2cans (10-ounce)diced tomatoes with green chilesundrained
3-4chipotle chiles in adoboor to taste, minced or pureed
Salt and freshly ground black pepperto taste
Chopped fresh cilantrofor garnish
¼cupmilkwhole or 2%
1tablespoondried Mexican oregano
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
½cuppanko(Japanese bread crumbs)
1 ⅓poundground beef
5ouncespepper jack cheesecut into 24 half-inch cubes
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often or until onion is soft.
Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened. Adjust seasoning as desired.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine egg, milk, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and panko and mix well.
Add the meat and mix well.
Form into 24 1 ½-inch meatballs.
Press a cube of cheese into the center of each meatball, making sure the cheese is securely in the center.
Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the center is cooked through to 165 degrees.
Serve with sauce over rice or pasta.
MAKE-AHEAD: The sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance, cooled and refrigerated. The meatballs can be mixed and rolled 1 day in advance. (Be sure ground beef is very fresh.) Reheat sauce on the stovetop and bake meatballs prior to serving.FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Cool thoroughly. Package as desired. Freeze 1-2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350-degree for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.