Jaleo-Inspired Meatballs & Rice with Pan Con Tomate & Saffron Mayo

Jaleo-Inspired Meatballs & Rice

with Pan Con Tomate & Saffron Mayo

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

For eight weeks, we’re exploring the country’s culinary wonders right from the Blue Apron Test Kitchen! Second stop: Washington, DC. Our take on albondigas (or Spanish-style meatballs) is inspired by the vibrant tapas dishes of Jaleo, an acclaimed Spanish restaurant in DC. They’re the perfect pairing for pan con tomate––a tapas staple of toasted bread topped with garlic and bites of fresh tomato. To learn more about what inspired this dish, go to roadtrip.blueapron.com/washingtondc.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    840 Cals (est.)
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Jaleo-Inspired Meatballs & Rice with Pan Con Tomate & Saffron Mayo
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & bloom the saffron:
1 Prepare the ingredients & bloom the saffron:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the zucchini. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; using a zester, finely grate into a paste (or use the small side of a box grater). Cut the bread in half, then halve each piece horizontally. Halve the tomatoes. In a medium bowl, combine the saffron and 1 teaspoon of warm water

Form the meatballs:
2 Form the meatballs:

Line a sheet pan with foil. In a bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, spice blend, and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 tightly packed meatballs. Arrange in an even layer on one side of the sheet pan. 

Bake the meatballs & bread:
3 Bake the meatballs & bread:

Bake the meatballs 10 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully place the bread cut side up on the other side of the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven and bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is lightly browned around the edges and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the oven. 

Make the zucchini rice:
4 Make the zucchini rice:

While the meatballs bake, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in the rice, raisins, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Cook the tomatoes:
5 Cook the tomatoes:

While the rice and zucchini cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and pressing on the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), 1/4 cup of water, and remaining garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes are broken down and the liquid is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Make the saffron mayo & serve your dish:
6 Make the saffron mayo & serve your dish:

To the bowl of bloomed saffron water, add the mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. To make the pan con tomate, top the toasted bread with the cooked tomatoes; drizzle with olive oil. Serve the baked meatballs over the zucchini rice. Top with the saffron mayo. Serve with the pan con tomate on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients & bloom the saffron:
1 Prepare the ingredients & bloom the saffron:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Small dice the zucchini. Peel 2 cloves of garlic; using a zester, finely grate into a paste (or use the small side of a box grater). Cut the bread in half, then halve each piece horizontally. Halve the tomatoes. In a medium bowl, combine the saffron and 1 teaspoon of warm water

2 Form the meatballs:

Line a sheet pan with foil. In a bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, spice blend, and half the garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 12 tightly packed meatballs. Arrange in an even layer on one side of the sheet pan. 

Form the meatballs:
Bake the meatballs & bread:
3 Bake the meatballs & bread:

Bake the meatballs 10 minutes. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven. Carefully place the bread cut side up on the other side of the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven and bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is lightly browned around the edges and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from the oven. 

4 Make the zucchini rice:

While the meatballs bake, in a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in the rice, raisins, a big pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, without stirring, 14 to 16 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Turn off the heat and fluff with a fork. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Make the zucchini rice:
Cook the tomatoes:
5 Cook the tomatoes:

While the rice and zucchini cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently and pressing on the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), 1/4 cup of water, and remaining garlic paste; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes are broken down and the liquid is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

6 Make the saffron mayo & serve your dish:

To the bowl of bloomed saffron water, add the mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. To make the pan con tomate, top the toasted bread with the cooked tomatoes; drizzle with olive oil. Serve the baked meatballs over the zucchini rice. Top with the saffron mayo. Serve with the pan con tomate on the side. Enjoy!

Make the saffron mayo & serve your dish:
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