Poblano Pepper Meatballs with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Served over a Kale – Quinoa Salad

Poblano Pepper Meatballs with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Served over a Kale – Quinoa Salad Fete-a-Tete

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Prep Time
Cook Time
  • Meatballs:
  • ¼ lb. veal
  • ¾ lb. pork
  • 1 roasted medium-sized poblano pepper
  • ½ roasted red pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • ½ medium onion, diced into small cubes
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 3 slices pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp. salt and 2 grinds of pepper
  • Kale + Quinoa Salad:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup tightly packed kale leaves, blanched and roughly chopped
  • ½ roasted red pepper
  • ½ medium onion, diced into small 1/4
  • 1 tsp. cumin + ½ tsp. ancho chili powder
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Make your meatballs:

  1. Turn on the broiler to high. On a sheet pan, broil the poblano and red peppers and all ingredients to the tomatillo salsa: recipe link here.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
  3. Once peppers are charred on all sides, take out, put into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 min. Once steamed and skin is starting to come off of the flesh of the pepper, transfer to a cutting board. Scrap off the skin (it should come off pretty easily), cut in half, and de-seed. Cut into a small dice, about ¼ inch.Reserve ½ of red pepper for the salad.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients: veal, pork, poblano pepper, red peppers, ½ onion, cumin, chili powder, cooked quinoa, and cheese. Mix together and lightly season with pepper.
  5. Using your hands, mold into meatballs, but don’t pack them in too tightly. (Meatball rule to live by: the less you work your balls, the lighter and airier they will become)
  6. In a small glass baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray (like a Pyrex), line your balls up, close enough that they are touching. Drizzle with ¼ tsp. olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.

Move to the salad:

  1. Wash and tear off the kale leaves and then roughly chop.
  2. Fill a large saucepan about halfway up with water, boil and then add the kale, cooking for 6 minutes.  (Chef’s tip: blanching your kale, or cooking it slightly in boiling water and following with an ice bath, will make it less bitter).
  3. Immediately drain into a colander, running cold water over the kale to stop the cooking process. Reserve.
  4. In a medium skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and then add the onions. Sauté until translucent, 4 minutes. Add in the cumin and chili powder. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add in the cherry tomatoes and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing tomatoes to soften. Add in the kale, quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Take off heat and serve with the balls.

To serve:

  1. Top balls with the tomatillo salsa and serve over kale-quinoa salad. Serve with avocado slices and tortillas, if you want a kind of taco ball creation.

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