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Chipotle Appetizer Meatballs

1 md Onion; chopped
4 Garlic cloves; chopped
1 tb Vegetable oil
1 c Tomato sauce
2 c Beef broth
1/4 c Chipotles en adobo along with the sauce; stems removed

1 lb Ground beef
1 lb Ground pork
1/2 c Finely chopped onion
1/4 c Finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c Bread crumbs
1 Egg; beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Chopped fresh cilantro

These spicy meatballs are a wonderful appetizer and, when served in a chafing dish, will hold for a long time. Simple to prepare, they can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving.

To make the sauce, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until they are lightly browned. Add the tomato sauce, broth, and the chipotles in adobo sauce. Heat the mixture to just under boiling and simmer for 20 minutes. Place the sauce in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

To make the meatballs, combine the beef, pork, onion, cilantro, bread crumbs, egg, and season with salt and pepper. Gently mix, then form into small meatballs. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the oil in a heavy saucepan and brown the meatballs. Remove and drain.

Return the sauce to the pan, add the meatballs and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to finish cooking the meat.

To serve: place in a chafing dish, garnish with the cilantro and serve accompanied with toothpicks.

Yield: 8 servings as an appetizer

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