Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bring Back Swedish Meatballs

It's time to spring Swedish meatballs from their Ikea prison; they've done their time, let's bring them home - they deserve a better fate. They were a staple in American kitchens for years; kids loved them, they were easy to make and they were budget friendly. Trouble is they lacked panache. Now, I know I'm moving dangerously close to "putting lipstick on a pig", but if it's been awhile since you had Swedish meatballs, I hope you'll give these a try. These are really good - cardamom takes them to another level and the aroma just might dive you crazy.

Swedish Meatballs

2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk, divided use
1/2 cup packaged bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided use
1/2 cup very finely chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoon salt + salt to taste
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey (not turkey breast)
3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed, divided use
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
2 tablespoons quick-mixing flour (i.e. Wondra)
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
Garnish: fresh dill or parsley

1) Combine eggs, 1/2 cup milk and bread crumbs in a medium bowl.
2) Place onions and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a microwave container. Microwave on HIGH power for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and fragrant.
3) Add onions, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, turkey, dill weed, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom to bread-crumb mixture. Mix to combine (don't overdo this). Refrigerate, covered, until mixture can be shaped, about 2 hours.
4) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Shape meat mixture into 30 meatballs.
5) Combine butter and reserved 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Heat over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture sizzles but is not brown. Saute meatballs in two batches until brown. Transfer to a 8 x 11 x 2-inch baking pan. Set aside.
6) Add beef broth to skillet. Stir flour into cold water. Add to skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook for 1 minute until thickened. Add pepper, and reserved 1/2 teaspoon dill; adjust salt to taste. Stir in reserved 1/2 cup milk and whisk until heated through. Pour over meatballs.
7) Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill. Yield: 6 servings.


Martha said...

These look great -- will have to be on the menu sometime soon.


Anonymous said...

You are right! I'd forgotten all about this dish. Thanks for the reminder.

RecipeGirl said...

I'm Swedish... so I happen to actually make these sometimes. I just love them as a comforting dish to top egg noodles in a creamy sauce. Your version looks terrific!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

We will absolutely be trying out your recipe. Being married to a Swede for almost 30 years, I have tried most of the delicacies. Swedish meatballs are always on the Christmas Eve Smorgasbord. This recipe with turkey sound great. Thank you. Susan

Prudy said...

Those look wonderful. I haven't made some in year and I'll put it on my list for cooler weather.

Pam said...

I've only had Swedish meatballs at Ikea - they were good but yours look fantatic! I will definitely be trying this recipe.

Mary said...

Pam, I think you'll really like these meatballs. The one's at Ikea have a kinda dried minced onion taste and these are much fresher. I've added you to my blog list. You have a lovely blog!

Maria said...

You are always cooking up something great!!

Jenny said...

Wow, this looks beautifully delicious! I can't wait to make it!

Patsyk said...

My family would love these! I'm marking them to try.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, I'm so glad to have found your blog! You were kind enough to share this recipe with me a few years back in response to a request, and it has been a family favorite ever since. We are of Swedish ancestry and the older relatives had used a mix to make their meatballs. I have proudly made your meatballs from scratch, and hope my kids will continue to tradition. Blessings, Carolyn (SwedishChef)

Mary said...

Carolyn, it is so nice to hear from you! As always your kind words are appreciated. Those children are getting older - is it only one still at home?

Anonymous said...

My "baby" turns 18 later this month! She is a senior in HS and applying to colleges. (sniff,sniff)My oldest lives at home - works FT and takes classes, so he keeps me company. My middle two are at my alma mater in Providence. ;)Time marches on! It's all good.

The Inexperienced Foodie said...

those meatballs look so good

Mary said...

Steffi, thanks for stopping by! These meatballs are really good. I think you'll enjoy them.

free online adventure games said...

Wow and I just had the Ikea meatballs... You mean the original recipe doesn't use a mixture of beef and pork, but ground turkey? This is one recipe I'd love to try. Thanks for the story!

Farmer Jo said...

These were WAY better than Ikea's! Seriously delicious. We ate WAY too many. We ate them with some home grown red taters and some pear and cranberry chutney.

Penny said...

I had never heard of IKEA meatballs, but have always loved Swedish Meatballs. Your recipe sounds wonderful with ground turkey. I will definitely be trying these Mary. Thank you.

Nickie Jim said...

I'm not above enjoying Ikea's Swedish meatballs, but rarely. These days we seldom use beef of any kind, so Swedish turkey meatballs sounds like a great alternative. Believe I will give this one a try. Thanx, Mary!

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