These baked homemade chorizo meatballs are packed with flavor from spices, slivered almonds and sweet golden raisins and get dropped in homemade masa cups for a fantastic appetizer or snack.
I was pondering on making my Empanadas Mendocinas and because I had recently made fresh masa decided on something smaller, almost appetizer-ish if that is a word. Empanadas Mendocinas are a traditional Argentinean baked empanada filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives.
I thought about using the picadillo from them in a dish and then thought of making some chorizo. So one thing led to another and I thought I would make a spiced ground pork meatball and wrap them in the cilantro masa I made and deep fry them. A crunchy on the outside, rich and yummy on the inside type snack dinner thing. This is my brain at work in the kitchen. One thing always leads to another. I decided on baking instead of frying, and that’s how these Homemade Chorizo Meatballs in Cilantro Masa Cups came about.
The meat filling isn’t necessarily a picadillo, or a chorizo per se, but my own concoction of spiced, ground pork laden with slivered almonds and golden raisins and formed into meatballs. Then nestled into fresh baked cilantro masa cups… Oh my, let’s get started!
I divided my homemade cilantro masa into 12 muffin cups that I had sprayed with cooking oil. I used my baking stone muffin pan. If you haven’t ever used baking stones these are wonderful and the cleanup is super easy like after using a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Highly recommend them.
Using fingers or a wooden ball tool as shown, form a bowl in each muffin cup. I used the ball tool and pressed down into the dough and moved the tool in a circular motion, pressing as I went and the dough moved up the sides of the muffin cup nicely.
I then baked them for 10 minutes at 400° and started mixing my chorizo.
In a bowl mix the ground pork, Panko breadcrumbs, egg, chicken stock, Smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, Mexican oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, golden raisins and slivered almonds. I work the meat mixture together wearing latex gloves as this gets red and a little messy. I squeezed a bit of achiote oil in for good measure, too.
When the masa cups are done, remove from the oven and start forming the meatballs. Allow masa cups to cool slightly.
Place the chorizo meatball into each masa muffin cup and bake for 18 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
I baked the masa cups first because I didn’t want them to steam as much as get a little crisp. I figured the fat from the chorizo meatballs would keep them moist and not completely dry out.
The smell of the spices and wonderful pork, corn and raisins waft through the kitchen.
Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and serve with salsa.
These were perfect little appetizers. Crunchy corn and cilantro cups encasing a beautifully spiced meatball filled with slivered almonds and golden raisins to counterbalance the heat.
I just served these with shredded sharp cheddar on top and a dab of our favorite salsa for a quick meal and a Matchstick Apple and Celery Salad as the side.
You won’t be disappointed, these are tender and spicy meatballs.
They deliver on flavor and are the perfect handheld appetizer. One right after the other. Enjoy!
Homemade Chorizo Meatballs in Cilantro Masa Cups
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp Smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- batch of homemade cilantro masa
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Divide the masa into 12 muffin cups that have sprayed with cooking oil.
- Using fingers or a wooden ball tool as shown, form a bowl in each muffin cup. I used the ball tool and pressed down into the dough and moved the tool in a circular motion, pressing as I went and the dough moved up the sides of the muffin cup nicely. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and start forming the meatballs.
- In a bowl mix the ground pork, Panko breadcrumbs, egg, chicken stock, Smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, Mexican oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, golden raisins and slivered almonds.
- Form into meatballs and place one inside each baked masa cup.
- Bake for 18 minutes and remove from oven. Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and serve with salsa.