4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ fresh jalapeno, 1 ½ tablespoons minced
1 bunch scallions, whites only diced, ½ cup (save tops for garnish)
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (*Note: You’ll need additional cans – see below in the Other Ingredients section) or make our Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe
½ cup yellow corn meal
¼ cup whole milk
½ cup plain bread crumbs
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 cups cooked white rice
2 10-ounce cans red enchilada sauce
4 ounces diced green chiles
2 cups Monterey Jack, shredded
Scallion tops, diced for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium saute pan, place olive oil, jalapeno, scallion whites, and garlic and saute over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the scallions and jalapeno start to soften.
Add 10 ounces of enchilada sauce and increase heat to medium high and bring to a quick boil.
Remove from heat and stir in the corn meal. Cover the pan and let sit off heat for five minutes.
Remove cover after five minutes and stir in milk and bread crumbs then pour onto a plate or small pan and refrigerate to cool slightly. The mixture will be thick and pasty.
While that mixture is cooling, in a large bowl place ground beef, cilantro, eggs, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and the one cup of finely grated Monterey Jack cheese.
Add the cooled corn meal mixture and mix to combine.
Line a sheet tray with parchment and using a one-ounce scoop, scoop out 32 balls onto your counter or cutting board, dipping the scoop in water every so often to help the meatballs slide out.
Wet your hands and roll the 32 balls and place on the prepared sheet tray and bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through.
While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the four cups of cooked rice.
Leave the oven at 375 degrees F and place the cooked rice into the bottom of a casserole dish that has been sprayed with kitchen pan spray. My pan was round but a standard 9X13 pan will work.
Lay the 32 meatballs over the top of the rice.
Drizzle all but ¼ cup of the 20 ounces of enchilada sauce over the meatballs and top with the green chiles.
Sprinkle all of the two cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese over the top then drizzle the last ¼ cup of enchilada sauce over the cheese, cover and bake to heat the mixture and melt the cheese.
I used room temperature rice, sauce and meatballs and my finished dish took 25 minutes to bake.
If your rice, meatballs and sauce are hot to start, the end time will be less. (Everything is cooked, this last step is just to heat and melt the cheese.)
Dice the green scallions tops and sprinkle over the melted cheese and serve immediately.
Keywords: Baked Enchilada Meatballs