Hi everyone, remember me? It’s been a while! I’ve had some technical difficulties with my computer lately. Namely, with my free photo editing program, Gimp. Fo some unknown reason, it keeps crashing on me whenever I try to adjust the levels on any photo. Quite annoying. I’ve even reinstalled it a couple times. Anyone got a copy of Photoshop they’d like to share with me? (Hey, it’s worth a shot!) As it is, I edited this photo at work, since I’ve got all that Adobe goodness there. Shhhhhh! (I’m also having issues now that the sun is setting so early. I have no place to put a makeshift lightbox at the moment.)
IKEA is one of my favorite places. It’s cheap. It’s kitschy. It’s colorful. It’s cheap. Did I mention it’s cheap? Of course, with cheap prices comes cheap manufacturing, but I’ve had the Poang chair for many years and it’s good as new. I’m on my second garlic press from IKEA, though. The little holey part on my first one broke a year ago…The metal actually cracked into pieces. Weird. But I soon got a replacement!
Of course, I eat Swedish meatballs there almost every time. It’s just one of those things you have to do (unless you opt for a giant $1 cinnamon roll instead). Anyone remember when they still had the Manager’s Special? I think it was 9 meatballs, potatoes, a soup and a soda for $5. Ridiculously awesome.
Since I’m not living in Chicago anymore, I hardly ever get to IKEA now. So that meatball craving got pretty strong after a while. And then I ran across a recipe for IKEA-style Swedish meatballs, supposedly translated from a Swedish language IKEA cookbook. Score! And I must say, these turned out better than the frozen, reheated ones you get at the cafe (though, you’ll probably miss the plastic ambiance and tray carts). Instead of potatoes, I like egg noodles. And I mixed in some frozen peas, since you know, somewhat fatty meat on top of starch isn’t exactly the best meal health wise. I didn’t have lignonberries when I made the recipe, but I’m happy to report that since making these, I picked some up at IKEA. Not necessary, but tasty. I imagine Swedish meatballs would also be tasty with leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving.
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
~1/2 c cream or milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 c breadcrumbs
2 small potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and cooled
1/2 t allspice
oil and butter for frying
1 15 oz can beef broth or stock
2/3-1 c cream
3-4 dashes worchestershire
1. Saute the onion in a small amount of butter until just browning.
2. In a large bowl, combine well all meatball ingredients except beef and pork. Add meats, then mix gently to combine without packing the meat down. Season the mixture generously with salt. You’ll use more than you think you need. If you’re unsure, heat a pan and cook a pinch of the meat to taste, then reseason the mixture. Form into golf ball sized meatballs.
3. Heat oil and butter combination in a large skillet over medium heat, and fry meatballs on all sides until brown and cooked through. You’ll have to work in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. Remove the meatballs from the pan.
4. Remove any excess oil from the pan, then deglaze with the beef broth, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced a bit, then add the cream and worchestershire. Simmer gently until slightly thickened, then season to taste.
5. Add your cooked meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Serve with egg noodles, potatoes, lignonberries, etc.