Thursday, December 13, 2007

Abondigas / La Talpa

Out in the lawless, desolate wilds of west Los Angeles, there once stood is an old Mexican restaurant/bar called La Talpa. Ok so it's still there (11751 W Pico Blvd), between Bundy and Barrington. My folks used to take me there when I was little, and it set firmly in my heart (and arteries) a loving place for greasy cantina food. You know, tons of melted cheese, beans with lard, salty hard-shelled tacos, lots of red sauce, guacamole galore.
I remembered a lot of details about the place even before I revisited La Talpa several years ago (it was still as good). It's dark and hot, there's a neon green cactus outside (although I think that actually belongs to the Mexican restaurant next door), stained glass windows... and best of all, a huge mural taking up the whole wall next to the bar of an airplane flying over Mexico with a humongous Corona bottle in tow on a rope.
I never had a corona there, I was young enough where the orange crush in a glass bottle I'd get every time was the best thing about the place. This was before I knew about things like shady characters, health violations, high blood pressure and heart burn.
La Talpa is also where I fell in love with Abondigas soup. The corn cob pieces were my favorite, because they soaked up the soup like bread once you finished the kernels. Anyway this is not La Talpa's recipe, I just made it up an hour ago.

Broth:
64 oz chicken broth (or 2 boxes)
1 diced potato
1 diced carrot
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 corn cob, cut into 2" sections
2 bay leaves
1 Tbl California chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste

Meatballs
2 lbs ground pork
other half of the yellow onion, minced
2 eggs
1 cup cooked rice
small handful of cilantro
2 tsp pureed chipotles*
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
dash black pepper

Boil broth til potatoes are done. I left the carrots out til a few minutes before it was done so that they'd be crunchy. And the corn too.
Throw the meatballs in and cook maybe 10 minutes or until they are done.

*I take a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, add 1 Tbl vegetable oil, and a little water. Blend til I have a sauce, keep it in the fridge in a squeeze bottle**. It's awesome. Great for marinades and tacos too.

**squeeze bottles from Dharma Trading Company are my best friends in the kitchen, besides beers. Searched high and low for months in all the cookware shops and grocery stores before I found Dharma. I use them for resins and chemicals in the studio too.
http://www.dharmatrading.com

1 comment:

Willow said...

yum! sounds like mexicali rose in Oakland - delicious and sleazy!