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Ramona Luevano taught me everything I know about real Mexican cooking.  She worked for me for a while and I studied her methodology  for everything I could get because she was such a good Mexican cook.   She and her husband owned a Mexican restaurant and lost it when the landlord sold the building, so she came to work for me.   I bless the day I met Mona, I learned at the knee of a true Master of Mexican cooking.  

I've included the recipes that were the favorites of our customers.  I served these dishes on a regular basis and even had guests tell me that our Mexican food was better than most of the Mexican restaurants in the area.  Now, that was a compliment I can thank Mona for, and I did, and I do.

Albondigas is a Mexican meatball stew.  It's comforting and homey and delicious and your family willAlbondigas love it.  I've scaled it down for home cooking.

You can make your own meatballs or you can cut down on your preparation time by using any of the good frozen beef or turkey meatballs you can find in the grocery stores.

Recipe By     : Mona Luevano
Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :1:00
Categories    : Casseroles                       Luncheon
                Main Dishes                      Mexican
                Soups                            Stews

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1      large         carrot -- cut in chunks
   1      large         potato --cut in chunks
   1      large         zucchini -- cut in chunks
   1      medium        chipotle pepper -- canned with Adobo sauce
   1      small         cilantro -- bunch chopped
   1      quart         diced tomato -- in juice
   1      large         onion -- chopped
   2      small         cloves garlic
   2      tablespoons   lemon juice
   2      teaspoons     cumin
   1      large         bay leaf
     1/8  teaspoon      clove -- ground
   1      tablespoon    beef base granules or paste
   1      cup           rice
   1      small         package frozen meatballs -- thawed

1. Cut carrots, potatoes and zucchini in fairly large chunks and put in a big bowl of cold water.  Set aside to use later.

2. In your blender blend till smooth the diced tomatoes with juice, onion and garlic.
3.  In your large soup pot heat a small amount of oil or manteca till hot, add blended tomato mixture and cook 10 minutes.

4.  Add cumin, bay leaves, cloves, beef base and stir till well combined.   Add rice and meatballs.  Simmer for 1/2 hour covered.   If the albondigas seems too dry, add a little water at a time.

5.  Add lemon juice.  Taste for cumin and heat.    Add reserved raw vegetables and simmer covered until vegetables are tender.  You only want enough liquid to make it a stew rather than a soup so add water if needed.

6.  Check seasonings.   Add chopped cilantro to finish.