Preparing Small Bite Albóndigas For Les Dames d’Escoffier

The wonderful folks at Les Dames d’Escoffier International is holding their annual conference at the prestigious Island Hotel in #NewportBeach and tonight we have the privilege of serving up some of our finest appetizers, like our signature Albóndigas appetizers. We can’t wait to get started!

As a bit of background, Les Dames d’Escoffier International (“LDEI”) is a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The by-invitation membership, composed of over 2,300 members in 40 chapters in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality.

LDEI’s vision is to create a supportive culture in their communities to achieve excellence in the food, fine beverage and hospitality fields. Hopefully, our menu tonight can help make that vision a reality.

SOHO TACO Gourmet Taco Catering - Wedding - Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara - Coating Albondigas
Our Albóndigas are hand-rolled and coated with our signature Salsa de Chipotle.

For this evening we plan on serving several appetizers, but the one we’d like to highlight on today’s blog is our exquisite Albóndigas (or “meatballs”). This popular item always seems dazzle taste buds at weddings, special events and corporate functions. So, it made sense to introduce these hand-held delights to a conference of leaders with a refined taste for good food.

SOHO TACO Gourmet Taco Catering - Wedding - Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara - Scooping Albondigas
When they’re taken to the event site, the Albóndigas meatballs are carefully scooped onto their tray.

Let’s cover a bit about how we prepare this wonderful appetizer, but first some meatball facts:

FACT: In Spain and Hispanic America, meatballs are called albóndigas, derived from the Arabic al-bunduq (meaning hazelnut, or, by extension, a small round object). Albóndigas are thought to have originated as a Berber or Arab dish imported to Spain during the period of Muslim rule. Spanish albóndigas can be served as an appetizer or main course, often in a tomato sauce. Mexican albóndigas are commonly served in a soup with a light broth and vegetables.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

For our version of our this classic dish, we start out in the kitchen by hand-rolling high grade beef into little balls. The meat is seasoned with our special blend of herbs and spices and then we stuff each ball with a little sliver of date for an added sweet flavor to balance out the savory.

From there we take the globes of protein and roast them in the oven to not only cook out the rawness but to also give it a nice little char on the outside.

Once they’re ready, we toss them into a pot of fresh made Salsa de Chipotle to blanket the cooked globes with an added layer of flavor. Our expert chefs then transport them to the event site ready where the special event is taking place.

SOHO TACO Gourmet Taco Catering - Wedding - Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara - Placing Albondigas
The meatballs come ready-made and fully cooked, so they’re easily & quickly prepared for any occasion.

When our crew is ready to assemble the dish, they take out the hotbox containing the meatballs and scoop them out into little plastic trays. As a finishing touch, a skewer is added to for easier handling and then we top each one off with a little bit of peppery microgreens.

SOHO TACO Gourmet Taco Catering - Wedding - Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara - Complete Tray of Albondigas
This lovely tray of Albóndigas was prepared for a recent wedding that we catered in Santa Barbara CA.

Once you bite into a meatball your palate is instantly greeted with warm, deep savory beef flavors and then you encounter the slight sweetness of the date inside. The combination is a wonderful flavor spectrum that makes kicking off any festivity absolutely mouth-watering.

This is easily one of our more popular appetizers and we can’t wait to start serving them this evening. Thanks for having us LDEI and see you soon!

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