October 16, 2006
Tried my best to resist the temptation to sleep in on this rainy Monday morning. With the onset of the cooler fall temperature, comes the inspiration to dig into my collection of forgotten recipes and attempt to revive them. This meatball soup we call "almondigas" is a favorite which we regularly cook in Manila. It's a meaty and filling soup best enjoyed on rainy and cooler seasons. Ground pork is commonly used but a combination of ground beef & pork works as well. Mixing the ground meat for the meatballs is the first step, simply seasoning it with salt & pepper. I always make sure to sprinkle a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and worcestershire sauce directly on the meat before mixing. For the binder, a very fine and delicate flour noodle we call "miswa" is usually crumbled and mixed in in place of breadcrumbs. Then the meatballs were rolled in more of the crumbled "miswa" and set aside. Step no. 2 is to saute some minced garlic, finely sliced onions, and sliced tomatoes in some olive or vegetable oil. Chicken broth is added next for the broth. Then the soup is seasoned with salt, pepper and some "kasubha", a much cheaper version of the Spanish saffron flower, commonly available in Manila. Both "miswa" and "kasubha" are sold in most Asian and Filipino markets here in the US. The meatballs were then dropped into the broth and simmered until cooked. Finally, a few more strands of the miswa were added. It takes only seconds to cook the miswa so it's best to turn off the heat after adding the miswa. Serve the almondigas steaming hot with some chopped green onions.