Are you tired of the same old meals? Would you like to surprise your family or friends with a little Latin flair? Then bring out the crockpot or slow cooker and try this recipe for Latin-Style Meatball Soup. Don't let them call you a dull cook! If you want something more traditional but with a different twist, try the Round Steak Pot "Roast."
LATIN-STYLE MEATBALL SOUP
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb ground lean beef
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 large egg
4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15-oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14 1/2-oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Set aside 3/4 cup of the chopped onion.
In a large bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, remaining onion, egg, 3 teaspoons chili powder, cumin, and salt to mix well. Form the beef mixture into approximately 30 meatballs. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
While meatballs bake, combine the reserved onion, bell pepper, corn, broth, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and the last teaspoon of chili powder in the crockpot or slow cooker. Stir in the meatballs, cover, and cook 4 to 6 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
Approximately 20 minutes before serving time, add the zucchini to the pot. Cover and cook until tender.
Serve with the lime wedges.
ROUND STEAK POT ROAST
1 (1 1/2 lb) bottom round steak
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp olive or canola oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups beef broth
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 large carrots, sliced into chunks
2 stalks celery, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
8 thyme sprigs, tied together
1 bay leaf
1 lb small red potatoes, halved
Turn heat on in a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker or crockpot.
Sprinkle the beef with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add beef. Cook until browned, approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and put in the slow cooker or crockpot. Add the onions and garlic to the beef.
Put half the beef broth in the skillet with the tomato paste. Whisk constantly while bringing to a boil; cook about a minute. Pour the mixture into the cooker over the beef. Add the remaining broth, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Press the potatoes down into the mixture, cut sides down.
Cover the pot and cook at high setting for 5 to 6 hours or on low setting for 10 to 12 hours.
Yield: 6 servings