subs from Food Network star Rachael Ray
The Mr and Mrs T and Rachael Ray's Feedback Festival has always featured great bands and a Texas-inspired menu, and this year, she's debuting four new dishes that are, say it with me now, "yum-o!" Can't make the party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Stubb's? The organizers behind the Food Network star's appearance agreed to give us a preview of what she'll be cooking. Here are recipes for two of the dishes she'll be serving: Queso Fundido Taquitos and Albondigas Subs.
Queso Fundido Taquitos
4 Tbsp. EVOO, divided (This is Ray's now nearly universally understood slang for extra virgin olive oil)
3/4 lb. button mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups soft Mexican cheese or Monterey Jack, shredded
8 4- to 6-inch flour or corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.
Add the remaining two turns of the pan of EVOO to the pan and add the onion and poblano pepper. Cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to the pan, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
Place a couple Tbsp. of the mixture in each tortilla and roll up to make a taquito. Place the rolled taquitos seam-side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Serve with Creamy Ancho Pepper Salsa alongside (recipe below). Makes 8 taquitos.
Creamy Ancho Pepper Salsa
2 ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bulb roasted garlic, cloves squeezed from skins
1 15-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a small saucepot over medium-low heat, simmer peppers in stock for 15 minutes. Strain, reserving some of the liquid.
To a food processor or blender, add the ancho chile peppers, roasted garlic cloves, and tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Purée for 1 minute until very smooth. Pour into a bowl, stir in the cream, adjust seasoning and serve. Makes approximately 3 cups.
Albondigas Subs (Spicy Spanish Meatball Subs)
For the warm, fire-roasted salsa:
2 medium poblano peppers or 4 large jalapeño peppers
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
3 to 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped Salt and pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano, about 1/3 palmful
1/2 cup lager beer (such as Corona) or white wine
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 28-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
Juice of 1 lime
For the meatballs (albondigas):
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 lb. ground pork
Salt and coarse black pepper
1 Tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
3 Tbsp. grated onion
A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 to 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, a generous handful
1/3 lb. Spanish chorizo, casing removed and coarsely chopped
EVOO, for drizzling
4 crusty sub rolls or 6-inch pieces of French bread, split open or 12 small crusty dinner rolls, split (for sliders)
Toppings and garnish suggestions:
Chopped hot pickled vegetables or pickled pepper rings
Sliced or chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
Cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
Thinly sliced or chopped scallions
Shredded Manchego cheese or queso fresco crumbles
Preheat broiler. For the salsa: Halve peppers and seed them. Place skin-side up on a baking sheet and blacken under broiler with oven door ajar to let steam escape. Or, char over an open flame on a stove top burner. Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel and chop peppers. Switch oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 2 Tbsp. EVOO in medium saucepot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, season with salt, pepper and oregano, and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer or wine. Add chopped roasted peppers, tomato sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes, heat through and reduce heat to low to keep warm. Just before serving, stir in Tabasco sauce and lime juice. For the meatballs: Toast nuts in a small pan over medium heat until golden in color and fragrant. Process them in a food processor into fine crumbs, reserve, wipe out bowl and return it to the base.
Place pork in a mixing bowl and season with salt, lots of black pepper and paprika. Add garlic to pork then grate the onion directly over the bowl to collect the juice from onion as you grate it. Add parsley, egg yolk, breadcrumbs and the reserved ground-up nuts. Place chorizo in food processor and grind into a very fine chop. Add chorizo to pork and mix well to combine ingredients evenly. Drizzle liberally with EVOO.
Score the meat into 4 pieces and from each section form 6 small meatballs. Arrange the balls on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet as you roll them. Roast 12-15 minutes until deep golden brown. Serve meatballs in sub rolls topped with the salsa and your garnishes of choice. Makes four entrée-size servings of 6 meatballs per sandwich or 12 sliders of 2 meatballs each.
— Rachael Ray