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.
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.