I am a foodie, so obviously, comfort food is a necessity. Mexican comfort food, even more so. I enjoy favorite dishes that give me a sense of comfort anytime of the year…

A rich, cheesy enchilada screams “comfort” to me! So when I am looking for a good dose of comfort I head to Andele’s in Old Mesilla. The Green Chile Enchiladas at Andele’s are rich, saucy and packed with flavor. Stacked fresh corn tortillas are filled with layers of fresh green chile and a unique, creamy, cheese enchilada sauce in between, creating a memorable enchilada experience! Served with Spanish rice and refried beans this entrée is a local favorite.

Andele's You can order the original or add chicken, beef or pork. Crown them with sour cream and/or an egg. Andele Mexican Restaurant; a family style eatery in Old Mesilla serves a vast menu of Mexican favorites. Their friendly quick service, salsa bar and unique cuisine sets them apart.

I also love Andele’s Dog House across the street! A cool little place for patio dining that is dog friendly. They serve the traditional Andele’s menu but also offer Mexican Hot Dogs and Chile Con Queso Burgers (more on that later!!) 1950 Calle del Norte Mesilla, NM 88046 (575) 526-9631 www.andelerestaurante.com

Albondigas Soup Mexican Meatball Soup hearty and delicious. This soup has a historical Middle Eastern influence with original ingredients of lamb, rice and mint. This is my version. Enjoy! Mexican Meatball Soup Sopa de Albondigas is the Mexican version of comfort food. Tender little meatballs (albondigas means “meatball” in Spanish) linger in a flavorful broth, satisfying the hungriest appetites. Makes 6 to 8 servings

albondigas Meatballs 1 lb. ground beef, preferably sirloin 2 tbsp. long-grain white rice 1 large egg ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves, minced ¼ cup fresh mint, minced (optional) 1 tsp salt 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp olive oil 1 cup diced onion 4 cloves garlic, minced 8 cups beef broth (see Tip) 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 carrot, peeled and sliced 2 tbsp minced cilantro

1.  Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine meat, rice, egg and mint (optional). Mix in oregano, salt and pepper. Roll into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. 2.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add broth and tomato paste. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. Add carrot and cook until carrots are soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. 3.  Gently add meatballs to simmering broth. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, until meatballs are no longer pink inside and rice is tender, for 30 minutes. Ladle into individual bowls. Garnish with cilantro.

Tip: Beef broth can be high in sodium. Use reduced-sodium broth instead. @H:Variations: Many Mexican cooks use mint in the meatballs. You can omit the oregano and add 1/4 cup (60 mL) mint, minced 1/4 cup (60 mL) cilantro, minced, or for less flavor but good color 1/4 cup (60 mL) Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced. Follow Step 2 and add 1 potato, diced into bite-size pieces, with the carrots.