Worth Her Salt


Posts Tagged ‘meatballs’

Swedish Meatballs

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

swedish

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.

Swedish Meatballs

3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 egg
~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

For sauce:
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.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

dscf1593

Ah, everyone’s comfort food. And a crock pot recipe, to boot!

This is perfect for winter, or summer when you want comfort food but don’t want to heat up the kitchen. OK, it’s perfect any time. I make an entire 6-quart crock full, and plan on having leftovers for a week. I usually make around a dozen meatballs and add 5 hot Italian sausages. We always say we’re going to make meatball or sausage sandwiches later in the week, but somehow we always just got back to pasta. Because mmmm, pasta.

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs (and Sausage)

For Meatballs:
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1/2 c parmesan
1 t dried oregano
4 T fresh chopped parsley
2 slices white bread, soaked in milk

Sauce:
1 small onion, minced
half red bell pepper, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c red wine
2 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
1 T red pepper flakes
3 T tomato paste
3 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes, or whole tomatoes, crushed (I swear by Dei Fratelli brand crushed tomatoes, but whole canned san marzano’s are fabulous as well)

Additional ingredients:
1 lb hot Italian sausage (5 links)
hot cooked spaghetti
parmesan

1. Make the meat-a-balls. Combine everything but the beef in a bowl. Add the beef, and combine well. Salt liberally (if you’re unsure of the seasoning, you can cook a small amount of the mixture in a skillet before shaping the meatballs.) Shape the mixture into balls. I usually make them slightly bigger than golf balls, but size is up to you. Place on a baking sheet lined with silpat or foil, and bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes until browned. They do not need to be cooked all the way through.

2. While the meatballs are baking, sear the Italian sausages in a pan so the casings are brown and crisp, and put into the crock pot.

3. Make the sauce. In the same pan you browned the sausages in, add your onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, then add tomato paste and stir until caramelized. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Add spices and reduce the mixture until there is almost no liquid left. Add one can of tomatoes, bring to a simmer, then pour into the crock pot. Add the other two cans of tomatoes and stir to combine.

4. Place meatballs directly from oven into crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Serve over pasta with parmesan.