29 April 2012

Diana Kennedy Game Changing Albóndigas in Tomato and Chipotle Sauce Paired with Stewed White Beans with Allspice and Clove

 Albóndigas in Tomato and Chipotle Sauce Paired
 with Stewed White Beans with Allspice and Clove

"Diana Kennedy's home in Michoacan, Mexico, sits at the end of a long dirt road that can only be accessed by pickup or four-wheel drive. Heavy rains have turned her rambling gardens into a swath of jungle dense with ingredients: apricot and fig trees; chayote vines from Veracruz, Mexico; and a thatch of weeds underfoot that's thick with herbs."

I feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland scurrying along on an endless road crying, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date." Since our group began this journey of chronicling recipes from the Gourmet Live's list of 50 Women Game Changers back in June I have  posted every Friday without fail.

I almost never apologize for the lack of posts here on these pages or being late in posting since I know you understand and can relate. Sometimes life really does get in the way of the good stuff, but, as my excuse driving to Seattle for a whirlwind foodie adventure and staying with my friends and fellow foodies Don and Kathy of Sortachef, visiting my daughter on the coast, braving the mountains for the 5 hour drive each way, and arriving back in town just to head to the office to try and catch up on the never ending work had left me tired and empty just at the mere thought of entering my kitchen. I was spoiled with delicious meals that I felt could not be duplicated in my own kitchen from restaurants like Ethan Stowell's Staple and Fancy to the Chez Bullhog household.

I find myself a few days behind, but in true MTBT fashion life will not defeat me and I head to the kitchen today in-between cleaning my home that I kindly refer to as the"pig sty" and heading to my newly acquired 16 x 8 foot plot in our neighbourhood community garden. So late, but not forgotten, I bring you Diana Kennedy.....

For those who are not familiar with this culinary icon,  Diana Kennedy is to Mexico what Julia Child is to France. The wife of a correspondent for the New York Times, she lived in Mexico for many years, collecting a huge compilation of traditional recipes from every nook and cranny of Mexico, an undertaking which vaulted her to the Order of the Aztec Eagle, an honour the Mexican government reserves for foreigners who give great service to the country. Originally from Britain, Kennedy moved to Mexico in 1957, and she has been traveling the country in search of recipes, new dishes and the perfect tamale ever since.

Being a food anthropologist she isn't just cooking to create a meal, she's cooking to preserve and document dishes from remote parts of Mexico that are usually made entirely with local ingredients. Many of the recipes in her books are so authentic, you would be hard-pressed to readily duplicate them in your kitchen, but it would be a fun to try anyway.

Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty on the list of 50 Women Game Changers and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire with a group of dedicated ladies. There have even been a few successful bloggers on "the list". We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June 2011 invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. 

What have we been up to with our 45th Game Changer......

Mary of One Perfect Bite - Camarones en Pipian
Val of More Than Burnt Toast -Albóndigas in Tomato and Chipotle Sauce Paired
 with Stewed White Beans with Allspice and Clove
Susan of The Spice Garden - Albondigas de Jalisco
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed 
Heather of Girlichef - Chipotles in Adobo
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Guacamole with Pear and Pomegranate Seeds 
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Chicken in Garlic Chile Sauce Tacos
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me - Torta de Cielo (Almond Sponge Cake)
Linda of There and Back Again - Flan
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Cajeta de Pina Y Platano
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Whole Grain Mexican Rice
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Carnitas
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook - Meatballs in a Chipotle Tomato Sauce
Alyce of More Time at The Table - Fresh Salsa Mexicana from Jerez
Amrita of Beetle's Kitchen Escapades - Pork Stew in Rich Chile Sauce
Martha at Simple Nourished Living - Fresh Salsa Mexican from Jerez
Jill at Saucy Cooks - Meatballs in Tomato Chipotle Sauce
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink - Pork Roast Pibil

Living in a vast Mexican ingredient wasteland we call the Okanagan Valley I opted to keep it simple and recreate a recipe with ingredients easily found here in the valley, although I was able to top my meatballs with some authentic con queso cheese I found at Pike Place Market in Seattle over the weekend. The spicy meatballs and flavourful tomato infused beans were the perfect marriage to celebrate Mexican cuisine.

**Albóndigas in Tomato and Chipotle Sauce**
 a recipe from Mexico Cooks based on a recipe from Diana Kennedy


1 1/5 tablespoons long-grain white rice
Boiling water to cover
3/4 lb ground pork
3/4 lb ground beef
2 small zucchini squash (about 6 ounces)
2 eggs
1/4 scant teaspoon dried oregano
4 good-sized sprigs fresh mint (preferably) OR 1 tsp dried mint
1 chile serrano, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 scant teaspoon cumin seeds OR ground cumin
1/3 medium white onion, roughly chopped

Preparing the meatballs

Place the rice in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Set it aside to soak.

While the rice is soaking, place the eggs, spices, Serrano, and onion in a blender bowl and pulse to make a semi-smooth slurry.

Place the meats in a deep bowl, add the diced zucchini, and mix together with your hands.

Pour the egg mixture over the meat, drain the rice and add it to the mix.

Smush everything together and form meatballs that are about 1 ½ inch in diameter.

Set them on a plate and refrigerate while you make the braising sauce. 

Sauce and finish

2 pounds tomatoes
2 to 4 chipotle chiles en adobo, more or less to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken broth

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and place them in the boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the tomatoes and cool for a few minutes.

Process the tomatoes and chipotle chiles in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the tomato sauce. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth. When the sauce comes back to a simmer, add the meatballs.

Cover the pan and simmer the meatballs over low heat until they are cooked through, about 50 minutes. Adjust the seasoning by tasting and adding salt just before the end of the cooking time. This dish can be prepared a day ahead or can be frozen and reheated.

The single recipe serves eight.

**Diana Kennedy's Stewed White Beans with Allspice and Clove*

12 ounces (350 g) small white beans, picked over and rinsed
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
½ small head garlic, halved horizontally, unpeeled
Salt to taste
2 cloves, crushed
2 allspice, crushed
1 teaspoon dried Oaxacan oregano leaves or ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)
½ medium white onion, thinly sliced
6 ounces (165 g) tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 large sprigs flat-leaved parsley, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Additional chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Put the beans into a large pot with the white onion, half head garlic and salt to taste. Cover well with water (I used enough water to raise the level by 2 inches) and cook, covered, over a medium flame until they are tender but not too soft, about 2-1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Check the water level several times while cooking and add more water as necessary (between 2 and 3 cups). The beans should be very brothy.

2. Using a mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder, grind together the spices and the oregano.

3. Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion and garlic, with the spices, until translucent.

4. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until the mixture has reduced and seasoned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of the beans and mash well to thicken the mixture a little. Add the beans with their broth and the parsley and cook, uncovered, over a low heat until all the flavors have blended, about 25 minutes. Adjust the salt: you’ll probably add more than you expect, as the beans seem to drink up seasonings.

5. Serve warm, sprinkled with a little chopped parsley if desired.

Serves 6


You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Dear Val my son would be crazy with these albondigas con tomate he really love it when I made something with tomato sauce they go to the fridge or other for more sauce ! really me not but this look yumm!

  2. Adibongas are so scrumptious. What a great recipe. So mouthwatering!



  3. I love that you used her wonderful white bean recipe for this. I wish I had thought of that! (Next time!) They look scrumptious and a fitting reward for driving in the mountains! What a trip you had!

  4. Gosh Val - you are amazing to even contemplate cooking something like this after a busy time like you describe!! Thank you so much for this recipe, it sounds delicious and just my cup of tea :)).

  5. There is a long cooking time for the beans Claudia but I found that this dish practically made itself!!

  6. So many flavors going on here, Val,. I dont know where to start!
    A surprise to find cloves and allspice in the beans. I'd love that combo. Altogether a great plate of food...lots of heat if you want it.
    Sounds like you had wonderful trip with your foodie friends. Nobody minds if you're late posting...it's so worth the wait!
    You found a nifty photo of Diana.

  7. Both these dishes sound delicious and I find the beans especially appealing. It sounds like you had a great time while away from the daily grind. I hope you get to enjoy the little bit that is left of the weekend. Blessings...Mary

  8. Val,

    Your albondigas and white bean dishes look and sound divine. Don't you just love the simplicity of this cooking! Thanks for taking the time from your busy schedule to share them with us.

  9. Welcome back, Val...it sounds like you had a great trip! And these albondigas sound so delicious...my mouth is watering. :D

  10. Love the pairing of this Albondigas with spiced Stewed White Beans. I know what you mean, things can get crazy!

  11. You should NEVER apologize for a late post when it means you've been living your life! This tomato-chipotle sauce sounds to die for!

  12. Her life sounds like quite the adventure!

  13. Diana Kennedy is an impressive woman and you did an impressive job on this dish. What's not to love about meatballs and white beans?!

    I hope you'll be posting some of your Seattle-other coast adventures.

  14. It makes no difference that it's late when it looks so delicious! It's so nice that you had such a fun time - sounds like you packed in ton in a few short days!

  15. A perfect meal with this combination of ingredients; slow down a bit.
    Love coming to read you.

  16. You are such an amazingly prolific blogger that I wouldnever fault you for a lagging post or two. I'm amazed at what you do.

    Love those meatballs. Interesting ingredients happening there. I also ADORE chipotle. Random fact - when my nephew was born he was such a plump round little thing that my nickname for him was Albondigacito - Little Meatball.

  17. What a wonderful adventure you must have had! And this meal? Amazing! I always come away from your blog hungry for whatever I see here. :)

  18. I have never heard of this lady, but I sure like the sounds of those stewed beans. I love real Mexican cooking and would like very much to learn more from her. :-)

  19. This dish would make my entire family happy!

  20. You hit the albondiga out of the park my dear...what a combo...

  21. interesting spices! this dish has a taste of everything that delights my taste buds. :)

  22. Fantastic - I love the look of these.

  23. Val...I love being quoted, and I love it when others love my articles and recipes (including this one, adapted from Diana Kennedy's)--but I only really love it when I'm given credit for my work. Some of your post is lifted word-for-word from my August 27, 2011 article:

    You owe me and your readers an apology for plagiarism and you owe me a link to Mexico Cooks!.

    1. Hey Mexico Cooks. I posted this recipe as part of a group I belonged to for a year in regards to The 50 Women Game Changers as noted by Gourmet. The subject was Diana Kennedy. I simply searched the internet for a recipe. I did not realize that this recipe was adapted from hers so have added the appropriate link to your site. I hope this is sufficient. If not I can certainly take it down..although the recipe was delicious I might add.

  24. Thank you for adding the link to Mexico Cooks!--that's all I ever want, when others use my material. By the way, this is not a recipe for albóndigas in tomato and chipotle sauce. You might notice that there is no chile chipotle in the recipe. This recipe is different; it's for albóndigas estilo Jalisco (Jalisco style). You might want to change the title.

    Thanks again for adding the link, I really appreciate it. All the best to you!


    1. Duly noted and appreciated Cristina. I would never consider myself an expert on the cuisine of Mexico. There are however chipotles in the sauce so I will leave it at that. Tomorrow I will be heading to the Mayan Riviera for my daughters wedding. I have looked into cooking schools and there are several in the Playa del Carmen area. If I had more time I would head to Merida and to Los Dos for a few days to immerse myself in Yucatan cooking. There is a class in Puerto Moreles next Friday but even though I have a love of learning I do not want to spend my last day inside. If only they had a class on Wednesday!!! Such a short period of time to discover all that I want. I will have to return with my local foodie inspired friends and delve more into the cuisine at another time. I love to explore the food of different countries as much as possible.


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