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The Blue and White

Driller Dining: Albondigas


This recipe comes from my mom, Rosa. She was gracious enough to offer her secret recipe for Albondigas, the perfect hot meal for cooler temperatures….

By Rosa Espain

This meal reminds me of my mother. It is comfort food for me. My mother was orphaned at the age of 8, and she did not get to benefit from a mother’s guidance in the kitchen. Her aunt taught her how to make this meal, because it is inexpensive and can stretch to feed a large family. I grew up having this “soup” at least once or twice a week. When times were tough, I remember getting my portion with only 2 or 3 very small meatballs and lots of vegetables with corn tortillas on the side. It is as filling as you want it to be. You can add or delete vegetables that you like.

Warning: I was never taught to measure my ingredients. Measurements are approximate, and you may need to adjust to your individual tastes.

Meatball ingredients:

  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground California chili powder
  • dash of cayenne if you like it spicy
  • garlic powder or 1 minced garlic clove to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Soup ingredients:

  • Large pot ½ filled with boiling water
  • ½ small can tomato sauce (you may want to add the whole can if you like it really red)
  • 2 celery stalks cut into small crosswise sections
  • 2 to 3 carrots pealed and cut in small sections
  • ½ white onion cut in half
  • 4 red potatoes cut in half or 2 white potatoes quartered, skin on and scrubbed
  • garlic powder or 1 minced garlic clove to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs of mint (secret ingredient) add at the end

Add to boiling water – tomato sauce, celery, carrots and seasonings. Let it boil while you prepare the meat.

Mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Once mixed, make meatballs the size of golf balls and drop into soup. Bring back to gentle boil. When rice in meatball is almost cooked (about 10-15 minutes) add onion, potatoes and mint. Make sure you don’t over cook the potatoes. You may need to add a bit of water at this point depending upon the consistency that you like.

Serve with some “chile” and a stack of corn tortillas.

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About the Contributor
Mr. Espain
Mr. Espain, Adviser
When he is not pro wrestling, or saving the world from super villains, Mr. Espain is the adviser for The Blue and White and a teacher of English at Bakersfield High School. He loves his dogs, reading, music, and tacos. He can be reached at [email protected].

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  • K

    Kevin SnyderFeb 18, 2021 at 1:12 am

    This recipe sounds great! I will have to try it.