Spicy kick ... Meatballs in chipotle sauce.
Meatballs in chipotle sauce. Photo: William Meppen

Neil Perry

Create layers of flavour with two simple, and very different, Mexican-inspired dishes. And with nary a taco in sight.

Chipotle chillies are red jalapeños that have been smoked and dried. Adobo sauce is typically flavoured with spices such as paprika, bay leaves and oregano. The two are available together in cans at selected delis and Mexican food suppliers.

Serve the meatballs with rice, pasta or boiled potatoes, if you wish. A green salad would also be a welcome addition.

MEATBALLS IN CHIPOTLE SAUCE

300g beef mince
300g pork mince
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1 tbsp milk
extra virgin olive oil
manchego or pecorino cheese, to serve

Sauce

4 ripe tomatoes
2 cans chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, strained, plus 1 tsp of the strained sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup chicken stock

Serves 4

To make the sauce, place the tomatoes, chillies plus 1 tsp of their sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt in a blender. Add the chicken stock and process until quite smooth.

To make the meatballs, place the beef, pork, cumin, garlic, 1 tsp salt and a grind of pepper in a bowl. Mix well, then stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs and milk. To check the seasoning, cook a small amount of mixture and taste it. Form the mince mixture into small balls about the diameter of a 20-cent piece.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Add the meatballs and brown gently for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce and cook gently for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce starts to thicken. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced to about half its original volume and coats the meatballs.

To serve, spoon the meatballs onto a serving plate, and grate a little manchego or pecorino over the top.

SCALLOP CEVICHE WITH GINGER, CHILLI AND CORN

500g scallop meat
1 tbsp very finely chopped ginger
1/2 red onion, thinly chopped
juice of 4 limes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 wild green chillies, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, leaves only
1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into 5mm dice and boiled until tender
1 corn cob, kernels only
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Serves 4

Place the scallops, ginger and onion and half the lime juice in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain off the juices. Add all the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste.

Spoon the ceviche into beautiful glasses and serve.

Hot tips:

  • Any good-quality fish, prawns or lobster would be fabulous in the ceviche.
  • Or cook and shell 500g mussels or clams and use all the ingredients as a salad. It is also a cracking salad with cooked crab meat or cooked king prawns.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Cava
Cava is Spanish sparkling wine, made from the grape varieties macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada. With the scallop ceviche, pour a glass of the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava (about $50) for a crisp and refreshing match.

Correction: The quanitity of the chipotle chillies in adobo sauce has been clarified from the original version of this piece.

Source: Good Weekend.
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