Down in South America and over in Spain, they call the humble meatball a much more beautiful and enticing word: albondigas. Doesn't that sound magnificent? Not as magical as it will taste, though; these “meatballs” (actually, ours are more like patties) combine ground pork, garlic, cumin, miso, parsley, and other seasonings for a flavor that's indescribable in any language. These albondigas are served with a tart chimichurri and a bit of quinoa to sop up all the flavors. Have we mentioned there's grilled onion in this, too? It's almost too much for words.
In a small pot, add quinoa, ¾ cup water, ⅓ the miso (reserve remaining for chimichurri), and ¼ tsp. salt. Stir until miso is fully combined, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 18-20 minutes. Remove from burner and keep covered. While quinoa cooks, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Stem and mince parsley. Peel onion and slice half into ¼" rounds. Finely mince other half. Finely mince garlic.
Make the Chimichurri
Thoroughly combine seasoned rice vinegar, half the parsley, 1 Tbsp. minced onion, half the garlic, half the remaining miso (reserve remaining of all four for pork mixture), 1 Tbsp. water, and 2 tsp. olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add red pepper flakes (to taste). Set aside.
Make the Pork Mixture
In another mixing bowl, thoroughly combine ground pork, ¼ cup minced onion, meatloaf seasoning, remaining miso, cumin, remaining garlic, and remaining parsley. Form pork mixture into four patties, 3½" by ¾".
Grill the Patties and Onion Rounds
Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Place patties on hot grill and cook until patties reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees, 4-8 minutes per side. Make sure to keep heat at medium. Remove patties to a plate. Spray grill again with cooking spray and add onion rounds. Cook until charred and tender, 2-4 minutes per side.
Finish the Dish
Place quinoa on a plate and top with pork patties. Place onion rounds next to pork and serve chimichurri on the side or drizzle over pork.